Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hunting Season Has Arrived at Chaya Venice: Venison Food Fair

Venison in Venice?  It is not just alliterative, it is delicious, and alas for a limited time as the Venison Food Fair decamps from the hunting grounds to make a stop at Chaya Venice for two weeks from now until Sunday December 11th.  Chaya Venice is known for its Euro-Asian cuisine, its sushi bar and the lively scene at the cocktail bar.  The 20+ year old restaurant originally did a series of food festivals and the chefs decided to revive the tradition with a series of food fairs.  Like Japanese traditional seasonal holidays celebrating harvests, each festival takes place for a short duration.

Pappardelle Pasta with Venison Meatballs
There are four venison specials available:

Venison Chili Con Carne 'Spicy' - $26
Pappardelle Pasta with Italian Style Venison Meatballs - $21
Texas Spiced Venison Burger - $22
Roasted Venison Tenderloin - $42

My favorite of the venison specials is the Pappardelle Pasta with Italian Style Venison Meatballs, served with marinara sauce, shaved parmesan and herbs.  The meatballs were light and packed with flavor.  They tasted distinct from traditional beef meatballs, which was a plus. The marinara sauce complemented the meatballs well and the pasta was done nicely.  The venison brought a juicy and almost spicy note to the meatballs.

Chili Con Carne
My second favorite of the options is the Venison Chili Con Carne 'Spicy' with chunks of venison steak, lean ground venison, kidney, garbanzo and white beans, pepper jack cheese, tomatoes and grilled country bread.  The assertive flavor of the venison shone through and the whole dish was full of bold flavors.  With both chunks and ground venison plus the beans, there was a pleasing variety of textures in the dish.  It was well spiced to give it a pleasant kick.

Roasted Venison Tenderloin
The Roasted Vension Tenderloin with Blueberry Peppercorn Sauce was served with sauteed organic mushrooms and haricot verts.  This was the most traditional of the dishes and was quite solid.  If you are a fan of venison, this was the purest expression of the meat as the loin was roasted and served rare to medium rare in jus.  Personally I enjoyed the use of venison in dishes that are traditionally made with other meats, but this is a classic rendition.

The Texas Spiced Venison Burger was the only dish I can't recommend.  I had it without the cheese and bacon (I abstain from pork) so I did not try it as a complete dish.  I didn't feel that the burger showcased the taste of the venison or had an overall deliciousness in its own right.  It is served with crispy bacon, pepper jack cheese, arugula, red cabbage, fuji apple, red pepper chutney and spicy mayo and country potato wedges alongside.

You only have two weeks to get to Chaya Venice to try these dishes, as come Monday December 12th, the fair will pull up stakes and the fairgrounds will stand empty.  Game meat is all too unusual on Los Angeles menus, so take advantage.  The venison is farm raised in New Zealand.  Chaya Venice puts the festive in food festivals, so go enjoy the ambiance and the meat.  Bambi would approve.

My visit was hosted.

Chaya Venice: 110 Navy Street (at Main St) in Venice.  Phone: (310) 396-1179.  Website:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Scene: 1886 Anniversary Party

1886, the Pasadena cocktail bar created by Marcos Tello and Aidan Demarest inside The Raymond restaurant, recently celebrated its 1st anniversary.  There had not been anyplace in the area that offered cocktails on this level until 1886 opened and the neighborhood has really embraced it.

The parking lot was tented and there was ample cocktails, spirits and snacks galore.  Buffalo Trace (above) was one of the sponsors, so there was no danger of being bourbon-less at this party.  Beef and chicken skewers, canapes of foie gras, a table laden with cheese were just some of the bounty on offer.  This was the true kickoff to the holiday season.

Lacey Murillo (below), one of the bartenders at 1886, was making Hudson Baby Bourbon cocktails in the tent; it was hard to pry us away from her bar.  Inside, Danny Cymbal, Garrett McKechnie were turning out Therapists and other signature boozy house concoctions.  The turnout for the festivities was impressive as several hundred revelers enjoyed the plentiful refreshments.  As a bonus there was even live music.  It was great to see so many people there to celebrate the success.  To those who are skeptical that customers at suburban locations will embrace quality classic cocktails, 1886 is exhibit A.  Case closed.  If you haven't been, what are you waiting for?

