Recently Steven and I experienced a new culture at the Los Angeles Greek Fest. The fest lasted three days during the first
weekend in September. For only $3 ($2 with a coupon or free on Zorba/Friday night), you can get a slice of Greek life at Los Angeles’ own Saint Sophia Catedral. Although some of the food left much to be desired, the church itself is one of the most gorgeous I’ve seen (and I’ve been to Europe!).
Greek Fest had food, art & food vendors, a small carnival for kids, plenty of dancing and music and free tours of the Saint Sophia Catedral. Amusement park rides at the Greek Fest were provided by http://www.kastlamusements.com. It cost $30 for 40 tickets, $20 for 24 tickets, and $1 for 1 ticket. Rides were 3 tickets each. One of the vendors that I particularly enjoyed was the art of Maurice L. Hewitt, who drew ancient Greek mythological vases and prints. There were also plenty of sterling silver jewelry, hats, accessories and much more at many stands. Food vendors were selling Greek-themed food and equipment such as yogurt, balsamic vinegar, and kebob grills.
There was plenty of dancing happening in the center plaza all day to traditional music. At certain times there were even lessons so that all could learn traditional Greek steps. One fun fact about Greek dancing is that you must do all you can to not break the circle!
Steven and I took our own tour of the Saint Sophia Cathedral, which was largely funded by 20th Century Fox. With gold furnishings on every wall, beautiful chandeliers and brightly painted murals, I thought the cathedral was one of the most beautiful I’ve seen. For more pictures of the church, check out the album on our Facebook page.
We also attended one of the cooking demonstrations with some of the staff members from Papa Cristo’s, a popular Greek restaurant which also happens to be located across the street from Greek Fest. I was impressed that the owner himself was giving the demonstration. He and a cook from his restaurant made a Greek pastry called kataifi. The treat is similar to baklava, but the ingredients are combined differently and the outside filo is molded into threads rather than a single layer. Along with the demonstration, the owner also shared many ingredients that are used in their everyday dishes, including their own Greek seasoning, extra virgin olive oil, oregano and Greek Mountain Tea. I will definitely be back to visit this restaurant to try out the food!
Along with the kataifi, Steven and I also tried keftethes (Greek meatballs), spanakopita, and pastitsio. We both found most of the food quite dry, and I was sad that there didn’t seem to be any hummus around to rectify this problem! Spanakopita is a fluffy pastry filled with cheese and spinach and pastitsio is essentially the Greek version of lasagna with cream sauce instead of tomato. Steven also sampled a glass of Kourtaki wine, which has the addition of oak to make the drink more wooden in taste. Also on sale at the fest was Greek coffee, other pastries, lamb, gyros, and much more!
In conclusion, if you want to try out the finely blended Greek coffee, get your feet dancing or learn how to make kataifi, definitely check out the Greek Fest next year! Parking was free of charge at the nearby cemetery with an air-conditioned shuttle to and from the cathedral. Check out more photos from Greek Fest on our Facebook page! Stay tuned for future posts on Brazil Day in LA and Oktoberfest in Torrance! Opa!