Sashaying into the summer season, which honestly and definitely starts at some point over Memorial Day Weekend — sorry, June 21, we know you have the official papers on summer's start and all that — is an act not defined by the weather but rather whether or not you have your al fresco fests lined up.
Why would we look to the sky, or temperature, to tell us that summer's begun? May Gray and June Gloom are our local lot. But the foodie festivals tell us that summer celebrating is here, and one of the vanguards is Taste of the Eastside, which vanguards in the sunniest food fest season on the last day of May at the Los Angeles River Center & Gardens.
It's a socialize, see-your-neighbors stalwart that's been around for a half decade and is firmly about the flavors of the area. Those flavors include suds from Angel City Brewery, refreshing sips from the Eagle Rock Juice Co., chilly scoops from Splendid Ice Cream, and kebabs from Spitz.
Other favorites from the Eagle Rock-Silver Lake-Echo Park-Atwater-and-beyond nexus include Silver Lake Wine, Little Dom's, Diablo Taco, The Greyhound Bar & Grill, Polka Restaurant, and Brandy's Sweet Temptations.
Ask yourself this: Have you tried every one of the places on the list? Eastsiders are known for knowing their eats and the people who make them, but, like everyone who has ever dined outside their own kitchen, patterns form and we stick to our favorite plates, like butter to a dish.
Taste of the Eastside is a breezy, late-afternoon-into-evening pattern breaker. It's a way to finally get to that one dessert place or cafe on Colorado or Figueroa, the one you drive by all the time. And it is a good way to help local nonprofits, like Rose Scharlin Cooperative Nursery School and Create LA. Tickets are fifty bucks ahead of May 31, sixty bucks on the date.
If you're wondering if "late-afternoon-into-evening" means linner, it does: 4 to 8 o'clock are the hours.
Why hasn't linner become the new brunch? If ever there was a season for the lunch-dinner meal to make a run for the easy dining crown, it is this time of year, with its bright evenings and unfussy meals.
Good luck, linner. And bon appétit, fans of Taste of the Eastside.