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Santa Monica Brew WorksEXPAND
Santa Monica Brew Works
Santa Monica Brew Works

Popping Up This Week: Tequila, Cognac, Brandy, Brews and HiFi Kitchen

There’s a lot on tap this week, including a cognac workshop at the Pacific Food & Beverage Museum, an Oscar-viewing party celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Varnish downtown and a taste of the legend of organic tequilas at the Edison.  Plus HiFi Kitchen opens its brick-and-mortar.

Friday, Feb. 22

Start your beer engines because today, Santa Monica Brew Works is taking over another set of taps at the Gallery Food Hall and is ready to see who can finish its new set of cold brews. The all-day event features $3 beers and games like Jenga, Connect Four, Uno and more. Beers in the spotlight are Head in the Clouds at STRFSH, a juicy unfiltered double IPA with citrus flavors and a big mouth feel; Amber Waves at Azule Taqueria, a robust American red ale with an approachable balance; or get your kicks on Brut 66 at Paperboy Pizza, a bubbly, snappy and super dry IPA with aromas of bright tropical fruit and white grapes.

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During the last leg of happy hour, from 5 to 8 p.m., a Santa Monica Brew Works representative will be available to assist beer enthusiasts through the beer-tasting process. Other craft beers on tap include 310 California Blond Ale, Inclined IPA, XPA (Xtra Pale Ale) and PCH (Pale Chocolate Heaven).

Hot fish sandwichEXPAND
Hot fish sandwich
STRFSH

Soak up all the hops with a Santa Monica hot fish sandwich from STRFSH (a beer-battered Alaskan cod, rubbed in Nashville hot spice and topped with tartar sauce, pickles and lettuce) or any slice of pizza from Paperboy Pizza. Or make any of Azule Taqueria's tacos, like the Beach Barbacoa (slow-braised beef, pickled onions, queso fresco), a bowl or hefty plate of nachos.

The Gallery Food Hall, 1315 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica; galleryfoodhall.com.

Sunday, Feb. 24

What is brandy, what makes a brandy Cognac, and what makes Cognac "King of the Brandies"? First and foremost, Cognac is a place, a city in southwestern France, and the distinct climate, soil, culture and history of the surrounding area render its brandy "very superior." On Sunday at 2 p.m., visit L.A.'s Pacific Food & Beverage Museum and hear certified Cognac educator Irina Ponomarenko situate Cognac within an extensive realm of brandies via an expert presentation and guided tasting of three Cognacs, plus several contrasting brandies from around the world. Snacks courtesy of Melissa’s Produce. Admission is free with RSVP.

Pacific Food & Beverage Museum, 731 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro;  natfab.org/pacific-food-and-beverage.

10th anniversary at the Varnish
10th anniversary at the Varnish
The Varnish

Sunday, Feb. 24

The Varnish team will be celebrating the bar's 10th anniversary from 7 p.m. to close. In honor of the milestone birthday, the Varnish will feature guest bartenders, musical performances, sponsored cocktails, Champagne and daiquiri toasts all night long. 

In addition to the anniversary party, Cole's, which houses the Varnish, is hosting an Oscars viewing party from 5 to 8 p.m. (assuming the show ends on time), featuring $7 bubbles, $8 spritzes and $9 martinis available all night. Formal attire required. Half the night's proceeds will benefit Spirited Coalition for Change, the nonprofit organization started by the partners of 213 Hospitality and the Spirited Group, with the mission to help aid the homeless population in L.A.

Cole's/The Varnish, 118 E. Sixth St., downtown; 213hospitality.com/the-varnish/

Monday, Feb. 25

Chef Justin Foronda’s first brick-and-mortar project, HiFi Kitchen, will open its doors on Beverly Boulevard in Historic Filipinotown on Monday, Feb. 25. The casual takeout and delivery-centric cafe will specialize in traditional and vegan Filipino rice bowls infused with flavors that Foronda, a Filipino-American born and raised in the neighborhood, grew up eating. Initially, the eatery (which has been operating as delivery-only since November, in anticipation of the official opening) will be open Monday through Friday from 11 to 3 p.m., with expanded, daily hours expected next month. HiFi Kitchen also will host a grand opening celebration (open to the public) on Friday, Feb. 22, from 6 to 9 p.m. with complimentary bites for attendees.

HiFi Kitchen, 1667 Beverly Blvd., Historic Filipinotown; (213) 258-8417, hifi-kitchen.com.

Wednesday, Feb. 27

Grand Leyenda Tequila, an African-American–owned brand rich in history and unique in origin, offers agave spirits connoisseurs a traditional tasting experience with an organic twist. On Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 7 to 9 p.m., join Grand Leyenda president-CEO Derrell Spann and the Museum of the American Cocktail for a complimentary tasting of three ultra-premium organic expressions — silver, reposado and añejo. After the tasting, enjoy Grand Leyenda Tequila in three MOTAC custom cocktails, courtesy master bartender BC Hoffman, and support the Museum of the American Cocktail. Admission is free with RSVP.

The Edison, 108 W. Second St., downtown; edisondowntown.com.

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