Make last minute Super Bowl plans at the Basement Tavern

in Santa Monica

Don’t want to stay home to watch Eli vs. Tom? Or go to any of these places. Check out “BBQ, Booze and Bacon” on game day, Sunday, February 5 from 2 PM – 2 AM at Basement Tavern in Santa Monica. Guests will enjoy happy hour specials all night with $3 beers, $5 well drinks, $5 house red and white wines by the glass, and 50% off bottles of wine and Champagne. Complemantary hot dogs, hamburgers and BBQ dishes will be served when you buy two or more drinks.

For those with a little more dough, Basement Tavern is offering the “Bourbon and Bacon” package for $1,000. Guests will get a bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon and bacon-wrapped hot dogs for 10 people.

Private viewing at their Fishbowl room, located below the bar can be reserved for a group of 20 people for $1,000. It comes decorated with your favorite team. Call 310-392-4956 for reservations. 2640 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90405.

Drink + Food

Northern California native brings casual touch to SoCal gastropub

Introducing chef Charlie Parker of Freddy Smalls

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Charlie Parker might have worked in some of the best kitchens up in Northern California (consider such places as Manresa, Ubuntu, and Plum), but he brings a decidedly casual affair to the rather sleepy area of West Los Angeles along Pico Boulevard. With David Fleisher (formerly of Seven Grand) taking care of cocktails and front-of-house, they’re pushing the gastropub envelope at Freddy Smalls, the brainchild of The Counter Burger owner Jeff Weinstein.

Jeremy Fox, Parker’s mentor, consulted early on with the menu but Parker is applying the neighborhood aesthetic of Oakland’s Plum restaurant, with a few simple, well-made pub favorites (that eschew the same-old burger/pizza/hot dog variants) in favor of market-fresh vegetables, house-made charcuterie, and dishes like the crispy pig ear open-faced sandwich. Amid the start of dinner service, we sat down with Parker and Fleisher to hear about their start in the restaurant industry. Read More

El Segundo Brewing Co.’s Blue House Citra Pale release party, Golden Road beer and tequila night at Blue Palms

Two craft beer events this week in L.A.

On Saturday February 4 on 12 PM at the El Segundo Brewing Co. in El Segundo, CA, owner and brewer Rob Croxall and the team are throwing a party to celebrate the release of Blue House Citra Pale, brewed with Citra hops. The beer described by Sales Director, Thomas Kelley as “super citrusy, ridiculously hoppy Citra Pale in your face for a little while.” Growler refills of Citra Pale is $15, they are also offering a new growler fill and a t-shirt for $28. 140 Main St., El Segundo, CA 90245.

On Wednesday, February 1 at 6 PM at the Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood (set to close for a short term due to Music Box Theater’s eviction) is hosting Golden Road Brewing‘s “El Hefe Anejo & Peligroso” night featuring a flight of tequila from Peligroso and Golden Road Brewing’s un-barrelled Hefeweizen, and the barrel aged Hefeweizen Anejo, part of the head brewer Jon Carpenter‘s “Carpenter’s Cellar” series. Other beers from Golden Road will be available include: Point the Way IPA, Hefeweizen, Either Side of the Hill, Get Up Offa that Brown and more. 6124 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028. 323-464-0808.

Royal/T’s ‘The Art of Cooking’ — a food and art exhibit

Food you can't eat

From Friday April 27 through August 2012, Royal/T in Culver City, CA is debuting a food-inspired art display. The Japanese inspired cafe will feature “The Art of Cooking,” an art show curated by Hanne Mugaas, with a central theme of food from a gourmet meal to 3-D prints of empty beer cans and fast food cups. Mugaas’ goal is to “induce the pleasures of the table for everyone to appreciate.” For the opening night reception Hanne’s brother, Petter Mugaas Joakimsen will be creating food for the opening reception. The food exhibit is free and open to the public from 10 AM – 6 PM daily, longer on Wednesdays from 10 AM – 10 PM. 8910 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232. 310-559-6300.

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Food

Discovering culinary possibilities presented by Food & Wine Magazine

master-chef-michael-psilakis

By invite only, foodies and Buick enthusiasts attended an exclusive culinary event hosted by Buick and Food & Wine magazine on January 21 and 22 at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. Guests enjoyed a scheduled program glittered with test driving Buick’s latest vehicles, wine tasting with sommelier Michael Green, and exciting demos and tastings from some of the nations’ most prominent and innovative chefs, headlining with Master Chef Michael Psilakis. Read More

Bootleggers’ 10 brew tap takeover of Bruery Provisions and more

Happening today in O.C.!

