Archive for November, 2014

The Fall 2014 Santa Ana Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival returns to W 2nd St & N Sycamore St in Downtown Santa Ana this coming Sunday. This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fairs in Long Beach, Oakland, and Santa Ana. To envision Patchwork Fest, imagine an arts & crafts fair, but catered to a modern trendy crowd. As I describe it to others, imagine an art fair full of hipsters, but in a non-offensive way. The many local vendors set up their booths here, selling their wares, merchandise, apparel, accessories, foods, desserts, music, and so on. Patchwork Fest emphasizes supporting the local community, a perfect follow-up to Small Business Saturday that takes place this Saturday, a day prior to Patchwork Fest.

Completely free to attend to the public, Patchwork Fest openly welcomes pets, and boasts a free bike valet for visitors. Each branch of the streets will feature over a hundred different local vendors all selling their various goods and/or services. Check out the few music booths around the area, which will host local musicians. Visitors who get hungry can enjoy fresh hot eats from the various food vendors throughout the event area, or can browse through the various food booths in the fest for portable eats.

As a FREE event open to all ages and all pets, Patchwork Fest presents a welcome opportunity to support the local community. Commuting visitors should look for parking in the neighborhood to the south. Come experience what makes Patchwork Fest a repeat success, and support local businesses while having fun this Sunday.

Lindsey Stirling performing Phantom Of The Opera at House of Blues in Anaheim, CA. Filmed on April 2, 2013.

Barbeque exists all around the world in multiple forms. Most Americans visualize barbecue as Southern style, such as smoked chicken, pulled pork, ribs, tri-tip, brisket, and so on. In Mexican cuisine, grilled meats have the word asado/a in it. Korean culture has introduced the western world to Korean BBQ. Pacific islanders have graced the world with their renditions of barbecue that include short ribs and Kalua pork. Regardless of the nation of origin, people worldwide recognize the general savoriness of barbecue foods. Due to the general craving of it, some crafty people have started to learn how to utilize every piece of the meat. While some methods go to rather extreme lengths to utilize all parts of the meat (see Rocky Mountain oysters), most people prefer to consume these extraneous cuts of meat. Commonly, Southern style BBQ restaurants may serve rib tips and burnt ends. If you have yet to try either of the aforementioned, you owe it to yourself to seek it out soon, such as at Smoqued BBQ.

With a handle on what the people want, Smoqued BBQ ensures that they rarely run out of customer favorites. This BBQ restaurant in Old Towne Orange delivers classic BBQ dishes using their own recipes, while slinging out over a dozen different types of craft beers at any given moment. Their extensive food menu carries multiple variations of their signature BBQ meats, from brisket to pulled pork to tri-tip to ribs and more. Perhaps the one dish that brings customers back the most resides on their appetizers section. In the appetizers section lies the appropriately named Brisket Burnt Ends. Sure they list this in the appetizers section, and they present it in a way that multiple people can share it. However, after you bite into one of these juicy morsels, you will want the plate all to yourself. This half-pound mound of meaty goodness consists of double-smoked brisket cube ends, which they caramelize in their house BBQ sauce. For burnt ends, the pieces retain their juiciness, as the seared caramelization of the sauce on the outside seals the meat’s natural juices inside. As if the outside did not contain enough heavenly flavor, the meat itself gives a rich, hearty, beefy taste that only true grillmasters can produce.

Smoqued BBQ vows to always have the Brisket Burnt Ends available for customers to order. However, if they get slammed on any given day, they may run out by the end of the day. As a result, if you desire some top-notch burnt ends, head on over to Smoqued BBQ in Orange as early in the day as possible, and order up some burnt ends for yourself for $13. The price tag may appear steep, but once you get hooked, you may quickly overlook that.

The 2014 Long Beach Turkey Trot takes place Thanksgiving morning, this Thursday, as early as 6:30am. Spectators should expect to see thousands of runners over the course of four start times: 7am, 8am, 9am, and 10am. Participants may select to run a 5k or 10k at 7am or 8am, a 10k at 9am, and a 5k at 10am. Kids may enter a half-mile run starting around 9:10-9:15. Online registration already closed, so those still wanting to participate will have to visit the starting line at the Belmont Olympic Pool this Wednesday from 1pm til 7:45pm with the $40 registration fee. Participants may also pick up their race bib and packet during this time frame. Because of Thanksgiving, anyone can park at any metered parking spot for free, allowing for plenty of free parking, in addition to the nearby neighborhoods.

