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The Best Food & Drink Events This Month: June-July, 2014

Beer and Sake Festival, Best Restaurants Kickoff Party, Death for Food Harvest and Feast

By Troy Johnson


WHEN: JUNE 13, 7-10PM

WHERE: Harrah’s Rincon, 777 Harrah’s Rincon Way, Valley Center, 760.751.3100

COST: $60-$180

MORE INFO: Harrah’s Beer and Sake Fest

This event has grown a bit. The brainchild of the Japanese Society of San Diego and Tijuana, the festival is your chance to learn all about the fermented beverages of the prefectures—plus local craft beers and food from local restaurants. The performer this year will be Jake Shimabukuro—the world’s most famous ukulele player (tiny guitar!). They’re offering a shuttle to-and-from San Diego for $20, but I’d book a room at the hotel, split a few eights and hang out with the people with the nice bone structure at their new pool.


WHEN: June 18, 6:30-8:30PM

WHERE: Pirch, 4545 La Jolla Village Dr., #1 (Westfield UTC mall), 858.966.3600

COST: $30-$50


I’m paid to say this. Actually, not specifically. I am paid by the people throwing this party, but they haven’t asked me specifically to tell you to go to this party. So consider this a half-ass full disclosure about my biased position. Regardless, I’d go to the “Best Restaurants” party. San Diego’s restaurant culture has grown and is growing every single year. The evolution is one hockey-stick spike after the next. And this party is the celebration of that culture (in Pirch, a modern cooking gadget emporium that tends to make cooks weep with lust). Everyone in the room is either a restaurant or a fan of them. It’s not a terribly easy occupation, turning dinner into an experience. Come show support.


WHEN: JULY 13, 10AM-10PM

WHERE: Finca Altazona, Valle De Guadalupe, Baja Mexico

COST: $185


Another disclaimer: I’m one of the core members of this project, and will speak at the dinner. I get no money. I’m taking part because I believe the philosophy/dinner/idea has the potential to change who you are as a person and eater. Death for Food is a whole-day collaboration of food people –photographer Jaime Fritsch, chef Javier Plascencia, Set + Drift creative agency, Monkey Paw Brewing, architect Manuel Martinez and myself. The idea? We’re going to explore connected eating. To be plainspoken: We’re going to kill our own dinner and spend an afternoon eating under an oak tree in Mexico talking about what that means, how it’s important, how it affects how we eat and how we live. A shuttle will take attendees from the US to chef Plascencia’s restaurant, Finca Altozano (with a mezcal tasting on the shuttle). When there, guests will have the opportunity (not mandatory) to harvest their own quail for dinner. Chef Plascencia will then create a six-course feast, paired with a Monkey Paw brew made with ingredients from Plascencia’s farm. There will be art, music, stories, laughter, tears, dinner. The shuttle will return you at the end of the night.

Chef Javier Plascencia will cook a feast in Baja for “Death for Food”

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