GTD This Weekend

The hot, hot sun chose an excellent time to hide behind the clouds and cool off this weekend.  Between the Street Food Festival at the Rose Bowl, the Renegade Craft  Fair in the cornfield, the Silver Lake flea market, and the Outdoor Cinema Food Fest, there’s much too much to do outdoors to have a heat wave put a damper on all the fun.

If you fancy yourself a fancy meal, head out to The Water Grill tonight where Executive Chef David LeFevre and sous chef Amanda Baumgarten – and current Top Chef-stant – created, Iron Chef-style, a special menu based on the ingredients used in that week’s episode.  On the menu tonight: Queen Charlotte Salmon sauteed with sauce soubise and a compote of leeks and dates.  If you miss the special dinner tonight, hope Padma doesn’t ask Amanda to pack up her knives and go next week – these special menus will keep coming out of the kitchen for dinner Wednesdays through Fridays so long as Amanda stays in the competition.

Also tonight, check out and support some talented youths celebrating a year of Equal Action’s OUTspoken‘s open mic sessions specifically for queer youth and their allies.  In addition, there will be a screening of the fifth episode of That’s What She Said, a webseries about hot Asian lezzies in Los Angeles.  Whatever dram-a they get into, I’m pretty sure it will not include a subplot [spoiler alert for those of you who haven’t seen The Kids Are All Right, Personal Best, Chasing Amy…] involving a lesbian sleeping with a man, because you know, that doesn’t happen nearly as often as people hope it does.

To my fellow Street Food Fest-goers on Saturday at the Rose Bowl from 5:30pm to 11pm: brace yourself.  Eat something light in the morning and gather your strength to fight me over Starry Kitchen’s crispy tofu balls once we’re on the field.  Tickets were pre-sale only and sold out earlier this week, but no fear: there are plenty of other events this weekend with plenty of food trucks.  Seriously, this food truck thing is both awesome and a little out of control at the same time.

Not-Street Food Fest street food alternative 1:  If you’re looking for (post-Kogi) street food, and are jonesing to watch the greatness that is Pulp Fiction, the Outdoor Cinema Food Fest presents a gigantanormous outdoor screen at Exposition Park onto which John Travolta and his horrible hair that somehow works only in this movie will be projected.  $8 will get you in the grounds; a blanket is recommended so you can sit on it.  Leave your picnic basket at home; there will be food trucks.

Not-Street Food Fest street food alternative 2:  The Renegade Craft Fair will take over the cornfield (aka the LA Historic State Park) near Chinatown from 11am to 7pm Saturday and Sunday, with over 200 vendors offering their creations for your browsing and buying pleasure.  There also will be craft-oriented workshops led by The Urban Craft Center and Etsy; and – best part – my favorite t-shirt shop ever, Threadless, will be on hand with a mobile art studio.  Food trucks will feed the crafty and hungry.

Not-Street Food Fest street food alternative 3: Speaking of arts and crafts, the tried-and-true Silver Lake Art* Craft & Vintage flea market is set for Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm at the Micheltorena Street Elementary School.  You’re on school grounds here, so listen to the recess lady carefully.  The flea market recurs the last weekend of every month.  You guessed it: food trucks will provide an excellent alternative to cafeteria food.

If you want to be less hipster homemaker and more cultured maven who doesn’t need food trucks at your festivals, the Obon festival takes place both days this weekend in Little Tokyo.  Think of this as a Memorial Day for Buddhists, a time in which we remember our ancestors and ponder the lives we were given.  The holiday is steeped in custom, particularly in Japan (read all about it here).   At 6pm on Saturday and Sunday, the skies will be lit with “ten thousand lanterns” in tradition of the Manto-e, followed by Bon Odori dancing.  On Sunday, there will be sumo wrestlers.

On Sunday at noon, remember the life of Marc Abrams, aka the Silver Lake Walking Man, who passed earlier this week, by joining Verdell and others on a memorial walk at noon on Sunday.  There probably will be no food trucks, unless one happens to be parked somewhere along the route.  This probably is exactly how the Walking Man would have preferred it.

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