The race takes place mainly along the shores of Long Beach, ranging from Granada Beach all the way to Shoreline. The starting line begins at Bennett Ave and launches eastward before turning around at Granada Ave and running along the beach. 5k runners will turn back before Junipero Ave, while 10k runners will continue all the way to Shoreline Village Dr before turning back. The run ends on the north side of the Belmont Olympic Pool building.

Turkey Trots will occur in many places across the nation this weekend, so you have choices on which one to pick. Looking for a way to either build up metabolism or burn off your Thanksgiving feast? Check out a Turkey Trot near you, and get your body back into motion.

CH3 @ Alex’s Bar
9:00 pm – 1:30 am, November 26
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach

As they do every year, original punk band CH3 headlines a show this Wednesday night at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach. Tickets to this show cost just $8. No one under 21 may enter. Guests should park on Orizaba or the neighborhood across the street.

3rd Annual Guttermouth Turkey Bowl
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, November 26
Character’s Sports Bar, Pomona

As they do every year, Guttermouth headlines this pre-Thanksgiving show in Pomona this Wednesday. Presale tickets cost $13, while tickets at the door cost $15. No one under 21 may enter. Guests can find plenty of free street parking nearby.

Long Beach Turkey Trot 5k/10k Run/Walk
6:00 am – 11:00 am, November 27
Belmont Olympic Pool, Long Beach

This fun run takes place on Thanksgiving morning. Participants should pick up their bib and packet from Belmont Olympic Pool prior to that morning – see the site for schedules. Four different runs start at 7am, 8am, 9am, and 10am. The registration fee now costs $40 per person for any run. As a fun run, participants do not receive any actual prizes – only bragging rights. Participants may park in nearby beach parking lots for free until the end of the event, upon which officials will enforce the parking meters.

37th Annual Dana Point Turkey Trot
6:00 am – 11:00 am, November 27
Dana Point Harbor, Dana Point

Another Thanksgiving fun run takes place in Dana Point. Registration costs $40 per person. As with any fun run, participants do not receive prizes for winning.

Turkey Trot Los Angeles
6:30 am – 11:00 am, November 27
Grand Park, Downtown Los Angeles

Moving from Santa Monica to Los Angeles, the Turkey Trot will combine a fair with a race, with a costume contest, turkey calling contest, potato sack races, and other fair-themed activities. Registration currently costs $35, but will increase to $40 starting Thursday.

LosCon 41
November 28-30
LAX Mariott Hotel, Los Angeles

I have very little information about this event, but it has something to do with science fantasy. Approach this event at your own risk.

Hangar 24 Brewery’s Chandelle Release
10:00 am – 12:00 am, November 28
Hangar 24 Brewery, Redlands

Hangar 24 brings back Chandelle, one of their most anticipated beers, this Black Friday. Anyone visiting the tasting room can sip on Warmer from draft, as well as take bottles of it home. Throughout the day, visitors can enjoy live music, as well as food from the local mobile eatery.

Blackout Friday – No Thanks For The Taking
12:30 pm – 12:30 am, November 28
The Lexington Bar, Downtown Los Angeles

A bunch of local punk rock bands will perform at this all-day concert in Downtown Los Angeles. The cover for this show costs only $5.

Goose Island Tap Takeover @ Beachwood BBQ
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, November 28
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach

This Friday, Goose Island will release this year’s lineup of Bourbon County beers, and Beachwood BBQ will have four variants of it available. In addition, find other Goose Island beers on tap, and enjoy some goose-inspired special menu items.

Death March @ Redwood Bar
8:30 pm – 12:30 am, November 28
Redwood Bar, Downtown Los Angeles

Get crazy in Downtown LA this Friday night at the Redwood Bar. The cover for this punk rock show costs $6. No one under 21 may enter.

Bo Huff Rockabilly Extravaganza Cavalcade of Beauty 2014
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, November 29
Riverside Airport, Riverside

The Riverside Airport will have lots to do this Saturday. Visitors will find live music, pinup models, airplane rides, classic cars, vendors, and more.

