Festival de Vino Mexicano takes place starting Friday, Oct. 13, through Sunday, Oct.  15, at MÍRATE, celebrating Mexico’s wine and food culture through a series of chef-driven tastings. Tickets are available now, and a portion of sales will be donated to This is About Humanity. The three-day event includes vintners from more than 20 Mexican wineries, cocktails and cuisine from some of Mexico and Southern California’s top chefs:

Friday, Oct.13:

  • Celebration of Mexican Wine’ ($225) ­– To kick off the weekend festivities, MÍRATE will host a seven-course wine dinner to celebrate traditional Mexican cuisine through the eyes of chefs including David Castro Fauna; Carlos Gaytan, Michelin star chef of Tzuco; Lula Martin Del Campo of Marea, Bianca Castro of byBiaNca Bakery in Baja California; and Josh Gil, MÍRATE’s own chef and partner. Dinner will be served from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., which follows a cocktail hour beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 14:

  • Tacos y Vino’ ($165) – Putting a Mexican spin on omakase, there will be wine, cocktails and tacos through night market-style stations from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Guest chefs include Diego Hernandez from La Bete Noire and Los Angeles-based Chef Jonathan Perez, alongside Josh Gil, Carlos Gaytan, Lupita Vidal, Bianca Castro and more.  
  • In addition to the dinner, wine tastings will be available for VIP ($125; 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.) and General Admission ($85; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.) ticket holders.

Sunday, Oct. 15:

  • Wine Tasting y Barbacoa’ – To wrap up the festival, VIP ($150; noon to 1 p.m.) and General Admission ($125; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.) ticket holders can indulge in an afternoon of wine tastings, music, and barbacoa from MÍRATE’S Chef Gil and special guest chefs.

Jose Cepeda of Quixote in San Diego; Lula Martin Del Campo of Marea; and Alfredo Villanueva of Villa Torel also will participate.

Festival de Vino Mexicano

Courtesy Blue Plate Taco

The second annual Trejo’s Tacos & Downtown Santa Monica National Taco Day Crawl takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 4, in Santa Monica.  Starting at 4 p.m., taco enthusiasts can head to Trejo’s Tacos to meet Trejo, grab a Taco Crawl punch card, and enjoy free tacos (with purchase) at nine Santa Monica restaurants. For those who finish the entire crawl, the completed punch card can be used at one of the participating locations to receive the same promotion once more between Thursday, Oct. 5 through Thursday, Oct. 12. Participating restaurants include Trejo’s Tacos Santa Monica, El Cholo, Casa Martin, Cabo Cantina Santa Monica, Jameson’s Pub, Sushi Roku, Lanea, Socalo, and Blue Plate Taco , where a DJ will be spinning oceanfront tunes during sunset.

Tito’s Tacos and Tito’s Handmade Vodka are teaming up for the sixth year in a row to host the popular “Tito’s Fiesta Mexicana,” annual event that takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 4, National Taco Day and National Vodka Day, to raise funds for the Culver City Arts Foundation.                                                                                                                                             

Tacos and Tito’s Handmade Vodka specialty cocktails will be served to guests 21+, along with seven hours of traditional Mexican entertainment by mariachi artists, Folklorico dancers and crafts such as pinata making.

On Saturday, Sept. 30, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Topanga Social at Westfield Topanga will celebrate Oktoberfest. Transforming the outside space into a Biergarten, there will be  $9 dollar beers and grilled brats from the likes of Samuel Adams, Jägermeister, and local breweries such as San Fernando Brewing Co., and Stone Brewing, as well as a live polka band and a Stein Hoist competition to win specialty steins and Topanga Social gift cards. Prost! For more information on Topanga Social’s Oktoberfest, please visit eatplaytopangasocial.com 

Festival de Vino Mexicano

Fiesta Mexicana at Tito’s (Jared Cowan)

The 15th Annual Los Angeles Chocolate Salon & Festival takes place in Pasadena on Wednesday, Oct. 8, at the Pasadena Center. Salon participants this year include  Rayluca Chocolate, Albert’s Petite Sweets, LetterPress Chocolate, Venice Organics, Truffles N Toffee, Amano Artisan Chocolate, Venecacao Chocolateria, Mignon Chocolate, Venecacao Chocolateria, CocoTutti, Phillip Ashley Chocolates, Chocolatier Eve, Goufrais Southern California, p.o.p. candy co., by three bears jerky, Sam’s Gourmet Jams, Rubia Coffee Company, Godavari Chocolate, PRP Wine International, Gourmet Blends, PK Perfumes, New Orleans Bill, and more. There will be a cake decoration competition as well as a food photo contest.  

Scoops Ahoy, Netflix’s new line of ice cream inspired by the hit series Stranger Things will be scooping up sundaes at Netflix Bites through Saturday, Sept. 30. Escape to the world of Hawkins with a two-sided Scoops Ahoy sundae inspired by the upside-down and the regular world. Scoops Ahoy includes seven flavors inspired by the Stranger Things universe, including Pineapple Upside Down (from Vecna’s private stash), Chocolate Pudding (a Hawkins Middle School classic), and Cinnamon Bun Bytes (paging Dustin). 

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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