1886 at the Raymond: 1250 S. Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena.  Phone: (626) 441-4770.

Small Plates Large Taste at Fleming's in DTLA

Fleming's Steakhouse at LA Live in Downtown LA recently launched a small plates menu as well as a limited edition private label wine, the 46 Diamonds Toscana 2009.  The restaurant already had a traditional appetizers, salads and steaks format to the menu, but the addition of small plates enables grazing or feasting, depending on your mood and the occasion.

The small plates include Sliced Filet Mignon on shiitake mushroom risotto, Lobster Tempura and Filet Mignon Skewers among several others.  My dining companion and I opted for the New Zealand Petite Lamb Chops with pistachio mint pesto and polenta fries.  The lamb chops were petite as advertised, just the right size to pick up with your hands and eat.  There is no dainty in a steakhouse; no morsel should be wasted.  The polenta fries were nice and crispy and the chops had a pleasant lamby flavor and were cooked medium rare as asked.

Ahi Tuna Skewers with wasabi aioli, sweet tomato vinaigrette and homemade wonton chips are another highlight of the Small Plates menu.  The tuna is lightly seared and is served with the just spicy enough wasabi aioli.  This dish is not for those who shy away form sushi.  The tomatoes were a nice addition to the plate but I didn't feel the wontons added much beyond a crunchy element to the dish.

The Porterhouse was a special on the night of our visit and as Fleming's is a steakhouse at heart, it made sense to get to get the porterhouse so we could try both the tenderloin and the strip.  The steak was served peppered and was cooked rare to medium rare.  We methodically attacked the steak, like a well thought out military campaign.  There was nothing left but the bone when we were done.  Our waiter informed us that the porterhouse can come in multiple sizes.  Some diners have eaten a size twice that of the one we split, all by themselves.  The allure of a well cooked prime steak is hard to resist.

Chiptole Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese is a recommended side.  Breadcrumbs sprinkled on top, the mac & cheese is pleasantly cheesy, although nobody is going to call this version cheese and macaroni.

A real treat is the limited edition Sangiovese house wine that Fleming's partnered with Il Borro Winery's Salvatore Ferragamo (yes he is related to his namesake, the footwear maker was his grandfather) and Nicolò D’Afflitto.  The 46 Diamonds Toscana was modeled after Ferragamo's flagship wine Il Borro.  Only 350 cases were produced and the wine is exclusive to Fleming's.  The Toscana went marvelously with both the lamb chops and the steak.

Each year Fleming's partners with a winemaker on an exclusive bottling; past winery partners have included Mondavi.  This year's Toscana 2009 is ready to drink now.  It is a lush Super Tuscan style wine with strong fruit forward notes while not veering into the sweet zone.  Alas due to the limited production, this is a enjoy while you can item, as when it is gone, it is gone.

This visit was hosted.

Fleming's at LA Live: 800 W. Olympic Blvd, DTLA. Phone: (213) 745-9911.  Website:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Take a Dip at Ikemen Ramen

Ikemen is "The Dip Ramen".  The new ramen spot recently opened up a stone's throw from the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in a minimall at the intersection of La Brea and Hollywood Boulevard.  The specialty of the house is dip ramen, in which the noodles are served alongside, rather than in the ramen soup.

I am happy to report that there are ample choices for fans of chicken ramen.  For pork-challenged ramen fans, this is an occasion to celebrate.  The Chicken #1 Dip is made with chicken broth, thick chewy noodles and grilled chicken.  I added Onsen Tamago, a hot poached egg, for $1 more.  There are ample noodles provided, so much so that I ended up ordering extra broth to finish them all.  The noodles are significantly chewier than those used in the "Genuine Ramen."  I began by using the broth as a sauce and dipped the noodles and then ate them; then progressed to putting the noodles into the broth and eating it as a soup.

The dip ramen was good but I confess to preferring the Chicken Miso Ramen, among the Genuine Ramens. It was made with chicken broth, green onions, thin noodles and grilled chicken.  The miso broth was intensely flavored and the thinner noodles were less chewy than the dipping version, which I find preferable. 

Dip ramens are $9 and genuine ramens are $8.  All in all I can see the chicken miso ramen joining my regular rotation of casual inexpensive spots.  As a bonus, the restaurant is open very late.  Ikemen is small, fewer than a dozen seats at tables and two counter areas.  No fuss, reasonably priced, delicious and friendly service.

