A big new crop of names is coming to the Westfield Topanga mall soon, as part of the almost-ready Topanga Social development that has been years (and millions of dollars) in the making. Previously, Westfield has teased some big LA-specific names for the multi-unit restaurant setup, including Katsu Sando, Fat Sal’s, and Amboy Quality Burgers by chef Alvin Cailan — and now some even bigger local restaurants are getting in on the fun.
Slab Barbecue will open an outpost in the coming months at the 50,000-square-foot facility, as will Detroit pizza specialist DTown Pizzeria. Dumpling Monster is on for all things dumplings, while Primo’s Donuts will handle the morning shift at the facility along with Mad Lab Coffee. Perhaps biggest of all, though, is the West Valley arrival of Mini Kabob, the decades-old Glendale restaurant that has captured LA hearts and loads of national attention. In total, expect more than two dozen vendors when Topanga Social arrives this spring, with indoor and outdoor seating, three full-service bars, and lots of tech-forward pickup and delivery protocols.
One-off events to know about
A Last of Us-themed brunch is going down at Atrium in Los Feliz on Sunday, March 12 — and yes, the focus will be on mushrooms. Presented in collaboration with Smallhold mushroom growers, the Atrium meal will feature dishes like biscuits and mushroom gravy, and adobo-seasoned mushrooms on top of chilaquiles.
Over in Eagle Rock, bartender and author Toby Maloney is popping up at Little Beast in support of his book The Bartender’s Manifesto. Expect a three-and-a-half-hour cocktail course (talking everything from construction and analysis to personalized creations) for $150, going down from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 19 — with a public happy hour to follow at 5 p.m. that will feature none other than Eric Alperin of the Varnish.
Meanwhile, Bello in Newport Beach is hosting an ambitious wine dinner with Jesse Katz (the first-ever Forbes 30 under 30 winemaker) of Aperture Cellars and the Setting Wines. Expect six courses by chef Zach Scherer and nine exclusive pairings for $350, spread across one big evening at one of Orange County’s most notable finer dining restaurants.
Outstanding in the Field at Coachella
Coachella is nearly upon Southern California, which means it’s time to start teasing out the latest chef collaborations, dinners, pop-ups, and other events. While the full vendor list is still to come, this year’s Outstanding in the Field dinners have been announced, and they include a lot of big-name culinary talent. Zarah Khan of Rustic Canyon will be there, as will Tolu Erogbogbo of West African restaurant Ilé. Javier Plascencia, the famed chef and operator with projects across Baja California, is making the trip, as is Rene Andrade of Bacanora out of Phoenix. Check the Coachella site for a full list of names and to purchase tickets for both weekends.