The highly anticipated “Nights of the Jack” Halloween event will return for its fourth year to King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas from October 1 – October 31. This season, the interactive walking trail filled with thousands of hand-carved, illuminated pumpkins is back and brighter than ever, now spanning two-thirds of a mile to provide a safe and festive fall outing. Tickets for the once-in-a-lifetime production are on sale now at https://nightsofthejack.com/. I've visited in previous years and enjoyed the experience where you can easily spend a few hours walking around the installations, taking pictures and then indulging in some libations too.
In an exclusive virtual event, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery hosted a Facebook Live “Be a Winemaker For A Night,” tasting, hosted by Founder Justin Baldwin and Winemaker Scott Shirley as they took guests on a journey through how they blend their flagship wine, ISOSCELES. During the virtual tasting, both were available to guide guests through a behind-the-scenes look into the blending methods used to create JUSTIN’s ISOSCELES wine. Each winemaking selection included one bottle of 2018 ISOSCELES and three half-bottle barrel samples of the individual component wines: 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019 Merlot, and 2019 Cabernet Franc. This was the first time that JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery has made barrel samples available to sip. You can also view the tasting notes here.
L.A. Arboretum Introduces Internationally Acclaimed Lightscape for 2021 Holiday Season
Are we talking about the holidays already? Yes we are! And you heard it here first...Direct from its sold-out run in London, Lightscape will head to the West Coast to transform the 127-acre Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden from November 12, 2021 through January 16, 2022. The enchanting, after-dark, illuminated trail will span one mile and feature spectacular sights with eye-catching artistic installations that come alive at night with color, imagination and sound. Be treated to a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience at the garden.
The new year wouldn’t be the same without San Luis Obispo Restaurant Month this January, and that means a month filled with delicious meals at an incredible price – even if you can’t dine in. Whatever your palette, circumstance, or family size, SLO Restaurant Month is here to provide. Here are a few options of where to done and businesses to support during this month!
Antaeus Theatre Company has created a virtual, interactive touring experience of six Los Angeles neighborhoods as an adjunct to the company’s recently released podcast series of original audio plays entitled The Zip Code Plays: Los Angeles. The tours highlight landmarks and small businesses in each zip code that can be explored either virtually or, once it becomes safe to do so, in person. A different member of the Antaeus Theatre Company acts as your guide for each virtual adventure, offering historical, architectural and anecdotal commentary for the sites.
Holiday celebrations are looking a tad bit different this year, but venues are doing their best to spread the cheer with festive markets, elaborate displays and many options for a fun drive-thru experience with friends and family. Here’s a list of holiday lights drive-thrus you can head to in and around the larger Los Angeles County area for a dose of sparkles, laughter and taking in outdoor experiences from the warmth of your personal vehicle.
Lavender and Truffles, a non-dairy frozen dessert ice cream brand made with five simple ingredients now has a pop-up parlor in Venice that will remain open throughout the holidays and until the end of the year. Plant-based products are leaping from supermarket shelves thanks to the rise of healthy and transparent diets with millennials at the forefront of the better eating movement. Lavender and Truffles is certified dairy-free and made with organic oat milk.
Hawthorne, California-based Common Space Brewery has a partnership with DoLA, a hyperlocal event discovery platform and community, to help fight hunger in Los Angeles with beer. The mutual goal is simple; raise funds as fast as possible in order to help feed those in need. To inspire giving and highlight how a small donation can have a big impact, Common Space brewed 25=100, based on the amazing fact that $25 can provide 100 meals to feed the hungry. 25=100 is a delicious Double IPA using the freshest designer hops and
clocking in at 9.0%ABV.
The Catch: this beer will not be released until a donation goal of $1,250 is raised from the community.
Dana Point Harbor is spreading seasonal cheer with the annual holiday light display set to illuminate the Harbor beginning November 11. Each night throughout the holiday season, the Harbor’s magnificent light display will illuminate the evening sky. Themed light exhibits throughout the Harbor will include Candy Cane Lane, and the popular “Merry Kiss Me” arch. New this year are added light displays to the island to encourage visitors to explore all areas of the Harbor and avoid large crowds.
The Tribeca Film Festival is heading to Southern California to launch the "Tribeca Drive-In" at the famed Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, CA beginning July 2, which will feature an exciting slate of over 30 iconic films shown throughout the summer. This limited-engagement drive-in series provides a safe, comfortable entertainment experience that captivates audiences of all ages. Tickets for opening night are completely free and can be reserved here.
