By Jill Weinlein, 5/01/2014
Grand Opening of Blaze Pizza
Blaze in the original Farmers Market location officially opens today. They are offering free build-your-own artisanal pizzas to Blaze Pizza’s Facebook fans from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. The 45 seat fast-casual restaurant has an outdoor patio on the North Market building. Pizzas are baked in less than 180 seconds. Each restaurant makes its own dough from scratch using a recipe that requires a 24-hour fermentation period to produce its signature light-as-air, crisp crust. Blaze Pizza’s menu also features signature salads, fresh lemonades, and house-made s’more pies. For pizza fans with specific dietary needs, Blaze Pizza offers gluten-free dough and vegan cheese. Go to www.facebook.com/blazepizza to be a fan and get your free pizza. 110 S. Fairfax Ave.
Kentucky Derby at Bar NINETEEN 12
The iconic Beverly Hills Hotel is hosting a fun-filled Kentucky Derby viewing party on Saturday, May 3 at 2 p.m. Complimentary whiskey tastings, courtesy of Evan Williams Distilleries, will be offered on the terrace from 2 to 4 p.m. Toast this year’s contenders by sampling signature mint juleps made with a double serving of Evan Williams, bourbon, mint, crushed ice and sugar and served in the traditional steel julep cup. Classic whiskey cocktails, such as old-Fashions, and Manhattans will be offered at the chic bar or the terrace overlooking Sunset Boulevard. Throughout the afternoon, guests are encouraged to enter a “Best Hat” contest and the lucky winner will receive brunch for four in the Polo Lounge. Once the race ends, the fun continues with a live band performing throughout the evening. 9641 Sunset Blvd. (310)273-1912.
Kentucky Derby at Coast
On May 3, for those who can’t make it to Churchill Downs for the live Kentucky Derby race, Coast offers a Southern California alternative with a special viewing menu that features Derby pie, bourbon and mint juleps. Brunch entrées include Virginia ham and aged Swiss cheese omelet with potatoes; lump crab Benedict with homestyle potatoes; lemon ricotta pancakes with fresh berries; BBQ pulled pork on ciabatta, and Kentucky hot brown with turkey, bacon, and béchamel. Desserts include Kentucky butter cake with whipped cream and a Derby pie with pecans, chocolate chips, and Bourbon. 1 Pico Blvd. (310)587-1707.
Willie Jane’s Derby Specials
Willie Jane’s will have a Kentucky Derby celebration with specialty mint juleps and a screening of the race on May 3. The Lemonade Stand opens on May 7 as Ryan Costanza showcases new sandwiches and salads that are perfect for takeaway lunch, a picnic or dining back at the office. Some of the new items at Willie Jane’s Lemonade Stand include a cold fried chicken topped with pimento cheese, pickles, cracklin’ and collard slaw on ciabatta. The Banh Mi has a country pate of candied pork belly. There is a homemade bologna sandwich with creole mustard and a grilled cheese with ale braised short rib and onion marmalade. Sides to accompany the sandwiches include Kimchi fingerling potato salad and an oatmeal cookie sandwich with mascarpone. 1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd. (310)392-2425.
Viva La Fiesta block party
On May 4, Tortilla Republic will distribute sombreros in an effort to break the world record for the greatest number of sombreros worn in one place. The restaurant will transform the lot behind the West Hollywood Library and West Hollywood Park into a fun party from 2 to 10 p.m. DJs Corey Craig, Aaron Elvis, and Dan Knapp will provide entertainment and there will be multiple outdoor bars, a dance floor and live mariachi band. Drink $6 margaritas while enjoying Mexican small plates. There will be a 50/50 raffle, and a VIP suite with bottle service. The restaurant will serve Mexican street corn on the cob and street tacos. A portion of the proceeds from the block party will benefit Alive Music Project and Project Angel Food. Tickets are $25 at the door and $45 for VIP. Tortilla Republic is located 616 N. Robertson Blvd. (310)657-9888.
Red O Cinco de Mayo
Mexican-inspired drink specials are available from Friday, May 2 through Monday, May 5 at both the Newport Beach and Melrose locations. The colors of the Mexican flag are represented in three new specially designed cocktails, inspired by “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” Guests will also enjoy $5 Modelo Especial and Negra Modelo beers by the bottle. Patrons celebrating on Sunday, May 4 will also be able to enjoy Red O’s popular brunch menu available from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring Rick Bayless’s signature upscale, light, and seasonal fresh cuisine. 8155 Melrose Ave. (323)655-5009 and 143 Newport Center Dr. (949)718-0300.
Cinco de Mayo Celebration
At Grand Central Market, Cinco de Mayo has an International spin with Mexican and BBQ cuisine and Thai tacos. Vendors have joined together to create a unique and lively celebration of culture, cuisine and community. Special Sunday and Monday Cinco de Mayo offers include a free taco at Villas Morelianas. Get 10 percent off the menu at Berlin Currywurst. Hawaii BBQ will offer free chicken and fish samples. Enjoy free ceviche samples at Lupita’s Seafood. There will be free lunchtime mariachi concerts given by local bands, and a free arts and crafts station for the kids at Little Junebugs on Sunday, May 4 from noon to 3 p.m. 317 S. Broadway (213)624-2378.
