Taste of the Eastside

Taste of the Eastside

The 8
th Annual Taste of the Eastside Returns to Showcase the Culinary Diversity and Growing Food Scene from the Most Exciting Neighborhoods of Los Angeles

A food festival that has stood out since its inception, Taste of the Eastside, also known as TOTE for lovers and aficionados of good food and music is returning to celebrate the brilliant culinary evolvement of the East-Side and surrounding neighborhoods of Los Angeles on Sunday, April 29th, 2018 at the charming Los Angeles River Center and Gardens.

What began as an idea from a group of parents to raise money for Rose Scharlin Cooperative Nursery School, LA’s oldest co-op for kids and the primary beneficiary and organizer of TOTE has now turned into a hugely popular and highly regarded food festival that brings together the best food, drink, and entertainment LA has to offer. The East-Side of Los Angeles and surrounding areas are experiencing a unique culinary renaissance with many new restaurants emerging in the hip neighborhoods of Silverlake, Los Feliz, Atwater Village, Echo Park, Downtown, Highland Park, Eagle Rock and beyond.

Representing these diverse and exciting locales will be over 30 vendors, both newcomers and returning establishments, with something for everyone. Angelenos are sure to be familiar with some of the popular places bringing their tastiest offerings, including the cozy Los Feliz joint we all love, Little Dom’s, tasty Mexican spot, Diablo Taco, Silverlake’s delectable Chinese hidden gem, Fat Dragon, French neighborhood newcomer Melody, Eagle Rock’s New American Red Herring, Atwater’s Italian eatery, All’Acqua, savory and fresh Gigi’s Bakery, the sweet, sweet Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream and the scrumptious McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams with many more participants ready to serve up their best fare!

TOTE would not be complete without flights from the region’s finest, boutique wine merchants, Silver Lake Wines. Of course, there will be signature cocktails from Mohawk Bend and Greenbar Craft Distillery as well as refreshing beer pours from Eagle Rock BrewingEl Segundo Brewing Co. and Strand Brewing Co. KCRW DJ favorites Raul CamposAnthony Valadez and Garth Trinidad will be spinning tunes for all music lovers, in addition to live music from Cousin JunebugThe Morning Yells and more. We are thrilled to announce this year’s addition of a local designer section including Dean Leather Accessories, Devon Leigh Jewelry and Sage LA Candles and Oils showcasing their creations and donating 25 percent of all proceeds to TOTE.

All proceeds from Taste of the Eastside will be donated to highly-deserving local organizations, including Rose Scharlin Cooperative Nursery SchoolThe Pablove Foundation, and FOLAR, Friends of the LA River.

For another memorable Sunday basking in the sun with great music and indulging in irresistible food and drink, all the while supporting this wonderful cause get your tickets for Taste of The Eastside 2018!


List of 2018 Participants: 

































More about The Los Angeles River Center and Gardens:
The Los Angeles River Center and Gardens has been home to TOTE now for the past three years, giving the festival a unique location and vibe. The venue, a stunning mission-style villa with lush landscaping, soothing fountains and meandering, tiled patios, provides a breathtaking backdrop for SoCal foodies to sample delicious offerings from some of LA’s hottest purveyors of food and drink. The lovely grounds are home to several non-profit organizations that aim to revitalize the Los Angeles River and promote sustainable living. It is located at 570 W Ave 26 #100, Los Angeles, CA 90065.

More about main beneficiary: Rose Scharlin Nursery School:
Rose Scharlin is a cooperative Nursery School in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake area founded in 1939 with the distinction of being the very first cooperative nursery school in the City of Los Angeles and the model upon which local schools patterned themselves. It was founded in 1939 as the Echo Park Cooperative Nursery School, using the facilities of the Echo Park Playground but later merging with what was Lakeview Nursery School in Silverlake. The purpose is to provide a safe, secure and challenging environment for the children; to offer them a range of developmentally appropriate activities; and to reflect the diversity of backgrounds, our community and our world. They emphasize the process of parents and children learning and working together for the social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual growth of all.

Sponsors and Partners of Taste of the Eastside 2018:
include Williams Homes (Gold), Tracy Do (Silver), Silverlake Neighborhood (Bronze), Gelson’s (Bronze) and Partners include Boxed WaterLos Angeles MagazineEco ProductsLA River StudiosVOX StudiosRAM Board and Yelp.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Taste of the Eastside

For more information on ticket prices and to purchase tickets:  http://tasteoftheeastside.com/tickets/

Taste of The Eastside Social Media: Facebook: @TasteoftheEastside Instagram: tasteoftheeastside

Costero Provides A Taste of California, Just Minutes From LAX

Costero Provides A Taste of California, Just Minutes From LAX

Costero is a California bistro and bar that provides a wide range of delectable small plates, comforting soups and flavorful main courses that will have guests coming back for more. The man to credit the delicious dishes and wine pairings is Executive Chef Collin Smelser, an East Coast native who has embraces all good things that come from California farms and vineyards.

