Weekly Planner: King Cakes and Takeovers

January 6, 2014
by Rina Rapuano

The dry spell of events continues this week, likely because we’re all still trickling back to our regularly scheduled lives following the holidays. But in the absence of quantity, we’ve nevertheless managed to gather some quality events.


Today is Three Kings Day, which kicks off the official Mardi Gras season - as well as king cake season. Bayou Bakery chef/owner David Guas’ king cakes are available from now until Fat Tuesday (March 4 - the day of his Bayou Gras Block Party, for those who like to plan ahead). King cakes, which include the traditional plastic baby hidden inside, can be ordered for $39.95 and come with tri-colored Mardi Gras beads. Order online or in the store (703-243-2410).

Since chef Mike Isabella started his monthly Industry Takeover Nights at Graffiato a year ago, the $10 charity events have become legendary for their amazing food and raucous party atmosphere. Tonight's anniversary bash is expected to be bigger than ever, with the chef opening up the second floor and inviting fellow Top Chef alumni Jennifer Carroll and Angelo Sosa to join Del Campo chef Victor Albisu, The Source chef Scott Drewno and former Bourbon Steak chef Adam Sobel to cook for the crowds. The event, which benefits Meals on Wheels, includes bar snacks and drink discounts from 10 PM-2 AM (202-289-3600).


Russians know just what to do when a polar vortex blows into town - drink vodka, naturally. Thankfully, Mari Vanna is happy to accommodate by offering one complimentary shot of vodka per (legal) patron tomorrow until 7 PM, including house-infused vodkas like seaberry, horseradish, pineapple, pepper and cucumber-dill (202-783-7777).


A call to Kaz Sushi Bistro reveals that the restaurant has only four portions of fugu left, so the time to try it is now or never - or, until next year. The seasonal puffer fish is prepared by proprietor and master chef Kazuhiro Okochi, who creates a five-course dinner with the delicacy for $150, not including tax and tip (202-530-5500).


TokiFact, a Toki Underground takeover of Baltimore’s Artifact Coffee, starts tonight and runs through Saturday, picking up again next week from January 16-18. The first-come, first-serve event starts at 6:30 PM and goes until the last bowl of locally sourced ramen - and plates of dumplings - are sold (410-235-1881).


Glen’s Garden Market kicks off a six-week Drink Local! craft beer club that takes place Fridays at 8 PM starting this week and running through February 14. For $60, members can fill a growler with the beermonger’s weekly selection while nibbling on pub food and chatting with local brewers, the beermonger and other beer aficionados. Pay online or at the first club meeting (202-588-5698).

top chef
mike isabella
mardi gras