Chocolate heaven

As if living in beautiful Southern California wasn’t heavenly enough, Taste TV brings back its annual Los Angeles Luxury Chocolate Salon to Pasadena this Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pasadena Center, 300 Green St.

Chocolate lovers can dive in to 16,000 square feet to taste and devour goods from the finest chocolatiers and confectioners in So Cal and beyond.

When I had the pleasure of covering this event last year, after just an hour of tastings, I was a walking sugar bomb. The amazing selection of delectable tastings was totally worth the slight rise in my blood pressure.

More than 35 chocolatiers, confectioners and other culinary artisans will be featured such as Divine Chocolate, Amano Artisan Chocolate, The Chocolate Traveler, Chocoveda, The Toffee Box and more. Salon highlights include tastings, demonstrations, chef and author talks and interviews by TasteTV’s Chocolate Television program. 

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, children ages 6 to 12 $10 and children ages 6 and under are free. Two free children under 6 per adult, $10 for additional children under 6. Admission includes tastings, demos, etc.

Purchase tickets and get more information at www.lachocolatesalon.com.

Calling all foodies!!

HERE ARE TWO EVENTS THIS WEEKEND, NO FOODIE WOULD WANT TO MISS:

L.A. STREET FOOD FEST

Of course, I would have to be out of town when one of the largest foodie events in L.A.is set to take place. Good for them because I would actually wait overnight to be the first to hit up each truck and I would be all over seconds and thirds at each truck like Winnie the Pooh to honey.

But if you’ll be in town and looking to splurge on that summer diet and workout routine, make some rounds at the second L.A Street Food Fest taking place this Saturday, July 24, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena (1001 Rose Bowl Drive, off North Arroyo Blvd.)

More than 60 mobile food truck vendors from eateries, restaurants, celeb chefs and classic carts will park it outside the bowl while vendor booths sit under tents inside.
What will be offered? The question is really, what won’t be offered.

Everything from breakfast at Monsieur Egg to dessert from Cool Haus and Sweet Lucie’s. There will also be open bars and beer gardens for tequila and mezcal tastings, and specialty juices and cocktails.

Presale tickets are limited and only available online. No at-door sales. Tickets are $45 per person and is all inclusive, as much as you can handle. The last food fest included long lines for some foodie favorites so be sure to get there early if you want to make a couple rounds at your favorite truck or vendor..

For more information and tickets, visit www.lastreetfoodfest.com.

Read about how some vendors are preparing in Staff Writer Brian Charles’ story.

 

YOGA FOR FOODIES

David Romanelli (aka Yeah Dave) is bringing his Yoga for Foodies to Los Angeles. Yoga for Foodies is a national tour  where at each stop, David collaborates with local chefs to create an unforgettable foodie experience.

On July 25, Dave will be pairing up with Akasha Richmond, chef founder of the critically acclaimed Culver City-based Akasha Restaurant, Bar, Bakery.

During the event, the morning will begin with David’s flowing yoga class whose message and music will emphasize a more sustainable pace.

Following yoga while participants are relaxed and in the moment, Akasha will lead a guided tasting inspired by her years of cooking for and studying with Yogi Bhajan, and how his teachings influenced her style of cooking. Akasha began her professional career at Yogi Bhajan’s Golden Temple Conscious Cookery, a now defunct but once popular vegetarian restaurant in Los Angeles.

Menu highlights include: giner-mint lemonade and organic mango lassi; local farm egg and goat cheese frittata with spinach and caramelized onions; cumin and coriander spiced lamb sausage; grilled tandoori vegetable salad with coleman farms greens, white corn, zucchini, red peppers, and chutney dressing; punjabi focaccia with holy basil pesto, heirloom tomatoes, grilled eggplant, fresh paneer; fresh baked blackberry coffee cake, peach scones, and housemade preserves.

Yoga for Foodies will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $54. Reservations are required.
Akasha Restaurant, Bar, Bakery is at 9543 Culver Blvd., Culver City. For more information, call (310) 845-1700.

World Cup feeding frenzy

What better way to really get in the spirit of the World Cup than enjoying some world fare.

Seems more and more restaurants and locales are helping soccer fans get in the spirit of cheering on their favorite team or country by having the games on for viewing. Well others are stepping it up by offering up a variety of dishes representing the many countries taking part in the soccer matchups.

