Booze in America: On Saturday, the Culinary Historians of Southern California present a lecture on “American Drinking History” at the Los Angeles Public Library. Culinary historian Andrew Smith from the New School in New York will explore what Americans drink and why, considering influences such as traditional British beverages like ale and hard cider, beverages made popular by the arrival of immigrants and marketed concoctions from the beverage industry such as Coca-Cola and Snapple. Smith's latest book is “Drinking History: 15 Turning Points in the Making of American Beverages.” The event starts at 10:30 a.m. and is free to the public. Downtown Central Library, 630 W. 5th St., L.A., (323) 663-5407, www.lapl.org.
Maison Giraud turns one: When L.A. Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold reviewed Maison Giraud earlier this year, he deemed the bistro's croissants the best in Los Angeles. Gold also described Alain Giraud's cooking as “neither modern French cuisine nor fantasy French cuisine, but the cooking on which France, and apparently Pacific Palisades, nourishes itself.” Now the Pacific Palisades bistro is celebrating its first anniversary with free Champagne cocktails during dinner throughout the month of December. 1032 Swarthmore Ave., Pacific Palisades, (310) 459-7562, www.maison-giraud.com.Meatless Monday at Mohawk Bend: Joseph Shuldiner, author of “Pure Vegan” and director of the Institute of Domestic Technology, teams up with Mohawk Bend on Dec. 17 for the restaurant's ongoing Meatless Monday series. A three-course dinner inspired by recipes from Shuldiner's new cookbook will be served, starting at 7 p.m. The vegan menu will include a celery root and fennel chowder, polenta with wild mushrooms, hazelnuts and figs, and a pistachio olive oil cake. The meal costs $20 per person or $40 per person for the meal and a signed copy of “Pure Vegan.” Reservations can be made by calling (213) 483-2337. 2141 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A., (213) 483-2337, www.mohawk.la.