Hundreds Turn Out to Enjoy Taste of Encino

Hundreds turned out Saturday afternoon for the 10th annual Taste of Encino. Using the slogan, “It’s more than a taste,” this year’s three-day event has involved everything from local eateries to military helicopters borrowed from Camp Pendleton Marine Base.

Held at the Naval & Marine Corps Reserve Center on Balboa Boulevard, the festival has been a public relations free-for-all, with restaurants, shopping centers, educational services and the military all vying for attention.

No one has seemed to mind. Valley residents Saturday gobbled up smoked salmon and tandoori chicken and swung their hips to the Ho Dads, a ‘50s-style rock band.

Young children were wowed by the mini-carnival, complete with Ferris wheel, while the older kids dabbled in sand art and crafted gingerbread houses.


“It’s a nice afternoon--it’s nice and breezy,” said Ernest Fintor of Northridge, who sat in the shade with his wife, Yolanda, as she tasted a salmon dish from Cal State Northridge’s campus restaurant, the University Club. “The food is good and the music is good.”

This was the first year the Fintors had visited the Taste of Encino. Michael Levy of Woodland Hills has volunteered at the event for 10 years--and he’s only 16. “I like to see everyone getting together and participating in activities,” the Taft High School junior said.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit schools in the west San Fernando Valley; in the past, the money has been used to purchase such things as computers and newsprint for school newspapers, said Christine Sylvestri, a spokeswoman for the festival.

The Taste of Encino continues today from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 5 to 12. Children under 5 are free.