Tonight, Pasadena kicks off its citywide celebration of Julia Child's centennial with a 100th-birthday cocktail party. Child was born there, sharing her place of birth with such neighbors as dishy Alison Brie, rocketeer Jack Parsons, the Van Halen brothers and those horrible, horrible parrots. What, what better way to commemorate this than with a group mind-meld over the French chef? The national Julia Child Restaurant Week (Aug. 7-15) sees many cities taking part, but Pasadena has an unprecedented eight restaurants (including An American Bistro, Bistro 45, POP Champagne and Dessert Bar, the Still Room, The Royce at the Langham and Vertical Wine Bistro) observing this fateful culinary date. All of these places will prepare menu items based on Child's recipes — mainly French — as well as serving a simultaneous toast to the grand dame of the kitchenette. There's also a Julia Child look-alike contest and a '50s-themed bowling and cocktail party. Bon appetit! at various Pasadena restaurants; Wed., Aug. 15, 7 p.m.; priced according to cocktail. (626) 795-3355,

Wed., Aug. 15, 7 p.m., 2012

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