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CULINARY OCCASIONS
That was TASTE-Y

Think love was in the air on Friday night? Nah, it was just garlic.

The L.A. Times and Food & Wine joined forces this weekend to bring The Taste a city-wide food festival to Los Angeles. 9 different events took place over four days this weeked from Beverly Hills to Downtown and allowed attendees to sample offerings from some of the city’s best restaurants. And not to be outdone by the edible offerings, foodie circuit stars like Giada DeLaurentiis and Duff Goldman were on-hand to mingle with guests provide that “authentic culinary festival” feeling.

DAILY BITES
David Chang is a Model Who Knows How to Read

With the weather mourning the end of summer on this wet Tuesday, all we want to do right now is get back into bed. And maybe get tucked in with a nice story told to us by... David Chang?!

Yes, the Momofuku mogul wants to share a tale with you (and 900 others) on Septemeber 13 as part of “MOTH Eaten: Adventures in Food.” The Moth, a literary organization that “is dedicated to the art and craft of story-telling,” will feature Chang, as well as other foodie notables, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons and The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik, as they relay food-focused experiences. And, according to The Feast, the entire event will be “without notes,” as per the group’s regular policy to remain unscripted. Tickets for the salty evening, which will be held at The Great Hall at Cooper Union, can be purchased here.

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Mmm...Beer!

A few season ago, Angelo Sosa was thisclose to winning Top Chef. And while that didn’t happen, his flair for exotic updates on Southeast Asian food (and his flair for unfashionably tight jeans) has remained in our memory.

Finally, a chance to sample some of Sosa’s spicy eats is available to Angelenos (completely accidental pun, here) at SmithHouse Tap and Grill. Sosa’s presence elevates the space from standard pub-style food and the 100+ beers on tap don’t hurt the experience either.

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Barcade Philly (Almost) Open

Remember your first love?

Small, feisty and a damn good eater. She’s back.

We’re talking about Ms. Packman. Why? What did you think?

Finally you can have your beers and play video games too at the soon-to-be-open Barcade Philadelphia, the Brooklyn-based chain that aims to open in about three weeks.

The space quietly opened its doors for The Feast, who noted the space’s “24 taplines of American craft beer and a hand pump.” Along with the local brew, the spot will also feature “handheld” food (sandwiches, wraps and other pop-able bites) so you can keep your other fingers free for a console.

DAILY BITES
Chew On This

Way back in April, ABC announced plans to cancel forever-running soap opera All My Children and replace it with their new food-focused talk show, The Chew. The show will feature a “rotating cast” of chefs including Mario Batali, Michael Symon and former Top Chef-er Carla Hall. Rounding out the foodie fodder will be nutrition expert Daphne Oz (yes, she is related to that Oz) and entertaining expert (and What Not To Wear alum) Clinton Kelly. More promising, the show will be produced by Gordon Elliot, the man behind such other food favorites as Paula Deen’s Home Cooking and Down Home with the Neelys.

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Just Opened: 3 New Restaurants to Try

We hate to admit it, but Fall is almost here. And while the end of summer makes us want to cry into our empty margarita glasses, it also ushers in a slew of restaurant openings. So make your reservations and mourn the loss of your tan because thoughts of spiked apple cider and hot toddies are about the only things getting us over the end summer.

Cafe de la Esquina- The famed Nolita restaurant, La Esquina, heads to Williamsburg to transform the former Wythe Diner. Expected to be similar to its original location, the new space promises the same gourmet Mexican street food offered up in the Soho space as well as 100 tequilas. Yes, 100 tequilas. Divided among three spaces, the new spot houses an old school diner, a taqueria window and a dimly lit back room that seems like a good place to get lost in after a rousing tequila sampling. 225 Wythe Ave (btwn N 3rd Street and Metropolitan Ave) Brooklyn, NY 11211

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Opens

It's official. The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf has opened its doors in NYC and New Yorkers no longer need to move to LA to get an Iced Blended.

The California-based coffee company, that is sure to leave high-brow java hipsters with a bad taste in their mouths, has been comfortably living in sunny So Cal (and Nor Cal, too) for the past 50 years but has FINALLY popped up in New York. Lovingly referred to as "The Bean" by in-the-know customers and publications alike, Coffee Bean's NYC location is in the heart of the Fashion District at 39th and Broadway.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Buon Compleanno Eataly!

You know it's loud, a bit fussy and- sometimes- smells of cheese. So? What 1-year-old doesn't share these qualities?

Of course, the toddler in question is Eataly, Italian megastore/designer food hall that has been supplying the city with just-made mozzarella and fresh pasta since August 31, 2010. In celebration of Eataly's first birthday, the six restaurants in the space will welcome diners for a single course at each restaurant. All dishes will be accompanied by a wine pairing. Attendees will travel in groups of 40 and can buy tickets for a single seating from 5:00pm to 9:30pm. According to the company's latest Facebook posting, there are still spots available at a number of the seatings, however space is very limited so call or check their website immediately if interested.

CULINARY OCCASIONS
Well Thanks, Hef!

It’s time to grab your silk pajamas and your pipe. Playboy Enterprises Inc. has announced plans to reopen Chicago’s Playboy Club a few blocks away from its original location.

DAILY BITES
Hurricane Special at Greensquare Tavern

Starting to remember what the city felt like when supermarket shelves were stocked with bread and bananas? So are we. And despite the rather clever artistic statements that followed “the Hurricane of the Century” we’re ready for the city to get back to normal.