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Top 3 Events: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, Tanabata at Hinoki + Food GPS Rib Festival

the 2011 Food & Wine Festival
the 2011 Food & Wine Festival
Star Foreman

Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival
This huge food and wine event, the fourth of its kind, isn't until August, but you might want to plan ahead and reserve your tickets (and your time and appetite) now. Presented by Food & Wine magazine over the course of three nights and four days, this year's festival will have unlimited tastings, cookbook signings, wine and cocktail tastings, culinary demonstrations and dinners. Spread out downtown along Grand Avenue, the huge event will include Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Michael Chiarello, Scott Conant, Graham Elliot, Dominique Crenn, Pierre Gagnaire and Ari Taymor, as well as television personalities such as Robert Irvine, host of the Food Network's Restaurant: Impossible. Closer to home: chefs Nancy Silverton, John Sedlar, Celestino Drago, Ben Ford, Bernard Mairinger, Kuniko Yagi, Ricardo Zarate - and lots more. 
WHAT: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival
WHEN: Aug. 21-24.
WHERE: Grand Avenue, downtown.
COST: Tickets range from $50 to $350, with full weekend packages at approximately $1,000.

Tanabata Celebration at Hinoki & the Bird
To celebrate the Japanese tradition of the Tanabata Star Festival, throughout July, chef Kuniko Yagi will prepare 10 five-course tasting menus nightly at Hinoki & the Bird. The menus will change daily, and a dedicated sake menu of rare finds also will be offered. At the end of the meal, guests will receive a card in which they can write a wish for the future, which may be hung on a wall of bamboo inside the restaurant. In Japan, the star festival celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega and Altair); colorful festivities are held in July and August. The menu is limited to 10 people per night and is available by reservation only, Tuesday through Friday evenings during the month of July, by calling the restaurant.
WHAT: Tanabata Celebration at Hinoki & the Bird
WHEN: Tuesdays through Fridays, during the month of July.
WHERE: Hinoki & the Bird, 10 W. Century Drive, Los Angeles; 310-552-1200.
COST: $85 per person.

Food GPS Rib Festival
Food GPS is throwing a party. Well, another one in Josh Lurie's series of foodist parties. The inaugural Food GPS Rib Festival will bring together a dozen of this town's best carnivore-oriented chefs in Chinatown's Central Plaza to host what's essentially a giant BBQ picnic. Guests will be able to feast on ribs, sides, desserts, craft beers, cocktails and sodas. The chef lineup is pretty impressive: Chad Colby (Chi Spacca), Vartan Abgaryan (Cliff's Edge), Eduardo Ruiz (Corazon y Miel, Picnik), Dave Danhi (Grilled Cheese Truck), Matt Poley (Heirloom L.A.), Chris Oh (Seoul Sausage, Escala), Erwin Tjahyadi (Komodo Food), Esdras Ochoa and Javier Fregoso, (Mexicali), Johneric Concordia (The Park's Finest), Freddy Vargas (Scarpetta), Bryant Ng (the Spice Table) and Jason Neroni (Superba Snack Bar). Check out the website for more information and tickets.
WHAT: Food GPS Rib Festival
WHEN: Sunday, July 13, 4 to 7 p.m.
WHERE: Chinatown Central Plaza
COST: General admission tickets are $65, $75 at the door; VIP is $90, which includes one-hour early admission.


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