The Mad Caddies (FB / TW) performing Silence at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. Filmed on October 24, 2013.

In today’s generation, those growing up aim to set their own trends instead of following in their parents’ footsteps. For the most part, parents raised their children with what they (the parents) learned growing up, passing on their behaviors and lifestyles on to their children. However, as the children grow up, they start to desire independence from their parents, and as such they will want to develop their own wants and desires, usually opposite from their parents. For example, while parents will likely want to eat something familiar such as pizza and burgers, the children may want something special, usually something different or fusion. Today, fusion food exists in many restaurants, which combines two different foods into one concept imagined by the chef. Instead of trying to divide parents from children, why not make a place friendly to both, such as Pizza Port?

Bearing no relation to the pizza place in Disneyland with the same name, Pizza Port resembles a true Southern California staple. Not only do they craft their own family-friendly food, but they also brew their own huge lineup of craft beers. This makes Pizza Port a great place for the entire family – the children can enjoy the fun food as well as the games inside the restaurant, and the parents can enjoy the fantastic food as well as a cold one or two. While Pizza Port revels in the awards they win for the beers they brew, their food ought to win awards as well. When you see their BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza, you will understand why both parents and children love this dish. This pizza pie comes with tangy barbecue sauce, beef meatballs, diced bacon, chopped red onions, and mozzarella & cheddar cheese with red onions. All of their pizzas can come on traditional pizza dough or their beer-infused whole grain dough.

You can enjoy this savory pizza pie at any of Pizza Port’s locations for $9.50 for a small, $18.25 for a medium, or $22 for a large. Check out what else Pizza Port has serving up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Orange County surely has their true fair share of craft beer fanatics that pledge allegiance to the top few local breweries. While craft beer in general encourages people to try new things, the highly conservative Orange County prefers to stick to their guns, opting only to give their loyalty to the best. Orange County has no room to try new things – they only want familiar things, especially in their beers. Perhaps this leads to the reason for high barriers to entry for a microbrewery to grow in Orange County. When people only want the most popular breweries, then the separation grows, much like the division between the poor and the wealthy. On the other hand, the number of popular breweries rises steadily, expanding from the original elite few to a handful of great breweries, which now includes Chapman Crafted Beer.

With Old Orange Brewing going through some strange unknown times (allegedly a bigger brewery bought them out), Old Towne Orange has returned to the craft beer spotlight with Chapman Crafted Beer. Chapman Crafted has existed for over a year by now, but took some time to get the ball rolling; however, do not call them beginners by any stretch. You see, the folks behind Chapman Crafted have a huge history in Orange because they derived from the Haven Collective. They started as just a gastropub in Orange, then expanded to a brewpub in Pasadena, and then acquired the Provisions Market down the street in Orange from The Bruery. They eventually closed down their operations in Pasadena, opting to focus on their home scene, which led to the founding of Chapman Crafted. In other words, these guys already know how to operate a brewery – think of it as them moving operations from Pasadena to Orange. As such, one can expect the same great quality of local beers as before from the variety of beer styles offered.

Check out Chapman Crafted Beer in Old Towne Orange and enjoy a brew or two there, or take some beer to-go. Check out what else Chapman Crafted Beer has coming up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The turn of a new year indicates that Lunar New Year soon approaches, and with it comes countless fairs, festivals, and events that all celebrate this cultural tradition. However, no other event brings everything all together quite like the Asian American Expo. Now in its 36th year, this event returned to the Fairplex in Pomona this past weekend to deliver the expansive world of Eastern culture. This all-ages expo featured just about everything revolving around Chinese culture and Asian pop culture in general, from the fashion to the fiction to the food to the art to the music and so much more. Attendees would encounter art, music, dance, entertainment, cosplay, fashion, anime, manga, comics, video games, merchandise, accessories, food, drinks, treats, and tons of other things that could keep one occupied for more than just a weekend. Many attendees went all out and dressed for the occasion, while other fans simply attended to check out what this expo has to offer, and believe me you could spend more than a day here.

