Top Picks For An Epic Foodie Weekend

Copyright 2014 Tanaya Ghosh

Summer is still in full swing, with tastings and fun activities to suit everyone’s palates, from the fancy foodie to the laid-back luncher. This weekend alone happens to be gastronomically pleasing beyond belief!

Here are my picks for where to go and what to taste this weekend, from L.A. to the O.C.:

L.A. Food & Wine – The premiere foodie event– or actually, a series of events over four days… starting tonight! Renowned chefs from all over L.A. and the nation will convene to give us mouthwatering bites exploding with innovation and flavor through unique events such as Iron Chef Morimoto’s Asian Night Market, and Graham Elliot & Fabio Viviani’s Ultimate Bites of L.A. soiree. (Side note: I’m a big fan of Fabio Viviani since his Top Chef days, and he’s such a sweetheart each time I’ve met him, too. He even gave a shoutout to Tanaya’s Table last year! Who else is a Fabio Viviani fan??)

This is a can’t-miss shindig in the heart of downtown, if you’re willing to invest (quite) a bit more to get pampered at a luxe food event. I will say from the past few years covering L.A. Food & Wine that the experience you get is unparalleled, and you will have a memorable time!

Thes past posts here may help to show you the evolution of the event since 2011 (I was working & living in Hong Kong the summer 0f 2012 — the only way you can keep me away from this event is to send me to another country!):

L.A. Weekly Pancake Breakfast – I’m quite excited for this one, since brunch is my all-time favorite meal. Curated by KCRW’s Evan Kleiman, top restaurants around Los Angeles will serve their unique renditions of a classic brunch. Plus, there will be mimosas and more. Yum!

K-Town Night Market OC Block Party – Held at Angel Stadium in Orange County. Music and masses of people, plus traditional and Asian-inspired food will be served. With SIX (yes, six!) consecutive food events to cover over the course of these next four days, I’m still bummed I’ll be missing this one!

If you’re missing them but wish you weren’t, I will be covering a good portion of these, and will take you with me through the videos, photos and stories to come! It’ll be like you were right there with me, minus the calories ;).

BONUS: L.A. Times’ The Taste is the very next weekend, so pace yourselves, people! It’s yet another series of food events you don’t want to miss, right in L.A. From “Field to Fork” to “Sunday Brunch,” there are a ton of good eats that await! Get your tickets while you can, and prime your tastebuds for some serious fun ahead.

 

Hidden Gem: Eat Food Drink Coffee

Although it may be a smallish suburban city, there are many things that Cerritos, CA is known for. For one, it’s got that really cool titanium-plated library with a shark tank, which was named one of the world’s 50 most beautiful libraries.

Of course, there’s always the Cerritos Auto Square that pretty much everyone in SoCal knows about as well. The Los Cerritos Mall, Cerritos Towne Center, and the Cerritos Performing Arts Center are also popular local destinations. Yet none of these involve one of the best secrets in Cerritos.

Okay, I lied. The hidden gem I’m talking about is Eat Food Drink Coffee, and it is located right next to the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. However, most locals who live right down the street are oblivious to this wonderful little cafe that feels like home away from home.

Eat Food Drink Coffee Ube Pancake 2

When I first discovered Eat Food Drink Coffee, I actually almost missed it. It is adjacent to an office building, contained to a smallish corner of the large, corporate-looking edifice. However, once you meander inside, it’s a whole new world of warmth and good vibes.

The service is stellar, and even though I don’t prefer disclosing right off the bat (if at all) that I write about food, they must have detected that we were food lovers, because they seemed to especially enjoy having us there… in a genuine way. Juan, our chef, delighted in the fact that we trusted him to choose the options that came with our meal, and personally brought the food out to us.

Eat Food Drink Coffee Ube Pancake 1

We had the ube (purple yam) pancakes, which are technically not on the menu, but I had heard about them and they were accommodating in making them for us. The uniquely purple pancakes had the subtly sweet, starchy and slightly vanilla-like flavor, so they were definitely made with plenty of the real stuff. Your first time trying them (be sure to ask for them!), don’t expect a fluffy interior so much as a cake-like texture, which actually goes quite well with the ube flavor. Delicious, and a must-try for ube lovers and curious foodies.

We also got a breakfast bagel sandwich filled with a fried egg and crispy bacon, which was the special of the day and came with a hot beverage. Seeing how our group was sharing different items, Chef Juan cut the sandwich into four pieces before bringing it out to us. Talk about personalized service!

Eat Food Drink Coffee Sandwich

Lastly, the turkey and crispy onion sandwich on ciabatta bread was the perfect lunch dish to end our meal. The soft ciabatta bread held together moist turkey slices, crisp lettuce, a zingy mustard and crispy crushed onion rings. The Hawaiian hazelnut boba (yes, they have boba too!) is another flavorful complement to your midday meal. They also have a few interesting crepes, such as the red velvet or the PB&J, which I personally have yet to try.

As Juan chatted with us, it was clear that he loves his job and enjoys making people happy with his food. It was also clear that this place needs to be put on the map, because most current customers are office folks who need to get in, get out and get on with their work… and thus can’t truly appreciate the cafe for all that it is. Additionally, after the new management took over the cafe in August, even the office folks have been skeptical to give them a try, due to past experiences with an old place in the same location. However, this new gem, tucked away in an unassuming business plaza, is truly worth seeking out.

Eat Food Drink Coffee Location

Eat Food Drink Coffee is located at 17785 Center Court Drive, Suite 185 Cerritos, CA 90703, and they even deliver. They are open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on select Saturdays during the same hours as the nearby Cerritos Farmer’s Market. My recommendation would be to call them at 562.402.4400 before coming if you’re hoping to catch them on a Saturday.

Trust me, you’ll be glad you tried it. Cerritos pride!