Wide Eyes Open Palms to host Sri Lankan dinner fundraiser for sustainable boutique • the Hi-lo

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Popular café Wide Eyes Open Palms will host a four-course dinner in partnership with Long Beach-based online boutique Monkey Mind to benefit the sustainable-sourced home goods shop on Saturday, Nov. 11.

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Monkey Mind works with weavers, loomers, and artisans in Sri Lanka to create durable and eco-friendly homeware. The fabric is made traditionally, handwoven on wooden looms.

Tickets to the fundraiser are priced at $100 and include a complimentary beverage, two Monkey Mind hand-loomed napkins and a four-course Sri Lankan meal.

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The dinner will include popular Southeast Asian dishes like Malu Paan, hand pies stuffed with a spiced potato or meat filling, and Idiyappam, or string hoppers, a noodle dish.

Hand-loomed napkins included in the Wide Eyes Open Palms fundraiser dinner with Monkey Mind. Courtesy of Wide Eyes Open Palms on Instagram.

WEOP owners Chef Kat McIver and Angie Evans first met Monkey Mind owners Nalika Gajaweera and Anuradha “Rudy” Edirisinghe when they lived in the same apartment building on Sixth Street. Gajaweera and Edirisinghe, both of whom are Sri Lankan, would invite the couple over for dinners where Edirisinghe would cook Sri Lankan meals.

“It’s been an idea floating out there for years,” McIver said “We had so many amazing dinners [at that apartment], I never experienced spices in that way before.” 

McIver would often ask Edirisinghe questions about the food, learning more about Sri Lankan cuisine with each dinner party as their friendship blossomed over good food and similar values.

Over a couple of beers one night, they took the plunge and set a date to make the fundraiser happen.

During the event, there will be educational videos about the women artisans Monkey Mind supports in Sri Lanka, McIver said.

Some of the shop’s collection will also be on display and available for purchase. McIver personally has multiple Monkey Mind products, like their farmer’s market bag and yoga bag.

“Getting to support the Monkey Mind project is investing in beautiful items with the goal of sustainability,” McIver said.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and seating is limited, tickets can be purchased here.

Wide Eyes Open Palms is located at 416 Cherry.





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