Top 4 Weekend Food Events: Cocktail Competition, USC Fair Food Fest, L.A. Weekly's Plate + Lucques Cassoulet Night

butterscotch budino at last year's Gold Standard, now called Plate
butterscotch budino at last year's Gold Standard, now called Plate
Anne Fishbein

Cocktail Competition

Who can make the tastiest red-colored cocktail? In a benefit for Go Red for Women, an American Heart Association initiative, bartenders from Marina del Rey restaurants Café del Rey, Hal's Bar and Grill, Chart House, James Beach and Tony P's will compete to create the best vodka-based libation. Guests can sample the contenders, vote for their favorite and enjoy hor d'oeuvres meant to be "heart-healthy" such as house cured salmon, carrot ginger soup, seared ahi tuna, and chocolate truffles.

WHAT: Cocktail Competition

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 28, 6-8 p.m.

WHERE: Café del Rey, 4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey

COST: $40

Just Food and Fair Food: A Multidisciplinary Exploration

How can we make fresh, wholesome and equitably produced food available and affordable for all? That is one of the food-justice topics a panel of scholars, policy experts, activists and food providers will discuss at USC. A "fair-food bazaar" will follow showcasing the work of scholars and activist organizations. Mama's Hot Tamales and Homegirl Café will serve a complimentary lunch.

WHAT: Just Food and Fair Food: A Multidisciplinary Exploration

WHEN: Friday, March 1, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

WHERE: USC Doheny Memorial Library, 3550 Trousdale Pkwy, L.A.

COST: Free

L.A. Weekly's Plate

For five years, this annual event (formerly known as Gold Standard) has brought dozens of L.A.'s best restaurants to one spot for a tasting extravaganza. What's on our plate this year? Border Grill, Canelé, Fred 62, Huckleberry, Jitlada, La Casita Mexicana, Little Dom's, Lukshon, Mo-Chica, Night + Market, Nickel Diner, Oinkster, Park's BBQ, Philippe's, Picca and Tom Bergin's, for a start. Plus coffee, beer, wine and cocktails. The event is sponsored by the L.A. Weekly and some proceeds benefit the L.A. Regional Food Bank.

WHAT: L.A. Weekly's Plate

WHEN: Sunday, March 3, 1-5 p.m.

WHERE: Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd. L.A.

COST: $75, or $95 for VIP. Tickets available online only.

Lucques Cassoulet Night

Prepare to enjoy a bit of Southern France in L.A.: Chef Suzanne Goin is cooking cassoulet at Lucques in the restaurant's 10th annual "Cassoulet Night." This year, the traditional stew is slow-cooked with duck and pork confit, garlic sausage and white beans. The prix fixe meal includes a salad topped with Roquefort, walnuts and honey, plus an almond cake with roasted apples and prune-Armagnac ice cream.

WHAT: Lucques Cassoulet Night

WHEN: Sunday, March 3, 5-10 p.m.

WHERE: Lucques, 8474 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood

COST: $55; for reservations call (323) 655-6277 or visit www.lucques.com.


Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Reach the author at dainabeth@gmail.com and follow her on Twitter at @dainabethcita.

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