Welcome to the weekend. Dine out with food trucks in NoHo, pair wine with cheese and chocolate in DTLA or champagne with bacon in SM, and sip on California wines in the OC. Then on Saturday celebrate Tony’s Darts Away two year anniversary, learn the difference between rib-eye steaks and dry-aged New York Steaks, get schooled (and tipsy) on American Whiskey, build your wine palette, or get festive at the Renaissance Faire and Topanga Earth Day. On Sunday sip all-star wines from Sonoma and Napa or feast on a whole pig at Wilshire Restaurant. No excuses, you got plenty to do now.
Friday, April 20
Champagne and BACON Tasting
Santa Monica (5:30pm-12am)
Come experience the mystical bond between the world’s most renown sparkling wine and the glorious meat candy known as artisanal Bacon at Wine Expo. Sample different bacons like Apple Bottom Gene’s Plump Rump Herb Bacon and Bac’n Tastes Good Sun Dried Tomato Bacon. They will pair each plate up with generous pours of six diverse examples of REAL Champagne ranging from crisp, mineral driven Blanc de Blanc from les Mesnil through Pinot powered Blanc de Noirs to a quite vinous Rosé. $48 plus tax and gratuity. Call 310-828-4428 for reservations.
NoHo Dine Out
North Hollywood (5-8pm)
The NoHo Dine Out Fridays features live music every Friday including a half a dozen food trucks, local arts and craft vendors, dog adoptions and more! For directions and a current list of featured vendors check out there web site.
Wine, Cheese & Chocolate
Downtown Los Angeles (8-10:15pm)
10 wines, 5 cheeses and 5 chocolates. When Three Worlds Collide! Join LearnAboutWine for a special class bringing together three divine creations.You will explore the sensual contrasts and delights that each element brings to the experience – the crisp acidity, mouth-filling robustness or smooth viscosity of great wine; the sharp, subtly sweet or complexity of fine cheese; and the rich luxuriousness of superior chocolate ranging from creamy milk to intensely dark. Tickets are $95 or two for $150. Get tickets here.
California Wine Festival 2012
Costa Mesa, Orange County
Enjoy beach side wine, food, music, sea and sun. The elements create a unique wine tasting experience with hundreds of California’s best red and white wines, live music complemented by dozens of top chefs and specialty food purveyors. Tickets to the California Wine Festival start at $69, get them here.
Saturday, April 21
Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse – Meat 101
Downtown Los Angeles (8-9pm)
This month’s installment of Meat 101 at Nick & Stef’s is themed “New York vs. Rib-eye.” Participants will learn the difference between rib-eye steaks and dry-aged New York Steaks. The cost of the class is $40 and includes beer, wine or whiskey pairings. Reservations are required. Please call 213-680-0330.
Tony’s Darts Away – 2nd anniversary
To celebrate their 2nd anniversary, beloved Burbank watering hole Tony’s Darts Away will be more than doubling their size for the day by adding an extended outdoor deck and bar and hosting an all-day beer festival. While they won’t be serving their regular brunch menu in the morning, the kitchen will be cranking out a selection of menu favorites from Chef Randal St. Clair all day long, including their Jailhouse tacos and popular vegan and non vegan sausages. Of course, a celebration of Tony’s Darts Away would be nothing without beer – and beer champion Paige Reilly will be tapping some extremely rare specialty brews throughout the day, including Cuvee de Tomme, Supplication, Sucaba, 4 Calling Birds and MUCH more. Admission is $30 and includes 5 beer tasters and a commemorative glass.
The of American Whiskey with Hunter Chavanne
West LA (1-4pm)
Attention Whiskey drinkers, Hunter Chavanne, Marketing Director for Willett Distillery, will be at the Wine House to discuss The Art of American Whiskey. Come learn, taste and enjoy firsthand the work of someone who is making great American Whiskey. Tickets are $39, snag ‘em here.