A true hidden gem so close to LAX, Costero is perfect for locals, groups of all sizes and solo travelers alike. Speaking of those large groups, the restaurant offers two fantastic options: one semi-private room that seats up to 10, and one private room complete with AV equipment and collapsible wall for up to 25 guests (pictured below). Both spaces are complimentary to use when reserved and the menu can be pre-selected.

Photo Credit: Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles

Our resident Food + Lifestyle Editor, Ely recently had the honor of experiencing a private media dinner which showcased Chef Collin’s tack for transforming casual ingredients into gorgeously and meticulously plated must try dishes.

First Course

Bellwether Farms Ricotta & County Line Harvest Bloomsdale Spinach Tortellini
Paired with: Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc

Second Course

Smoked Brandt Beef Short RIb
Paired with: Daou Cabernet Sauvignon From Paso Robles

Surprise Course! 

Olive Cake With Vanilla Bean & Candied Blood Oranges
Paired with: a Hefeweizen with an orange slice

Third Course

California Cheese Plate
Paired with: Justin Obtuse Port-Style Wine

More About Chef Smelser

Three years prior to joining Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel, Chef Smelser was executive sous and executive chef at the luxurious Chase Park Plaza, a luxury high-rise hotel in Downtown St. Louis, Mo. Highly accomplished, Chef Smelser’s wide repertoire of cooking includes infusing casual fare with deluxe flair and designing thrilling haute cuisine masterpieces, all with a definite Southern California focus on fresh, local ingredients with bold, inviting flavors. Every day he’s is in the kitchen, a new, stunning dish is created.

“We are trying to transform people’s perception of hotel restaurants,” says Chef Smelser. “When people come to dine at Costero or to grab a bite at the bar, we want them to have an elevated experience with gourmet dishes that they wouldn’t expect at a hotel. Instead of overwhelming diners with a huge menu selection, we have taken a different approach by carefully curating an exclusive menu with options that will entice one’s taste buds.” (Originally quoted from Food Newsfeed)

Photo Credit: Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles

The Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles has recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation which included plush updates to their 802 guest rooms and suites, heated outdoor pool, 24/7 fitness center and the Sheraton Club. SPG members enjoy 24/7 access to the Sheraton Club Lounge which includes complimentary continental breakfasts, even hors d’oeuvres and panoramic views of LAX. Guests can also take advantage of the hotel’s complimentary shuttle service to and from the Los Angeles International Airport.

So be sure to recommend at the Sheraton Gateway the next time clients want to stay close to the airport and/or you’re in the mood of a delicious dinner after landing.

Costero California Bar & Bistro located at Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel
6101 West Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045

For reservations, contact: (310) 642-4820 or reserve online at www.sheratonlax.com/costero.

Ely Anne Vedar

Food & Lifestyle Editor

While California feels like it’s always been her home, Hawaii, San Francisco, Las Vegas and the Philippines are just a few places Ely Anne has lived thus cultivating her lifelong appetite for finding, trying and sharing new adventures, especially through food and wellness activities. She loves how food can always bring people together – anywhere, any time – and that’s what fuels her passion for public relations and marketing. Ely finds it invigorating to have a hand in seeing brands thrive in their community by using her PR, marketing and event production skills. She is also a regular Editor for SoCal Magazine and other digital publications.

Black Elephant Coffee

Black Elephant Coffee

Black Elephant Coffee – The latest coffee shop in Atwater Village.

“Support the community. Respect Nature. Drink good coffee. Join the tribe.”

This is the motto painted on the wall of the newly opened Black Elephant Coffee in Atwater Village.
Black Elephant Coffee owners are married couple Heidy Fu and Gonzalo
Otarola. They are also the proprietors of Simply Coffee in Burbank. The
partners are both from Chile, where the coffee culture pervades every area
of life. According to Heidy, in South America family and friends get together
and spend time talking and sharing over coffee. Being thousands of
miles from their family, Heidy says that their SoCal friends have become
extended kin. Their coffee shops have become a meeting place for many
people who are searching for a spot to drink coffee—or tea—with their tribe
in a neighborhood spot.



