Liquid Tuesday: It's LA Food & Wine Fest Week

If you're looking for something to do this week, here's all you need to know: it's LA Food & Wine Festival time. The second annual event brings together a rambunctious mix of celebrity chefs, food TV personalities and local favorites. Top it all off with more than a few events centered around wine, sake, beer and cocktails, and you're likely to have a Monday hangover that stretches from Beverly Hills to LA Live. Which happens to be exactly how far the city-wide LA Food & Wine Festival stretches. If all of that sounds like too much to handle, there are a few other craft beer events that will you keep you away from the crush of people at the festival, but night not let you avoid crowds altogether.

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First up in the LA Food & Wine line up is Eater's downtown Asian Night Market, taking over the ground space at LA Live. Hosted by TV's Andrew Zimmern, the event is mixing big names with local Asian favorites for an eclectic evening of fish sauce and MSG. With all that salty goodness sure to make you thirsty, organizers have set up a few different drink booths, hawking everything from sake to beer to wine. But if you're looking for a higher-class beverage, point your Rolls Royce in the direction of Beverly Hills, last bastion of the privileged! There, atop the Montage on haughty Canon Drive, you can experience an evening replete with French Champagne (is there truly any other?) and delicate caviars, while staring down at the poor souls who merely eke out a hard-scrabble living.

If you happen to be one of those lower-class folk, maybe a night of beer drinkin' and elephant starin' is right up your alley. In which case, Brew at the LA Zoo is exactly what you're looking for. It'll likely still be crowded (last year's was a zoo for very different reasons), but with an array of craft beer purveyors on hand (Cismontane, anyone? Stone?) and monkeys climbing all around you, the wait might not seem so bad. Another fine beer drinkin' time is coming your way on Sunday, thanks to the Blue Palms Brewhouse and their four year anniversary. The was-then-wasn't-then-thankfully-was-again space is going stronger than ever, and they're planning on an all day blowout to prove it. Expect a beer garden, live music and an extensive taplist from the best breweries around.

But if I know you (and believe me, I don't), you're going to want to mellow out your weekend with a few sips of prime vino and nice conversation with friends. Well, if you've got a drunkard's thirst and a few thousand friends, the Lexus Grand Tasting might be just what you're asking for. Over 200 wineries and dozens of celebrity chefs are converging on LA Live for the final night of the LA Food & Wine Festival. Drinks will be poured, close-quarter conversations will be had, and your weekend will finally be fulfilled.

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