Wine Palate Builder – Advanced Class
Downtown Los Angeles (6pm-8:15pm)
This unique, action-packed, tasting class and palate workout will help you break through to fine wine appreciation! It is intended to be a class that you can return to again and again. Explore the smells of wines with our Le Nose Du Vin sensory kit. Learn about unique grapes, places, and wine making styles. Learn about grape identification, varietal markers, alcohol indicators, ripeness appreciation, and the common scents in common sense. There will also be a blind tasting to really test your skills. Tickets are just $60 and can be purchased online.
Topanga Earth Day Festival
Topanga Canyon (10am-sunset, Sat & Sun)
The 13th annual Topanga Earth Day will feature musical performances, guest speakers, ecological artists, innovative environmental demonstrations, non-profit organizations, yoga, biodegradable & sustainable solutions, products and services, alternative energy, healing arts, primitive skills & living by example workshops, organic food & beverages, a free bio-diesel shuttle, composting, water conservation, and native planting for all ages and all cultures. A donation of $12 will get you in the door.
Renaissance Pleasure Faire
Irwindale (10am-7pm, Sat & Sun)
The 50th anniversary of the very first Renaissance faire is upon us, with the Southern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire celebrating its Golden Jubilee through the weekends of April and May. Grab a turkey leg and see such faire favorites as the Poxy Boggards, the Dread Crew of Oddwood, Moonie and Broon, the joust, the puritans, and of course Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth I in the village of Port Deptford, abutting the Santa Fe Dam. Tickets are $25/adults, $15/children ages 5-12 (aged 4 years or younger are free). For more information and a full list of entertainment, check out their web site.
Sunday, April 22
Napa/Sonoma All-Stars Tasting
West LA (1-4pm)
Wally’s Wine presents its Napa/Sonoma All-Stars Tasting 2012. Nearly 100 wineries from California’s premier wine-producing regions will be available for this tasting. Visit www.wallywine.com for more info and tickets. Our new favorite winery Alpha Omega is in attendance too. Oh sweet nectar of the gods.
Pre-Taste of the Nation Event
Santa Monica (12-4pm)
L.A.’s Top Chefs come together for a day of pork, trashcan punches, craft beer, and social consciousness to benefit Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation Los Angeles 2012. Chefs Nyesha Arrington of Wilshire and Chris Crary of Whist host a gathering of Los Angeles’ Top Chef with aA whole pig and preparations including pulled pork, pork belly, spare ribs, and pig ears will be served alongside Trashcan Punches from Mixologist Devon Espinosa of Pour Vous and Michel Dozois of Neve Ice. Tickets are just $55, get them here.
LA Derby Dolls
Echo Park (6-10pm)
The L.A. Derby Dolls are Southern California’s premiere all-female, banked track roller derby league. Watch girls on wheels as they battle out on the track with two teams of five players each: four blockers (one of whom wears a striped helmet cover as the “pivot”) and one jammer. Races take place every other Saturday and some Sundays. A full season schedule can be browsed here.
Silver Lake Farmers’ Market
Silver Lake (8am – 1pm)
The Silver Lake Farmers’ Market offers more than just fresh, local produce. Customers can also find vintage clothings, jewelry, music, and snacks, giving it more of a flea market vibe.
Sunday Suppers at Cecconi’s
An elegant Sunday Supper that will feed up to four for just $50? Cecconi’s in West Hollywood has you covered. Chef Andrea Cavaliere brings classic Italian comforts such as wood-oven fired artisanal pizza, a hearty bowl of pasta and seasonal salad to the dinner table on Sundays at Cecconi’s – all with a sophisticated setting and price that’s hard to beat. Wine specials include a bottle of house red or white for $25. And if you have an additional guest in your group, add a pizza or pasta for just $12.50.
Weekend Flights at Rosso Wine Shop
Glendale (5-8 p.m.)
A new wine theme each week. Whether it is their Old World favorites or Pinot Noir from Russian River, they mix it up and keep the price reasonable. Visit www.rossowineshop.com for more details. They also have wines by the glass available at the bar, along with some select beer picks by the bottle, if the wine flight doesn’t work for you. Cost is around $10.