Ikemen: 1655 N. La Brea, Hollywood.  Phone: (323) 800-7669.  Website:

Watch Out For The Volcano & Other Adventures at Trader Sam's

Adjacent to the Tangaroa Terrace restaurant and the pool at the Disneyland Hotel lies one of Disneyland's newest attractions, Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar.  The tiki extravaganza opened in late May and is a small jewel box of a bar with elaborate tiki decorations, good natured staff and a take on tiki cocktail classics.

Visiting Trader Sam's is most of all an experience, not just a place for cocktails.  The drinks while good are not outstanding but the overall ambiance is excellent.  The folks who brought you the charm of the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland created their version of a tiki bar, with tons of decorations and the friendly attitude of all "castmembers."

The Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum was recommended to me by Rumdood and so it was the first beverage I sampled.  This take on a pina colada is made with reserve rum, cream of coconut, pineapple and orange juices, and dusted liberally with nutmeg and cinnamon.  This drink did not trigger any magic, except in the glass.

The Uh Oa! (above) is described as "whoever is brave enough to conjure up this concoction cursed by Uh Oa, the tiki goddess of disaster, must be forewarned: When you mess with Polynesia, the tiki gods will squeeze ya (often with a lime)!"  It is made with light and dark rums, orange, passion fruit, guava and grapefruit juices, Falernum, cinnamon, and freshly squeezed lime juice.  As the cinnamon was thrown on to the fire, it sent up more flames.  The crowd joined in a chant of "Uh Oa!" until the fire went out.

Several drinks trigger brief shows.  When patrons order the Krakatoa Punch, the lights go down and a volcano erupts.  Even more spectacularly, when guests order the Shipwreck on the Rocks, the ship in the bottle above the back bar encounters a storm and sinks.  There are other tricks and surprises that I will leave for you to discover for yourself.

Trader Sam's is an oasis within the Disneyland Resort: real drinks, not too crowded, fun vibe.  Its location off by the pool helps to keep it hidden.  A recommended part of any visit to Disneyland.  It has the kooky elements that you want in a tiki bar, but kicked up a notch by the animatronics wizardry of Disney imagineers.

Trader Sam's is open all day until 1:30 am and serves food from the adjoining Tarangoa Terrace.

Disneyland Hotel: 1150 Magic Way, Anaheim, CA.  Website here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Brunch by Way of the Mediterranean

Momed, the Modern Mediterranean restaurant and cafe on South Beverly Drive, recently added a prix fixe brunch ($14.50) on the weekends that includes a choice of brunch entree and either orange juice or Intelligentsia single origin coffee.  The brunch selections are not your standard fare of scrambled eggs or pancakes but variations of what might be found on breakfast tables in Turkey and the Levant. 

The most familiar offering may be the Challah French Toast prepared with house-made challah, date syrup, and a fruit salad of sliced bananas, dates and nuts.  The fresh challah was light and airy and the date syrup added a rich element to the dish.  The fruit provided a refreshing counterpoint.

The Khachapouri may be the most unusual breakfast offering.  These traditional breakfast flatbreads are offered in two varieties: Kaseri cheese, scrambled eggs and onions with dried mint and sumac or Spicy soujuk sausage, scrambled eggs, Halloumi cheese and kalamata olives.  Soujuk is a spicy dried ground beef sausage that is the breakfast meat of the Eastern Mediterranean.  The soujuk version was delicious with the warm flaky bread filled with the mixture of cheese, sausage and eggs.  This dish is sharable and a recommended part of your brunch visit.  

The other option I particularly recommend is the Shashuka, eggs baked over oven roasted tomatoes, peppers and onions.  The dish was served at the table in a skillet and the tomatoes dominated the flavor but that was fine.  The dish is seasoned with spiced and is hearty and flavorful without being too heavy.

In addition to the classic Intelligentsia Coffee, Momed makes a mean Turkish Coffee (above) if you want a pick-me-up to begin your morning.  And if you want a sweet bite to send you on the road, the baklava (below) is a nice option.  Stick with the standard type however, as the butterscotch version was not as good.  The classics are classics for a reason.

