|South Lake District, Pasadena's "other" Old Town|
October is National Pasta Month, and that means you need to free pasta at Scarpetta. Wait, before you rush the doors at the Montage Beverly Hills, it's not quite free. But you will get a complimentary sample of light and fluffy gnudi with your meal every Sunday night throughout the month. Spaghetti + gnudi = filling Sunday (225 N. Canon Dr.; 310-860-7970).
Lola's, which brought the world the Apple Martini, now has a four-course menu with martini pairings. Think: Crab cakes and slaw with a pear-infused martini; a Napoleon with duck carnitas, apples and butternut squash with a Blueberry Hill; and a whole-wheat pizza with steak, peppers, brie and guava barbecue sauce with cucumber-mint lemonade. Even dessert has its own sipper - a cherry martini alongside German chocolate cake tiramisu. The menu is available every Wednesday and Thursday (tonight!); $45 per person (945 N. Fairfax Ave.; 323-654-5652).
Depending on traffic, Pasadena and Venice can feel like opposite ends of the earth. But both cities celebrate their little enclaves this weekend with food and drink events. On Saturday (11 AM-4 PM), the Taste of South Lake is basically a big block party with food from local restaurants (skip the chains like Souplantation and shoot for Trattoria Neapolis, Lemonade, Celestino and Magnolia Lounge), a beer and wine garden, live music and specials at local shops. And there's that cool old Macy's to check out, too. On Sunday (3-6:30 PM), the Taste of Abbot Kinney is a walking tour through places like Abbot's Pizza, Primitivo, FEED Boy & Soul and Joe's. Drinks will be had. Add the VIP reception for a pre-party that includes even more food and drink, plus life music. Tickets are $60 for walking tour, $100 for tour and VIP reception.