The AbilityFirst Food and Wine Festival presented by CHUBB, takes place on Sunday, June 11  from  5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the gardens of the historic Laurabelle A. Robinson House in Pasadena.

Participants include Alexander’s Steakhouse, Bone Kettle, Casa Cordoba,Chefelle – A Personal Chef & Catering Service, El Cholo Café, Gale’s Restaurant, Kensington Caterers, Pez Cantina, Porto’s Bakery, Tam O’Shanter, The George, and We Olive.

There will also be cocktails and spirit tastings from 1886 at The Raymond, Dulce Vida Tequila, Empress 1908 Gin, Gerlach’s, Golden Road Brewing, Knox & Dobson, Krafted Spirits, San Gabriel’s Ogopogo Brewing, and Pasmosa Sangria along with specially curated Wines and Pasquini Coffee Co.

 Proceeds from the festival directly benefit AbilityFirst’s programs which help individuals successfully transition from childhood to adult life; provide employment preparation, training, and experience and build social connections and independence.


Cheetahs Birthday Burger Bash (Courtesy Irv’s Burgers)

Goodboy Noah and Irv’s Burgers will host Cheetah’s Birthday Burger Bash on Friday, June 9 at Irv’s Burgers La Brea. Comedians GoodBoy Noah and Cheetah will be on hand to meet and greet fans and offer an event-exclusive meal, including the ‘Cheetah Burger,’ Irv’s fries, and a drink, paired with Cheetah’s signature sizzling hot sauce, and unlimited Coors Light to wash it down. In addition, there will be a live DJ, games, and a raffle. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased HERE via Bucket Listers. 

The newly opened Bar Envie  in Long Beach, known for its southern soul, spirits,  Po’ Boys, spicy frog legs, shrimp and grits, has  launched a live music series. Sip on a   Jazzy Sazzy or Rhubarb Ramos Fizz and take in Dueling pianos  from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. with Felix and Fingers every other Thursday, live bands every Saturday from local favorites to jazz, blues, R&B, funk, and everything in between, as well as live special guest DJs every Friday night. Bar Envie’s happy hour also recently launched, special deals change weekly.

The complimentary wine tasting series hand-selected by Caroline Styne  begins with the annual Hollywood Bowl Jazz Festival on Sunday, June 18 in the Plaza Marketplace at the Box Office Plaza. The series continues through Sunday, September 24, 2023. Offered three hours before performance time, the tastings are a small gathering place where guests can meet  vintners and beverage professionals like Tobin Heminway, Grey Hartley, Piper Overbaugh, Jeremy Garber, Megan Kunin, Jeff Fisher, Chase Hawkins, Chris Cornejo, Babak Shokrian, Ann Miller and Jim Knight, among others. Wines and beers featured in the tastings are available for purchase at the Plaza Marketplace and other select Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine locations.   Check out the full schedule here. 


Courtesy Amy’s Drive Thru

Amy’s Drive Thru, the nation’s first organic, vegetarian fast food restaurant, is opening its fifth location in Thousand Oaks, California on Thursday June 15.  It’s the  restaurant’s first location in Southern California and will celebrate the grand opening weekend with special offers and free giveaways:  

Thursday, 6/15 – Grand Opening – First 100 guests receive a free shirt

Friday, 6/16 – First 50 guests receive a free shirt and burger coupon to use for a future visit

Saturday, 6/17 – First 100 guests receive free burgers

Sunday, 6/18 – All guests get  free fries with purchase of any entrée 

The 4,060 square foot  industrial farmhouse-style space utilizes sustainably sourced building materials,  offers seating for 110 and is located at  400 N. Moorpark Road.

Internationally renowned  spearfisherwoman and sustainability activist  Valentine Thomas’   celebrates her latest cookbook, “Good Catch: A Guide to Sustainable Fish and Seafood with Recipes from the World’s Oceans” at  Angler LA, with a book release party featuring a cocktail reception and panel on sustainable seafood on Wednesday, June 14. 

For the event, Saison Hospitality culinary director Chef Paul Chung has created a special menu for  salon-style panel discussion on sustainable fishing and seafood with  Thomas,  Chung, and Max Mossler of Sustainable Fisheries at the University of Washington. Tickets are $65 (per person) and can be purchased via OpenTable

What’s Popping Up is a weekly column in the L.A. Weekly that explores all that’s new in food and drink.












































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