Other options for the Prix Fixe brunch are Skillet Omelettes with your choice of fillings (including barrel aged feta), Breakfast Hand Roll with eggs, Akawi cheese, Aleppo chili, tomatoes and mint in a pita, or the Mediterranean Morning Plate with barrel aged feta, halvah, labneh, olives, cucumber, tomatoes and honey with pita and preserves.

A tasty way to begin the weekend, no matter what you choose.  Best of all if your brunch companions are in a sharing mood you can try them all.

Momed: 233 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills.  Phone: 310.270.4444 | Website:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Le Comptoir at Tiara Cafe: Gary Menes Amazing Pop-up

Gary Menes, the talented and peripatetic chef has alighted for a spell at Tiara Cafe, hosting his pop-up restaurant Le Comptoir during dinner service when the restaurant is otherwise closed.  The 12 seats at this restaurant are at the counter, hence the name of the pop-up.  The experience of dining at the counter is intimate as you can watch the chefs prepare your meal while you sit side by side with your fellow diners.

I had first heard of Chef Menes from Jo of My Last Bite who raved about his cooking.  I never made it to Marche or Palihouse when he was there and finally managed to taste his food for the first time on a recent Friday evening at Le Comptoir.    The menu is 5 courses for $46 and is vegetarian.  Diners have the option of swapping out one course for foie ($18 supplement) and another for meat ($5 supplement).

The meal began with an amuse of beet above lime pudding.

The house-made bread was excellent; this is not a restaurant for carb-phobes, as the bread is all but irresistible with a great crust. 

1st course: Corn soup: sierra gold potato, french shallot, corn veloute, farinette, yogurt, celery.  The corn veloute was remarkable.  One of my favorite dishes of the year.  I love corn and the consistency of the soup was wonderful with the sweetness of the corn shining through.  The tableside service of the pouring of the soup was also dramatic and reminiscent of restaurants like Jean Georges.  The best soup I have had in a very long time.

The alternate selection for the first course is the foie gras terrine.  It was rich and spread nicely on the bread but given a choice between having the foie or the soup, I'd choose the soup.  I never thought I'd say that corn soup wins over foie, but Chef Menes has a way with vegetables and soups and it would be a shame to miss whatever soup he makes that evening.

2nd course: A signature dish at the pop-up is the Sunny Side-up Egg with young lettuce, herbs and sorrel jus.  The lettuce and butter arrive first and then a hot pan sizzling with the egg inside.  We were instructed to add the butter then the herbs and lettuce and mix together.  I enjoyed this but I found that by the time I added all of the ingredients, the yolk had solidified due to the heat of the pan.  I am not sure if that was the intent or not, but I recommend mixing up the yolk when this dish arrives so you can experience it still runny.

Lettuces, herbs, butter
Egg in pan
Complete dish
3rd course: Cauliflower, faro picolo, grapes, leeks, apples.  Again this dish is deceptively simple.  A vegetarian dish with grains, sweet apples and grapes and the roasted cauliflower.  There was a lot of flavor on the plate, including the dramatic leeks.

4th Course: Wagyu filet and 72-hr braised short rib, hearts of romaine, carrots, forbidden rice, currant relish.  ($5 supp).  The charred romaine had a great texture and the wagyu, both filet and short rib was dripping with intense flavor and richness.  The carrots added a note of sweetness to the dish and enlivened the plating as if they were monoliths on the plains of my plate.

5th course: Sourdough donut holes, cinnamon sugar, nutella, candied walnuts.  I didn't love the sourness of the donut but did enjoy the nutella.  Again the plating is just so.

There is an optional four course wine pairing for $24 and otherwise your only other decision is whether you want the soup or the foie, and the meat or the vegetable, which on the evening I was there was blue hubbard squash, brussels sprouts, dried cherry marmalade, smoked scallions, santa barbara chanterelles, spanish padron peppers.

Le Comptoir is open Thursday - Saturday and has three seatings nightly, at 6 pm, 8 pm and 10 pm.  Reservations can be made by emailing
Follow Chef Menes on Twitter @garymenes

It has already made Jonathan Gold's 99 Essential Restaurants.  Le Comptoir may be ephemeral, but it is well worth finding.  Get while the getting is good, else you will have missed out.

