Our Recommendations for the LA Times’ Month-Long Food Bowl: Week Two

Tacos from Casa Vega. Photo by Elise Thompson for The LA Beat.

Once again, the LA Times is presenting its annual Food Bowl–an entire month of activities celebrating Los Angeles’ food scene while raising funds and awareness for food waste and hunger and promoting sustainability and waste reduction. Now, they could have taken things easy and chosen September, April June or November, or February, the shortest month, but The LA Times is going for it with 31 entire days filled with 250 food events! Here are our recommendations for some of the panels, films, classes, and markets, because try as you might, you can’t attend them all.

Monday, May 07, 2018, 6:30 P.M. – 10:00 P.M.

Prohibition Era 1927 Tijuana: A Six-Course Dinner, Cookbook Signing & Celebration of the History of Tijuana in L.A. Cuisine

Casa Vega in Studio City is part of a prestigious food family with decades of history in Los Angeles as well as Tijuana. Proprietress Christina Vega invites her internationally acclaimed cousin, Javier Plascencia from Tijuana into the kitchen for this event. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy Chef Plascencia’s cooking without having to cross the border. As part of the event you will receive the chef’s book, “The Soul of Baja.” Joining him will be Bill Esparza, a James Beard Award-winning writer and author of “L.A. Mexicano,” and Roberto Berrelleza, chef and owner of Babita Mexicuisine. The six-course dinner celebrates “the deeply rooted Mexican food culture, past and present.” Also included are a specialty margarita, souvenir photos, and both cookbooks (The Soul of Baja and L.A. Mexicano), plus a meet-and-greet opportunity with cookbook signings. The price includes tax, but not the tip. I have two copies of “LA Mexicano,” which contains stories, history, and must-have recipes for local restaurants’ signature dishes. It should be required reading for all home cooks and Angelenos. $120. BUY TICKETS HERE.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018, 6:30 P.M. – 10:00 P.M.


If any Thai restaurant can be called an LA institution, it is Jitlada Thai in Hollywood. Proprietess Jazz’s enthusiastic and somewhat mothering attention to customers combined with the unparalleled cooking of her brother, Tui, made this one of the best restaurants in LA. Although he was somewhat quiet compared to his vivacious sister, Tui’s warmth and kindness were evident to everyone who knew him. The restaurant community will celebrate his life at The Line Hotel with live entertainment, DJ Chris Holmes and dishes created by some of LA’s best Asian chefs, Kris Yenbamroong (Night + Market Song), Andy Ricker (Pok Pok), Jet Tila, Louis Tikaram (E.P. & L.P.), Roy Choi (Kogi) and of course, his sister, Jazz Singsanong and the Jitlada family. New additions include The Bellwether, Pizzeria Mozza and Langer’s Deli. Matt Groening has drawn the official Thai Tui Tribute poster. Get one while you can! $75. BUY TICKETS HERE.

Friday, May 11, 2018, 7:00 P.M. – 9:30 P.M.


Bravo’s “Top Chef” is still going strong after 12 years because it is so much more than a competition. It is a fascinating look into the way chefs think and work. Hosted by Jonathan Gold, this panel at the Paley Center for Media will feature former contestants from LA that you probably feel like you already know. Get the inside story from Fatima Ali, Bruce Kalman, Michael Voltaggio and Brooke Williamson, among others. The panel will feature a talk about how Top Chef “has influenced their careers and will include a discussion on the intersection between food, entertainment and the evolution of the modern-day cooking show.” $25 BUY TICKETS HERE.

Saturday, May 12, 2018, 10:00 A.M. – 08:00 P.M.


This free event at the 100-year-old Grand Central Market includes “cooking demos, tastings and workshops inspired by the recipes from the iconic food hall’s first-ever cookbook.” Participating eateries include Belcampo Meat Co, DTLA Cheese, La Tostaderia, Madcapra, Prawn, Olio Wood-fired Pizzeria, and Villa Moreliana. The Grand Central Market Cookbook LIVE! workshops include salsa-making, a demo of a Half Hog Breakdown from Belcampo, Brunch Golden Road Style, and Salmon Butchery with Mark Peel of Prawn.

Saturday, May 12, 2018, 11:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.


Phil Rosenthal is a television writer and producer, best known for “Everybody Loves Raymond.” He is also known for his passion for food, which led to two television programs following him around the globe as he celebrates the best food of that region and occasionally weirds out the locals. Although “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having” only lasted one season, it managed to snag a James Beard Award. Netflix tweaked the idea and created Phil’s current show, “Somebody Feed Phil.” “Rosenthal will be joined by co-host Ben Blacker (co-creator, “The Thrilling Adventure Hour”), actor and restaurateur Danny Trejo (“Machete” and Trejo’s Tacos) and chef Niki Nakayama (n/naka) for a chat about food, entertainment, community and creativity.” And what would “Breakfast with Phil” be without breakfast with Phil? Dave’s Hot Chicken will be serving up their popular Nashville-style hot chicken right there in the Dynasty Typewriter Theater. Proceeds will benefit Homeboy Industries. $15 for entry, not including chicken purchase. BUY YOUR TICKET HERE.

Sunday, May 13, 2018  9:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.


I love food crawls! What better way to get to know your city? This Red Line Food Tour is especially cool because with the train you are able to visit different neighborhoods, like  Downtown LA, Koreatown, and Hollywood, and next time you are riding the red line you will know where to hop off for culinary adventures. There will be five stops where you will learn about LA’s diverse food offerings. Meet up at the Universal City Red Line Station. Although you will be riding the train, there will be some walking involved. Proceeds benefit Investing in Place, which strengthens communities through transportation investments. The tour has limited spaces, so make sure to register today! $50 if you already have a train pass. $58 includes the Metro Train Pass. BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE.

Sunday, May 13, 2018, 12:00 P.M. – 6:30 P.M.


“Pizza, full steam ahead!” In December of 2017, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) “recognized the Art of Neapolitan Pizzaiolo as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.” In conjunction with LA Grow!, The Food Bowl will celebrate the Italian staple with Pizza Fest! More than 20 food vendors, pizzerias, restaurants, and pizza trucks from all around the globe will fill The Hollywood Palladium’s dance hall with the scent of basil and garlic. You can also expect cooking workshops, demos, panel discussions, photo booths, and a DJ spinning music. Participants include renowned pizza chefs Enzo Coccia, whose Napoli pizzeria, La Notizia, is the first pizzeria to make it into the Michelin Guide, Nancy Silverton of Mozza, Zach Pollack of Alimento, Italian-born LA transplant Daniele Uditi, chef of the popular upscale Brentwood restaurant, Pizzana, plus 12-time World Pizza Champion and master instructor at the International School of Pizza, Tony Gemignani. Also attending will be L.A. Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold, L.A. Times Deputy Food Editor Jenn Harris, and Phil Rosenthal of “Somebody Feed Phil” on Netflix. General Admission Standing is $20, VIP General Admission “Moretti VIP Package” $80.00. “VIP General Admission Workshop Ticket” $125.00. BUY TICKETS HERE.

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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