3/26/2012 11:59:00 AM

Los Angeles Dining Deals and Events March 26-April 1

Courtesy of Drago Centro
Meatless Monday has been part of American culinary culture since it was introduced during World War  I (along with "Wheatless Wednesday") in an effort to encourage voluntary rationing. Since 2003, it's been encouraged by the John Hopkins School of Public Health Center for a Livable Future, along with numerous other good health groups. You can become part of the movement at the various branches of Tender Greens, where they serve a Meatless Monday menu of heirloom tomato gazpacho, warm baby Swiss chard, white corn chowder with crispy okra, ricotta gnocchi, foraged mushrooms and peppers stuffed with Himalayan rice - and, of course, most of their salads.

They're serving FREE FOOD from 5:30-9:30 PM tonight at 2612 Main Street (at the corner of Ocean Park Avenue) in Santa Monica, as a celebration of the new BBC America TV food competition No Kitchen Required (essentially Top Chef meet Survivor, with three world-class chefs dropped in hostile environments where they have to cook what they can forage). BBC America plans to have 11 food trucks at the event - including Coolhaus, The Buttermilk Truck, Crepe’s Bonaparte, Don Chow Tacos, Frysmith, India Jones, The Lime Truck, The Lobsta Truck, Nom Nom, Ta Bom and The White Rabbit Truck. And at 7 PM, there'll be a showing of the first episode.  What is required is an online reservation - just click here to sign up. If you can't make it but want to watch the show, it premieres Tuesday, April 3 at 10/c on BBC America.

Golden Road brewmaster (and 30 Under 30 honoree) Jon Carpenter joins with Hangar 24 brewmaster Kevin Wright for a five-courser pairing their beers with dishes by Golden Road chef Adam Levoe at the Pub at Golden Road Brewing, with dishes like his citrus ceviche salad paired with Collaboration Valentin, and carnitas tostadas paired with Golden Road El Hefe Anejo (7 PM on; $50 per person; for reservations e-mail randy@goldenroad.la).

They're now serving a fine selection of seasonal cocktails at Downtown's Drago Centro - including an Airstream Libation (Pueblo Viejo Blanco Tequila, R. Jelinek Fernet, toasted coconut infused Demerara rum, kaffir lime leaves and egg white), and the insanely complex Night and the City (Hayman's Old Tom Gin, Bittermen's Hellfire Sauce, Miracle Mile Candy Cap Mushroom Bitters, heirloom tomato shrub, black pepper, squid ink syrup and fresh horseradish) - among many others, priced at $12 each (213-228-8998).

It's spring (in case you hadn't noticed). And edible greenery is beginning to sprout in the Blue Ribbon Roof Garden at Patina in Downtown LA, where Chef Tony Esnault is making dishes with his harvest of herbs like Shepherd's Purse, white and blue borage, chickweed, Okinawa spinach, Buckshorn plantains and violets -- in new spring harvest dishes like his chilled poached salmon with "pickled accoutrements," dandelion green raviolo, glazed vegetable mosaic, and butter poached Maine lobster with English peas. And we can hardly wait for the next round of hyssop, English daisy, cowslip primrose, , common mallow, blue chalksticks and more.

It's "Good Food Day-LA" Day according to an announcement by the Los Angeles Food Policy Council (...there's a Los Angeles Food Policy Council?), which includes a cabbage cooking contest at the Metabolic Studio (1745 N. Spring St., Downtown LA) at noon, followed by judging the best fermented cabbage dishes, the best cabbage salad dishes and the best cooked cabbage dishes - an event we really don't want to be down-wind from. For details and other events, go to www.goodfoodla.org. Otherwise, you know - go out and eat something...good.

In need of true indulgence? The Lobby Lounge at The Langham Huntington Pasadena offers a Sunday Afternoon Chocolate Tea from noon to 3 PM - including a selection of chocolate-obsessed dishes like a white chocolate and avocado mousse tea sandwich; a smoked salmon, roasted fennel and cocoa nib mousse tea sandwich; more than a dozen pastries; and a chocolate fountain ($59 for adults, $29.50 for children; 626-568-3900).

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