Topo Chico Hard Seltzer is daring you to send someone in your life, like your ex or  latest situationship, a Scorpion Valentine. 

Yep, it’s a real scorpion and yes, it’s edible and safe to eat —  the arachnid is  dipped in a strawberry guava coating inspired by the brand’s signature seltzer flavor. The southwestern-style surprise arrives in a fitting heart-shaped box and each scorpion is ethically sourced. The  Scorpion Valentines go on sale for $6.99 on Friday, Feb. 10. Visit  Each order comes with a discounted Topo Chico Hard Seltzer. 

On Monday, Feb. 13 and Tuesday, Feb. 14, at the company’s Glendale Chocolate Shop & Bakery, Valerie Confections will host its friends from Heirloom LA for a floral pop-up offering bouquets made from farmers’ market flowers. Owner Valerie Gordon also will serve lunch both days, offering her signature Ham & Jam sandwich, a Smallhold Mushroom Banh Mi, and more. The floral pop-up will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Monday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Tuesday, (or until sellout both days). 

Valentine's Day

Meet Valerie Gordon on Valentine’s Day (Michele Stueven)

The 55th California International Antiquarian Book Fair takes place Friday, Feb. 10 through Sunday, Feb. 12, at the Pasadena Convention Center. One of the world’s largest exhibitions of antiquarian books for sale will feature the exhibit, “Helen Brown: Bibliophile and Champion of West Coast Cuisine.” She was a food writer from Pasadena, with a dedicated column on California Cuisine. She also was an avid food book collector together with her husband and their collection grew to 15,000 volumes over 27 years. 

Highlights of the exhibition include Brown’s inscribed materials and correspondence with fellow iconic food writer, M.F.K. Fisher; copies of The Californian Magazine featuring Brown’s column; and books given to Helen Brown inscribed by James Beard, Elizabeth David, Alice B. Toklas and other food luminaries.

The founders of Crowns & Hops Brewing Co., the celebrated Black-owned brewery in Inglewood, and Maine-based beer brand Allagash Brewing Company, will host a “Tap Takeover” at Whole Foods Culver City to commemorate the launch of its new collaborative beer, Cur-8. Launched this month for Black History Month, Cur-8 pairs the crisp flavor of Crowns & Hops’ 8 Trill Pils pilsner with notes of bourbon, vanilla and oak from Allagash Curieux. Proceeds from the beer will go to the 8 Trill Initiative, a development fund launched by Crowns & Hops co-founders Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter dedicated to generating opportunities for Black-owned craft beer brands while demonstrating the benefits and fiscal impact of racial equity.

Valentine's Da

Cur-8 (Courtesy Crowns & Hops)

The Tap Takeover is on Thursday, Feb. 16 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and will feature Cur-8, as well as additional Crowns & Hops brews on tap: the 8 Trill Pils Pilsner, BPLB Hazy IPA and the Inglewood Juice Juicy IPA. Guests also can enjoy music spun by DJ PreyMantis and a food-beer special offer: Chicken Sandwich paired with a Crowns & Hops beer for $16.

On Friday, Feb. 17,  Japan House will host a collaboration between Chef David Schlosser of LA’s Shibumi and Japanese food historian Eric C. Rath, to present an “edible history” through a talk and tasting, bringing to life the cuisine of Edo period Japan (1603-1868). The author of many books on Japanese food history, including his latest Oishii: The History of Sushi, Professor Rath will give a lecture on the history of Japanese food culture, interspersed with tastings of corresponding dishes. After the sample-tasting and discussion, there will be an interactive Q&A. 

What’s Popping Up is a weekly column in the L.A. Weekly that explores all that’s new in food and drink.






































Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.