April Madness: Free Tacos on Earth Day, Grilled Cheese Aplenty

by Jessica on April 20, 2011

Is the end of April always this busy? There’s lots to do involving families and food this week in Los Angeles, and that’s on top of celebrating Easter and/or dealing with Passover recovery for some folks. Here are a few items to put on the calendar.

L.A. knows how to do Earth Day. Even though you might have to drive through traffic to get there and sit in a crowded parking lot (it’s bound to be busy during this spring break week, especially if the Zoo on Monday was an indication), checking out the Border Grill Taco Truck stationed at the California Science Center at Exposition Park would be a good bet on Friday, April 22 from 11:30 to 2 p.m. Especially because the first 100 people to say “Alaska Seafood” receive a free Black Thai grilled Alaska cod taco with green papaya slaw and sambal crema. I also heard about the Nature Conservancy’s Picnic for the Planet on Friday via Abby at Pleasure Palate. It’s such a lovely and simple concept: basically, just plan a picnic with friends wherever and however you like (not the easiest thing to do on a weekday!), and arrange it via MeetUp or on your own. Here are some other miscellaneous suggestions of ways to celebrate the occasion. And this one isn’t necessarily for the whole family, but the Earth Day Roast with Chefs Collaborative at AMMO in Hollywood on Sunday sounds super special, too. If you can swing it, Roxana’s strawberry baked Alaska with chocolate center is almost worth the price of admission ($45 for three course prix fixe).

Then there’s the no-joke-but-nonetheless-irreverent Grilled Cheese Invitational on Saturday, April 23 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. After overcoming growing pains and learning curves, the 2011 2nd 8th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational (Twitter: @grilldcheez) brings over 200 competitors and thousands of melted-dairy-with-carbs fans. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door, which by the way, is at the L.A. Center Studios (500 S. Beaudry Ave., Downtown). If you miss it, Mendocino Farms plans to add the winning sandwich to its menu for a limited time in May. In the meantime, a bunch of restaurants around town are running grilled cheese sammy specials this week in honor of Grilled Cheese Month and Saturday’s cook-off.

To mention a few, culled from my In Box: A group of restaurants will feature cheeses by Tillamook, the GCI’s sponsor, through the weekend. These include the Oaks Gourmet (1915 North Bronson Ave.), where we regularly stop to pick up the signature cheese sandwich, whose special sandwich this week combines cheddar, Black Forest Bacon, tomato jam and sourdough ($9.95). At the Foundry on Melrose (7465 Melrose Ave.), GCI fixture and grilled cheese master Chef Eric Greenspan, makes his Johnny Apple Cheese AKA Johnny Pastrami with sharp cheddar, sourdough, apple mustard chutney, green apple, and smoked pastrami ($8.00). Simplethings (8310 W. 3rd Street) will serve a pork belly grilled cheese ($9.50). Chef Brandon Boudet Monterey Jack sandwich ($11) with wild ramps on ciabatta will be at Dominick’s (8715 Beverly Blvd.), and Boudet also goes big at the 101 Coffee Shop (6145 Franklin Ave.) with medium cheddar and Creole hot sausage po’ boy ($9). Tender Greens in West Hollywood will grill up the Quack Attack sandwich by GCI competitor Chef Eric Hulmes through Friday ($10.50).

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