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Food

A Porto’s Potato Ball Pop-Up, L.A.’s Best Holiday Sweets & other Tasty Tuesday News Bites

December 12, 2017 by Christina Champlin

Christmas, Hanukah and New Years is not a time for self control, especially when it comes to eating delicious goodies. Just a quick warning: This article probably won’t help if you’re trying to diet your way through the holidays.

That said, if you’ve never tried a potato ball from the famous Cuban bakery Porto’s, this weekend is the time to do it. They’ll be popping up at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City for one day only. Purchase a six-pack of balls and enjoy the free exhibition Cuba Is while you’re there.

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Also: We have a quick round up of the best holiday sweets to try from Ube Yule Logs, Chanukah Jelly Donuts to S’Mores Lattes. It’s all here for a limited time so you might as well enjoy them while they last!

The weekend will bring some delicious events your way like the “Backyard Besties Bake Sale” hosted by NYC’s Milk Bar and Jon & Vinny’s, the debut of Candytopia, Holly Jolly Day, Feast of the Seven (Sustainable) Fishes at Roe and the final Smorgasburg of the year.

As always, enjoy the rundown of all the tasty news bites below, along with the best food events happening this week.

Bon Appétit!

Holiday Sweets To Eat Now

Here are my top picks of treats you need to eat before the year is over.

1. Friends & Family is offering a delicious roster of traditional and unique treats that include: Sufganiyot a Chanukah Jelly Donut filled with homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam, Persimmon Bread spiked with whiskey, the traditional Panettone and a Christmas Cookie Tin featuring an assortment of our holiday treats like einkorn acorns, thick mints, Swedish pepperkakor and figgy pillows. All available on pre order until December 24.

2. Pitchoun! Bakery is taking the traditional Yule Log and turning them into stunning works of cake art with five different styles and flavors that include the “Red Dress” a streusel with vanilla mousse, red berry heart and ‘Pain de Genes’ sponge cake photographed below.

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3. Coffee For Sasquatch just rolled out a decadent S’Mores Latte infused with dark chocolate, cinnamon and blackstrap molasses. It’s all topped with marshmallows, crushed cinnamon graham crackers, nutmeg, and cocoa powder.

4. Small Batch  in Mar Vista if offering a Peppermint Marshmallow Ice Cream Pie composed of Oreo cookie crust, marshmallow ice cream, crushed candy canes, and whipped cream. The pie can be ordered until Wednesday, December 20, and picked up at the Mar Vista ice cream shop from Thursday, December 21 to Saturday, December 23. We also spotted the below mini Christmas Tree ice cream cake on their Instagram.

🎄 #holidays #icecreamcake #christmastree

A post shared by Small Batch (@smallbatchicecream) on

5. FrankieLucy Bakeshop is offering two types of Yule Logs for the holidays. The Ube Bûche de Noëls is a Filipino-inspired take on a traditional cake made with ube sponge cake and a macapuno cream cheese filling covered in coconut buttercream decorated with meringue mushrooms and a cranberry holly sprig. If you’re a chocolate lover they’ll also be offering a Chocolate Bûche de Noël made with chocolate sponge cake roll with cream cheese sweet cream covered in rich dark chocolate ganache and decorated in chocolate “bark,” slivered almond “pinecones,” meringue “mushrooms,” and a cranberry “holly” sprig. Both are now available for pre-order until December 17 and a limited number of cakes will be available in-store on Christmas Eve.

6. The Arthur J in Manhattan Beach offers a Chocolate Flourless Yule Log on their dessert menu and for holiday orders ( accepted by December 20) The delicous chocolate cake is paired with vanilla cream, candied pecans and the traditional mushroom candy meringue. I tried this cake recently and found it to be perfectly spongey and well balanced in the pairing of chocolate and vanilla cream.

Food Events for this Week in L.A.

Tuesday December 12th, 2017

In anticipation of The NoMad opening in DTLA in January 2018, bar director Leo Robitschek, bar manager Dave Purcell and team will takeover the Walker Inn in Koreatown for The NoMad Holiday Spectacular. The holiday pop-up will offer a festive cocktail menu, featuring “Naughty” and “Nice” selections, candy cane piña colada or pumpkin-spiced Mai Tai anyone? Available every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night through Tuesday December 19, the NoMad Holiday Spectacular experience will also include a few seasonal surprises to be revealed in the coming weeks.