Late notice, but starting at 6 PM on January 30 in Orange, CA, Bootlegger’s Brewery and The Bruery are teaming up with an event at the Bruery Provisions. Ten taps will feature popular brews from Bootlegger’s plus collaborations that they’ve created with the Bruery including Chocosaurus Rye, a representation of each brewing style: “a dark rye lager that was finished with cacao nibs and vanilla beans.”

Two other beers from The Bruery will also be released, Mother Funker is a sour blonde all aged in Chardonnay barrels for several years which is “a seriously sour beer, perhaps the most sour beer we’ve produced so far.” Sour In The Rye! makes it’s return, brewed with almost 40% rye malt and also barrel aged for over a year. 143 N. Glassell, Orange, CA 92866. 714-997-2337.

The Langham in Pasadena’s $30,000 Valentine’s Day hotel package

The best things in life are free, but you can keep them for the birds and bees

The Langham in Pasadena, CA is offering the “Ultimate Romance Package” for $30,000. Here’s the perfect solution for those that messed up last Valentine’s Day or those that want to create a V-Day memory that they’ll never be able to live up to again.

The hotel package includes: limo transfer to and from hotel (it’s also available on call during your stay); accommodations inside the Tournament of Roses suite (with early arrival and late check out); 80 minute couple’s massage at the spa; bottle of Champagne, five dozen roses and chocolate covered strawberries; rose petal turn-down and breakfast in bed; private dinner featuring a five course meal with wine pairings from The Royce; and a custom-created diamond jewelry piece from Single Stone on Mission Street (valued at $20,000). Package is valid February 2012. For reservations call 626-568-3900. 1401 South Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena, CA 91106.

Super Bowl happy hour all day at City Tavern, ‘Vegan Super Bowl’ at Tony’s Darts Away and more

Specials for the big game

City Tavern in Culver City is having specials all day on February 5 starting at 2:30 PM with happy hour prices plus $10 craft beer growlers. Chef Jessica Christensen will be cooking up “Special Super Bowl Bites” including meatballs, Spanish chorizo pigs in a blanket and more. Reservations are recommended. 9739 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232. 310-838-9739.

Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank is featuring a menu of vegan and non vegan specials. The menu includes: hot buffalo-style “wings” with 818 valley ranch dressing; five layer dip with layers of vegan spicy bean dip, cheese, tomato salsa, avocado salsa, sour cream served with fresh fried tortilla chips; Frito Pie, Pozole, BBQ sliders on biscuits with slaw – filled with pulled pork or jackfruit. 1710 West Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91506. 818-253-1710.

Magnolia Bakery in L.A. is selling Magnolia’s classic vanilla or chocolate cupcakes decorated in your team’s colors along with Super Bowl decorations for $3.50 each. Call 323-951-0636 to place an order. 8389 West 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90048.

Lazy Dog Cafe at all nine of their locations across Southern California are offering an all-day happy hour deal. Menu includes: fresh beets and goat cheese, Hawaiian Ahi Poke, wok-fried calamari, Togarashi Edamame Beans and more.

Qantas’ ‘Celebrate 2012 in Sydney from $2012′ package

A deal to celebrate Australia Day

Qantas is letting everyone know about Australia Day with their Celebrate 2012 in Sydney from $2012 package. Book your trip by February 29, 2012 for travel between April 15 – June 8, 2012 and July 15 – September 21, 2012 for a six day, five night experience of Australia. The trip includes: roundtrip Qantas Economy flights from Los Angeles to Sydney, five nights in Sydney at a 3-star hotel (upgrades available from $100), Sydney City Sightseeing tour, Sydney Harbour lunch cruise, World Heritage Blue Mountains full-day sightseeing tour, entry to Wild Life Sydney and air taxes.

Visit Qantas.com for more details and check out their auction section at the bottom.

Spend Valentine’s Day with a loved one or alone at Hotel Wilshire

Making love was just for fun, those days are gone

The Hotel Wilshire is offering two Valentine’s Day packages. One for those with someone, and another for those without (it’s okay you’ll find someone). For $395 per night or $445 for a junior suite, the “Make Out on Miracle Mile Package” (available from February 10 – 19) features two specialty cocktails and a three course dinner at The Roof on Wilshire. Guests who book the package will get a voucher for a 50% discount on next year’s Valentine’s Day promotion, only if you bring the same date.

The second is the “Break-up and Move On Package” (available on February 14) including two complimentary specialty cocktails and an appetizer, a copy of the book “Its Not Me, Its You: The Ultimate Break-up Book”, and a brownie sundae or a pint of Haagen Daaz. Rooms are $285 per night and $335 the junior suite. They also have half off rooms if you book after 10 PM (based on availability). 6317 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. 323-852-6000.

