The 37th Annual California Strawberry Festival makes its debut at the Ventura County Fairgrounds Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and May 21, with strawberry-themed food, beverages, contests, live entertainment, rides and activities. Strawberry lovers can indulge in more than 50 food and beverage vendors serving up strawberry pies, strawberry-topped funnel cakes, strawberry nachos, deep-fried strawberries, berry kabobs, strawberry tacos, strawberry beer and smoothies. Festivalgoers can build their own strawberry shortcakes, piling on as many strawberries and whipped cream as possible.

Strawberry Festival

Strawberry tamales (Michele Stueven)

On Saturday, May 20, the Agave Library, Sendero’s third out of four dining concepts, debuts sky high on the 24th floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles. Every Saturday, chef Kevin Luzande will present a tasting menu centered around a rotating selection of rare and premium tequila, mezcal and other agave-based spirits. The inaugural tasting menu for summer will complement pairings from the  Guadalajara-based luxury tequila brand Clase Azul, offering pours of some of their finest aged tequila. The menu focuses on the cuisine of Jalisco, one of the largest agave-producing regions in Mexico, and will adapt to the seasonal availability at the Farmer’s Market. Tucked behind wrought-iron doors, the intimate room offers views of the downtown L.A. skyline. 

Reservations for the communal dining will be available on OpenTable for up to 12 guests per night, which begins with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. 

On Sunday, May 21, Timeless Vapes and Guisados will host its third annual G’s on Sunday celebration at Guisados Beverly Hills – a gathering of classic Porsches, cuisine and cannabis. The car show will be open to the public at 120 S. Linden Drive from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Porsche owners who want to register for the show can sign up here. A portion of the proceeds from merch sales will go to No Us Without You.

Strawberry Festival

Rib Sandwich (Courtesy SLAB)

On Thursday, May 25, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Piccalilli will  partner with Crowns & Hops, the first Black-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned brewery based out of Inglewood, to host its first ever Tap Takeover. During the takeover, Crowns & Hops will take charge of Piccalilli’s bar to offer signature beers like its 8 Trill Pils pilsner, a floral The Dopest Hazy IPA, a bright and clean Inglewood Sun west coast IPA, and Mama’s Punch, a tropical fruit punch style tart ale, all while discussing each beer’s flavor and aroma profiles, ingredients and more. Complimentary beer tastings also will be provided to guests throughout the restaurant. Created to pair with Crowns & Hops’ beer selection, chef Macks Collins will offer two one-night-only specials including a Thai currywurst ($10) with grilled Sai Oua and curry ketchup and green curry spaetzle ($14) with toasted peanut, Thai basil and fish sauce.

In celebration of National BBQ Week, SLAB will bring back its Rib Sandwich  from Monday, May 29, through Sunday, June 4. The limited-time deal also is on Postmates and features pickles, onions, baby back ribs (pork) with Tony’s BBQ sauce on a hoagie bun.

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


































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