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The Best Food and Drink Events in June and July

Chefs Sake Dinner, Beer & Sake Festival, and Wing Fest
Herb & Wood | Photo: Sam Wells

By Troy Johnson

Chefs Sake Dinner

When: June 18, 6:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m.

Where: Herb & Wood, 2210 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy

Chef Brian Malarkey and partner/GM Chris Puffer are on a good run. Herb & Wood and Herb & Eatery are runaway successes in Little Italy. Their next project, Animae, will be an ode to Asian cuisines, a $5.5 million venture that will anchor the Bosa condo thing going at Pacific Coast Highway and Broadway. They made news when they hired chef Joe Magnanelli away from his decade-long tenure at Cucina Urbana to head up the kitchen. And this dinner will be a preview, with Magnanelli cooking alongside Anthony Pascale (chef-owner of Saiko Sushi) as well as Malarkey and Herb & Wood pastry chef Adrian Mendoza. It’s a five-course meal with sake pairings.

Cost: $125

Beer & Sake Festival

When: June 13, 7 p.m.

Where: USS Midway Museum, 910 North Harbor Drive, Embarcadero

It would be a bit asinine to say sake “has arrived,” since it’s been a staple of Japanese culture for centuries. But in terms of the US, it’s very much arriving. It was formerly drunk hot and fast with a pinch of the nose at sushi restaurants, but places like BeShock Ramen in San Diego are educating diners and drinkers on the huge variety and subtlety and grace of the drink—every bit as nuanced as wine or whiskey. This festival is a hell of a way to get to know the rice wine and finally make that long-intended visit to the aircraft carrier museum. It’s a fundraiser for the Japan Society, and will have local restaurants serving apps, breweries pouring beers and sake, and entertainment.

Cost: $40–$120

Wing Fest

When: June 22, 1–7 p.m.

Where: Broadway Pier, Embarcadero

Wings don’t have to be recently unfrozen chunks of meat sadness slathered in spicy bottled sauce to cover up their crimes. They can be roasted, twice-fried, made with good chicken and homemade sauces. They are the great American bar food, and they deserve more tender loving care than they’ve received. This festival does just that, pulling together a smattering of the city’s restaurants who’ve made their name on wings. You can go booth to booth, sampling a wing at each for just $1. They’ll also have DJs, a two-hour craft beer and spirit tasting, games, sauce tastings, and live music. The event raises money for Hearts of San Diego, which helps local nonprofits raise money.

Cost: $25–$45

The Best Food and Drink Events in June and July

Herb & Wood | Photo: Sam Wells

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