Gus’s Barbecue, Los Angeles’s most historical barbecue restaurant, is celebrating the official Grand Opening of their third new location at The Vineyards in Porter Ranch with Giveaways, Games, Live Entertainment, and much more, on Saturday, February 8th, 2020 from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm! Inspired by the many regions of the South, Gus’s Barbecue has been serving real pit BBQ and true Southern hospitality since 1946 in its original South Pasadena location.
Celebrate and be part of the fifth annual Masters of Taste, L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival taking place on Sunday, April 5th, 2020 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the field of the Iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl. Masters of Taste 2020 is introducing Chef Vanda Asapahu as Host Chef of Masters of Taste 2020 which also happens to mark the 5th Anniversary of this celebrated event
For a limited period only, there is a South City Fried Chicken Pop-up happening in downtown's Preux and Proper, which specializes in bringing southern cuisine to Los Angeles. If the regular menu available here wasn't enough enticement, the new pop-up will have you lining up. at a sneak peek for media, they revealed the new menu and some of the fun offerings. On the menu now are six types of fried chicken sandwiches, baby iceberg salads including a chicken bacon Cobb, sustainable seafood options such as Dungeness crab hushpuppies and cajun popcorn rock shrimp, southern snacks including fried chicken livers and jerked Colorado lamb ribs, fried chicken plates including chicken and waffles and crispy braised Dr. Pepper wings, sides such as braised collards and cajun fried pickles and finally sweets such as banana pudding' and strawberry shortcake. Just look at some of the plates below and make your way over now!
CURRENT: LA FOOD is a month-long arts initiative taking place throughout Los Angeles from Oct 5 - Nov 3. The 15 arts installations are in 15 neighborhoods throughout the city. The initiative allows visitors to interact with never-before-seenart experiences from a replica of an Iraqi palace as well as see live performances by the S.H.I.N.E. Mawusi Women’s African Drum Circle and participate in fermentation workshops, among other community-driven and celebratory food events. Here are a few of the highly anticipated sites!
The Italian American Museum of Los Angeles hosted an exclusive media preview for the annual Taste of Italy fundraiser. The cicchetti cena (Venetian small-plates style dinner) was held in Hermosa Beach at Sosta Cucina, helmed by Executive Chef Luca Manderino. The cozy evening was a culinary treat featuring some of chef’s highlights. If this is any indication then the Taste event is sure to be a blast! Check out the gallery for some of the dinner action...
Volunteers can help improve public lands around the country for the 26th annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on Saturday, September 28. More than 100,000 volunteers are expected to join in trail maintenance projects, park and river clean ups, tree planting activities, invasive species removal projects, as well as hikes and other fun activities. Events are in 49 states in local parks, state parks, battlefield parks and many iconic national parks, including Grand Canyon, Everglades, Mt. Rainier, Grand Teton, Zion, Joshua Tree, Shenandoah, Rocky Mountain and Yosemite. The Yosemite event even involves rappelling to remove trash from the edges of El Capitan and Mount Watkins. The day is a fee-free day for all national parks as well as many state and local parks.
The 8th Annual Sunset & Dine Festival celebrating Hollywood’s eclectic neighborhood, a popular hub for restaurants, historic theaters, retail shops and entertainment studios, is coming up. Under the stars of Tinseltown, savor the unique flavors from Hollywood’s best eateries, including Cleo, Delicious Pizza, Farm Fresh To You, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, 25 degrees, Urban Masala, Intelligentsia Coffee, Rubies and Diamonds, and Wood & Vine, among others and enjoy variety of entertainment curated by Amoeba Music.
Where: Columbia Square Parking Lot, 1538 N Centro Ave, Los Angeles CA
When: Thursday, September 26, 2019 from 6-9 p.m.
Ticket Price: $50 available for purchase here
Tickets are available now through September 26, 2019. General Admission tickets are $50 which include food, beverages and entertainment. Children under 12 can attend free of charge. Proceeds from the event will benefit The Center at Blessed Sacrament, a nonprofit dedicated to ending isolation and homelessness in Hollywood by offering evidence-based wellness programs, building community, and connecting people to housing. See you there!
