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Food

Pop, pop, pop-up: BierBeisl at Silaa Thai, Baja in Long Beach and a cat cafe

Austrian chef Bernhard Mairinger
Austrian chef Bernhard Mairinger in the now shuttered BierBeisl in Beverly Hills. He plans to open Bierbeisl Imbiss in downtown L.A. soon.
(Courtesy of Bernhard Mairinger)

Kids are going back to school. And chefs are getting back into the kitchen, fired up with ideas that percolated over the summer. Some are planning pop-ups to showcase a new menu or a coming restaurant or cafe. A Baja California chef is coming north to cook dishes from his Valle de Guadalupe restaurant. And an entrepreneur who dreams of opening California’s first cat cafe is having a pop-up to kick off his Kickstarter campaign.

While we wait for the casual Austrian spot BierBeisl Imbiss to (finally) open in downtown L.A. in the Spring Arcade, Austrian chef Bernhard Mairinger will preview some of his menu there at Silaa Thai restaurant in Los Angeles on Saturday, Sept. 27. The four-course menu will start with an amuse bouche of cured ocean trout with baby heirloom beets, horseradish and crème fraîche, followed by a butter lettuce salad with crispy pork lardons, roasted corn and heirloom radishes. Then comes Mairinger’s excellent traditional wiener schnitzel with potato-cucumber salad and lingonberry compote — and after that beef short rib gulasch with squiggly spätzle noodles. (Here’s hoping the weather is cooler by then.) For dessert, a fluffy cloud of kaiserschmarrn with roasted plum compote. To reserve, call Silaa Thai at (310) 858-7738 or email reservation@silaathai.com. The cost is $70 per person.

Earlier that week, chef Roberto Alcocer of Malva Cocina de Baja California, who has a farm-to-table restaurant in the Valle de Guadalupe a couple of hours south of San Diego, will be cooking a seven-course meal with complimentary wine tasting on Tuesday (already sold out) and Wednesday, Sept. 23 and 24. His menu will include both seafood and meats and local Baja specialties, according to organizer Erin-lee Skilton, reached on her cellphone in Baja. She and her husband, off-road rally driver Darren Skilton, own  Aventura Travel, which specializes in culinary and adventure travel in Baja, mainland Mexico, Argentina and North Africa. Tickets for the dinner at a private residence in Long Beach are a suggested $100 donation. To reserve a seat, email erin@aventuratravel.com. 

Carlos Wong, the local entrepreneur who is trying to fund California’s first Catfe (described as “a Starbucks with cats”) via Kickstarter, is getting together with Chinatown BID and the no-kill shelter Best Friends-Los Angeles for a pop-up cat cafe Oct. 2 to 5. Essentially, it will be a cat adoption event in a lounge-like setting with on-site adoption counselors. The organizers anticipate that people will be waiting for a while, so in the upstairs section of Far East Plaza where it will be held, there will be DJs, live music and a dance group to entertain people while they’re waiting. Professional butlers and maids from a maid cafe will be there, too. As for food, participants are welcome to bring in rice bowls from Chego or ice cream from Scoops in the complex, or anything to eat from any of the other restaurants in Chinatown.  What’s in it for cats? Well, the pop up draws attention to a second round of fundraising for the as-yet-to-be-opened L.A. Catfe on Kickstarter. Wong is hoping to raise $250,000 by Oct. 20. Check LACatfe’s Facebook page for more details as the date approaches and reports from Katniss, Cat Reporter. You can also view a video of a cat cafe in action and hear Wong describe what appeals to him so much about the concept.

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