March 27-29 The fifth annual Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert will feature wine and craft beer seminars, celebrity chef book signings and two “Grand Tastings” with more than 50 restaurants and 70 wineries, brewers and spirits purveyors. For more information, visit www.palmdesertfoodandwine.com
Ongoing Set in the lovely grounds of Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, Mustangs & Burros has a new happy hour. Chef Timothy Ralphs has created a lively and fun menu with exciting edibles and potables. Each weekday celebrates different food and beers, from handcraft brews with fresh ceviche to mule drinks with ginger beer paired with real-deal TJ hotdogs. Thursday means street tacos with Tecate; Fridays are pitcher specials with platters of Cal-Mex eats. Most beers and nibbles run $5. Happy hour takes place Monday through Friday with drinks on special from 2 p.m.-7 p.m., and food deals from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Mustangs & Burros, Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, 9700 N. Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, CA 92037, 858-550-1000.
Wednesday through Sunday Carruth Cellars has opened on Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach. This boutique urban winery handcrafts artisan wines from select grapes from the Russian River Valley and California Coast. Wine tastings occur Wednesdays through Saturdays from noon-9 p.m. and Sundays from noon-6 p.m. Get six pours for $10. Carruth Cellars Winery, 320 South Cedros Ave #400, Solana Beach, CA 92075, 858-847-9463.
Thursdays Vintana Wine + Dine is adding a little pulse to the inland North County nightlife with Thursday Night Live on the rooftop terrace every Thursday from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Guests can enjoy live music, cocktails and food by the fire pits. Drink specials include $7 vodka drinks or half-price on select wines. Entertainment will vary week to week with jazz, blue, acoustics and R&B acts, featuring local and regional singer/songwriters. Enjoy the lanai menu with tasty items like crispy chickpea calamari and sesame-crusted Brie. Vintana Wine + Dine, Lexus Centre, 1205 Auto Park Way, Escondido, CA 92029, 760-745-7777.