Tiara Cafe: 127 E. 9th Street, between Main and Los Angeles Sts., DTLA

Monday, November 14, 2011

How You Been Doon Lately? Randall Graham of Bonny Doon Comes to Pinot Bistro

Next Monday evening Randall Grahm, the iconoclastic winemaker behind the Santa Cruz winery Bonny Doon, will be hosting a dinner paired with his wines at Pinot Bistro in Studio City.  Grahm is known for his focus on natural wines and following his ideas, even when they are ahead of the curve.  He isn't afraid to speak his mind, so this should be an interesting as well as delicious evening.

Pinot Executive Chef Steven Mary has created a six course tasting menu to complement the Bonny Doon wines.  The dinner and pairings are priced at $85.  Grahm is a Los Angeles native and graduated from Beverly Hills High School before attending UC Santa Cruz.  He has been a leading advocate for using screw caps on wine bottles instead of cork, so don't be surprised that all of his wines can be opened without a corkscrew.  Reverence for the grapes and the finished wine, without undue reverence for tradition is a hallmark of Grahm and his wines.

The menu for Monday November 21st is below.  Consider the dinner to be the kickoff to your Thanksgiving week:

Canapé Reception
¿Querry? Apple/Pear/Quince Hard Sparkling Cider, 2010
Seared Day Boat Scallop, Cauliflower Mousseline,
Roasted Cauliflower Florets, Kumquats, Vanilla Essence
DEWN Riesling to Live, 2006
Spiced Autumn Squash Risotto, Smoked Duck Breast
Le Cigare Blanc, 2008
Pan-Roasted Arctic Char, Cauliflower “Cous Cous,”
Roasted Beets, Blistered Grapes, Caper Vinaigrette
DEWN Pinot Noir Normale, 2005
Red Wine Braised Short Rib, Boudin Noir
Pommes Forchet, Brussels Sprouts
DEWN Bien Nacido Syrah, 2007
Grilled Lamb Loin, Grape Must Gratin, White Bean
and Winter Wilted Greens Ragoût, Thyme Jus
Le Cigare Volant Magnum, Library release
Cheese Trio
Pumpkin Panna Cotta, Gingerbread Cookie Crumble
Le Vol des Anges, 2007
DEWN Viognier Port, 2001

Randall Grahm (right) at the Natural Wine Symposium in 2010
Pinot Bistro: 12969 Ventura Blvd, Studio City.  Phone: (818) 990-0500.  Website:
Reserve ahead if you plan to attend this dinner

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ladies, Start Your Engines: Speed Rack Comes to the Roosevelt

Cocktails, Food, Beer, Punch, Charity? Check to all of those at Speed Rack Los Angeles, taking place this Sunday afternoon from 3 - 7 pm at the Blossom Room in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.  This benefit pits some of LA's best female bartenders against each other in a competition to see who can make cocktails accurately in the least amount of time.  Dr. Cocktail himself, Mr. Ted Haigh, will be one of the four judges.

Tickets are only $20 in advance ($25 at the door) and all proceeds go to fight Breast Cancer.  Yes, thanks to the generosity of sponsors, 100% of the proceeds go to charity. Competitors include the Spare Room at the Roosevelt's own Naomi Schimek, as well as Danielle Crouch of Cana Rum Bar, Devon Tarby of The Varnish, Kiowa Bryan of the Eveleigh, and Mia Sarazen of Harvard & Stone among others; in total 18 women will compete.  This promises to be quite a party.  Ivy Mix and Lynette Marrero of LUPEC (Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails) in New York are the hosts and organizers of Speed Rack, which is stopping in cities coast to coast to raise funds for charity and showcase the talents of female bartenders.


The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel: 7000 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tequila Against Cancer: This Sunday at the Next Door Lounge

Tequila maven Enrico Caruso was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer.  Caruso has helped spread the gospel of organic liquor and tequila in particular, first at 4 Copas and now at Infinium Spirits.  In recognition of all Caruso has done for the industry, bartender Christine England has organized a benefit event to raise money to help Enrico and his family during their time of need.  Caruso, who has advocated for green and organic production of liquor, is known as a health nut and as a non-smoker, his diagnosis was especially surprising and as the father of two young children, particularly devastating.  

