Thursday, August 6, 2009

Weekend Bites: I'm gonna need a bigger belt...

When Ms. fabulous Elra of Elra's Cooking and Elra's Baking left the comment, "Diana dahling, summer is the season of eating, so don't worry too much about it, k?" on my "cleanse" post, I was a bit taken aback.

Summer the season of eating?

Really, Elra, really?!?

I'd always thought that fall/winter were the seasons of eating due to Thanksgiving and holiday feasts, cocktail parties galore, and a need to melt away the grey sky blues via vast amounts of cookies, roasted meats and casseroles.

It’s illogical for summer to be prime time for chowing down. The sun is shining, the oppressive heat often dampens one's appetite (particularly for heavy, rich foods), and for those of us who don't fear the bacteria at the beach, there are bathing suits to fit into for goodness sakes! Nobody wants to be prancing around in a bikini with a belly that looks like this...

Yet as I started to consider Elra’s statement, I began to see that there is some truth to her claim. I don’t think I’m alone in my pursuit of all things ice cream and gelato-related this summer, and just one look at the upcoming food and drink-related events this weekend makes it clear that not everyone is thinking about looking hot to trot at Zuma Beach in Malibu.

For foodies (and alchies), there is life beyond the beach, and that life is looking good….

Thursday, August 6th
Vinotoque comes to Melrose! I never tried the wine bar when it was at its Culver City location, but now that it is within walking distance of my apartment (7469 Melrose Ave.), I have lovely visions of all the bad dates I will have there. This could very well be my next Village Idiot. Stay tuned…

BreadBar Century City hosts Chef Roberto Cortez for its second night of the Hatchi Series. I’ve been drooling over the menu that includes liquid onion ring, white asparagus cappuccino, herb stained salmon, smoked shitake terrine, lemon laquered chicken, veal short rib, chocolate cream, and lemoncurd mousse, all week, but alas, I am staying strong, folks, STAYING STRONG! My hiney will thank me for this later, but I’m sure the kids who are going tonight are going to make me mad jealous with all their photogs.

Friday, August 7th
The Lek is hosting a “From New Zealand With Love First Friday Party” at the Stronghold Speakeasy in Venice (1625 Abbot Kinney Blvd.) from 6 – 10 pm. Open bar, free-flowing New Zealand wines, beer and spirits, a DJ, and lots of singles should make for a raging good time. Which of course means I’ll be on the other side of town catching a screening of 500 Days of Summer with my tall awesome lady friend, because that’s how I roll on Friday nights when I’m attempting to not overload my liver.

Saturday, August 8th
Korean BBQ cook-off at the Summit at 6th (3223 6th Street) from 12 – 8 pm. Need I say more? No, so I’ll let the LA Times fill in the dets.

And for those who don’t enjoy smelling like roasted meat, SusieCakes Brentwood (11708 San Vicente Blvd.) is hosting a book signing with Candy Spelling from 3 – 4:30 pm. Purchase a copy of Ms. Spelling’s memoir, Stories from Candyland and receive a free Malted Milk Ball Cupcake (SusieCakes’ special cupcake this month).

Sunday, August 9th
2 – 5 pm - San Antonio Winery’s “Boutique Beer” Tasting and Food Pairing at 737 Lamar Street in downtown Los Angeles.

“Libations will be served with tamales from the Americas with live demonstrations; escabeche vegetable and cabbage cilantro salad; a tasting of gourmet grilled sausages and soft pretzels; taco bar; Santa Maria BBQ smoked tri tip; and for dessert, apple pie, blackberry pie, pecan pie and cookies.”

Cost of the event is $50 per person. Reserve spots by calling (323) 330-8771.

And if that’s not enough to get the stomach bulging, there’s always Palate Food + Wine’s Sunday Supper (5 – 9 pm). This week’s 3-course menu includes:

shelling bean salad / lipstick peppers / olive toast

main course
local seabass / shrimp / manila clams / fennel / saffron nage
grilled skirt steak / walnuts / blue cheese / bitter greens /
warm potato salad

baba rhum / roasted plums

$35 per person
(vegetarian options available)

And if that STILL doesn’t do the trick, there’s always Vivoli Café’s new “All You Can Eat Brunch” every Saturday and Sunday from 11 am – 4 pm. The extravaganza includes a “buffet of fresh Italian dishes for only $11.95” at all the SoCal Vivoli Café locations (WeHo, Valencia, Westlake). Fruit, grilled veggies, penne vodka, frittata, bacon & sausage, scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, poached eggs, tiramisu, and coffee/soft drinks are available for the steal of a deal. Spumante or Mimosa can be tacked on for an additional $4.95.

To steal a line from Julia Child in Julie & Julia (premieres tomorrow night!), “Bon Appetít!”

And to steal a line from my college roommate Ali, “bring on the sweatpants!”


Jenn said...

Some great food options there.

Ya know...Palate is literally 1 mile from my apartment and I still have to go there. I've heard pretty good things about it, too.

Esi said...

I'm with Elra on that. Summer has the best food of the year. It's all about eating, just differently. So many good food things going on in town this weekend and I will be stuck unpacking...lame.

Mike T. said...

Every season is the season of eating! Summer is when peaches come, and I don't want to meet the person who's anti-peaches.

Anna A. said...

LOL Diana, mah tall lady friend, you *crack* me up. I can't get over your belly pic. I want it framed with your john hancock.

Kirby! said...

Oh, I always gain the most weight in the summer. It makes no sense. But it happens every year.

Elra said...

ha..ha... ha.. oops, I shouldn't laugh. Hmmm, you won't believe this, but like KIRBY, I gain weight in summer. It's really true, summer is my season eating, way too many grilled food (mostly meat meat meat), way to many gelato (trust me, almost have this every other day, especially hard to resist all new flavor from Hagen Daas), way too many good dessert that is hard to pass, you can see what I bake every week, plus bread every other day. So, dahling I do too grow Budha's belly a bit. I guess we all need to workout hard (er).