Los Angeles diners attending the third annual Family Style Fest on October 9 in Television City can breathe a sigh of relief: the lineup from Ben Hundred’s Family Style features a litany of culinary crowd-pleasers. Much like in past years, the roster, which includes Mother Wolf, Kato, and a slew of international attendees, will be turning out plenty of one-of-a-kind menu items dreamed up solely for the event.
Many of the restaurants’ festival dishes are still under wraps, but attendees can expect Family Style newcomers, like Yazawa, an upscale Japanese barbecue restaurant in Beverly Hills, to be a big draw — the restaurant’s special dish is a head-turning A5 wagyu bowl with garlic rice for $32. Last year, Kato offered a five-spice beef short rib, though the details on chef Jon Yao’s item this year are still to-be-announced. Other familiar faces in the lineup also include Badmaash, Uncle Paulie’s Deli, and Chifa, along with more under-the-radar participants like Carmen’s Empanadas and Happy Ice.
“Restaurants are getting creative for these event-exclusive menu items,” festival co-founder Miles Canares says. “A lot of folks are still in the ideation phase.” A few exclusives include a California-style burrito from Sonoratown, and Yangban Society is currently riffing on a hot dog version of its white-blood sausage with white kimchi sauerkraut
Out-of-town participants in this year’s festivities include Japan’s Henry’s Pizza, run by streetwear giant Verdy, who recently worked with Paris Saint Germain and Budweiser. Aunts Et Uncles, a vegan restaurant out of Brooklyn, will be in attendance, as will Paperboy Paris from, yes, Paris (though this sandwich pop-up will only run for one day of the event). Fashion and lifestyle companies, which range from big names like Nike and Tommy Hilfiger to trendier picks like Free & Easy and Kyle the Knitter, will dole out their goods, too. Food and style hybrid projects, such as No Free Coffee, are the chimeras of the event — to be seen if these booths will serve strictly swag, sips, or both..
For his part, Canares says the cross-cultural nature of the brands in attendance is what’s most exciting. Fragment Design, collaborating with Yazawa on that Wagyu bowl, is one pop-up he’s looking forward to. (The co-founder also gives kudos to Fragment Design and Burger, She Wrote, in addition to the myriad vegan options from Aunts Et Uncles.) “We’re excited to shed some light on new restaurants,” Canares says. “Verdy alone is arguably the biggest name in streetwear right now. Between these brands, the out-of-towners, and debuts like Henry’s Pizza, it’s huge.”
Tickets, on sale today, run $60 for general admission or $200 for VIP entry. Exclusive food options for VIP guests include Tacos 1986, Trophies Burger Club (a new project from the cook behind Everson Royce’s club burger), Craig’s Vegan Ice Cream, and a natural wine bar from the stylish minds behind Clink International Wine Club. “During the pandemic, we just wanted to do a good job,” Canares says. “This year we want to hone in on who we are, and create that foothold and a meaningful platform for restaurants.”