Why Black Elephant Coffee?
“Elephants are community-driven animals who are always looking out for the herd,”
Heidy says. “And this is what we want to create at the shop:
moments you share with family and friends.”
Elephants are also part of the natural ecosystem that includes coffee. In
order to further their personal connection, Black Elephant Coffee has
symbolically adopted an elephant through the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). A
portion of the shop’s proceeds will support WWF.
In addition to serving locally roasted Stumptown Coffee, Black Elephant
Coffee in Atwater Village also serves a wide selection of loose-leaf organic
teas. The all-organic food and snacks section features grab-and- go items
including vegan and gluten-free options that include pastries, sandwiches
and wraps. Visit the website for free monthly community workshops. Some
upcoming topics include nutrition, feng shui, painting, and more.

Where to Find Black Elephant Coffee Atwater Village
Black Elephant Coffee
3195 Glendale Blvd, Atwater Village
(323) 486 7848


Artist in Residence: Rebecca Niederlander

Artist in Residence: Rebecca Niederlander

“History, context, one’s particular experience with a material, all play a tremendous role in the connection made between an artist and their viewer.”

Rebecca Niederlander is a sculptor and installation artist interested in revealing cosmic truth. Through contemplation, and a thoughtful manipulation of materials, Niederlander perceives clues to the subtle mapping of a larger order. The artist uses these hard-won insights to construct a new way of communicating –  a new visual language.

A St. Louis native, and graduate of both UCLA and CCA (California College for the Arts), Niederlander works out of her Eagle Rock, California studio. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including a group show of Los Angeles artists at the 2015 Venice Biennale.

KN: Have you always thought of yourself as an artist? When did you first start making/creating?RN: Yes, I have always thought of myself as an artist.  It is in the way I approach the world, and the way I communicate within it.  When I was seven years old I won a coloring contest and received a seven foot tall stocking filled with toys. I have always been a maker. I realized early that my way of seeing the world was actually different than many people.  That has been a good thing, and a hard thing as well.  Being a creative professional involves finding ways to communicate in the internal language one has.  Community is created through communication, and having spent my entire life sorting out the best ways to do such.

KN:  I discovered in an artist statement about your work that you speak of “interrogating the materials lovingly.” How does this thoughtful interrogation lead to an artistic breakthrough?

RN: I consider myself a materialist in the truest sense of the word.  I look at materials as a significant part of conveying whatever the specific message is for a given work.  Certain materials, like paper, give a very intentional read to a work, while steel, obviously, will lend itself to wildly different reads.  History, context, one’s particular experience with a material, all play a tremendous role in the connection made between an artist and their viewer.  I take that connection to heart in the initial stages of developing a project by working a material and putting it through its paces.  I’ve had projects that I think will work really well in a particular medium, only to discover through exploration that something else is significantly superior.


KN: Your newest series incorporates the use of salvaged wood pieces adopted from wood workers’ shop refuse piles. As part of the works, you interview the maker about their process, and explore how the intent of the work is imbued – even absorbed – into the cast-off material. Can you describe this series a bit more?

RN: The current series involves making pilgrimages to wood-workers shops, and interviewing them about their spiritual practice, after which I take their scraps and combine them to make new sculptural works.  I also have a degree in journalism, and have extensive experience with interviewing and human-interest stories.  My interviews are off the record, and completely about honoring the particular experiences of the wood workers.  Anyone involved with a particular medium, and I’ll go out on a limb here to give a special shout-out to those in the designated craft mediums, has a particular fondness of their medium which has a lover’s-type relationship to it. They have grown with it, and understand it in the way an old couple does.  As someone who varies their medium over my own decades as an artist, I wanted to find a specific path to exploring the ways these creative professionals might have a spiritual connection to their material.

I am deeply committed to the idea that we are all in community with each other, and to finding the connection that creates the ability to be an empathetic person and a part of any community.  By honoring these people and the soul/ghosts of their work, and then honoring their scraps/trash/discards, and then creating new communities through the assembling of cast-offs into new and exciting works, I am visually describing what is possible for each of us when we connect with another.  Each of the sculptures in the series is totally unique.  They are connected by the materials, and my manipulation, but part of the rubric is that I can not alter the wood. No cutting is allowed.  Thus each element becomes a part of an unknown puzzle that must be solved in my studio.  I see interacting with other people in the same way.  Each connection is a puzzle to work out.

Katie Nartonis

Katie Nartonis is an art historian who specializes in West Coast Art + Design. As writer, curator, designer and film-maker Nartonis endeavors to tell untold stories of the artists and makers whose work contributes to the fabric of the larger California art scene. She serves as Art + Design Editor for SoCal Magazine.

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