Beat the heat and head out to the island. Catalina Island Company and Avalon Rotary will host the 22nd annual Two Harbors Wine Fest showcasing local and imported wines along with live entertainment in Catalina Island’s rustic west-end village on Saturday, June 22. The festival will feature a silent auction, live music, complimentary appetizers, and tastings from various wineries. 

Tickets for the event are on sale now,  offering various options from general admission to specialty VIP packages. General admission grants access to live entertainment, wine tastings, appetizers, a souvenir wine glass, and entry to the Avalon Rotary Silent Auction. Avalon Rotary Club provides support to strengthen connections to friends and neighbors, taking action through service, including an annual scholarship program for graduating seniors at Avalon K-12 School. For a more exclusive experience, VIP tickets and group packages provide additional perks like early access to wine tastings and a private cash bar along with add-ons including lounge chairs and furnished palapas.

Then on Saturday, September 14, beer lovers can join in the festivities at the Two Harbors Brew Fest. The event will feature tastings from more than  20 breweries along with complimentary appetizers, a limited-edition keepsake beer glass, access to Lion Club’s silent auction, and live entertainment. Proceeds from the auction benefit local island charities and scholarships or the Avalon Lions Club Scholarship Fund. Each graduate from Avalon High School is awarded a merit-based Lions Club Scholarship to the school of their choice


Scuba Classes at Hotel Figueroa (Courtesy Eco Dive Center)

And in case you want to do a little scuba diving near the casino on Catalina,  the  Hotel Figueroa is offering weekly SCUBA classes in the hotel’s pool led by master diver and scuba expert, Beth Beltramo of the Los Angeles-based and female-owned PADI outfit, Eco Dive Center

Every Tuesday evening starting this week through  Tuesday,  September 24,  guests can sign up for two-hour introductory sessions with PADI-certified experts for an immersive pool experience. Each scuba session costs $199 per person with groups capped at eight participants led by  Beltramo and will teach divers the SCUBA basics including how to become weightless how to use SCUBA gear, and other basic skills and safety rules. All equipment will be provided, just bring a bathing suit and a PMA (positive mental attitude)! Courses can be booked directly through the Eco Dive Center.

Dogtown Coffee, located in Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica is partnering with GRLSWIRL, a pioneering all-female skateboarding collective and non-profit dedicated to unifying women globally by cultivating an authentic skateboarding community with a special “GRLSWIRL Latte”.

Launching on Thursday, June 13, and available for a three-month run, the limited-edition “GRLSWIRL Latte” will donate $1 from every latte sold going directly to support GRLSWIRL’s empowering initiatives, featuring a unique honey lavender creation, designed to celebrate the shared roots and community spirit of Dogtown Coffee and GRLSWIRL.


Rib Fest (Suzanne Lanza)

A.O.C on Third Street brings its signature Rib Fest back to the public on Sunday, June 30. It’s a family-style feast of slow-cooked ribs, hot wings, and sides which has become a Goin/Styne summer tradition since 2000. A week of preparation goes into the smoking of beef brisket, pork and lamb ribs, spreading the lure of wood smoke throughout both neighborhoods and attracting a growing swell of Rib Fest Groupies for this BBQ celebration. Guests are invited to wear their Stetsons, chaps and boots and join the party. 

The menu features  St. Louis-style pork ribs,  braised Westholme beef brisket, spiced lamb spare ribs and too-hot-to-handle chicken wings as well as coleslaw and baked beans, long-cooked collard greens,  buttered corn-on-the-cob and tomato and watermelon salad served with grilled cornbread and Wonder Bread. Dessert is a warm peach cobbler with strawberries and buttermilk ice cream.  Rib Fest is priced at $95 per guest, menu only; advance ticket purchase required. To purchase tickets, contact A.O.C. at 310.859.9859 or book online at OpenTable Ex

Quench your thirst with the summer lineup at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown.  There’s Sip & Dip Yoga on Sunday,  June 9, a morning of yoga and sipping by the pool with a gentle yoga session led by Attitude Fitness followed by a complimentary Seedlip mocktail.  In the afternoon there’s the  Rosé Pool Party at No Dive Bar.  

There will be a Father’s Day Whisky Tasting Experience at the hotel on Friday, June 14  at La Boucherie. Treat your dad to an exclusive tasting event and sample six premium whiskies from Oban, Lagavulin, and Mortlach.  A special menu of small bites will also be paired with the featured whiskeys. 


Slice House’s Popeye Pizza (Juliann Tang)

 Slice House by Tony Gemignani, a pizzeria concept led by the 13-time world pizza champion, is coming to Burbank this summer,  located at 108 East Palm Avenue along Downtown Burbank’s Palm Plaza across from the famed bronze statue of Batman.  The pizzeria will welcome guests to experience award-winning pizza by the 13-time world champion in a fast-casual setting. The new restaurant is currently hiring across all positions and is expected to bring more than 50 new full- and part-time jobs to the Burbank community, serving  New York, Sicilian, Grandma, and Detroit-style pizzas – available by the slice or whole pizza. Gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options will be available, as well as fresh pasta, wings, salads, and regular lunch specials. The pizza hot spot, which will also debut a special happy hour offering, will have indoor seating for 60 people and outdoor seating for 20 people within its private patio at the front of the restaurant; in addition, it will offer takeout, online ordering, and delivery. Slice House Burbank will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and later for select movie premieres and events.     

In celebration of National Lobster Day on Saturday, June 15,  Saltie Girl will be giving away 20 free lobster rolls throughout the weekend. Guests who order a lobster roll and receive a plate with a sticker on the bottom will receive their roll for free.  The roll can be ordered hot or cold and is served with housemade salt and vinegar potato chips. Saltie Girl is open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Reservations are available on Resy and walk-ins are welcome.

Rosé Day Los Angeles is back for its 4th year on Saturday, June 8 at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas. Expect pours from more than  15 premium brands, including Perrier-Jouët, Sainte Marguerite en Provence, G.H. Mumm, Tequila Don Julio and Suntory Global Spirits RTDs. Throughout the day there will be live musical performances from DJ Pee .Wee (aka Anderson .Paak), DJ Ruckus, and DJ Pookie Chapstick, while Next Iron Chef champion Marc Forgione marks his Rosé Day return by curating a gourmet culinary garden featuring caviar, lobster and LA  food trucks. Guests can also enjoy art installations, luxury brand activations, lavish giveaways, life-sized games, and more, all set against the backdrop of the Santa Monica Mountains.


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


Saltie Girl cold lobster roll (Mike Cotrone)






























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