While the Asian American Expo covered a great portion of the Fairplex, the expo consists of more than just its own vendor expo – the event incorporates Anime Impulse as well as The Silk Show, both of which took place in its own expo hall. The Silk Show took place in one of the expo halls and basically contained vendors for apparel and shoes. For most of the expo’s action, we turn to Anime Impulse. This annual event for all things Anime & Manga attracts exhibitors and fans from across the globe for a huge gathering of like-minded people. Attendees would find artists, designers, vendors, video game developers, technicians, actors/actresses, voice actors, models, musicians, singers, cosplayers, and much more. Within the layout of the Asian American Expo, Anime Impulse took up an expo hall and a half, splitting a second expo hall with part of the overall expo. Anime Impulse also utilizes a lot of the open space as well, as many of the cosplayers and anime fans spread out around the area, most of which looked for a good spot to take photos at. However, most of the action took place inside the main expo hall, filled with all the vendors as well as the indoor stage. A special Maid Café event took place in the back corner; however, this required an additional admission fee to check out, mainly for those who actively participate in those kinds of events.

Even to those not interested in the anime or manga or video games, everyone should attend an anime expo/con just to see everyone dressing up in costume. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into a staple for any sort of expo in this industry, and the fans proudly donned their best gear for this expo. Observe some of what you may expect to see in cosplay at an anime event:

The Asian American Expo, in conjunction with Anime Impulse and The Silk Show, operates annually right before Lunar New Year. While it will take another year for this particular series of events to return, plenty of Lunar New Year events will take place all the way up to the actual Lunar New Year. Check out my blog every Monday morning for a post about the following week’s events to see if one will come to your area. In the meantime, get social with the Asian American Expo by liking them on Facebook. You can also get social with Anime Impulse by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter. The same goes for The Silk Show: check them out on Facebook and Twitter as well. If you missed out on visiting the Fairplex this past weekend, fret not – Anime Los Angeles will take place at the Ontario Convention Center in less than two weeks from now.

Los Angeles Restaurant Week
January 13-27
Various locations

This dining event showcases the best in food Los Angeles has to offer. All participating restaurants will feature prix-fixe menus for locals and visitors alike. Lunches range from $15-25, while dinners range from $25-45.

13th Annual San Diego Restaurant Week
January 15-22
Participating restaurants in San Diego

Select restaurants throughout San Diego County will offer prix-fixe meal deals during this 7-day period. Lunches range from $10 to $20, while dinners range from $25 to $45.

11th Annual Newport Beach Restaurant Week
January 16-29
Participating restaurants in Newport Beach

This 14-day period of restaurant specials takes place at participating restaurants in Newport Beach. Many restaurants will serve special prix-fixe three-course meals ranging from as low as $10 to as high as $40, or more for a few select locations.

14th Annual STARS of Santa Barbara
6:00 pm – 9:30 pm, January 18
Leica Store & Gallery, West Hollywood

Enjoy some wines and a silent auction in West Hollywood this Wednesday night. General admission costs $95, starts at 7pm, and includes unlimited wine and appetizer tastings while supplies last. VIP admission costs $195, starts at 6pm, and also includes a private dinner and wine tasting. No one under 21 may attend.

Women’s Beer Forum
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, January 18
Eagle Rock Brewery, Eagle Rock

$24 gets you a flight of four beers from various breweries. Judging by historical posts about this event, it appears that men may not participate in this.

Deschutes Tap Takeover
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, January 18
Far Bar, Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles

This Wednesday night, Little Tokyo’s Far Bar will have a bunch of beers on tap from Deschutes Brewery. This event has no admission fee – simply show up and enjoy a cold one or two.

