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Top 5 Food Events This Weekend: TOTNLA, Ramen, Wine, Hot Dogs & Roasted Meats

Santouka Ramen: Shio Ramen

Ramen Bull

Kicking off its Popchef series, Breadbar's consulting Chef Noriyuki Sugie debuts Ramen Bull, a menu of five beef-centric ramen dishes: short rib ramen ($11); oxtail ramen ($15), beef tongue ramen ($12); spicy ramen ($14); and corn beef ramen ($13). Available Monday through Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m. only at the West Third location. There's also an array of housemade specialty sodas ($5 each) including ginger beer, root beer, pineapple and hibiscus tea soda.

Where: Breadbar: 8718 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles. (310) 205-0124.

When: June 8th - September 2011.

Food Truck Chowdown

Here's another entry in the neverending parade of food truck festivals. Food Truck Chowdown features over 30 trucks including a few of the more obscure ones: A Rockin Ice, George's Greek Café, OG Tempura, Tornado Potato, Waffles de Liege and Yummy One. Carnival games, beer, wine, musical performers.

Where: California State Historic Park, 1245 N. Spring St., Los Angeles.

When: Saturday, June 11, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Cost: $10 + whatever you spend on food.

LA Wine Fest

Pitching itself as an "educational wine festival," LA Wine Fest features dozens of seminars, panel discussions including sake tasting, Scotch tasting and a dessert/wine pairing. The main draw: over 40 wineries (many of them from southern and central California). There will also be a dozen food trucks (including Crepe 'n Around, Strictly Vegan Jamaican, Papas Tapas) and vendors selling olive oil, tea, kitchen gadgets and the like. For those who really, really like wine, there's a VIP after-party on Saturday night. It normally costs $50, but if you want a $10 discount, enter the discount code BLOG10 when purchasing online. The festival benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles.

Where: Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (818) 994-4661.

When: Saturday, June 11, 2 - 6 p.m.; Sunday, June 12, noon - 6 p.m.

Cost: $75 - $139

Taste of the Nation, Los Angeles:

Help hungry kids by being a gluttonous adult. You won't be able to spit without hitting a chef at this event. It's 46 of the city's best restaurants, seven top bartenders and a culinary contest judged by Mary Sue Milliken, Jonathan Gold and fried food fanatic Kathy Griffin, all in the name of ending childhood hunger. If that isn't enough, Taste of the Nation's silent auction includes some amazing prizes: an omakase dinner for from Michael Voltaggio at his new restaurant ink., a Wolvesmouth dinner for eight from Craig Thornton, a dinner for 20 cooked by L.A.'s top female chefs (Suzanne Goin, Akasha Richmond, Waylynn Lucas, Susan Feniger and Milliken) and a wedding reception for 100 at The Victorian.

When: Sunday, June 12,

Where: Media Park, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. (310) 836-1040.

Cost: $100-200; $25, children.

Hot Dog Eating Contest

The road to Coney Island, and Nathan's Famous 4th of July hot dog eating contest, begins this weekend in Southern California. Ingurgitating for the title of California Hot Dog Eating Champion, the state's top competitive eaters will scarf down as many hot dogs as they can. The top male and female competitor will earn a spot at the finals in Coney Island on July 4.

The buzz is with rookie Matt Stonie, a 120-pound phenom from San Jose, who's coming off impressive finishes over several veteran eaters in his first two Major League Eating events. He'll face faces #28-ranked Damon Wells of Orange and #29-ranked Kevin Ross of Temecula. Christine Kitchenmaster, a former beauty pageant winner from Simi Valley, is hopes to raise the women's division trophy.

Where: Nathan's Famous, 5050 W. Rosencrans Ave., Hawthorne.

When: Sunday, June 12, 2 p.m.

Bonus...

Drago Barbecue

Stuff yourself on grilled meats and seafood on Drago Centro's outdoor patio: suckling pig, lamb, baby goat, whole chicken, pork sausage, New York strip steak, swordfish, scallops, salmon and soft shell crab. Don't worry, there's pasta too: garganella, lasagna, agnolotti and more. Reservations recommended.

When: Sunday, June 12, 5 - 9 p.m.

Where: Drago Centro, 525 South Flower St. (213) 228-8998

Cost: $50 per person (food only)

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