Enter the “'One Dish, One Story' Presented by BBVA” contest for a chance to win a trip to Spain to shadow the legendary Roca Brothers at their world-renowned restaurant - El Celler de Can Roca - and 2 tickets to the sold out BBVA Spanish Masters Dinner on October 3 at L.A. LIVE. Chefs who have confirmed attendance and will be cooking at the exclusive event include Jamie Bissonnette, Seamus Mullen, Holly Jivinand Culinary Emcee Ellen Bennet.
Sparkling wine tasting was the agenda for the day as producers participated in this premier American showcase for the very finest in champagne and sparkling wines. While distinguished producers poured bubbly for guests. Chef Nancy Silverton and team prepared bites for the brunch portion of the event. Some of my favorites included Acinum Prosecco NV, Boschendal Wine Estate’s Brut Rose, Colmant Cap Classique’s Brut Reserve, Hakkaisan Sake Brewery’s clear and sparkling sake, Ken Forrester Wines’ sparklehorse, M. Bonnamy’s Rose, Pisoni’s Trentoc 2013, DSimonsig Wine Estate’s Brut and Tenuta Pederzana’s Lambrausco Gibe 2017.
Dine GPS, the Greater Palm Springs Restaurant event of the year, is coming up end of this month and you need to be well versed with the area and what’s in store to make the most of your time when there. Of course, dining is going to be the highlight of your visit if you head over during the festival but there’s so much more within the different cities that make up the GPS area, which consists of Cathedral City and Desert Hot Springs, Palms Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta and Indian Wells, Indio, and Rancho Mirage. I learned more about their plans for this year’s edition at a sneak peek press preview organized in Los Angeles, where we recreated some of the menu items from this year's many offerings. GPS is just a few hours drive away from L.A and a quick/easy weekend getaway if you’d like to head out on a whim. It is also a great additional road trip if you are visiting the city of angels. Here are a few more ways to enjoy the ten days of the event...
The Los Angeles Times Food Bowl in association with Japan House Los Angeles presented Satoyama Photography Exhibition at Union Station highlighting Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa’s dedication to all things natural. Narisawa is considered to be among the best restaurants in the world, and one look at Satoyama Scenery will give you an idea why! While invited guests were privy to a guided tour of the Satoyama Exhibition with Narisawa at Union Station, a few others were lucky to lunch with chef at a ticketed event in Orsa & Winston, which also featured a Q&A with local food critic Jonathan Gold. Also in attendance was Brazilian photographer Sergio Coimbra who brought the photography collaboration to life.
For Angelenos or those visiting the city of angels, celebrating mom with a special meal should be a no brainer given all the fantastic eateries and other dining options available here within minutes of any popular area. Make reservations at one of these venues to enjoy a fun day out with mom on May 12, just a few days away. The specials are certainly worth the visit and the food is definitely served to impress. Enjoy, and let us know in the comments where you celebrated!
Effervescence, America’s leading epicurean event centered solely around Champagne and sparkling wines is back in Los Angeles May 3-5, 2019. A great way to celebrate the first weekend in May and Cinco de Mayo as well. The three-day festival kicks off May 3rd with a once-in-a-lifetime dinner hosted by Krug and festivities pour into the weekend with the Grand Champagne Tasting featuring top Champagne producers, and master classes taught by leading experts. An exclusive Gala Dinner at Jar will be hosted by California’s leading female celebrity chefs: Suzanne Tracht, Nancy Silverton, Dominique Crenn and Dahlia Narvaez. To top it off, Nancy Silverton will host the More Bubbles brunch featuring sparkling wines from around the world for collectors, winemakers, and enthusiasts.
According to the National Recreation and Park Association, 55 percent of Americans choose picnics and al fresco dining as their favorite summertime outdoor activity, followed by 40 percent who enjoy going to the beach. I think I am in both categories – come spring and summer, I love heading to the beach for a weekend bike ride and then a picnic brunch. Not surprising then that Santa Monica’s ocean-facing Shore Hotel has a new Spring Picnic At The Shore package so you can do both!
The second edition of this event series included a stop in Los Angeles, bringing together women in hospitality for a full day of sessions, panels, workshops, Q&A and networking. Topics included latest trends, success stories, branding, finances and more. Author Cyndie Spiegel opened the event while Chef Missy Robbins was the closing conversation. Here are a few scenes from the day!