Food Weekend: Sake Fest, "Vanishing of the Bees," Lawn-to-Garden, Blood & Dumplings


With the official start of summer just a few short weeks away, the food offerings and goings-on in L.A. are starting to come at a furious pace. So clear out your schedule, because there's a lot to get to this weekend.

Get your weekend started off drink-ily by heading downtown to Chaya for their Sake Festival. For 35 bucks/cannoli/smackeroons/fill-in-your-own-old-timey-money-slang-here, customers can try out over 25 (okay, exactly 26) different boutique sake creations. They can either be thrown down like a shot, or sipped while enjoying some bite-sized dishes prepared by chef Atushi Kenjo. To add to the atmosphere, traditional taiko drummers will be pounding out their beats through the night. The festival goes for two hours, from 6 p.m. through 8 p.m., and tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling 213-236-9577.

Friday night down at the Orange County Great Park, the Food for Thought film series continues with a screening of the documentary "The Vanishing of the BEES," a look at the increasingly alarming vanishing of honeybees, theories around why it's happenings, and what their loss means to the global food supply. Scary stuff. Better bring a blanket. (Also, you know, because it's an outdoor screening, and it may get a tad chilly.) Food trucks will be on hand to provide all with mid-movie noshing.

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Saturday morning down in Long Beach, the city's water department is holding its first Long Beach Lawn-to-Garden Tour. The self-guided tour will show 30 homes that have taken part in the city's Lawn-to-Garden program, an initiative that provides incentives for homeowners to remove their grass lawns in lieu of more California-friendly landscapes. What exactly does that mean? Take the tour and find out! First, go to the site, sign up, and get a map of the tour. You're going to need that map to guide yourself, after all.

On Sunday, the Blood & Dumplings bus tour takes off from Nick's Cafe downtown and travels into the San Gabriel Valley for the craziest crime stories you're ever going to hear. The tour celebrates some of the weirdest crimes and odd stories from the SGV, including Phil Spector's castle, the bar where James Ellroy's murdered mother drank her last drink, and the mysterious story of the Man from Mars Bandit. And -- seeing as this is the food section and all -- the tour also comes with a selection of dumplings from one of the area's best restaurants. Tickets are a tab pricey at $62 per, but blood and guts are not for free, people!

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

[Photo by non-bloody dumplings from Flickr user TheDeliciousLife.]

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