The Turkey Cat
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, November 29
Los Amigos High School, Fountain Valley

Go on a bike ride this Saturday afternoon. In addition to bringing your own bike, all participants must bring their own bag, helmet, and five canned foods to donate.

4th Annual We Heart Eagle Rock Block Party
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, November 29
Eagle Rock Blvd & Colorado Blvd, Eagle Rock

Several shops in Eagle Rock will participate in this local Small Business Saturday celebration with sidewalk sales and other specials. Every shop will host their own specials, and some will have public activities, such as bounce houses or arts & crafts.

Bottle Share #16
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, November 29
38 Degrees Ale House, Alhambra

Brew your own beer? Got an interesting craft beer to share? Bring it to 38 Degrees’ monthly bottle share event, taking place this Saturday afternoon, and discover other great beers too. Free to attend, guests should bring approximately 40-50 ounce’s worth of beer. The restaurant has its own free parking lot.

Circus Jerks @ Loaded Hollywood
8:30 pm – 1:30 am, November 29
Loaded Hollywood, Hollywood

Check out some great local punk rock bands in Hollywood this Saturday night. The event page has yet to specify price, parking, and age information, so take all of that into consideration if traveling here.

Vintage Clothing & Textile Show
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, November 30
The Pickwick Gardens, Burbank

This expo features over 65 vendors selling their antique textiles, vintage clothes, accessories, and more for attendees to exhibit and purchase. Admission costs $8 per person and comes with free parking.

Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, November 30
The Road Less Traveled, Santa Ana

This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at different locations: Long Beach, Oakland, and Santa Ana. As with any typical arts & crafts fair, Patchwork will feature many traditional forms of art and merchandise, but also mixes in alternative art – thinking outside the box, or Rebel Art. Those who have attended Renegade Craft Fair will view Patchwork as a hybrid of that and a traditional art fair. Featuring clothing, accessories, home goods, jewelry, pet items, and more, this FREE fest caters to a wide & diverse crowd. Food trucks will serve guests during the fest. Always remember to carry cash, since most vendors only accept cash. Guests should park in the neighborhood north or west of the festival.

Connected Fashion Festival
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, November 30
Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles

At this FREE and all-ages event, several blocks within the Arts District in Downtown LA will close for visitors to experience a multitude of things to see and do. Visitors will find food, music, art, fashion, vendors, live entertainment, and more.

Tiki Bandits @ The World Famous Doll Hut
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, November 30
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim

Get your weekly fill of punk rock at the Doll Hut in Anaheim this Sunday night. The cover for this show costs $6. No one under 21 may enter.

Agenda 21 @ The Redwood Bar
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 30
The Redwood Bar, Downtown Los Angeles

Check out some local punk rock bands in Downtown Los Angeles this Sunday night. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may enter.

Orange County continues to build its craft beer momentum with the introduction of Barley Forge Brewing. Tucked away behind The Camp in Costa Mesa in the triangle created by the 405, 55, and 73 freeways, Barley Forge had already forged a legacy of their own among Orange County’s craft beer enthusiasts. Although I had not personally heard of Barley Forge up until this month, the name easily spread out through the veins of Orange County and as far down as San Diego County during the Brewers Guild Fest. One look at their tasting room, and one will understand how this brewery has generated so much buzz prior to their grand opening this past Saturday. In stark contrast to another brewery that also had their grand opening that same day, a waltz into the Barley Forge tasting room will have you feeling like you just walked into a millionaire’s playground. I mean, just how much money went into building this masterpiece? I can safely say that the folks behind Barley Forge proved their point that they intend to stay in this industry for a very long time.

Barley Forge has brought an important craft beer presence to this neglected central county area. With only Bayhawk Ales nearby (who does not have a tasting room), folks in this neck of Orange County finally have a haven to sip on some sophistication with their pinkies held high in the air. For future updates on Barley Forge, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Who knows – they may get into something really big within the next few weeks!

The 5th Annual Nuke the Fridge Con returned to the Frank & Son Collectible Show in Rowland Heights this past Saturday. This FREE and all-ages event showcased countless forms of pop culture, reaching out to fans of nearly anything imaginable. Taking place inside a large warehouse with multiple aisles filled with vendors and booths, the Nuke the Fridge Con has all the memorabilia to satisfy any collector’s dream. From comics to video games to anime to sports, any visitor could easily find something that would interest him/her, or at the very least find the right gift for friends and/or family. In the previous years, this event had lasted two days: Saturday and Sunday. This year, it only lasted for one day due to the celebrity appearances, namely those of professional wrestling. Although I expected to see cosplay, very few visitors participated, not enough to grab any outstanding photos.

