LA Taco Festival
On Saturday, Aug. 18, more than 6,000 people are expected to gather in downtown’s Grand Park to support homeless youth at the eighth annual LA Taco Festival from noon to 8 p.m. The family friendly festival will raise funds and awareness for Jovenes, Inc. This nonprofit transforms the lives of Los Angeles homeless youth between the ages of 18-25. Enjoy delicious tacos by Kogi BBQ, Epic Gourmet Taco Catering, Thai-Mex Cocina and more. Live music performances will be held throughout the day, along with interactive activities and vendor booths. It is free to attend but there is a $5 suggested donation to support Jovenes, Inc. 200 N. Grand Ave., latacofestival.com.
Alta and LocoL soul food dinner
Keith Corbin and Daniel Patterson’s Alta Group present a special pop-up dinner at LocoL on Aug. 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. It’s a preview of Alta and the Adams Coffee Shop that will open soon in West Adams. Foodies can experience Corbin’s interpretation of California soul food with dishes like black-eyed pea fritters, fried green tomatoes and a tomato-watermelon salad. Try the Tray Pass meal featuring a selection of larger dishes such as oxtail and rice, fried chicken, and barbecue cauliflower, as well as two sides such as cornbread, candied yam gratin, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese. Created to celebrate and bring locals together over food, the dinner services will feature community pricing for Watts residents. 1950 E. 103rd St., welocol.com.
Special tequila dinner at Redbird
Tequila Casa Dragones is partnering with chef Neal Fraser and special guest chef Donnie Masterton, of The Restaurant in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, at Redbird on Wednesday, Aug. 22. Starting at 7 p.m., diners will enjoy a multicourse dinner served family-style with tequila pairings in The Garden at Redbird. To start the evening, the hors d’oeuvres will include mussels escabeche tostadas and beef tartare paired with a Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco welcome cocktail. Main courses include grilled octopus with salsa macha and tequila-cured salmon with cabbage, citrus and lime cream. For dessert, guests will enjoy panna cotta with watermelon granita paired with Tequila Casa Dragones Joven. Tickets are $150 per person and can be reserved at bit.ly/2nDImVb. 114 E. Second St., Los Angeles, (213)788-1191.
L.A.’s Ultimate Bites
The Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival kicks off with the “Ultimate Bites of L.A.” hosted by Alvin Cailan and Antonia Lofaso on Thursday, Aug. 23, from 7 to 10 p.m. This event brings together the city’s most celebrated restaurants in a battle for the title of Los Angeles’ “Ultimate Bite.” Tickets are on sale now for $175. VIP options include early entry at 6:30 p.m. for $225. Visit lafw.com or call (855)433-5239. The event is located at Grand Ave. and First St.
DAMA power lunch
The Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival continues on Friday, Aug. 24, with a lunch at DAMA in downtown’s Fashion District. Antonia Lofaso, of Black Market Liquor Bar and Scopa Italian Roots, teams up with New Orleans’ Aarón Sánchez for a four-course lunch. The price is $125 for the lunch from noon to 2:30 p.m. 612 E. 11th St., (855)433-5239.
‘Taste of Larchmont’
Raise funds for Hope-Net’s food pantries at the “Taste of Larchmont” on Monday, Aug. 27, from 6 to 9 p.m. The nonprofit hosts 13 food pantries at churches and temples in Wilshire Center and Hollywood and serves 300,000 people more than $2 million worth of food each year. At the fundraiser, diners will be given tastes of Thai, Japanese, Italian and Mexican cuisines from 15 Larchmont Village establishments. The Ebell of Los Angeles and El Cholo will also participate. The evening will feature music, a raffle and a silent auction. Tickets are $40 each. Larchmont Boulevard between First Street and Beverly Boulevard, (213)389-9949, hopenetla.org.
The Mermaid makes a splash
Bar industry veterans Arelene Roldan and Katie Kildow opened their tropical-inspired cocktail lounge and bar in the Honda Plaza featuring liquor by women-owned distilleries. Formerly Tapas and Wine Bar C, The Mermaid is a fun, casual spot perfect for after work or a weekend meet up with your pals. Cocktails are made with house-made mixers, infused syrups and spirits for a creative and nautical take on classic beverages. Boozy snow cone flavors include tequila watermelon, vodka cherry limeade and rum with pineapple coconut. Order the Drink Your Vegetables, a martini made with dry gin, dry vermouth, celery bitters and house-made pickle brine. Food items include tangy spicy chicken wings, shrimp rémoulade served on Hawaiian rolls, hearts of palm ceviche, and the house-made tropical chex mix. The late-night menu includes gourmet popcorn, queso and chips, hot dogs and veggie dogs. Open daily from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. 428 E. Second St., themermaidla.com.
Pie Hole special
Before or after watching “Waitress” at the Hollywood Pantages, show your ticket and get 10 percent off a sweet and savory pie with delicious coffee at the Hollywood location of The Pie Hole just down the street. This special is also available during the month of August at locations in the Arts District, Pasadena, Venice, Glendale and Long Beach. Try the famous apple crumble or the chicken and cornbread potpie. 6314 Hollywood Blvd., (323)963-5174.
Celebrity chef at J. Trani’s
Dustin J. Trani, formerly of DOMA Restaurant in Beverly Hills, has returned to his family roots and is now the executive chef at J. Trani’s Ristorante. Opened in 1925 by family patriarch Filippo Trani, the restaurant now features his sons and now grandson preparing elegant fish dishes, ceviches, savory pastas, flatbreads and local calamari. The fresh squid is lightly battered and fried, and then topped with a sweet Thai aioli, micro greens and balsamic reduction. 584 W. Ninth St., San Pedro, (310)832-1220.
Pitchoun! Bakery opens at the Beverly Center
The artisanal bakery known for its flaky pastries, authentic baguettes, fresh salads, gourmet sandwiches and creative sweet treats has opened a second location. It’s the only bakery café at the reimagined Beverly Center offering beautiful macarons, éclairs and handmade, gluten-free tarts filled with fresh fruit and custards. Stop in for your morning coffee and pastries, grab a quick lunch, or pick up a baguette to take home for dinner at the end of the day. Located on the second floor, the café is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pitchoun! at the Beverly Center, 8500 Beverly Blvd., #103, (323)381-5328. Pitchoun! in downtown Los Angeles, 545 S. Olive St., (213)689-3240.
To-go at Uovo
Santa Monica’s pasta bar is now offering a new way to enjoy its pasta. Order through Postmates for pickup or delivery to your office or home. The limited to-go menu includes Uovo tonnarelli al pomodoro, tortellini en brodo and lasagna verde. Co-founder Lele Massimini selected the dishes that are best suited for travel. Guests still have to dine-in to enjoy favorites like tonnarelli all’amatriciana and tonnarelli cacio e pepe. To order Uovo for delivery or pickup, download the Postmates App, or visit bit.ly/2KSaPiU. 1320 Second St., Ste. A, (310)425-0064.
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