ColLAboration’s winter beer garden’s new date announced

Coming to downtown L.A.

Previously cancelled due to the Santa Ana winds, the mobile beer garden Winter ColLAboration is back on for February 26, from 12 PM – 5 PM. They’ll be at the Belasco Theater in downtown L.A. near the Metro Blue Line and bringing a “weather-proof, indoor late-winter wonderland”.

Breweries attending include Anchor Steam, Avery, Bootleggers, Bruery, Beachwood, Cismontane, Dogfish Head , Eagle Rock Brewery, Eel River, Firestone Walker, Hangar 24, Golden Road Brewing, Lost Abbey, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Russian River, Sierra Nevada, Smog City, Stone, TAPS and more. Limited-edition Winter Fest Steins are $15 while supplies last.

Any 2011 ColLAb glasses can be used for admission; most beers will be $5 to $6. Your glass is your ticket and can be purchased at the event or you can choose from all of them on their site. 1050 S. Hill Street Los Angeles, CA 90015. 213-746-5670

The Dish

Haven Gastropub: Crisp Braised Pork Belly

Crispy and tender, all in one bite

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Executive Chef Greg Daniels loves pork. The menu at Haven Gastropub + Brewery in Pasadena features more pork dishes than any other meat. With an advanced notice, you can even order a whole roasted pig with three sides for dinner. But for now we’re here for the Crisp Braised Pork Belly (available during dinner), made with locally sourced pork and a Saison ale reduction, celery root puree, fennel, mâche, apple vinaigrette and topped with dijon mustard microgreens. And of course the microgreens are just for decorating. Read More

Valentine’s Day at Ponte Family Estate

5 courses at one of OpenTable's top 50 restaurants in the US for outdoor dining

Ponte Family Estate’s the Restaurant at Ponte in Temecula is putting on an evening for Valentine’s Day at . A champagne greeting starts the night with passed hors d’oeuvres around the estate. Dinner seating at 7 PM consists of five courses featuring Spicy Tomato Gazpacho, Hearts of Palm Salad, Horseradish Crusted Loch Duart Salmon and Boneless Braised Beef Short Ribs will be served with wine pairing. A box of desserts with Chocolate Truffles; Pistachio, Pumpkin and Sea Salt Cookies and Lavender Vanilla Lemon Verbena Bark will be given to guests to eat there or to take home. $95 per person, $86 for wine club members. Call 951-694-8855 or buy tickets online. 35053 Rancho California Rd., Temecula, CA 92591.

Impress your date with an Italian cooking lesson from Ombra’s chef Michael Young

Chef Michael Young from Ombra in Studio City, CA is going to be teaching a hands-on cooking course called “Godfather Cooking Class” featuring classic Italian dishes on Sunday, February 12. For $99 per person or $169 for a couple, students will get a recipe packet, wooden spoon, and a pound of dried pasta. The dishes include: Braciole (thinly sliced and pounded meat that is filled, tied and braised in a tomato sauce); Meatballs and Sunday Sauce; Mostaccioli (baked pasta); and Sicilian Cannoli. Want to see what Michael can do? Check out the video below. 3737 Cahuenga Blvd., Studio City 91604. 818-985-7337. Read More

Black truffles and foie gras dinner at the Royce at the Langham

Two February dinners

The Royce in Pasadena is throwing two dinners celebrating truffles and regional cuisine from the southwest of France. On February 8 and 9, chef David Féau is presenting a six-course tasting menu featuring “fresh, local produce and the finest products from around the world” with the main focus on black truffles. Dinner is $180 per person or $250 per person with wine pairings.

The second event, on February 28 and 29, features Ariane Daguin, founder and owner of D’Artagnan along with chef David Féau and Sommelier Eric Espuny for a five-course tasting menu. The menu includes game, foie gras, cassoulet, and other regional specialties from the Pyrenees, plus wine pairings. Dinner is $95 per person or $150 per person with wine pairings. For reservations call 626-585-6410. 1401 South Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena, CA 91106.

Food

Inside look at chef Vicente Del Rio’s Casa Azul Cantina

Authentic Mexican cuisine on the Westside

azul-vicente-del-rio

Mexican cuisine can be enjoyed by all walks of life, from your local taco stand to elevated restaurant cuisine. Now the folks of the Westside can enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine at Casa Azul Cantina in Westwood, CA from chef and restauranteur of the FRIDA Restaurant Group, Vicente Del Rio. Learning his craft from his mother and grandmother, Chef Del Rio’s authentic and traditional Mexican cuisine rivals that which you would find in Mexico. As Vicente tells us “if you go to any part of Mexico, you can find this food there.” Read More