The Nuke the Fridge Con attracts thousands of visitors annually due to its free cost and amount of content. As it takes place in mid-November typically, this event makes a great opportunity to search for holiday gifts for your friends and/or family. With so much to see here, you have little reason to not go to Nuke the Fridge Con. Give them a like on Facebook and a follow on Twitter to see what else they have planned. As a matter of fact, I had heard that the organizers will bring Nuke the Fridge back for an encore show in late January, so keep an eye out for it when January approaches!

In the craft beer industry, the location of a microbrewery’s facilities can make or break the business. For the most part, a microbrewery will have a tasting room in the same building as the production facility. Very few breweries have a tasting room separate from the actual brewery; for example, Ohana Brewing has its brewery near Downtown Los Angeles, while its tasting room resides in Alhambra. Microbreweries essentially require a building designed for industrial purposes, such as a warehouse. Since industrial buildings tend to exist in large clusters near each other, this explains the phenomenon that many microbreweries tend to exist in clusters, such as many of the microbreweries in the South Bay. While groups of breweries can exist near each other like this, some areas just do not have any real breweries at all. If you draw a quadrilateral from Downtown Los Angeles to the middle of the San Gabriel Valley to Anaheim to the South Bay, one will notice a stark lack of microbreweries (sans Downey Brewing, which hardly counts since they do not bottle nor distribute their products). Another city used to have virtually no microbreweries present, but as of this past weekend, that city returns to the craft beer scene.

Skyland Ale Works aims to bring a sense of community to the craft beer scene in Corona. Following the untimely closure of Main Street Brewery, Corona has lacked a brewery of its own, and if not for the various supermarkets and restaurants carrying craft beer, would turn Corona into just that one city that people would pass through between Orange County and the Inland Empire. Located just off the 91 Freeway in West Corona, Skyland Ale Works makes full use of their small working space. Stepping into the tasting room, you immediately get the feeling of a Mom & Pop joint, as it does not feel like money bleeds out of the walls here, unlike certain other breweries. As of their grand opening this past Saturday, Skyland Ale had seven beers on tap, plus in-house brewed root beer (vanilla ice cream optional). Their seven beers, listed as Name, ABV, IBU:

  • IPA, 7.0, 85
  • Agave Wheat w/ Honeydew, 7.5, 15
  • Irish Amber, 6.2, 25
  • Belgian Blonde, 6.4, 30
  • Chocolate Porter, 6.8, 20
  • Chocolate Porter w/ Chipotlé, 6.8, 20
  • IPA w/ Green Chiles, 7.0, 85

They planned to have the regular Agave Wheat without honeydew available, but the batch did not pass the quality test.

Craft beer enthusiasts ought to seek out Skyland Ale and support them to promote the growth of craft beer. Interested visitors can find them at 109 N Maple St Ste C in Corona, on the corner of Maple St and Pomona Rd. Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for future updates going on at Skyland Ale. As always, stay on the lookout for new craft beers in your local area!

Following on the heels of the last year’s successful first run, the Old Town Seal Beach Chili Cook Off returned this past Saturday afternoon. Coinciding with the 2nd Annual Seal Beach Restaurant Week, ten Seal Beach restaurants prepared their best renditions of chili to serve to visitors. Occurring similar to a strolling event, visitors paid $10 to receive a stamp card listing all ten participating restaurants on Main Street in Seal Beach. Visitors could then take this stamp card to the ten locations to receive a sample of chili. A number of changes occurred during this event that contrasted what transpired last year.

  • Last year’s chili cookoff took place in the Hennessey’s Grill parking lot. This year’s event forced visitors to have to explore Seal Beach to find all the restaurants.
  • All visitors received one free raffle ticket last year to win a prize. This year, visitors had to pay for raffle tickets.
  • Visitors could eat as much chili as they wanted to last year. This year only allowed one sample per visitor per location.

