Mid-May is a busy time for food events around the L.A. area, y'all. To wit:
Only about an hour drive north gets you to the California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard. The big, juicy, seasonal fun goes from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; general admission is $12, and parking is $5. Free and eco-conscious shuttle services from multiple locations can ease the trip, too.
Strawberry Meadows of College Park, 3250 S. Rose Ave., Oxnard, (888) 288-9242.
The harshly rectilinear character of City Bank National Plaza across from the Central Library gets softened and humanized when the Flavors of Los Angeles event sets up on Sunday, May 17. The $250 per ticket evening features cocktails and silent auction starting at 5 p.m., then there's a five-course dinner at 6:30 p.m. to benefit the American Liver Foundation. Participating chefs and restaurants include home-court players Celestino Drago of Drago Centro and Shigefumi Tachibe of Chaya Downtown, John Sedlar of Rivera, Gabriel Morales of Provecho, and Andy Cook of The London WeHo.
555 S. Flower St., Downtown, (310) 670-4624.
1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 395-0881 or www.melisse.com.
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1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, (323) 466-3456 or tickets here.
Those Top Chef hotheads just won't let it rest already, eh? Season 5 "Team Euro" alumni and SoCal residents Fabio Viviani and Stefan Ritcher battle mano a mano, toque a toque at The Grove on Wednesday, May 20. The gladiator spectator event -- which also includes tastings from other Grove restaurants -- is hosted by Zagat editor Merrill Shindler and happens dancing-fountain-side from 6:30-8:30 p.m. It's free but RSVP is apparently required at LAmag.com.
Start thinking ahead: the mega LA Wine Fest will displace the "Private Practice" and "The Closer" production crews when it invades Raleigh Studios over the weekend of June 6 to 7. Maybe Kate and Kyra will stick around to sample some of the 500+ wines, beers and spirits.
5300 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, tickets here.