Starting today through Tuesday, June 29, the ESPN Match Truck will be rolling through Los Angeles offering a world menu while you catch a game on their high-def television screens attached to the top of the truck. The menu designed by Kogi and Chego chef Roy Choi features items such as the South African bunny chow, Mexico’s carne asada burrito and American silver-dollar pancakes, to name a few. Follow the truck on Twitter @ESPNWCTRUCKLA or visit espnwctrucks.com for more information and location dates and times.

I know, what’s bunny chow right? Well, we’re not talking a Fatal Attraction dish here. Basically, the chow is a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with a chicken curry – juicy chicken leg meat seasoned with Madras, garlic, cilantro, lime juice and yogurt, with fresh peas, grilled onions, mizuna, Thai basil, pickled red onions. Then the flesh of the bread is slathered with curried goat cheese. ($6)

If you’re feeling a bit more fancy, check out the Langham Huntington’s World Cup Street Food Menu offered at The Bar, now through July 11. The menu features dishes such as semisweet coconut curry puffs (South Africa); brown butter spaetzle with beer cheese (Germany); Faina flat bread with chimichurri (Argentina); and more. There will also be specials on signature cocktails.

For more information, visit http://pasadena.langhamhotels.com or follow on Twitter @langhampasadena. Retweet on Twitter to win two dishes each week. The Langham Huntington is at 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena,  (626) 568-3700.

GOAL!! (That’s me scoring some good food!)

Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe in Paseo Colorado

After a some-what quick run-through at a bridal show last month held at the Pasadena Convention Center, my sister and I were famished and in need of something refreshing to wash down the sweets we sampled at the show.

As we walked back to our parking in the Paseo Colorado structure, we spotted Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe off of Green Street and decided to check it out.

The menu looked pretty expansive with salads, sandwiches, wraps, soups, paninis, smoothies and more. I opted for the Spicy Chicken Tender wrap while my sister went with the Peach Paradise smoothie.

The wrap has bacon, spicy chicken tender pieces, provolone cheese, romaine lettuce, sprouts, salsa and ranch dressing wrapped in a jalapeno-cheddar tortilla. It came with tri-colored tortilla chips and salsa.

 

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All the flavors blended well with each bite. The refreshing crunch of the romaine and alfalfa sprouts with the spicy and warmth of the chicken, saltiness of the bacon cooled with the ranch dressing. It was a very tasty and satisfying wrap, and although it seemed healthy, this 10 ounce wrap comes with 799 calories. Definitely more than I thought or planned.

The Peach Paradise smoothie also refreshing and tasty and although it said it had peaches and honey, I don’t believe I tasted real peaches in it, but still pretty tasty and not too sweet.

Camille’s also has some breakfast selections and offers catering and lunch boxes to-go. Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe has various locations throughout California.

The Pasadena location is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. It is located at 285 E. Green St., 626-440-1212.

Disappointment at Euro Pane

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I may hear a lot of complaints later, but I have to say this: I bought a mini carrot cake from Euro Pane in Pasadena today, and it wasn’t very good. It was dry.

Because carrot cake is supposed to be super moist and Euro Pane is supposed to be super delicious, I was disappointed. The rest of the cake wasn’t bad. While the cream cheese frosting was a little too heavy for my taste, the gold foil garnish was a nice (frou-frou) touch. I’ve never been disappointed by Euro Pane before so I’m hoping that this dry carrot cake is a fluke.

I also bought a slice of blueberry lemon chiffon cake from Euro Pane. It was delicious.

Other notes: The best carrot cake I’ve had is from Craft in Los Angeles. After dinner, the restaurant gives each guest a take home carrot cupcake. The cake was moist, the shredded carrots were flavorful and not at all dry or stringy. The streusel topping was a just the right balance of crunchy, soft and sweet.

Microwaved miso soup

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A few weeks ago, I went to Sushiya, a Japanese restaurant in the Eastern portion of Pasadena. According to a few reviews I read on Yelp!, it sounded like a decent place to go. And it was. The sushi chefs were nice, the waitress was friendly, and the food was ok. It definitely wasn’t the best quality sushi I’ve had, but it was extremely inexpensive. The sushi rolls didn’t taste bad, but they weren’t great either. This is the type of restaurant that’ll satisfy a cheap and quick sushi craving but not good enough for a “night out.”

Then comes the miso soup. I didn’t order it, but a table of women next to us did. First, I heard the “ding!” of a microwave from inside the kitchen. Moments later, the waitress comes out with three bowls of miso soup.

Is it OK to microwave miso soup?

Sushiya
2525 E. Foothill Blvd. # 2
Pasadena,
CA
91107
(626) 795-1311