Riot LA: Alternative Comedy Festival
January 19-22
Various locations, Los Angeles

A series of comedy shows will take place across Los Angeles this weekend. Each individual show has its own ticket prices, while Riot LA offers package deals starting at $50.

4th Annual San Diego Caffeine Crawl
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, January 20
9:00 am – 4:30 pm, January 21
10:00 am – 2:30 pm, January 22
Various locations, San Diego County

Coffee lovers meet up this week at various locations in San Diego County. Like a pub crawl, attendees will select one of four routes, and explore a handful of coffee shops in select neighborhoods based on the route. Some routes may even include coffee beer!

1st Annual Pasadena Half Marathon & 5K
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, January 20
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, January 21
7:00 am – 1:00 pm, January 22
Rose Bowl, Pasadena

Pasadena gets their own half marathon this weekend. A health & fitness expo will take place at the Pasadena Convention Center on Friday and Saturday, free to attend to the public. The half marathon and 5k will take place on Sunday morning at the Rose Bowl. Many streets around the area will close to vehicular traffic on Sunday, so check the website to see if any of the closures will affect your day.

The Toasters: Live in Southern California
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 20, Union Club, Arlington Heights, Los Angeles
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, January 22, The Casbah, Middletown, San Diego

Ska band The Toasters currently tour across the nation, and that tour visits Southern California this week. Ticket prices and age limits vary with each show, so click on a show’s link for information.

Pancakes & Booze Art Show
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, January 20-21
Lot 613, Los Angeles

For just a $5 cover, guests get treated to unlimited pancakes and many artists from across the country showcasing their works. Guests can also witness body painting, stencil art, art battles, sculptures, graffiti, and more. Guests can park on the street for free, or park in the adjacent parking lot for $5. No one under 21 may enter.

The Aggrolites @ The Echo
8:30 pm – 12:30 am, January 20
The Echo, Echo Park

The Aggrolites wrap up their winter tour this Friday night in Echo Park. Tickets to this show cost $13.50 presale or $16.50 at the door. No one under 18 may enter.

International Tiki Market Place
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, January 21
Don The Beachcomber, Sunset Beach

For $10 admission gain access to a plethora of tiki-themed vendors in Sunset Beach this Saturday afternoon. Admission comes with a $10 voucher for food & drink, so technically you get in for free!

Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up – Temecula Appearance
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, January 21
Promenade Temecula, Temecula

SoCal Hello Kitty fans will not want to miss this rare opportunity to experience the Hello Kitty Cafe. This weekend, visitors will enjoy macarons, minicakes, and other Hello Kitty treats not found anywhere else.

Brews & Bros Craft Beer Festival 2017
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, January 21
Cable Airport, Upland

Celebrate Last Name Brewery’s 14th anniversary with lots of beer this Saturday. This beer festival will have over 80 beers to sample, plus cider, wine, craft soda, gourmet food, live music, games, and more. General admission costs $50, starts at 1pm, and comes with a souvenir glass and unlimited beer pours while supplies last. VIP admission costs $65, starts at 12pm, and also includes a bottle opener, preferred parking, and access to rare beers.

Eagle Rock Brewery 7th Anniversary Party
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, January 21
Eagle Rock Brewery, Eagle Rock

Eagle Rock Brewery turns seven this weekend, and to celebrate, the brewery will celebrate in style right at home at the tasting room. Guests pay $25 presale or $30 at the door to receive five drinks and a souvenir glass for this occasion. In addition, a handful of food trucks will stop by to serve the masses. No one under 21 may attend.

The Rookery 4th Anniversary Beer Fest
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 21
The Rookery, Pomona

The Rookery in Downtown Pomona turns four this weekend, and to celebrate, they will have dozens of rare brews on tap throughout the weekend. Simply show up, enjoy the rare brews, and pay as you go. The Rookery will offer 4oz pours of these brews as well for those who want to treat this like a beer tasting event. Expect mostly heavy and strong beers at this one – The Rookery does not slouch when it comes to beer selection. The Rookery has a full-service kitchen with their full menu available all day. Guests can find free parking around Downtown Pomona, and can avoid paying to park in metered lots.

