Many worthy food festivals celebrate the diversity of Los Angeles by offering all kinds of cooking under one banner. Events like the L.A. Street Food Fest, 626 Night Market and the Los Angeles Times' the Taste provide opportunities to sample high and low cuisine, local favorites, globally inspired fare, and more. But sometimes a particular dish is so tantalizing it deserves a festival unto itself, a place where the devoted can indulge in the singular pleasures of a favorite food. This week offers three such festivals, dedicated to lobster, ramen and fried chicken. Also on the agenda are an exploration of literature and hip-hop and the final screening of one of L.A.'s biggest outdoor movie series.
The Blank Page: Literature, Hip-Hop and Freedom
Tuesday, Sept. 10, 7:15 p.m., at the Central Library
The writer, filmmaker, poet and professor M.K. Asante has come a long way from the gritty corners of what he and his friends called Killadelphia, Pistolvania, but his story goes beyond the simple narrative of a kid from the hood making good. It's messier than that -- he grew up as the son of a prominent Afrocentric professor and the brother of a respected gang member, for example -- and also more interesting. Asante will discuss his story, as recounted in the new memoir "Buck," with Jeff Chang, the author of "Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation." A reception will follow in the library courtyard.
Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival
Friday, Sept. 13-Sunday, Sept. 15, at Ports O' Call Village
What better place to feast on steamed lobster and all the trimmings than San Pedro's quaint, New England-style village? Well, New England, perhaps -- but the Lobster Fest is a solid runner-up, one that's 3,000 miles closer and also features live music, dancing, street performers, a pirate camp, shopping and more. The lobsters are flown in fresh from Maine each day and served with cole slaw, potatoes, bread, lemon wedges and buttery dipping sauce. For extra style points, grab one of the signature claw-adorned red hats.
Ramen Yokocho Fest
Saturday, Sept. 14, and Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center
It wasn't long ago that ramen was synonymous with flash-dried blocks of instant noodles and powdered seasoning packets, at least in the U.S. In recent years, however, real ramen -- the stuff with rich broth, springy noodles and carefully composed toppings -- has exploded in popularity and become something of a cult food. This weekend, noodle fiends will convene for the inaugural Ramen Yokocho Fest, where local and visiting restaurants will sling bowls of spicy miso, black mapo, seafood and other flavors of ramen, plus a take on the latest food fad: the ramen burger.
Eat See Hear
Saturday, Sept. 14, 8:30 p.m., at Los Angeles State Historic Park
This series combining three of the Southland's favored attractions -- food trucks, outdoor movie screenings and live music -- wraps up its second season with John Hughes' teen classic "The Breakfast Club," starring Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy. Featured food trucks include Currywurst, Schmuck Truck, Luck Dish and Coolhaus, and indie rockers L.A. Font will perform before the movie. (They'll be at the Lobster Fest on Friday too.)
Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival
Sunday, Sept. 15, 4 p.m. at Lot 613
Still hungry? Chances are you won't be after 11 of L.A.'s top chefs serve up their interpretations of the classic American comfort food -- fried chicken -- and sides. The star-studded roster includes Susan Feniger of Street, Bryant Ng of the Spice Table, David LeFevre of M.B. Post and Ricardo Zarate of Mo-Chica, to name a few. Firestone Walker Brewing Co. will pour craft beers to wash it all down, and McConnell's Fine Ice Creams and Sugarbloom Bakery will satisfy sweet tooths.
For more options this week and every week, go to kcet.org/events.
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