Highland Park’s  neighborhood cocktail joint and music venue ETA reopens today after more than a year of pandemic-related closure. The grand reopening includes the return of their popular $1 oyster program and an updated food menu by chef Ted Hopson (The Bellwether, Father’s Office) that includes items like schmaltzy salsa negra with chips, burrata and tomato confit, and a marinated skirt steak sandwich. Live jazz returns as well with the likes Jeff Parker, Dave Harrington, Chris Speed and others. Note that ETA Highland Park will require proof of vaccination for entry or a recent negative Covid test (within 72 hours).

On the other side of town, Lock & Key in Koreatown has also returned from its pandemic pause with a new menu from its walk-up pizza window to include Chicago deep dish pizza, Sicilian pizza, New York style pies and sourdough focaccia. The menu will be served from the revamped pizza window, as well as in the dining room. Lock & Key menu staples, like the lollipop chicken wings and deep fried PB&J, remain on the menu. New craft cocktails like Shady Schemes and the Ktown Cooler will be available in the updated space.

“A Taste of L.A,” the Sally’s White Light White Night charity event to raise funds and hope for families impacted by cancer takes place in El Segundo on Saturday, August 21 and will feature entertainment as well as bites and cocktails from local restaurants and South Bay favorites including Zinc @ Shade  (spicy tuna on crispy rice with mini martinis, The Brews Hall ( mini spicy fried chicken sandwiches and mini hard lemonades,) Playa Hermosa, Nomad Eatery and The Strand House  (fresh shucked oysters and splits of bubbly).  Purchase your tickets at https://e.givesmart.com/events/l9n/ 

The Punch Bowl at Lock & Key (Wonho Frank Lee)

Steel Magnolias, an all-volunteer Long Beach-based organization whose main recipient is the Stramski Children’s Developmental Center at Millers Children’s and Women’s Hospital, will host its annual Signature Event in person on August 15 from 4 – 7 p.m. at a private location.  Tickets are now on sale for Cruisin’ on a Sunday Afternoon, a Celebration of Classic Cars and Cocktails and are $125 general admission or $200 for a VIP ticket and can be purchased at www.the steel magnolias.org

Cruisin’ on a Sunday Afternoon pays homage to Southern California’s car culture with a static display of more than 120 restored automobiles that span the decades, from sleek vehicles the mob favored during the early part of the 20th century to the muscle cars of the 1960s and ‘70s.  Complementing the display of nostalgia is a collection of vintage radios, toys and collectibles defining the Art Deco era and mid-century Americana. 

Join chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger at Socalo in Santa Monica for their  Sunday Bicycle Brunch at 8 a.m. on Sunday,  August 15th.  The ride and dine with Two Hot Tamales  kicks off their  first Sunday brunch since March 2020.  Ride first with chef Milliken,  then head back to the restaurant for a brunch with Feniger. ⁠ Cost is $60 per person with $20 from every Bicycle Brunch sold donated to @regardingherfood, a non-profit devoted to the advancement and empowerment of women restaurateurs in L.A. County.⁠

Tuesday, August 24th is National Waffle Day (Courtesy The Dolly Llama)

Tuesday, August 24th marks National Waffle Day and The Dolly Llama! Ice cream and waffle masters are offering deals for $5 each. Start your creation with a bubble waffle or the OG Liege waffle, pair it with ice cream of your choice  and finish it off with sauces and toppings, all for just $5 . Or grab a  six piece mini OG box of waffles for $5 as well.

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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