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Where To Eat This Weekend: Wagyu-Fried Rice, Matzoh Ball Pho, New Zealand Ice Cream, and Guisos En Pomona

Plus, cocktails inspired by The Grinch, a Holbox/Kinn dinner collaboration, vegan soul food, a place to shop for Christmas trees with booze and live music, and a Texas-inspired Jewish barbecue pop-up for Hanukkah.

1:27 PM PST on December 8, 2023

Huevito en Salsa (egg in salsa) on a handmade tortilla at Pomona's UrbanBite
Huevito en Salsa (egg in salsa) on a handmade tortilla at Pomona's UrbanBite, photo: UrbanBite

UrbanBite Tacos is now open in Pomona, specializing in guisos in tacos on handmade tortillas, burritos, quesadillas, and on plates. Guisados include huevo en salsa, bistec en salsa, birria, steak and eggs, and a stew of the day.

Indian Hill Blvd. and San Bernardino Ave. Pomona, CA 91767. Closest transit line and stop: Foothill Transit Line 480 - "Indian Hill/San Bernardino."

Bartender mixing a cocktail with a sieve at Asterid restaurant in Los Angeles
Cocktail being prepared at Asterid in Downtown L.A.

Chef Ray Garcia's Downtown restaurant Asterid is holding a holiday toy drive for HealthRight 360, from Dec. 12-20, asking people to drop off a toy donation onsite. To thank you, the bar will offer your choice of one of two cocktails, a vokda-driven "Mint Cold Chocolate" with creme de cacao, amaro angostura, mint, and oat milk, and a booze-free "Clarified Milk Punch."

Brisket and geld chocolates on brown paper, some of the offerings at Festivus in West LA
Brisket by chef Jennifer Sills at Festivus at Kiff Kafe

Gjusta chef Jen Sills is collaborating with cookbook author Natasha Feldman on Festivus: A Jewish BBQ Pop-Up at Kiff Kafe in West L.A.'s Sawtelle neighborhood this Saturday-Tuesday, beginning daily at 5PM. Promised options on the pre-fixe menu include a Big Macabee, a latke sandwich stuffed with Texas-style smoked brisket, as well kugel mac, smoky kasha-stuffed cabbage, and apricot-glazed BBQ chicken, with a halvah and caramel ice cream sundae for dessert. Vegetarian and gluten-free options will also be available.

12229 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90064. Closest transit lines and stop: Metro E Line - "Expo/Bundy Station" or Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Lines 7 and 15 - "Pico/Centinela."

Japanese lunch specialties at Niku X in Downtown LA
Lunch at Niku X, photo: Niku X

Downtown's contemporary Japanese restaurant Niku X just started serving lunch, available Monday through Thursday, 11 AM to 3 PM. Exec chef Shin Thompson has created a $45 pre-fixe menu with your choices of dishes like oxtail and Tokyo negi crepes, wagyu tallow potato pave, with a centerpiece of grilled wagyu cuts, and a choice of rice, including wagyu-fried rice, furikake rice, or hot stone bibimbap.

New Zealand-style soft serve ice cream from LA's Creamy Boys
New Zealand-style soft serve ice cream from LA's Creamy Boys

New Zealand soft serve ice cream truck The Creamy Boys have just opened their first brick-and-mortar space in Hermosa Beach. Your ice cream here is "made to order," in which a vanilla base gets blended with your choice of fruit and transformed into a swirly be-coned beauty. The Boys also offer their own version of the "Hokey Pokey," a Kiwi-beloved housemade honeycomb toffee that is mixed into the ice cream and sprinkled on top.

1136 Hermosa Ave. Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. Closest transit lines and stop: Torrance Transit Line 13 and Beach Cities Transit Line 109 - "Hermosa/11th" or Metro Bus Line 232 - "Pacific Coast Highway/11th."

A collection of colorful toys, including toy racecars and a sock monkey
photo: Vanessa Bucceir/Unsplash

Vallarta Supermarkets will be hosting its annual holiday toy giveaway on Saturday, December 9 at select stores. Children who are 12 and under are encouraged to visit their local Vallarta for a free toy and a sweet treat, along with photo opps with Santa.

Two bars of golden-colored hashish
photo: Hakuna Matata/Unsplash

Vape company Puffco is holding a "Hashy Holidays" toy drive for the cannabis-inclined this Saturday afternoon from 2-8PM at The Astor Club LA in West Hollywood. Adults over 21 are invited to this "hash-filled" event as long as they bring a toy, book, or articles of clothing valued at $20, which will go to The Midnight Mission. Product will be provided by Puffco, Feeling Frosty, Fidel’s and 710 Labs. Those interested need only RSVP here.

Beer selection at Wines & Pines in Santa Monica
Beers being offered at Santa Monica's Wines & Pines, with old signage from Boos & Brews

Wines & Pines (the endeavor formerly known as Boos & Brews) has set up shop in two locations in Santa Monica, offering Christmas tree shopping with a side of beer from San Diego's Mate Maker Co., wine, bounce houses, board games on picnic tables, and live music. Oh, and trees. Lots and lots of trees.

2307 Lincoln Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405. Closest transit line and stop: Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Line 3 - "Lincoln/Pearl."

1802 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90404. Closest transit lines and stop: Metro Bus Line 4 and Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Line 1 - "Santa Monica/20th" or Metro E Line - "17th Street/SMC Station."

A split sea urchin with ceviche inside at Holbox in LA
Sea urchin ceviche at Holbox

Yucatan-style mariscos palace Holbox and Koreatown's Kinn are collaborating on a 10-course dinner fusing the two restaurant's styles this Tuesday at Holbox, said to be Kinn's last hurrah for awhile. Reservations here.

Matzoh ball pho at Crustacean restaurant
Matzoh ball pho at Crustacean

To celebrate Hannukah, Vietnamese fine-dining restaurant Crustacean is offering its matzoh ball pho with Thai basil, as well as caviar leek and potato latkes, starting this Sunday and running through Dec. 15 in Beverly Hills.

A margarita with rosemary and a cranberry built to resemble Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer
Rudolph's Red Rita at Universal Studios' Grinchmas celebration

Alright, we just gotta say, Universal Studios Hollywood has some super-fetching holiday drinks and eats worth checking out at its annual Grinchmas celebration, like this Rudolph's Red Rita, above. Here are a few more adorable examples to visually savor, as you gin up that holiday spirit and head into the weekend.

A cocktail rimmed with sugar and bearing a tiny gingerbread man
Make it Snappy Santa cocktail at Grinchmas at Universal Studios
A heart-shaped cookie inspired by the Grinch
The Grinch-inspired "Heart Grew 3 Sizes" sugar cookies
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