Our Guide to the Best Food Events in L.A.

Food festivals, pop-up dinners, and more special events to savor

There’s always something new happening in L.A.’s dining scene, and it’s not just the constant new restaurant openings. A food-lover could pack their schedule with all the tasting festivals, pop-up dinners, theme nights, takeovers, and other events going on. We’re picking some of the most delicious and interesting food events in L.A. so you can savor every special bite.

Cuervo Tradicional Taco Takeover and Cocktail Competition


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All the tacos and tequila you can handle will be yours at this fest, making an L.A. debut after first popping up in Miami. Ten chefs and food vendors will have their takes on tacos and other Mexican fare; local bartenders will face off in a competition to craft the best Jose Cuervo cocktail.

Sat., Sept. 15, 1-8 p.m.; LA Plaza De Cultura Y Artes, 501 N. Main St., downtown. Tickets $49 to $79.

“What Mom Cooked on Sundays” at 189 by Dominique Ansel


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Food traditions are a powerful connection to culture. At 189, Chef Dominique Ansel is handing over his kitchen to his team for a series of home-style dinners that let each of them celebrate their own diverse culinary heritage. On September 16, executive chef Anthony Stagnaro creates an Italian menu; Steptember 23, pastry chefs LeeAnn Tolentino and Melanie Patricio cook a Filipino feast; September 30 is sous chef William Pentecost’s cozy, Norman French fare; and October 7, pastry sous chef Jennifer Oh honors her Korean roots.

Sun., Sept. 16, 23, 30, and Oct. 7; 189 by Dominique Ansel, 189 The Grove Dr., Los Angeles. $45 prixe fixe menu.

National Cheeseburger Day at Bourbon Steak


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National Cheeseburger Day (September 18) falls in the middle of Heritage Bourbon Month, and the folks at Bourbon Steak couldn’t let that get past them. To celebrate, they’re doing a one-day special for the meat-lovers. Chef Kyle Johnson’s burg is an eight-ounce patty made of brisket and short rib, with red wine-simmered onions, mushroom duxelles, bourbon steak sauce, and a Maker’s Mark bourbon demi-glace ($14). Johnson calls it an “over-the-top gut-buster,” but we think he means that as a compliment.

Tue., Sept. 18, 4:30-9:30 p.m.; Bourbon Steak, 237 S. Brand Ave., Glendale. 

Brews & Bites at Stalking Horse


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Stalking Horse hosts their first beer dinner, offering a four-course meal from Chef Robert Mooney, paired with brewed-in-house beers. Served on the gastropub’s back patio, you’ll dine on Cornish fare, including bangers and mash, a butler steak with carrots and mushroom gravy, and a traditional English trifle for dessert.

Wed., Sept. 19, 7-9 p.m.; The Stalking Horse Brewery & Freehouse, 10543 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. Tickets, $39. 

Mid-Autumn Festival at the Langham Huntington Pasadena

Celebrate the traditional Chinese mid-autumn festival (a day early) with ChinaWeek and the luxurious Langham Huntington hotel. Stroll and snack through a market-style dining area, tasting dim sum dishes, noodles, and mooncakes under the glow of an installation of festive red lanterns.

Sun., Sept. 23, 5-9 p.m.; Langham Huntington Pasadena, 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena. Tickets $38 to $88.

Cuban Pig Roast at Boneyard Bistro


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Dine on Cuban-style roast pork–along with jerk chicken, beans, plantains, Cubano sandwiches–and other fare. Boneyard Bistro’s chef Aaron Robins is known for his menu’s interpretation of multiple regional barbecue styles from across the U.S., but he only goes Cuban one night a year.

Sun., Sept. 26, 5:30 p.m-midnight; Boneyard Bistro, 13539 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks.

Sang’s Six Dinner Series at Lukshon


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Chef Sang Yoon launches a special once-a-month dinner series, where each special meal takes on a distinctive theme. For the first outing, the concept is “Northeast in the Southeast,” a six-course dinner that blends flavors and ingredients of South East Asia with the American northeast. Look for lobster roll bahn mi, Thai clam chowder, and more. The series continues with events on November 15, January 3, and February 5.

Thu., Sept. 27, 5:30-9:30 p.m.; Lukshon, 3239 Helm’s Ave., Culver City. Tickets $75.

TASTE at Westfield Century City

The fanciest of shopping malls, Westfield Century City, is home to a number of culinary destinations, including Eataly. This ticketed event will give you a chance to sample from them all, with tastings of food, wine, and spirits, and chef demos and experiences.

Sat and Sun., Sept. 28-29, 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Century City. Tickets $25 to $45.

San Gabriel Dumpling & Beer Fest

This annual event is sort of Oktoberfest-adjacent, you might say, but instead of German food, you’ll be snacking on dumplings as you slug your beer. Your wristband entitles you to unlimited samples, but if you really think you can put back more dumplings than the average bear, you’re welcome to enter a dumpling eating contest.

Thu., Oct. 4, 6-10 p.m.; San Gabriel Mission District, 320 S. Mission Dr., San Gabriel.

James Beard Foundation Taste America Benefit Dinner


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The James Beard Foundation drops into town for an elegant evening celebrating the best cooking in L.A. right now. Ludo Lefebrvre collaborated with Holly Jivin of host restaurant the Bazaar and Andrew Carmellini of New York’s The Dutch to create a dinner menu. Chef Curtis Stone hosts and additional bites and desserts will be contributed by Wes Avila, Mei Lin, Margarita Manzke, and others.

Fri., Oct. 12, 6 p.m.; SLS Hotel Beverly Hills, 3465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. Tickets $375. 

“Clicquot on the Coast” Veuve Takeover


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The popular Champagne brand with the iconic orange label is taking over Paséa Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach for a weekend of bubbly seaside parties. Enjoy sunshine and Champs with a series of garden parties, pairing dinners, poolside frosé soirees, brunches, and more. Events are individually ticketed, or you can splurge on a VIP pass that includes all events and a room at the hotel for $1,100.

Fri., Oct. 12 to Sun., Oct. 14; Paséa Hotel & Spa, 21090 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach.

The Food Event 2018 by L.A. Mag


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Join Los Angeles for our own annual food event. You’ll snack on samples from Salazar, Tesse, Eataly, Manuela, Dama, and other great restaurants. Richard Blais of The Crack Shack (and Top Chef), Kris Tominaga of Manuela, and David Kuo of Little Fatty will lead special cooking demos. Wine, spirits, and coffee will flow–and you might get a selfie with a giraffe.

Sun., Oct. 21 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.; Saddlerock Ranch, 31727 Mulholland Highway, Malibu.

RELATED: Chef Teresa Montaño Shares Her Passion for Spanish Cuisine at Otoño

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