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Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival
Photography by Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival

This weekend, Los Angeles has been taken over by foodies from around the world. Chefs come from near and far to show off their skills in cooking demos, offer their expertise at roundtable discussions and serve their delicious creations to the gourmands who were smart enough to buy a ticket to the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival.

This is only the second year of this festival –with venues in Santa Monica, downtown LA, Hollywood and Beverly Hills — and it’s already a big deal. Last year’s festival featured more than 30 restaurants and 200 vineyards, and this year’s tops that with chefs such as Giada de Laurentiis, the Voltaggio brothers and even our own Andrew Zimmern serving the 15,000 people who are expected to attend.

Need another opportunity to fill your stomach with the best food and wine around? Check out our photos of the Best Food & Wine Festivals in the US, see The Lost Girls’ picks for the best destinations for a food and wine-themed girls’ getaway or grab your significant other and take a Wine Tour Weekend.

black-dhalia

The bright lights of Tinseltown have lured their share of young women. Among them was a raven-haired girl from Massachusetts who hoped to make it big in Los Angeles. But in the end, Elizabeth Short came to be known as the tragic Black Dahlia. In tonight’s episode of Hidden City: Los Angeles, at 10|9c, host Marcus Sakey explores Short’s mysterious death, which culminated in the gruesome discovery of her mutilated body in a vacant lot in 1947.

Sadly, Short was hardly the only woman whose life ended young — and, in several cases, under mysterious circumstances. Call it the Black Dahlia Club. If you’re planning a trip to Los Angeles, take a detour down these haunted streets; echoes of lives cut short still resound (hat tip: Esotouric and photographer Derek Hutchison): READ MORE

by Christina Ricchiuti,
PackedSuitcase.com

 

Harry Potter fans celebrate plans for new theme park in Hollywood

Get ready, West Coast Muggles … the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood in California!

Just when you might think that our favorite boy wizard’s been replaced by the latest literary craze (I’m looking at you, Hunger Games …) Universal goes all-in and continues to make Harry the cornerstone of its amusement park empire.

This looks to be a good move. The Orlando attraction, which opened to the masses in June 2010, led to a 68% increase in attendance during the first 3 months of 2011 and continues to be a top incentive to visit the older Universal Studios parks. Needless to say, the Orlando version has been a resounding success, and the Los Angeles attraction is sure to draw its fair share of fans as well. READ MORE

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