The first of November means a nasty Halloween hangover for some; for others, it's the beginning of All Saints' Day. Stock up bunches of golden marigolds, which we've spotted at flower shops and at farmers' markets this week. Here are 10 ways to eat and drink your way through Dia de los Muertos around Los Angeles.
10. The incredible fruit and flower-laden altar de muertos at Guelaguetza alone merits a visit while it's on display through Wednesday. It would also be wise to show up hungry at the Oaxacan emporium, since the bakery will be well stocked with pan de muerto and hot chocolate fixings the next couple of days.
3014 W. Olympic Blvd., Koreatown, (213) 427-0608
9. Would we expect chef John Sedlar to let a holiday such as this one, rich with centuries of history and anthropological and culinary traditions, pass him by? Definitely not. At Rivera, Sedlar and chef de cuisine Joe Panarello's holiday menu continues through November 7th. A tasting menu for the entire table is available for $80 per person with wine pairing options, along with a seasonal a la carte menu. Even if it's still 80 degrees during the day, we'll gladly try ensalada de otoño with autumn greens, cotija cheese, pine nuts and bacon-jalapeño vinaigrette; pumpkin and green chile tamale; puerco deshebrado maize cake with cranberry-habanero chutney; and pato a la naranja with red pipian sauce. Blue cornmeal cookies and dulce de leche ice cream sandwiches for dessert will reaffirm the joy of being alive.
1050 S. Flower St., Downtown; (213) 749-1460.
8. Rosa Mexicano's L.A. Live and West Hollywood locations are offering special Day of the Dead menus November 1st through 4th with pan de muerto, red chile lamb and corn pozole, candied pumpkin crème brulee with skull shaped shortbread cookies, and most temptingly from the bar, the Picosita cocktail with silver tequila, lemon, honey, muddled red bell pepper, cayenne and a charred red bell pepper garnish.
800 W. Olympic Blvd., Downtown; (213) 746-0001.
8570 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; (310) 657-4991.
7. Bar One Beer & Wine Parlour in North Hollywood adapts its weekly Lotería night on Tuesday night with $3 craft beer, $1.50 taco specials, free agave toast, skull face painting, altar decorating and prizes.
12518 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood; (818) 509-1938.
6. This is the time to bring the creepy and crafty together. Young customers at Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks are invited on Tuesday to let their imaginations go wild while decorating calaveras de azucar. Upload images of their creations to Facebook (presumably mom or dad will handle that part) and get a free ice cream during their next meal.
13301 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; (818) 788-4868.
5. Leave it to the 213 Group to dust itself off after an action-packed Halloween weekend and steel itself for another party at Las Perlas during the second night of Day of the Dead. In case you need some help deciding what to drink from their hundreds of tequilas and mescals, go with the special Los Muertos cocktail made with Espolón tequila by Las Perlas' Raul Yrastorza. Available November 2nd.
107 E. 6th St., Downtown, (213) 988-8355.