Los Angeles Food & Wine gathers some of the city’s top chefs and restaurants for a long weekend of bites, wines, cocktails, music, and more. The experiential event takes place mainly at Grand Avenue right in front of the Broad Museum and Walt Disney Concert Hall, as well as Santa Monica’s spacious Barker Hangar. There’s also a slew of chef power lunches taking place around town, and most of them still have a few seats available. That’ll mean going to the LA Food & Wine website to pick up a ticket. Here are the recommend events for this year’s mega-festival, and why.
Ultimate Bites of LA: Thursday
This one’s coming up soon, but there are still tickets available to the festival’s first big evening event, which takes place at Grand Avenue. The parking situation is a little dicey, so it’s best to catch an Uber there. There’s also the Metro.
In terms of who’s serving, highlights include Barb Batiste of B Sweet and Big Boi, Royce Burke of Yarrow, Nick Erven of Rappahannock Oyster Bar, Chris Flint of NoMad LA, Holly Jivin of The Bazaar, Antonia Lofaso of Dama, Yoya Takahashi of Umi, and Alvin Cailan of NYC”s The Usual. VIP admission starts at 6:30 p.m. with a $225 but wait half an hour and the general admission runs $175.
Power Lunch at Rossoblu with Alex Seidel and Steve Samson on Friday
Rossoblu isn’t normally open for a weekday lunch, so it’s a special treat to try some of the Italian fare at Steve Samson’s Fashion District restaurant. Alex Seidel, one of the best chefs in Denver and this year’s James Beard Award recipient for Best Chef: Southwest, hails from Mercantile Dining & Provision. The lunch starts at 12 p.m. and costs $125 per person. If this lunch fills up, Antonia Lofaso and Food Network personality Aarón Sanchez are cooking a “power lunch” at Dama across the way for the same price, at the same time.
Heat on the Street: Taco Takedown on Friday
The big Friday evening event also takes place at Grand Avenue, with Aarón Sanchez, Robert Irvine, Susan Feniger, and Mary Sue Milliken hosting the event that should appeal any food television fans. This one’s a bit more affordable than the Thursday even, costing $150 a person for general admission and $195 for an extra half hour to grab food. The theme of the evening is tacos, and everyone from Nyesha Arrington of Native, Gonzalo Guzman of SF’s Nopa, Thomas Ortega of Playa Amor, Jimmy Shaw of Loteria, and Patricio Wise of Roseville’s Nixtaco serving up street food-inspired dishes.
Grand Tasting in Santa Monica on Saturday
The Santa Monica tastings tend to have a few more vendors, and some more unexpected restaurants serving, versus the more marquee evening events in Downtown. Highlights during the Barker Hangar event include Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai, Miami restaurateur Michelle Bernstein, Timothy Hollingsworth of Otium, Kristine De La Cruz of Créme Caramel LA, Samuel Monsour of Preux & Proper, John Tesar of Laguna Beach’s upcoming Outer Reef, and Imran Ali Mookhi of Tumbi. This event runs $175 for general admission and $225 for VIP early admission and runs from noon to 3 p.m.