Rock and Reilly’s
This Saturday, May 3 is “Drinko de Mayo.” The Irish pub is celebrating the Mexican holiday with an Irish twist. Listen to a leprechaun mariachi band and feast on Irish nachos for $5. They will serve $5 margaritas, $5 Mother’s Milk whiskey, and $2 tacos. 8911 Sunset Blvd. (310)360-1400.
41 Ocean Cinco de Mayo celebration
Executive Chef Jimmy Martinez, formerly of BOA Steakhouse, has created a menu featuring Latin dishes such as shrimp and oyster ceviche, jumbo baked crab tamale, chorizo mussels, and grilled veggie soyriso handmade tacos. Pair these dishes with a Latin-infused ginger-smoke margarita. They serve 41 types of tequila. 1541 Ocean Ave #150, (310)566-3870.
Starting on Cinco de Mayo is “Tapas on the Terrace” served on the restaurant’s Mediterranean inspired Bar Centro Terrace. Every Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 7p.m., guests can enjoy a rotating selection of $8 modern tapas that include sweet potato chips, carrot fritters, and steam buns with uni and avocado. A limited selection of seasonal cocktails and wines by the glass will be offered for $8, along with an “endless” sangria for only $12 per person. 465 S. La Cienega Blvd., (310)246-5555.
Cinco de Mayo at Gracias Madre
All-day $5 drink and food specials will be served as guests enjoy a mariachi band from 5 to 7 p.m. Other live music will continuing playing until 9 pm. 8905 Melrose Ave. (323)978-2170.
The Tour de Pier
At The Strand House, Michael Zislis, Heath Gregory and chefs Greg Hozinsky and Austin Cobb have created a special healthy antioxidant and cancer-fighting menu for the upcoming Tour de Pier event. On May 1 to May 18, enjoy lunch at The Strand House and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Tour de Pier fundraising efforts. On May 18 there will be over 300 stationary bikes along The Strand right below The Strand House Restaurant and on the Manhattan Beach pier. This charity event attracts some of the South Bay’s best instructors and celebrity guests spinning riders through a four-hour session with great music. The deadline to register is May 4. Funds raised will go to three charities: The Hirshberg Foundation of Pancreatic Cancer Research, Livestrong Foundation and The Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach. Check in is May 18 at 7:30 a.m. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Manhattan Ave. and 10th Street at the pier and The Strand. Last year they raised $339,000 for local charities. There will be a Health & Fitness Expo and Kid’s Fun Zone with games, activities and entertainment. Please visit www.tourdepier.com 117 Manhattan Beach Blvd. (310)545-7470.
Movie Night at Pearl’s
Come to the Sunday Movie Night above the Sunset Strip. Every week, a different cult classic will be screened, accompanied by a food and beverage menu themed to that week’s film. Upcoming movies include: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, “Pretty in Pink”, “Sandlot”, “Anchorman” and “Footloose”. 8909 Sunset Blvd. (310)360-6800.
Sushi Roku Hollywood Wagyu Week
Today through Sunday, May 4, guests are invited to order various preparations and cuts of the perfectly marbled Wagyu meat. Highlights include carpaccio with Parmesan and avocado, robata skewers, Toban-yaki-style grilled over hot stones, and a tasting for two. The restaurant will also offer an assortment of raw sushi-style cuts, such as nigiri, tataki, tartare, and gunkan. 8445 W. Third St. (323)655-6767.
Union in Pasadena
Chef Bruce Kalman is teaming up with Grist & Toll for an intimate five-course dinner on Sunday, May 4 at 5 p.m. Kalman is excited to spotlight a number of their small batch, whole-grain milled fresh flours and grains in a uniquely crafted menu. Guests will have the opportunity to pair each course with wines from Habit Wine Company. The prix fixe menu is $85 per person with an additional $40 for the Habit Wine Pairing. 37 E. Union, Pasadena (626)795-5841.
Tostadas Lyonnaise Week at Kendall’s Brasserie and Bar
Taste a bit of summer with the culinary culture of Provence, France until Sunday, May 4. Dine à la Provence with a menu of Mediterranean ingredients, such as olive oil, fresh vegetables, garlic, goat cheese, seafood and herbs. Complement your culinary adventure with a selection of paired house-crafted rosé cocktail aperitifs and Provence wines served in carafes or by the bottle are available for enjoyment. Finish with a chocolate pear Charlotte with a vanilla poached pear, chocolate mousse and pistachio sauce. This special menu is served from 5 p.m. to closing.135 North Grand St. (213)972-7322.
Celebrating its fifth year in business, the fab-five anniversary menu features five signature dishes for only $5 for a limited time only. This anniversary special is available at the Beverly Hills location on Monday, May 5 from 3 to 8 p.m.
The M Café’s signature Big Macro is prepared with a house-made whole grain brown rice and vegetable patty and a choice of side salad or fries for $5. The M chopped salad and Teriyaki bowl with tempura or steamed seasonal vegetables and choice of tofu or salmon are only $5. Or try two salad combo selected from any deli salad on the menu for $5. 9433 Brighton Way, (310)858-8459.