Summertime has different meanings for everyone: Some think of it as a vacation from school, others associate it with BBQs and beer, and yet others take these sunny moments to explore SoCal's stunning beaches. But for the foodist, the coming months mean one thing only: food festivals.
You may have some trouble fitting into your boyfriend's Am Appy skinny jeans after this one, given the rock star Eastside lineup: L&E Oyster Bar, Pazzo Gelato, Malo, Reservoir, Guisados, Cliff's Edge, Xoia, Proof, Elf, Silver Lake Wine, Golden Road Brewery and Eagle Rock Brewery are just a few of the participating venues.
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This year, organizers Tabitha Erhardt and Siuan McGahan have eliminated the tasting-ticket format and gone for an all-inclusive admission rate. "We're hoping to promote a sense of unity amongst the collective neighborhoods that make up the Eastside by drawing them together through their restaurant and food community," Erhardt says.
DJ Garth Trinidad will keep things KCRW-cool during the tastings and cooking demos. And VIP guests will have access to small seminars led by Evan Kleiman of KCRW's "Good Food," pastry chef Ann Kirk of Little Dom's, Jen Smith of Full Moon Pickles, Marcos Tello of Neat, Talmadge Lowe of Pharmacie, Jessica Koslow of Sqirl Jams and Naoko Moore of Toiro Kitchen.
General-admission tickets are $35 in advance/$45 at the door, and include unlimited food tastings sans booze. General admission plus bar tickets are $45 in advance/$55 at the door. VIP admission is $65 in advance/$75 at the door, and includes early entry at noon and admission to VIP food, wine and cocktail tastings and seminars. Part of the ticket proceeds will go to the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, Barnsdall Art Park, Rose Scharlin Nursery School and SEE Los Angeles. To purchase tickets, go to www.tasteoftheeastside.com.
Follow the author on Twitter @kristasimmons.