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Opa! The Los Angeles Greek Festival

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Last weekend Saint Sophia's parish was an extravaganza of dancing, music, and feasting as they hosted the LA Greek Fest 2009. Other events included cooking demonstrations, children's carnival rides and games, raffles, theater, workshops and a Latina Salsa Show (hunh).

OK, so let's talk food. Inside the hall they served a set price Greek dinner including dolmathes (Grape leaves stuffed with rice, meat and spices), salad, chicken or lamb. The pastries were astounding, as always. The loukoumathes, a donut coated in honey, served piping hot, brought back one friend's memories of caravaning to the beach in Greece just to savor the delicacy.

Outside at the festival a variety of vendors offered Greek specialties like tiropites (thin filo filled with a delicate blend of cheeses), Gyros (seasoned beef and lamb combination served on hot pita bread), and Moussaka (Layers of sautéed eggplant with ground beef and cream sauce).

The winning dish of the event was definitely the Pastistio (a Greek version of lasagna, with ground beef, blended cheeses and fluffy light pasta topped with a rich cream sauce). Although to be fair, I was too full to even try the Saganaki, the flaming specialty cheese. Cheese on fire. So worth the risk.