Count me among those who believe the best place in a party—or a house—is the kitchen. 

Now The Kitchen—aka La Cocina—is a party 3-8pm every Wednesday in King City, at 815 Broadway, across from King City High School. 

It supplants the former farmers market, where the prepped food was the most popular.

The vendors include Andrade's Corn, Andy Pandy, Cacahuate El Charro, Champion Corn, Cocina Michoacano, El Taquero Deli, Jackie's Frozen Strawberries, Rainbow Raspados, The Reef, Variedades Sol, Vasos de Fruta, Castillo Vasquez Fruit and Kevin's Produce. 

The food, meanwhile, ropes in everything from slow-simmered spicy goat stew (or birria) to Mexican-style corn on the cob to stuffed baked potatoes to Swiss sausage to banana splits to fish-and-shrimp tacos with homemade tortillas.

A handful of additional vendors offer house plants, Tupperware and other kitchen-related items while live music and dance performances up the mood.

"It's cool to see entire families come out and enjoy the atmosphere," coordinator Tina Lopez says. "It's a great gathering place and it's been well-attended."

More food news nibbles appear below: 

Fieldwork Brewing is open in downtown Monterey next to Peet's Coffee as of Aug. 13. More on the blog.

McShane's in Salinas is shutting down the nursery side of its business, which is a bummer for home gardeners. Closing sales will provide good deals though, now through its last day Sept. 30.

• A new food truck sets up 6-9pm Thursdays at Post No Bills in Sand City. G57 (224-2637) specializes in Philly cheesesteaks, Chicago-style hot dogs, curly fries and gyro sandwiches. It also appears 10:30am-1:30pm Tuesdays at Harris Court in Ryan Ranch.

Vesuvio Restaurant welcomes Travis Tucker, Ketel One Vodka and Nolet’s Gin brand ambassador, for a tasting 5-7pm Thursday, Aug. 17, on the Starlight Rooftop Lounge.  Then he hits the InterContinental 5:30-7:30pm Friday, August 18 at C restaurant + bar

Lidia Ricos Tacos trailer—tucked next to Roto-Rooter on Del Monte near El Estero Lake in Monterey—now has a sit-down area to go with the authentic tacos.

Duckhorn Wine Company (Duckhorn Vineyards, Goldeneye, Paraduxx, Migration, Decoy and Canvasback) has acquired pioneering San Benito County winery Calera Wine Company. Calera founder Josh Jensen and his Pinots helped to establish the Central Coast as one of the planet's most exciting wine regions. 

Safeway has acquired lease for the property where Nob Hill now stands in Pacific Grove. The conservative timeline for the new store to open is some time next year. Smart money says it will be one of its showcase stores.

All Saints' Episcopal reinvigorates Small Bites to Fight Big Hunger with food from Aabha Indian, Demetra and Roux, local wines and a robust silent auction Sept. 22 ($50, 624-3883).


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