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Stepping Up to the Plate

August 18, 1994|CHRISTINA V. GODBEY

It's the chef's version of a kitchen tour--a taste of some of the city's most delectable delights.

It's the "L.A. a la carte" food and music festival, a three-day sampling of specialties from some of the city's most exclusive restaurants. The third annual festival, which this year moves from Santa Monica to Westwood, takes place from Friday to Sunday at the northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Veteran Avenue.

Chefs from more than 35 restaurants, including the Bistro Garden, Tommy Tang's and Cafe Del Rey, will prepare samples of their most popular dishes. Seafood jambalaya, pecan pie, prime rib sandwiches and crab cakes will be featured. Samples will be available for $1 to $5 at booths and grills. Wine, beer, champagne and non-alcoholic drinks also will be offered.

"We have food from the best restaurants in Los Angeles all in one place," said event spokeswoman Kristin Brief.

As visitors savor gourmet delights, the festival also will offer entertainment. Starting things off on Friday at 9:30 p.m. is Los Lobos, a group that plays everything from Mexican-American folk music to rock 'n' roll. The music continues through the weekend with more than two dozen bands playing gospel, blues, jazz, oldies, country, reggae and rock on three stages.

The festival also will include a pavilion geared toward children. It showcases hands-on activities such as mural art. Sponsored by the Museum of Tolerance, the idea is to let kids use art to create their own idea of tolerance.

Event organizers expect more than 40,000 people to attend. Presented by the J. W. Event Group, UCLA and the Westwood Village Assn., organizers hope it will play an important role in boosting the community's image.

"This is an effort to revitalize the city of Westwood," Brief said. "We want to let people know that Westwood is a safe and pleasant area."

The festival will be held Friday (8/19) from 5 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from noon to midnight, and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. Free parking is available at the Veteran's Administration Building on Wilshire Boulevard. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 children age 3 to 12 and free for children under 2. Information: (310) 985-9339.

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