From a hot sauce festival to pork chops in Thai town, here’s what’s happening in our food and drink world:
It’s getting hot in here
If you’re a chile head, listen up. The fourth annual California Hot Sauce Expo (yes, this is a real thing), is happening on Aug. 18 and 19 at City National Grove of Anaheim in Orange County. It’s two days celebrating all things hot sauce with plenty of fiery sauces, a Stage of Doom featuring hot sauce competitions, a cocktail competition and the Guinness Book of Records Carolina Reaper eating contest. General admission tickets start at $10. 2200 E Katella Ave., Anaheim, www.cahotsauceexpo.com/tickets.php.
Waiting on a hero
Restaurateur Adam Fleischman likes to reinvent the classics. With Umami he tackled burgers, at 800 Degrees it was pizza, and with PBJ.LA at Grand Central market, he created a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich pocket. Now he’s turned his attention to the Italian hero sandwich. He partnered with Jeffrey Merrihue and chef Barbara Pollastrini to open Heroic Deli, a deli that specializes in hero sandwiches. Heroic Deli is scheduled to open in downtown Santa Monica later this summer. The sandwiches will be built with imported salumi and cheese, California produce and fresh-baked bread. One of the sandwiches, the O.M.G., will be made with Italian meats and cheese, giardiniere (Italian pickled vegetables) on crusty bread. There’s also a sandwich called the Millionaire made with salmon, crème fraîche, saffron aioli and caviar. Yes, caviar. 516 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, www.heroicdeli.com.
Some of Los Angeles’ best chefs are coming together to raise funds and awareness for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, an organization whose mission is to find a cure for childhood cancers. The L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade event will take place Sept. 8 at the Royce Quad at UCLA, hosted by the Lucques Group’s chef Suzanne Goin and partner Caroline Styne, and David Lentz from the Hungry Cat. Chris Bianco (Pizzeria Bianco in Arizona), April Bloomfield (Hearth & Hound), Evan Funke (Felix), Adam Perry Lang (APL), Nancy Silverton (the Mozzaplex), Steve Samson (Rossoblu) and Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal) have all signed on to participate. The event will include food, wine and cocktails, children’s activities and a silent and live auction. General admission tickets are $195, and premier tickets, which include early event access, VIP seating and a private welcome dinner on Sept. 7, are $1,200. Children age 12 and younger will receive complimentary admission with an accompanying adult. 375 Portola Plaza, Los Angeles, www.alexslemonade.org.
Coffee and seafood
The Joint, a new restaurant in Sherman Oaks, brings together owner Liwei Liao’s two interests: coffee drinks and seafood. Liao, who is the founder of the Boba Truck, a truck that serves boba tea drinks, recently opened the 4,000-square-foot Joint on Ventura Boulevard near Woodman Avenue. The space is half coffee bar, half seafood market. At the bar, coffee and tea drinks. At the market, fresh fish, shellfish and live crustaceans. Starting in mid-July, diners will be able to order from a rotating menu that includes dishes such as lobster rolls and uni crostinis. Liao also plans to eventually serve wine and craft beer. 13718 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, www.thejointeatery.com.
What’s for dinner
Chefs Daniel Mattern and Roxana Jullapat will launch dinner service at Friends & Family, their Thai Town restaurant, bakery and take-away shop on July 11. The restaurant has been operating as a breakfast and lunch spot for just over a year. Known for Jullapat’s excellent pastries, the restaurant closes at 4 p.m., but those croissants and muffins are usually gone before noon. For dinner, you can expect hearth-roasted meats, seasonal vegetables and heritage grain salads. Highlights include chicken liver toast with apricot; spiced half chicken with new potatoes; and wild salmon grilled in grape leaves over almond wood. Mattern and Jullapat will also serve a selection of natural wines, and there will be craft beer from some local breweries. Dinner will be available from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. 5150 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 668-2000, www.friendsandfamilyla.com.