A La Carte Good Times: LA Food & Wine

Want to dip into just a demo or dining experience or two? You can.

When you're sitting at a friend's house, at the dining room table, and you've got your napkin tucked into your collar, like a proper and considerate guest, is your feeling total excited anticipation?

Of course it is, though you may feel a pinch of nerves about being overwhelmed by too many dishes, too many flavors, and too much need to please your pal by finishing every last bite, down to the dessert. 

The Fifth Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival understands the total excitement and that pinch of "am I in over my stomach"-ness that ever foodie can feel. In that spirit, the annual late-summer savor-it-up party goes a la carte, which just means that you can have your dessert and eat it too and skip everything else, if that's your desire.

Or you can have the whole varied meal that is the festival, is you so choose. It runs for several days, through Sunday, Aug. 30, it spotlights several star chefs, like Neal Fraser and Freddy Vargas, and it sets up shop in three areas of Southern California, downtown, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood.

So you only want to do the Beers & Bites Seminar on Saturday, Aug. 29? That's more than fine. Or you want to call upon the Lexus Grand Avenue Night Market on Friday, Aug. 28? The world is your oyster, or the bivalve of your choice.

If a la carte-ing doesn't quite sate all of your Food & Wine longings, hang tight; The Taste, the annual food bash from the LA Times, is coming up over Labor Day Weekend, in Hollywood.

Truly late August and early September is a boon time for those people who look forward to meeting chefs and sampling sparkling wines and dining on dim sum, all in a festival setting, all around Southern California.

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It's all excited anticipation, and very few worries about being overwhelmed. Though whether you tuck your napkin into your collar, as you dig into various gourmet treats, is your choice. That's totally etiquette, surely? If not, it feels like a fine accessory at a festival, which can involve so many eager tastes that your shirt can sometimes look a bit worse for wear (read: splotchy) at the end. 

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