Chaya Downtown celebrates spring with a three-week Cherry Blossom Festivalin honor of the 101st anniversary of the Cherry Blossom Festival when Tokyo gifted Washington D.C. 3,000 cherry trees. Guests can build their own Hanami Bento ($22 for 3 items; $28 for 4 items) with dishes such as kale salad with apple, hazelnut and ginger-ranch dressing; coffee BBQ mini pork shank with chipotle miso; and duck confit spring rolls with sweet miso glaze. Seasonal cocktails include the Cherry Bellini with cherry sorbet ($8) and Sakuratini ($8). These specials are available Monday through Friday evenings from 4 p.m. on (served in the dining room with small plate options throughout the restaurant). Chaya Downtown, 525 S. Flower St., Los Angeles, CA 90071, 213-236-9577.
The Los Angeles Beer Festival at Paramount Studios will feature dozens of international and domestic beers, as well as live music and food vendors. The cost is $40 per person and includes unlimited beer samples. A percentage of proceeds will support Noah's Bark, a local non-profit supporting no-kill animal shelters and rescues. Tickets must be purchased in advance by visitingwww.drinkeatplay.com/labeerfest.
April 7 & 12
The Federal Bar in North Hollywood continues its Mimosa Music Series on April 7th from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Guests can enjoy music from indie pop group "The Little Ones" with special guests "The Mighty Angels" while diving into dishes like the NoHo Breakfast Sandwich made with a fried egg, prosciutto and smoked mozzarella on toasted sourdough. Meanwhile, on April 12th, The Federal Bar presents "Wild Things," a burlesque show and dinner theater experience. The cost for this event is $25 general admission, $80 table reservation for two, and $150 table reservation for four. For more information, visit www.thefederalbar.com. The Federal Bar, 5303 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601, 818-980-2555.
RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen celebrates Thai New Year, also known as Songkran, on April 13th. This celebration will include Thai dancers, a traditional Thai musician and complimentary shrimp toast appetizers for guests to enjoy during lunch and dinner. The appetizer will feature shrimp toast with croutons, water chestnuts, jalapeños, chives and sambalmayonnaise. RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen, Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067, 310-552-9988.
Chef, author and television host Anthony Bourdain will bring his Guts and Glory Tour to the Pantages Theatre at 7:30pm. Bourdain will be joined on stage by local celebrity chef, author and entrepreneur Roy Choi, as they share insights about their life's work and travels, including an open question and answer session with the audience. Ticket prices start at $35, available online at BroadwayLA.org, by phone at 800-982-2787, or at the Pantages Box Office. For more information, visit AnthonyBourdainonTour.com. A limited number of VIP tickets will be available, which include premier seating, a limited edition tour poster and VIP laminate, and exclusive access to a post-show reception featuring complimentary hors d'oeuvres and photo and signing opportunities with Anthony Bourdain and Roy Choi. Pantages Theater, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 800-982-2787.
Presented by the Beverly Hills Bar Association, the 25th Annual Vintage Bouquet will take place from noon to 4 p.m. at the historic Greystone Mansion. Open to the public, the outdoor food and wine event with magnificent city views features unlimited tastings from wineries, beverage companies and restaurants, as well as special musical entertainment, and live and silent auctions. Proceeds from the fundraiser benefit the Beverly Hills Bar Foundation's pro bono legal services, including free wills for firefighters and emergency responders. Participating restaurants at the event include Il Fornaio, Lawry's The Prime Rib, Lexington Social House, Momed, STK andCrustacean. Wineries, spirits and beverages pouring include Fever-Tree Mixers, Grassini Family Vineyards, Lewelling Vineyards, Peju, Quady Winery, Spring Mountain Vineyards and Stella Artois. Tickets are $150 per person if purchased in advance and $175 per person on the day of the event. A limited number of VIP tickets ($225) are also available and include entree to a private martini bar. Sponsorships are available. Greystone Mansion is located at 905 Loma Vista Drive in Beverly Hills, CA 90210. For tickets and information, visit www.vintagebouquet.com.
The Strand House continues its Master Chef Dinner Series with special guests chef Douglas Keane of Cyrus, Heidi Barrett of La Sirena Vineyards, Michael Silacci of Opus One Vineyards, Tom Seghesio of Seghesio Vineyards, and Jonathan Nagy of Byron Winery. The five-course menu will feature dishes such as Thai lobster, soba-wrapped ocean trout and Wagu striploin. The event begins with a pre-dinner reception at 7 p.m. and costs $100 per person, excluding tax, gratuity and wine pairings ($50). Seating is limited. For reservations, please call 310-545-7470. The Strand House, 117 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, 310-545-7470.
COCHON 555 (five chefs, five pigs, five winemakers), a traveling culinary competition and tasting event, marks its fifth anniversary tour. Created to promote a national conversation around the sustainable farming of heritage-breed pigs, each event challenges five local chefs to prepare a menu from one 200-pound family-raised heritage breed pig, nose-to-tail. Twenty judges as well as guests help decide the winning chef by voting on the "best bite of the day." This year's event includes the launch of a cocktail competition called "Punch Kings" featuring Breckenridge Bourbon, with six local bartenders. Cost is $200 for the VIP tickets, opening at 4 p.m., and $125 for general admission, opening at 5 p.m. For more information, visit amusecochon.com. House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, no phone.
WP24 at The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles continues its "Tea at the Top" series with a Mother's Day Tea. Menu items include miniature tea sandwiches such as prosciutto with fig jam; king crab salad tartlet with citrus jam; and cucumber black olive tapenade on rye bread; as well as tea pastries and freshly baked scones. Also featured is a child-friendly menu with mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and mini ham and cheese croissants, along with freshly baked cookies and sliced fruit. A card-making station for kids will be available, and mothers will receive a small gift from The Ritz-Carlton, Spa Los Angeles. Seatings are at 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. The cost is $65 per adult, $20 per child (excluding tax and gratuity). WP24 , The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles, L.A. Live, 900 W. Olympic Blvd., 24th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90015, 213-743-8824.
Through May 16 (Thursdays)
The Umami Restaurant Group's downtown deli concept, UMAMIcatessen, is hosting a rotating chef series called The Residency. Chef Micah Wexler(formerly of MEZZE) is the first to be featured. He's presenting a $45 prix-fixe menu (additional $22.50 for wine pairings) on Thursday nights through May 16, 2013. Seating at this chef's table is limited. For more information, visitwww.umami.com. UMAMIcatessen, 842 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014, 213-413-8626.
May 31-June 16
During the sixth annual Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week, diners can enjoy special three-course, prix-fixe dinner menus for either $26 or $38 per person (beverages, tax and gratuity not included) at dozens of restaurants in the Coachella Valley. Participants include Copley's on Palm Canyon, Trio Restaurant, and Sirocco. Palm Springs hotels and attractions will also offer special discounted rates during Restaurant Week. For more information, please visit www.palmspringsrestaurantweek.com.