Liquid Tuesday: It's Downtown's Time to Shine

Depending on your point of view, this week is either a great or terrible time to be living in downtown Los Angeles. With three full-on festivals and a popular craft beer night popping up all in the next few days, Little Tokyo and the Arts District are going to be absolutely mobbed. That is, if Union Station's ultra-popular East LA Meets Napa series doesn't draw everyone away.

It all starts Wednesday evening, when Little Tokyo's Spitz döner kebab shop turns over their taps to Norm Stackhouse from San Diego's Stone Brewing. They'll be running promotions all night long, including an $11 döner & a draft deal that gets you any one of the rare Stone beers on tap and a sandwich or wrap for just over ten bucks. That's not bad, and it gets even better if you're one of the first 50 customers, because you get to keep the Stone glass your beer is poured in.

The very next night, Little Tokyo really comes to life, thanks to the sixth annual Sake & Tofu Tasting event at Vibiana LA. The pricey fete features a slew of rare sakes and other libations, all paired with different tofu tasters and assorted bites. Just down the street at Union Station, the East LA Meets Napa event will be kicking off on Friday. Some of the best Latino-owned wineries in California join forces with the best Mexican cuisine that the Eastside has to offer, including Guisados, Cook's Tortas, El Tepayec and many, many more.

If you feel like making a weekend of it downtown, save Saturday for Bloomfest. Located in the Arts District a few blocks away, the open outdoor event will feature a wide variety of crafts and art projects to the public. Local businesses like the ever-popular Wurstkuche plan on feeding the hordes and drowning them with beer as best they can. If the idea of so much going on downtown in one long weekend gives you the hives, make an early trip all the way out to Redlands, where the Hangar 24 crew is laying it all out for Belgian Independence Day. The tap room opens at 11am and will feature a rotation of many of the brewery's Belgian-inspired beers, including their popular Summer Ale. The Crispy Waffle & Frite truck will be on hand to keep you fed.

Sure, it's probably going to be crowded downtown this weekend, but don't the masses scare you. These are some of the best food and drink events of the summer season, and they're absolutely worth making the trip for. Otherwise, you'll probably just end up in your tepid kiddie pool on your front lawn again, drinking Miller High Life and yelling at the neighbor's dog.

Photo courtesy via Flickr.

For more food and drink events visit kcet.org/events/food.

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About the Author

Farley Elliott is a freelance food writer and comedian. He currently writes for KCET.org, SeriousEats.com, LAist.com, and L.A. Weekly. You can catch Farley doing comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Hollywood.
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