The only reminder that remains of L.A.’s once-thriving Little Italy is the restored historic Italian Hall, built in 1908 overlooking Olvera Street and the plaza. To keep that memory alive, the 10th annual Taste of Italy will take place adjacent to the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles there on Saturday, Oct. 13.
The food and wine event celebrates Puglia this year, with specialties from the heel of Italy’s boot. Puglia is the home of ancient villages, beautiful beaches, year-round sunshine and Michelin-star chef Luigi Fineo.
Owner of Luigi al Teatro in Santa Monica, Fineo will be serving modern interpretations of classic dishes from the region, such as focaccia barese, chickpea puree, escarole and burrata Di Stefano.
The historic immigration of Pugliese to Los Angeles, which began in the 1800s, will be represented at the event by Eastside Italian Market Deli and Maestro Sausage, two family-owned companies founded by immigrants from Puglia to L.A.’s Little Italy in the North Broadway district almost 100 years ago.
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October is National Pizza Month, and Prova will be firing up the pizza oven at this year’s festa. Entertainment includes performances by jazz guitarist John Pisano, Nick D’Egidio and the Dry Martini Orchestra and the 15-member Verdi Chorus.
Other participants include the San Antonio Winery, Pizzeria Mozza, Drago Centro, Toscana, Via Alloro and Celestino. A beer garden and bocce court will be set up courtesy of Birra Moretti Italian Beer. Proceeds from the $60 general admission benefit the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles.
A Taste of Italy, Saturday, Oct. 13, 5-10 p.m.; 424 N. Main St., downtown; iamla.org/taste-of-italy.