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Where to Find Betty White & 11 Dishes Inspired by Zoo Critters

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The Los Angeles Zoo's annual Beastly Ball fundraiser is where you will find longtime Zoo champion Betty White, and tables laden with dishes from several local restaurants inspired by Zoo critters.

Specifically, this year's Beastly Ball challenged the chefs and restaurants to come up with food that plays on LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates and Reptiles) habitat animal names. Guests at the June 16 event, which is in its 42nd year and typically attracts thousands of attendees and raises more than $1 million annually, will be noshing on dishes like The Federal Bar's "Black Mamba" (Grilled Swordfish w Rainbow Chard, Braised Shallot Sauce and Forbidden Rice) or Maison Akira's "Two-Horned Chameleon" (House Smoked Salmon On Soba Pasta, and Braised Pork Belley w Pilaf Rice).

The Beastly Ball is a benefit for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (for which Ms. White serves as Co-Chairman). Attendees have the chance to tour portions of the Zoo (Upper Africa, Elephants of Asia, and the LAIR) during the evening, eat their fill of food and drink, participate in the silent and live auctions, and dance under the stars. This year, the live auction will be emceed by Jimmy Pardo, and the event will honor Richard J. Riordan, former Los Angeles Mayor, as well as actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, recipient of the Tom Mankiewicz Leadership Award. This is a big ticket event; it's $1,000 per person to attend.

Earlier this week, the participating restaurants were joined by GLAZA Co-Chairman White at the Zoo for a preview of the dishes that will be served up. We weren't able to be there, but GLAZA obliged by sending us some photos of the chefs and their creations.

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GLAZA Honors Betty White at its Annual Beastly Ball with Creatures Both Great and Small (2010)
Real Party Animals at The Beastly Ball (2009)
Beastly Ball @ LA Zoo (2008)