2017 Los Angeles Uncorked Wine Festival
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, January 21
Union Station, Los Angeles

Enjoy a wine festival with over 60 different wines, food trucks, live music, and more. General admission costs $60 and starts at 6pm, while VIP admission costs $70 and starts at 5pm. All attendees receive unlimited wine tastings while supplies last. Food comes at a separate cost, so bring cash for food. No one under 21 may attend.

2nd Annual Ladyface Ale Invitational
11:30 am – 4:30 pm, January 22
Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie, Agoura Hills

Lady Alehouse celebrates their seventh anniversary this weekend with lots of beer, both in-house and from guest breweries. Admission costs $40 presale or $45 at the door, and gets you a souvenir glass and 20 beer tasters. Ladyface Alehouse will serve food at an additional cost to attendees. No one under 21 may attend.

The Fit Expo Los Angeles returned for its 14th year running this past weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Taking place over the course of two days in the South Hall, this massive expo showcases all forms of fitness and athletics with live competitions, demos, workshops, seminars, and more. Visitors could view various forms of fitness and non-arena sports, such as CrossFit, weightlifting, arm wrestling, Zumba, Parkour, wrestling, (mixed) martial arts, and more. The massive expo hall contained enough vendors to fill multiple swap meets, but once visitors got past all the vendors, they found the various demo areas strewn about the expo hall. The middle of the hall primarily contained the vendors and giveaways, while the perimeter of the hall contained all the competitions.

The Fit Expo opens their doors to all demographics of all ages, not just those in the industry or those who work out frequently. Fit people love this expo because they can keep up with latest trends and news in the fitness industry. Casual visitors like this expo because they can learn the right ways to get fit, as well as feel motivated after seeing all the fit people around. The Fit Expo occurs routinely in California, and will return to Southern California in August at the Anaheim Convention Center. When an expo like this comes your way, consider attending to see what it truly takes to stay fit, and gain first-hand experience from people who know how to stay fit.

The craft beer scene in Downtown Santa Ana has grown substantially from almost nothing to booming the past year. At the start of 2014, places like The Playground, C4 Deli, The Copper Door, and Chapter One existed that served local craft beer; however, most of Southern California’s craft beer enthusiasts never truly regarded Santa Ana as a craft beer destination. This all turned around in 2014 with the introduction of places like The Good Beer Company and Native Son Alehouse, which essentially got the snowball rolling to transform Downtown Santa Ana into a bustling scene where millennials can rampage all they want. The gentrification cycle appears strong in Downtown Santa Ana, and at least its introductory phase shows its progress with these new bars and artisanal shops popping up before the tech businesses move in. For now, we can enjoy these new places to spend our time, such as at the recently-opened Mission Bar.

Nestled right in the heart of Downtown Santa Ana, Mission Bar marks the perfect hideaway for any craft beer fan that ends up in the neighborhood. Mission Bar officially opened their doors to the public a week ago, replacing an old ranchero dive bar. After taking the spot over, the folks touched up the place, spruced it up a little, and added dozens of fresh beer taps all containing a plethora of craft beers. Mission Bar stands out from the rest of Orange County by also carrying beers from out of the area. While lots of Orange County places will only serve local beer. Mission Bar extends a hand to breweries across the country and taps their beers here as well. Some out-of-town breweries seen here include Bell’s, Epic Brewing, and Great Divide. Of course, catering to the local crowd, Mission Bar still has a large selection of local beers. While Mission Bar does not serve food, patrons can bring food in from elsewhere if they so choose. Multiple pool tables and televisions will keep patrons occupied as they enjoy their brews. In the future, Mission Bar plans to implement tasting flights and tap takeovers. Who knows – they may one day host a bottle share here!