$3 falafel sandwiches and $4 falafel bowls? No, that’s not a typo. Washington DC-based chain Falafel Inc. has just opened its first LA location. Everything is vegan or vegetarian, fresh, all-natural, and locally sourced, and nothing costs more than $4. To make it even better, every meal you buy at Falafel Inc. helps to feed a refugee in need, thanks to their partnership with World Food Programme. Other menu items include za’atar fries, tabouli salad, and hummus. Donating a meal to a refugee for every $10 spent, Falafel Inc. is located at 933 Broxton in Westwood Village.
Tiki Ti is back! The beloved Los Feliz tiki bar that always makes for a good time has opened its doors again after a 16-month closure. People waited as long as five hours to get into the wee drinking hole on reopening night. Tiki Ti , which turned 60 this year, has pared down its drink menu from 90 or so cocktails to about 30, but longtime faves Ray’s Mistake and Oogabooga are still on the list!
National Tequila Day is Saturday, July 24. If you love the agave-based spirit, you might want to join the Cocktail Crawl & Block Party happening in Downtown Santa Monica on that day. Participating bars include Lanea, Cult, and The Craftsman. VIP tickets are $25 and include 2 cocktails, a JAJA tequila tasting ticket, food and drink specials (including $8 featured cocktails), DJs, and live music. Tickets can be purchased here.
Go Little Tokyo’s annual Delicious Little Tokyo event returns. Now in its sixth year, Delicious Little Tokyo offers authentic Japanese food experiences, including two themed foodie tours on July 17 and a virtual tour of Little Tokyo culinary landmarks ($5 suggested donation) on July 22. Are spam musubi and cold tsukemen calling your name? Delicious Little Tokyo continues through July 25. You can find more information here.
Planning a Vegas getaway? Then check out ¡VIVA!, the new restaurant from Chef Ray Garcia (Broken Spanish, B.S. Taqueria). Merging Garcia’s LA roots with his Mexican-American heritage, the new venture from this highly acclaimed chef (Esquire anointed him Chef of the Year, while Food & Wine called him one of the 10 Best Mexican Chefs in the US) is at the new Resorts World Las Vegas. Menu standouts include Piña Asada (grilled pineapple with goat cheese, arugula, and spiced pecan), wood-fired quesadillas, fresh seafood crudos, and Chef Garcia’s celebrated chicharron with garlic mojo, radish sprouts, and pickled cabbage. The dazzling, only-in-Vegas interior includes murals inspired by Mexico and a stunning driftwood sculpture reminiscent of a flowering tree. Reservations can be made here.
Esperanza Cocina de la Playa opens at the end of July in Manhattan Beach. If you’ve been to Palmilla in Hermosa Beach, you know the adventurous, elegant vibe. Esperanza has the same owners and was also designed by acclaimed Icelandic architect Gulla Jonsdottir. Menu highlights include five types of ceviche and Relleno Langosta y Camaron. Inspired by Cabo San Lucas, Mexico City, and Sonora, Esperanza has the largest tequila and mezcal list in the South Bay. Esperanza opens on July 29.
Monday Jazz Eclectic nights are back at Riviera 31 at The Sofitel Hotel in West Hollywood. Led by Ryan Cross and his band, who celebrate the 8th anniversary of their Sofitel residency on July 19, these Monday events have attracted such guest singers as Stevie Wonder and Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds. There is no cover charge, and table reservations are recommended. Call or text 310-770-1654 or visit here for more info.