This week in L.A. restaurants: New paella spot Dos Besos, Taste of Eastside returns

Pasadena's new restaurant Dos Besos serves paellas and an array of tapas from Spanish chef Alejandro Llobet Domenech.
Pasadena’s new restaurant Dos Besos serves a range of paellas, pitchers of sangrias, and an array of tapas from Spanish chef Alejandro Llobet Domenech.
(Stephanie Breijo/Los Angeles Times)

Plus, APL pops up in Pasadena, Wanderlust expands and LA IPA fest is back


Dos Besos

Catering company Villa Paella has launched Dos Besos, a bricks-and-mortar restaurant in Old Town Pasadena. The husband-and-wife team of chef Alejandro Llobet Domenech and operations manager Kit Romano recently opened the Spanish spot, which offers classics such as pan con tomate, a range of paellas, gazpacho, tortilla española, gambas al ajillo and chocolate con churro specials, with indoor dining, patio space and a view of the kitchen. The first stand-alone restaurant for Llobet Domenech fulfills his years-long dream of transforming his catering operation, which was known for its paellas. Dos Besos is open Tuesday to Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

99 E. Union St., Pasadena, (626) 696-3741,

Photo of a restaurant patio featuring greenery and striped banquette seating.
Dos Besos is now open in a historic 1923 building, with a patio that opens onto an alleyway.
(Stephanie Breijo/Los Angeles Times)

Wanderlust Sawtelle

After years of attempting to open in Sawtelle, globally inspired scoop shop Wanderlust Creamery is selling ice cream in the neighborhood. The newest Wanderlust Creamery joins a handful of locations across the L.A. area, including Pasadena, Tarzana and Venice, and scoops roughly two dozen flavors such as pandan tres leches, mango sticky rice and a Vietnamese-coffee take on rocky road. In celebration of the newest outpost, the ice cream parlor is launching a monthlong special, at all locations, called Sawtelle Milk + Brownies that’s made with a Hokkaido-milk ice cream base studded with matcha brownies. Wanderlust Sawtelle is open from noon to 11 p.m. daily.

2105 Sawtelle Blvd., (818) 774-9888,

APL Barbecue

In January chef Adam Perry Lang closed his Hollywood steakhouse, APL, but the pitmaster’s cooking is getting a new life with a barbecue pop-up in Pasadena. Running indefinitely from Wednesday to Sunday, from noon until the food sells out, APL Barbecue is selling hearty beef ribs, hickory-smoked pulled pork sandwiches, St. Louis spare ribs coated in a sticky glaze, smoked chicken coated in a basil and honey sauce, specials such as burnt ends, slabs of buttery cornbread and other sides in the former Tacocita space.


203 S. Rosemead Blvd., Pasadena,

Chef Adam Perry Lang's new barbecue pop-up
Chef Adam Perry Lang’s new barbecue pop-up serves low-and-slow-smoked beef ribs, chicken, pork ribs and other classics in a former taco shop.
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

Taste of the Eastside

Fundraising food event Taste of the Eastside returns April 22-24 for its 12th year, with more than a dozen vendors participating in neighborhoods such as Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Los Feliz, Atwater Village, Echo Park and Silver Lake. The event, held in years past at the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens, now spotlights East L.A. (and nearby) restaurants, bars and shops at their locations — this year including HomeState, Mazal, Melody, Pazzo Gelato and others. The 2022 Taste of the Eastside festival will donate 25% of its sales proceeds to nonprofits Friends of the L.A. River and Rose Scharlin Cooperative Nursery School.

An overhead photo of Breakfast tacos from HomeState, including (from bottom up) Pecos, Don't Mess with Texas and Blanco.
Breakfast-taco destination HomeState is participating in the annual fundraising food festival Taste of the Eastside.
(Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)

L.A. IPA Fest

One of the L.A. area’s hoppiest beer fests is back for its eighth year. On May 21, L.A. IPA Fest is bringing roughly 60 beers to Marina del Rey from breweries across California, but only one beer will be named Best California IPA. North Park Beer Co., which won the title in 2020, will return, as will Tarantula Hill Brewing, which won the people’s choice award that year. This marks L.A. IPA Fest’s first event since 2020, as well as a move to Brennan’s from previous host Mohawk Bend. General admission ($38) includes noon entry, five beer tokens and a branded glass; a “shadow judge” VIP ticket ($125) includes entry to a 10 a.m. brunch buffet, observation of the judging at 11 a.m., early entry to the event, a branded glass and five beer tokens. Additional beer tokens can be purchased in groups of five for $35.

4089 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey, (424) 443-5119,