The Tequila Against Cancer benefit will be held at Next Door Lounge this Sunday November 13th, from 1 - 5 pm.  Tickets are $40 in advance via the website, or can be purchased at the door.  Tickets get you a tasting of five different tequilas and some Mexican snacks and best of all knowing you are helping to support a member of the Los Angeles cocktail community.  

The tequilas included are the good stuff: Herradura, Fortaleza, Casa Noble, Milagro & Milagro Barrel Select, Alquima and Karma.  In addition to sipping them neat, Zahra Bates of Providence will be making cocktails.  Attendees will also have the chance to win the door prize, a trip to Mexico to tour a tequila distillery.  There will also be the opportunity to drink tequila cocktails made by some of LA's most talented bartenders including host Joe Brooke.  Whether you attend or not, you can also help by bidding in the online auction for all sorts of cool items including cocktail lessons from Joe Brooke, punch and bowling at the Spare Room, and a tequila tasting at Mas Malo in downtown.

Attend the event, make a donation or bid on an item.  You can learn more at the Tequila Against Cancer website:

Tequila Against Cancer
Next Door Lounge
1154 N. Highland Avenue, Hollywood
Sunday November 13th: 1 - 5 pm

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Moustache Madness Tonight at the Spare Room

In honor of Movember (formerly known as November), the Spare Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is hosting a benefit tonight.  The Movember movement raises money for prostate cancer research through guys growing mustaches for the month.  For the rest of this month, the Spare Room will be featuring a mo-cocktail with the proceeds going to the Movember Foundation.

The festivities kick off tonight with the benefit event featuring music from Warpaint, Tim Nordwind of OK GO DJing and actress Malin Akerman hosting.  So rock your stache and get to the Spare Room tonight.  Be among the first to try the mo-cocktail.  Channel your inner Tom Selleck; it's for a good cause. 

Below is a great Movember video from Google Chrome

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

L..A. Loves Alex's Lemonade Stand - this Sunday

The culmination of the the food festival season that began in June with Taste of the Nation concludes this Sunday at Culver Studios for the 2nd annual L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade Stand.  The event, a fundraiser to fight pediatric cancer, is spearheaded by the Lucques / AOC team of Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne, and Goin's husband David Lentz of The Hungry Cat troika.  The event will be held Sunday November 6th from 1 p 4 pm; tickets are $175 or $400 for VIP.  No tickets will be sold at the door.

In addition to Styne, Goin & Lentz, participating chefs include a who's who of Los Angeles chefs as well as several high profile friends who are flying in, including Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in New York.  Other chefs flying in for the fundraiser include some of the best regarded female chefs in the country including April Bloomfield of the Spotted Pig in New York, Maria Hines of Tilth in Seattle, Gabrielle Hamilton of Pru in New York and Susan Spicer of Bayona in New Orleans.

The LA contingent is no less star studded and includes Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook from Animal, Michael Cimarusti of Providence, Nancy Silverton and Matt Molina of Mozza, Neal Fraser of Grace, and Zoe Nathan of Huckleberry, among many others.  Click here for a full list of participating chefs.  The talent is pretty incredible for one event, particularly one in only its second year of operation.

For the cocktail contingent, there is also plenty to delight including Neal Bodenheimer from CURE in New Orleans, Greg Lindgren from Rye in San Francisco and Eric Alperin of The Varnish in Downtown Los Angeles.  If the fruit of the vine is more your style, over 30 wineries and importers will be represented, so it will be impossible not to drink well at Alex's Lemonade Stand.

The festivities will be emcee'd by Jimmy Kimmel and honorary co-hosts Neil Patrick Harris and his partner David Burtka will be in attendance.  Don't forget to bring your checkbook for the silent auction.

If you want to get the most out of this event, I recommend that you purchase the Thrillest VIP pass, which entitles you to enter an hour early (11 AM instead of 12 Noon) and includes a special mixology session with Eric Alperin of the Varnish.  Alperin is one of the modern masters of cocktails, so this is a unique opportunity as well as a great deal.  The Thrillest VIP option is only $225, vs $400 for a standard VIP admission ticket, so support a good cause and eat and drink to your heart's content all at the same time.

Giving back to the community was never so delicious.

L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade Stand: Website
Thrillest VIP Tickets

Culver Studios: 9336 Washington Blvd, Culver City