Westside Food & Wine Festival offers a panoply of flavors with a panoramic view
By Audrey Cleo Yap
Get ready to wine, dine, and feel fine in the summertime: The second annual Westside Food & Wine Festival will be held on the rooftop of the parking structure at West L.A. College on July 21 and 22. Festival ticket proceeds benefit Culver Palms Meals on Wheels.
“There’s plenty to do, plenty to eat, plenty to see, plenty to drink,” says event organizer Todd Elliot of Swing Entertainment. Last year’s event drew between 350 to 400 people, and Elliot expects more to turn out this year.
Rebranded from the 2017 Culver City Centennial Food & Wine Festival, this year’s event will feature a mix of gourmet and casual eats from local vendors. Among the highlights: Santa Monica and Westchester favorite Truxton’s, modern Italian eatery Wildcraft, Marina del Rey’s L.A. Gastronomy, and Smitten liquid nitrogen ice cream from El Segundo.
Imbibers can look forward to adult beverages from Paquera Life Mezcal, Wilson Creek Winery, Obvious Wines, and Boochcraft Alcoholic Kombucha. Non-alcoholic options are also aplenty with vendors like Vita Coco coconut water, Topo Chico sparkling water, and antioxidant-infused Bai Beverages. Celebrity chef Susan Feniger (Border Grill) also makes an appearance on Saturday.
Consumer cannabis retailer MedMen, cryotherapy studio CryoZone, and South Bay artist Phyllis Ferrara are among a variety of vendors, and various festival sponsors (including The Argonaut) are also tabling during the event. Entertainment includes photo booths, magicians, and a silent auction of artwork, photos and sports memorabilia (benefitting a hospital fund to help Elliot’s father with medical bills). Among the items up for bid are a signed Dodgers collage, a signed “Black Panther” poster and signed artwork by Mr. Brainwash (aka street artist Thierry Guetta).
The sophomore festival includes live music from a variety pop/swing band on Saturday and a Beach Boys tribute band on Sunday — bonus entertainment that Elliot has added since last year’s event at the Courtyard by Marriott Los Angeles Westside in Culver City.
Elliot adds that moving the venue to West L.A. College will let festivalgoers enjoy expansive cityscape views without having to worry about overheating, thanks to an oversized solar panel covering. He is also organizing a fall version of the festival in October at the Courtyard by Marriott, but Elliot hopes a summer version celebrating the Westside’s unique epicurean offerings is a tradition that continues for many years to come.
“To my knowledge, there’s not really any food and wine festivals that are annual, that are specifically catered to the Westside,” says Elliot. “I just want everyone to have a great time — to say, ‘Wow, this was even better than last year.’”
The Westside Food & Wine Festival happens from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday (July 21 and 22) at West L.A. College, 9000 Overland Ave., Culver City. 21+ with valid I.D. only. Tickets are $85 to $190 at swingentertainment.com.