Maxwell DeMille’s Cicada Club
Downtown Los Angeles (6-11 p.m.)
Travel back in time to the glamorous days of Hollywood’s golden age of nightclubs every Sunday at the Cicada Club in Downtown. Featuring the finest vintage dance orchestras and entertainment, Maxwell DeMille’s Cicada Club is unlike any night on the town you have ever experienced. Vintage or evening attire encouraged. A dinner reservation will guarantee your table for the entire evening. To see who’s playing each week and for more info check out their web site.
Wine Pairing Wednesday at Upstairs2
West LA (7:30 p.m.)
Upstairs 2, located above the massive Wine House, offers a four-course dinner prepared by chef Todd Barrie every Wednesday, paired with four wines from around the world selected by sommelier Marilyn Snee. Each week will showcase a different wine region, and there will be a brief discussion of each wine and its pairing. The cost is only $55 per person. Make your rezzy here.
April 28 – The 10th Annual Grilled Cheese Inventational will take place on April 28 at a location yet to be determined. One thing is for sure, if you love cheese and grilled slices of bread, this event is for you. The Grilled Cheese Invitational (GCI) is the largest, craziest, and most exciting Grilled Cheese cooking contest in the country and is the best thing to happen to sliced cheese since sliced bread! The GCI promotes an almost scary pursuit of perfection in a Grilled Cheese Sammich and allows for amateur and professional chefs to compete side-by-side in the hopes of becoming a true Grilled Cheese Champion. Sign up to compete or just get tickets to attend now!
May 20 – The Club Culinaire of French Cuisine will hold its annual Picnic des Chefs on Sunday, May 20 at Vasa Park in Agoura Hills at 2854 Triunfo Canyon Road, where 4 acres of lush mountain side await us. LA’s top chefs will create authentic dishes from various regions of France. Participating chefs (partial list): Marius Blin (Hotel Sofitel); Michel Blanchet (Michel Cordon Bleu); Joe Miller (Joe’s Restaurant); Josie LeBalch (Josie Restaurant); Neal Fraser (BLVD); Yvan Valentin (Sweet Temptation); and Christian Kaufmann (Emil’s Swiss Pastry). The party starts at 11:30am until 4:30pm. Chefs will cook up over 700 lb of meat, poultry and fish, 500 lb of vegetables, 200 lb of cheese and 500 baguettes, 50 artisan breads and much more. Over 50 wineries will be pouring their favorite selections. All this for just $50? Hell yes, tickets here.
June 10 – Taste of the Nation-Los Angeles returns on June 10, 2012, taking over The Lot in West Hollywood for an intimate encounter with Los Angeles’ top culinary talent from 1-4 p.m. The city’s premier tasting event will showcase local restaurants such as Culina, Whist, BLD, Border Grill, Ray’s & Stark Bar, SimonLA, ink.sack, Lukshon & Father’s Office, and Picca and Mo-Chica, along with Angelenos’ favorite bars, wineries, and craft breweries. Guests who purchase access to the special VIP area will enjoy delicacies from Waylynn Lucas’ Fonuts and UMAMIcatassen’s PIGG by Chris Cosentino, all to benefit the country’s leading anti-hunger organization, Share Our Strength. This year, Share Our Strength is proud to introduce the first Taste of the Nation Passport, allowing foodies from near and far to take advantage of the West Coast’s breadth of culinary talent. 100% of ticket proceeds from Taste of the Nation Los Angeles 2012 will benefit Share Our Strength.
June 9-10 – Another great event we attend every year, Spend the afternoon on the streets of the Historic Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. Make your plans now to experience over 500 Wines, Spirits and Beers, Lifestyle Exhibitors, Gourmet Food Trucks, Educational Classes in Wine and Food Pairings, Scotch, Sake and more at the 7th Annual WineFest. Enjoy great live music while you shop the wide array of Lifestyle Exhibitors from Wine Accessories to Oils and Vinaigrettes to Art and Clothing. Plus nosh and mingle with fellow Wine Lovers. Tickets are $75. Get your tickets here.
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