Il Grano's Tomato Wednesdays
Every Wednesday during summertime's peak tomato season, Il Grano chef-owner Sal Marino puts on a show, constructing a menu built entirely around the tomato. These are not your average tomatoes, or even ones he brings back from the nearby Santa Monica farmers market, but tomatoes Marino grows himself and picks the morning before he serves them at his Santa Monica restaurant. Il Grano's Tomato Wednesdays, which Marino has been doing since 2004, run from July 2 through the rest of the summer.
WHAT: Il Grano's Tomato Wednesdays
WHEN: Every Wednesday through the summer.
WHERE: Il Grano, 11359 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles; 310-477-7886.
COST: Prices are à la carte. ]

Good Girl Dinette's pie; Credit: Diep Tran

Good Girl Dinette's pie; Credit: Diep Tran

Good Girl Dinette's Pie Shop Pop-Up
This holiday weekend, Good Girl Dinette chef-owner Diep Tran will be baking pies, lots of them, for a pie shop pop-up. So if you're having a holiday barbecue or picnic, you can head over to Highland Park instead of baking your own. Tran, who normally makes exceedingly good hand pies, is making large pies with fruit sourced from K&K Ranch and Givens Farm. Flavors include cherry, strawberry and licorice-peach. To insure that there will be enough, pre-order your pie at or 323-257-8980. (Editor's note: Tran is an occasional contributor to this food blog. Hi Diep!)
WHAT: Good Girl Dinette's Pie Shop Pop-Up
WHEN: Friday, July 4 through Sunday, July 6, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
WHERE: Good Girl Dinette, 110 N. Ave. 56, Highland Park.
COST: Pies are $30 each.

Guittard Guest Chef Series
Chef Craig Ponsford will conduct an all-day class on California whole-grain Viennoiserie, quick breads and cookies at Guittard chocolate studio in Culver City. This one-day class details quick-bread mixing methods, lamination and shaping of breakfast pastries. Using freshly milled California whole grains, you’ll learn techniques to make delicious traditional Vienoisserie, quick breads and cookies in a hands-on forum. Ponsford's breads won the 1996 gold medal at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie in Paris. He coached the U.S. team to victory in 1999, and has coached every team since. He's currently an instructor at the Culinary Institute of American in St. Helena.
WHAT: Guittard Guest Chef Series
WHEN: Sunday, July 6, 8 a.m. -4 p.m.
WHERE: Guittard Chocolate Studio, 2809 La Cienega Ave., Los Angeles; 310-558-8896.
COST: $275. Reservations required. 

Backyard BBQ Battle
Mélisse chef-owner Josiah Citrin and his friend, attorney Michael Curls, are having a barbecue contest in Curls' backyard and you're invited. Why? Because it's a fundraiser for the Fastbreak Youth Basketball Academy, where Curls volunteers. Citrin, who is probably known more for caviar tastings, will be cooking 
brisket, St. Louis ribs, short ribs, turkey, chicken and pork with sides, pecan pie, beverages, specialty cocktails and beer. No white tablecloths, no sommelier. Attendees will get to vote for the winner, which is hilarious.
WHAT: Backyard BBQ Battle
WHEN: Sunday, July 6, 1-5 p.m.
WHERE: The home of Dayna and Michael Curls, 3876 Olympiad Drive, Los Angeles.
COST: $45. Tickets available through Eventbrite.

La Sal: Tapas by Cesar
All summer long, Cesar Bermudez, Rockenwägner's supremely gifted pastry chef, will be taking over the rest of the kitchen at 3 Square Cafe in Venice,  doing a pop-up featuring the tapas of his native Spain. Before joining Hans Rockenwägner, Bermudez cooked at El Bulli and the Bazaar. The chef grew up in a family of chefs outside Barcelona, and the summer dinners are an homage to that food. Look for tapas and other dishes including patatas bravas; Gem salad with anchovies and sherry vinaigrette; grilled onions and romesco sauce; a La Sal burger with brie, jamon and pickle; Spanish tortilla; and much more. Also desserts, beer, wine and sangria. 
WHAT: La Sal: Tapas by Cesar
WHEN: Throughout the summer, Wednesdays through Saturdays, 6-11 p.m. 
WHERE: 3 Square Cafe, 1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; 310-399-6504.
COST: À la carte prices. 

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