You’re already thinking about this weekend, I know, because it’s Labor Day weekend, and Labor Day weekend means nothing if not food. But, why labor over the grill when you could be relaxing under the stars eating the best the city has to offer? Coincidentally (or not), both the LA Times and Food & Wine are hosting food and wine festivals this weekend, with the Food & Wine festival being the more overtly epic. The culinary magazine is hosting “The Taste of Beverly Hills,” a four day affair featuring over 100 restaurants and wineries, categorized neatly by theme. Friday night gathers all the great cocktail mixologists in town (excluding Tom Cruise); Saturday night is Date Night, matching LA’s best restaurants with the proper wine to dine; and Sunday is a lesson on brunching and – appropriately – on BBQ’ing. There will be cooking demos and (yeah!) the chance to sample as much as your AYCE heart desires. Ticket prices are steep, but if you can afford it, it looks like a great chance to sample plates from the likes of Angelini Osteria, Church & State, and Craft. In addition, awesome Goldstar is offering tickets to the Sunday brunch for half-price ($62.50 instead of $125). And, for those looking to crash the party, Evan Kleinman and KCRW also will host a pie contest that is free to everyone on Sunday morning.
The LA Times takes a more modest approach and has a one day food and wine festival on Sunday at the Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Our local national paper fills the food truck void – food trucks are conspicuously absent from The Taste of Beverly Hills – and gathers a bunch for their festival, including Border Grill’s and The Buttermilk Truck. There also will be cooking demos (including one on cocktail mixology (which also will not include Tom Cruise)), and, depending on your tolerance for Zooey Deschanel and her love for cotton, you will love or hate She & Him’s bonus concert at the end of the night. Tickets are cheaper than The Taste of Beverly Hills but, then again, so are the restaurants featured (which is not a bad thing, just a point of difference between the two fests). Goldstar pulls through for this one too – get half-price tickets here.
It’s Tuesday. Just a few more days, and you can take the time to eat. And eat again.