Eat. Good.

You know what they say about “the best way to a person’s heart?”

Well, here’s our take: The best way to the heart of an issue might be through your stomach.

Upswell Community Dinners offer a chance to get outside the hotel to experience firsthand how food and mission can go together. Pick from a smorgasbord of options focused on education, health, the arts, economic development, and more.

Sit down with strangers, go home with friends, ideas – maybe even a solution or two.

Learn more about Upswell Community Dinners

Dinner Experiences

Homegirl Cafe Industries

At the intersection of social enterprise and a well-deserved Zagat rating, Homegirl Café Industries trains high-risk and formerly gang-involved young adults in culinary arts and restaurant service. During an intimate dinner, you’ll learn about the history and work of Homeboy Industries and engage in a conversation about the organization’s prevention and rehabilitation. Learn more.

Equitas Academy

How often do you have the opportunity to enjoy a gourmet dinner…at school? You’re invited to a special evening at the Equitas Academy’s newest charter school. The academy provides free high quality education to families in Los Angeles’ Pico Union neighborhood. You’ll not only enjoy a dinner catered by a cause-driven culinary entrepreneur. You’ll also hear a panel of LA food equity and policy experts discuss how changes to food waste streams, new food distribution networks, and access to micro-financing can expand healthy eating options in communities of color.

Mercado La Paloma

If you want to say that you had dinner in a “visionary space” at Upswell, here’s your big chance. The Mercado La Paloma’s mission is to create business ownership opportunities and living wage jobs for the local residents of the Figueroa Corridor of South Los Angeles. You’ll have time to explore the art and architecture at the Mercado before choosing a meal from one of its eight different restaurants (good luck picking just one). Then you’ll meet some of the business owners and learn about this innovative model for prosperity. Learn more.

Casa 0101

Think of this as dinner and a show with purpose. Start the evening with a mouthwatering Mexican meal at Casa Fina in Boyle Heights, a delicious social enterprise owned by CASA 0101. You’ll learn about the work of CASA 0101 over dinner and then stroll over to their theater for a special production based on past struggles and future opportunities of the Boyle Heights community. Learn more.

Heritage Square Museum

Located in Highland Park, the Heritage Square Museum is a showcase of living history. Explore the everyday lives of Southern Californians from the close of the 19th Century into the early decades of the 20th Century and then head outside for a delicious dinner al fresco and a movie under beautiful Angeleno skies. Learn more.

The Park’s Finest

Filipino flavor meets BBQ born from the backyard boogies of Los Angeles! This family owned business is built on a classic LA story: Filipino kids grew up in a gang-infested neighborhood and learned to meld the recipes they were raised on with the American BBQ tradition. You’ll devour (good luck eating slowly) mouthwatering food and learn why, for this success story, community was the key ingredient. Learn more.

Kettle Black

Nestled in the artsy neighborhood of Silver Lake, Kettle Black will serve up rustic Italian goodies like house-made pasta and fresh dough constructed with seasonal California ingredients. While you enjoy a three-course dinner, you’ll also engage in advocacy efforts to defend DACA, led by SameSide – an organization that aims to reach the millions of people who want to “get involved” and “do good” but aren’t sure where to begin.