Art Bites: Outdoor Spectaculars

Southern California Food and Art: A Perfect Pairing around the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival

Krista Simmons pairs events from the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival with nearby eats.

Be sure to check out all of the Festival itineraries!

Judy Chicago Materials and Applications at the Barker Hangar

After watching twenty five tons of dry ice evaporate on a winter night, you might want something to warm you up. Head over to The Tasting Kitchen in Venice, where you’ll find comforting Mediterranean dishes like boeuf bourguignon and house-made lasagnette bolgonese. If you really want to stick with the ice theme, Justin Pike, who currently holds Table 20’s L.A.’s Best Bartender title, uses specially formulated blocks of ice to make his signature cocktails. Try the throat-coating Duke of Hazard, which is made by mixing bourbon, date syrup, and allspice. If you’re in the mood for more of a share plate situation, head over to The Misfit. They can do most items vegetarian or gluten-free for you, in case you’re still on the new year’s resolution bandwagon.

The Tasting Kitchen, 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice

The Mistfit, 225 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica

Hirokatzu Kosaka’s Kalpa at the Getty Center Plaza

Kazunori Nozawa has become well-known across the city for his “trust me” style of omakase service in Studio City. At Sugarfish, you can choose from one of three tasting menus, each of which shy away from the sauce-laden Americanized rolls diners have become accustomed to. No matter what you choose, the fish is guaranteed to be fresh.

Sugarfish, 11640 W. San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles

Trio of performances at Pomona College

On your easterly journey, be sure to take a pit stop at Din Tai Fung, home to some of the greatest soup dumplings in SoCal. There will likely be a line, but you can bounce between the two neighboring locations to see which is the best bet. Afterwards, grab a fluffy mango shave ice from Bin Bin Konjac and be on your way. Once you’re done soaking up art out in Pamona, decompress with a craft beer at the Black Abbey in Claremont, where there are 28 craft beers on tap and over 100 served by the bottle. They also have a gastropub menu in case your tank is running low.

Din Tai Fung, 1088 and 1108 Baldwin Ave., Arcadia

Bin Bin Konjac, 651 Duarte Rd., Arcadia

The Black Abbey,  128 N. Oberlin Ave., Claremont

Lita Alberquerque in Baldwin Hills (12-2) and Richard Jackson in Pasadena (4 p.m.)

Once you’ve made your way to Pasadena, snag lunch at the Market on Holly, where you’ll find delicious sandwiches, charcuterie, cheese, salads, and pastries. They serve Stumptown coffee, or if you’re in the mood for a stroll, you can go over to the nearby Intelligentsia. If you’re looking for beer and bites, your best bet is the new Haven Gastropub, which is home to not only fancy fare and flatbreads, but it’s own on-site brewery.

Market on Holly, 57 E. Holly St., Pasadena

Intelligentsia, 55 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

Haven Gastropub, 42 S. Delacey Ave., Pasadena

Artists Tower of Protest in West Hollywood Mark di Suvero

You’ve seen the work of a masterful abstract sculptor, now feast your eyes (and palate) on the work of Michael Voltaggio. This young rock star chef’s skills are on full display at his new WeHo haunt, Ink. Go omakase style, or order from the menu. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Ink, 8360 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood

Willie Herrón III’s mural East of No-West

Don’t be tempted to head back Downtown for dinner; there’s some amazing food in the City Terrace area. Go to Moles la Tia for myriad of authentic moles and aguas frescas or El Tepayac for the infamous (and gargantuan!) Hollenbeck burrito. But if you happen to be passing through the Arts District on the way home and are craving a nightcap, we suggest going to the newly-opened Little Bear, where you can grab some Belgian beer and bites by the guys who brought you the Surgly Goat (Ryan Sweeney) and the Oinkster (Andre Guerrero).

Moles La Tia, 4619 East Cesar E Chavez Avenue, Los Angeles

El Tepayac, 812 N. Evergreen Ave., Boyle Heights

Little Bear, 1855 Industrial St., Downtown

Punk night with the Dead Kennedys, X, the Avengers

Chances are you’re feeling pretty punk rock after that performance, so get over to the pirate-themed Redwood for cheap booze and sweet potato fries, or to the Nickel Diner for a patty melt and a maple bacon doughnut. If you’re feeling a little more high-brow, hit up nearby swankified spots like Josef Centeno’s new restaurant Baco Mercat or the Edison. Just make sure you’re wearing the right shoes; the Edison might be steam punk, but there’s no way the strict bouncers are letting you in with those studded Docs from high school.

Baco Mercat, 408 S. Main St., Downtown

Nickel Diner, 524 S. Main St., Downtown

The Redwood, 316 W. 2nd St., Downtown

The Edison, 108 W. 2nd St., Downtown

Civic Virtue at Watts Tower Arts Center

Located inside Plaza Mexico you’ll find La Huasteca, a mainstay in L.A.’s Mexican food scene. Once inside, you can soak up the gorgeous hand-painted murals done by Benigno Magana and Camilo Ramirez as you scoff on cochinita pibil. And since you’ve already done your galley hopping for the day, it won’t matter if you get some of their famous puerco en mole mancha manteles (translation: pork in a tablecloth stain sauce) sauce on your shirt.

La Huasteca, 3150 East Imperial Highway, Lynwood,

By Krista Simmons

Krista Simmons is a Los Angeles-based food and travel writer. She has contributed regularly to the Los Angeles Times Food, Travel, and Calendar sections, and served as the editor of theTimes‘ alt weekly publication, Brand X. Prior to her tenure at the Times,  she was the restaurants editor at Metromix Los Angeles. Simmons has also contributed to the Edible CommunitiesCBS Watch, and Wandermelon. She has hosted culinary videos for several of those outlets as well. Follow @KristaSimmons on Twitter and view her website here.


Krista Simmons, Tortilla, courtesy of Krista Simmons