800 E 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Joseph Pitruzzelli, co-owner of exotic sausage restaurant Wurstkuche in Downtown, suggests bratwurst for beginners, but daring diners attending his party will try the duck, bacon and jalapeno or the rabbit, veal and pork sausage topped with either mild or hot peppers. Those in search of something a hot and spicy will need to try the Austin Blues, a hardwood smoked pork sausage with three peppers. Lucky for those of us who didn’t make the invite list – all of these sausages are available raw for take-out at Wurstkuche.
Weiser Family Farms
various farmers markets
If you’re looking for fruit and vegetable sides, who better to ask than the farmer that grows them. This year, Weiser Family Farms is making a patriotic potato salad by roasting their yellow, red and purple potatoes and mixing it up with pesto and parmesan – a bright, flavorful alternative to the standard mayonnaise and eggs. The Weisers also suggest moving melon from the fruit plate to the grill. Slice any in-season melon (they suggest Anana, Sugar Queen or Baby Canary) and grill it briefly on both sides. Drizzle with balsamic and crumbled feta cheese for an unexpected side dish.
The Rosenthal Tasting Room
26023 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
Out in Malibu, Neil McNally of Rosenthal – The Malibu Estate and Surfrider Wines will be roasting chicken with garlic, oregano and capers, grilling vegetables and making coleslaw with an Asian twist. But what does a winery director drink when he’s at home? Neil recommends Rosenthal – The Malibu Estate’s Chardonnay and Surfrider Hang Ten Red, sales of which support the Surfrider Foundation. Neil also offers up a tip for drinking summertime reds. Since “room temperature” during the summer can easily mean 80 degrees, serve your reds slightly chilled.
11938 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
On a grill-centric holiday like the 4th, it can be easy to overlook our vegetarian friends and guests. Rather than leave them to pick from the side dishes, Chef Rod Rotondi of Leaf Organics restaurant in Culver City suggests a vegan burger made with avocado, portobello mushrooms, coconut meat and fresh herbs. Wrap the patty in romaine leaves, top with tomato, avocado, red onion and sprouts and you may even convert the party carnivore.
The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories
The Market at Santa Monica Place
395 Santa Monica Place, STE 329
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Finally, it wouldn’t be America’s birthday without dessert. Ruth Kennison, chocolatier and pastry instructor at The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories in Santa Monica, saves her truffles for cooler weather and embraces the season’s fresh farmers market berries. She starts with homemade meringues, then tops them with whipped cream and berries to make individual pavlovas. For the kids, it’s always ice cream sandwiches. Though in lieu of cookies, she puts the ice cream between brownies before rolling the edges in colorful sprinkles. It might be hard to keep the adults away from the kids table.