Ramen Yokocho Festival
The Ramen Yokocho Fest is back! The latest one is part of the Nisei Week Japanese Festival, a weekend of celebrating Japanese culture with not only noodles but live entertainment and food trucks. The festival includes the Day-Lee World Gyoza Eating Championship on Saturday afternoon (watch, not eat). As for noodles, participating ramen-yas include Tsujita, Shin-Sen-Gumi, Monta, Men Oh, Iroha, Fujin, Shoki Ramen House and a collaboration between Izakaya Kaba and Igeta Shoyu Ramen. And yes, Fujin will be bringing its tonkotsu spicy miso ramen burger.
WHAT: Ramen Yokocho Festival
WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 16, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 17, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
WHERE: 160 N. Central Ave., Little Tokyo. L.A. city parking lot 7 and 2. If you can, take the Gold Line to the Little Tokyo Metro Station.
COST: Admission is $5, and ramen is $8 per bowl.
Los Angeles International Tea Festival
The fourth annual L.A Tea Festival is a trade and consumer event that's also being held in Little Tokyo (tea and ramen; perfect), so maybe do some planning and go to both events. Attendees can sample some of the world's finest teas, attend presentations by tea authors and industry experts, and meet the people who make and supply the stuff. Those coming include Chado tea room, Zen’s Tea House, American Tea Room, Waterfall Teas, Aiya America, Harney & Sons, Ito En, TeaTime Magazine, Art of Tea, ZenZeu Teas, Tea Gallerie, Lisa’s Berry Bowl, AOI America, JT & Tea, Intriguing Air, Sencha Naturals and Bana Tea. Check the website for the tea experts coming and their events (tea and chocolate; tea and cheese; a tea sommelier).
WHAT: Los Angeles International Tea Festival
WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 16, and Sunday, Aug. 17, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHERE: Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave.; Little Tokyo; 562-801-9600.
COST: Tickets are $20 and include admission to the Festival Hall & Museum, free endless tastings, vendor presentations, World Origins Tour Presentation (Sunday), Japanese Tea Ceremony and gift bag.
2014 L.A. Taco Festival
Another fourth annual event, this year's L.A. Taco Festival will be held in Boyle Heights, bringing tacos ranging from the traditional asada and al pastor to fried shrimp and fried potato to vegan tacos. In addition to as many tacos as you can reasonably (right) eat, there will be a beer garden and tequila tasting, as well as arts and crafts and music. Check the website for a list of vendors coming. The event is brought to you by Jovenes Inc., a nonprofit organization in Boyle Heights that provides housing and supportive services to homeless youths.
WHAT: 2014 L.A. Taco Festival
WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 16, 2 to 8 p.m.
WHERE: Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights. (Take the Metro Gold Line to Mariachi Plaza.)
COST: $20 for all-you-can-eat taco tickets; $45 for premium tickets, which include all-you-can-eat tacos, plus access to the booze and the private DJ and entertainment area.