Learn about the many vibrant regional cuisines of Mexico through in-depth lectures, cooking demonstrations, tastings, and hands-on participation during Flavors of Mexico. Taking place at the Skirball Cultural Center, the monthly series concludes with Bricia Lopez of Guelaguetza sharing her recipe for Oaxacan mole.

Miracle on Santa Fe continues at Westbound now through December 31. The seasonal series will transform the craft cocktail bar into an over-the-top holiday extravaganza, complete with falling snow, specialty cocktails and a visit from Santa.

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Wednesday December 13th, 2017

Good Housekeeping hosts a Nightmare Before Christmas Cocktail Pop Up every Wednesday now until December 27, 2017. Themed speciality cocktails, a horror holiday corner and Grasshopper Jello Shots are just a few fun things happening for the evening.

Thursday December 14th, 2017

Head to the Skirball for Whiskey & Appetizers: A Hanukkah Cocktail Party this Thursday. There will be a whiskey connoisseur and perfectly paired appetizers with a cooking demo and Q&A to end the evening.

Del Frisco’s Grille in Santa Monica is having an ugly sweaters party from 6-9 p.m. Show up in your most hideous sweater and bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. You’ll be treated to complimentary passed appetizers (6-8 p.m.), $5 Santa Monica Brew Works 310 Draft Beers, $7 VIP Cocktails, Christmas Carolers and Best Sweater Contests.

Friday December 15th, 2017

There’s a Backyard Besties Bake Sale hosted by Milk Bar and Jon & Vinny’s, in anticipation of Milk Bar’s official L.A. debut in 2018. For one day only, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo will host a secret backyard party to welcome Christina Tosi and her team to the city. Get your hands on Milk Bars epic cookies, cake truffles, crack pie™ and more from 3-9 p.m. or until the treats run out. It’s a party so expect crafts, games, Milk Bar souvenirs and other surprises. Fans of Christina Tosi are also welcome to bring their Milk Bar cookbooks to get signed. The first 50 guests will receive a Milk Bar tote bag and all guests will have a chance to win a class at Milk Bar’s LA “Bake the Book” classroom in 2018.

Candytopia is the latest pop-up experience taking over L.A. featuring various candy-inspired rooms and installations like a marshmallow tsunamis and other edible surprises. Taking place at the LA Hangar Studios in Boyle Heights, Candytopia will run until March 15, 2018.

Saturday December 16th, 2017

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There’s a Porto’s Potato Ball Pop-Up happening at Annenberg Space for Photography in conjunction with Cuba Is, the Annenberg’s current photography exhibit.  If you haven’t tried the iconic potato balls, they are soft balls of mashed potato stuffed with seasoned ground beef and deep fried to golden brown perfection. They’ll be sold in packs of six this Saturday and the current exhibit is free and open to the public.

Holly Jolly Day at the JW Marriott at L.A. LIVE will include access to the L.A. LIVE ice skating rink and several over the top culinary and dessert stations. Enjoy the customizable hot chocolate bar, towering chocolate fountain, eggnog panna cotta, yule logs a cookie decoration station and much more.

Sunday December 17th, 2017

Long Beach seafood concept Roe will host a week long culinary Feast of the Seven (Sustainable) Fishes from December 17-24. Prepared by Chef Arthur Gonzalez, the event will focus on one sustainably sourced seafood dish per night, served alongside a dish “Catch Card” detailing the fish species, catch location or fish origin, and the names of both the fisherman and the boat.

Sunday is the final Smorgasburg of the year before they go on a hiatus till January 14, 2018. It’s also the last day of their Holiday Market, so you’ll be able to shop and eat all in one place. NYC’s Milk Bar will be teaming up with The NoMad Truck to introduce Milk Bar’s signature sweet treats like Cereal Milk™ soft serve sundaes and limited edition holiday cookies, so make sure to stop by the food truck for some excellent sweets.

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