Put all together, it appears that the event lost the qualities that made it so fun last year. Personally, none of the chili stood out to me this year, whereas last year I recall going back for 320 Main and Beachwood BBQ‘s chili. Normally I would remember which ones truly shined, but after trying all ten chili samples, I did not fondly remember any of the chili.

Like last year, ten restaurants participated in the chili cookoff. A few opted to not participate, while a few stepped up to take their place.

Crema Café ended up taking the grand prize, while Beachwood BBQ won the people’s choice. Personally, I voted for Thai On Main because of the strong Thai flavors in their chili. Overall, all of the participating restaurants delivered a fun and tasty afternoon, albeit not every restaurant in Seal Beach participated. Seal Beach Restaurant Week continues to run now through this Saturday, so I urge you to head on down to Seal Beach and explore the many local restaurants & shops down there to experience a true old-town feel.

11th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival
November 16-23
Various locations, San Diego

All week, check out all things food & wine all over San Diego County. From wine tastings to cooking classes to seminars to food sampling, if it has to do with food or drinks, it will happen during this time. On Saturday, experience the grand finale with a massive food & wine tasting festival at Embarcadero Marina Park North in Downtown San Diego. General admission to this festival costs $135 and starts at 12pm, while early admission costs $165 and starts at 11am.

2nd Annual Seal Beach Restaurant Week
November 17-22
Various locations, Seal Beach

Following the success of last year, Seal Beach Restaurant Week will return for its second year starting today and lasting through Saturday. Over ten of Main Street’s restaurants will offer food & drinks specials during this time, ranging from discounts on certain items to prix-fixe meals, such as the one shown below.

7th Annual (Ice) Skate And Destroy
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm, November 18
Pershing Square, Downtown Los Angeles

Spend an hour ice skating in Pershing Square with no heed for children. Afterwards, grab some pizza from Pizzanista in the Arts District.

Beaujolais Nouveau Day
November 20

Every year on the third Thursday of November, wine enthusiasts worldwide celebrate the arrival of this passionate wine with fireworks, music, festivals, and more. Check in with your favorite local restaurant, bar, or winery to see if they will participate in the celebration of this glorious wine.

Animation Breakdown 2014
7:30 pm – 12:30 am, November 20-21
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, November 22-23
7:30 pm – 11:30 pm, November 24-25
The Cinefamily, Beverly Grove, Los Angeles

Watch over a dozen independently-produced animated films all throughout the weekend for just $12 per film. See the website for a full schedule of all the films.

Monterey Park Night Market
5:30 pm – 10:30 pm, November 21
Barnes Park, Monterey Park

The popularity of night markets has surged within the past year. This Friday, Monterey Park gets their very own night market, complete with free admission. Come to this all-ages outdoor fair this Friday night, and check out all the food, drinks, desserts, merchandise, live entertainment, and more. Expect heavy traffic approaching this area, especially for a Friday night, so plan your commute accordingly.

Orange County’s 2nd Annual Beard & Moustache Competition
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, November 21
Old World Village, Huntington Beach

Movember participants, listen up! Show off your wicked facial hair at this competition for all things hairy this Friday night in Huntington Beach, featuring a handful of categories to enter into to win cash prizes. In addition to the fabulous styles, visitors will find food, a full bar, live music, vendors, and more. Registration costs $15, while spectators may enter for $5.

Beaujolais Nouveau Passions
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, November 21
The Castaway, Burbank

Celebrate a night of French foods, wines, and entertainment in beautiful Beverly Hills. At this one-night fest, guests get treated to French food samples, merchandise, live music, silent auction, caberet dancers, and more. Presale tickets cost $20, while tickets at the door cost $25. VIP presale costs $50, and $75 at the door, and comes with preferred seating, a 4-course meal, complimentary wine & other drinks, and covers tax & tip. Guests may find free street parking surrounding the venue, while the venue will provide valet parking as well.

Slow Children – Live in Riverside
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, November 21
Inkonsiderate Boardshop 2, Riverside

Enjoy some local punk rock at this FREE and all-ages show this Friday night in Riverside.

Wasted Ones – Live in Canoga Park
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 21
Cobalt Café, Canoga Park

Get crazy at this all-ages punk rock show in the valley this Friday night. The cover for this show costs $10.

OC Baking Company 2nd Annual Pre-Thanksgiving Bake Sale Fundraiser
9:00 am – 1:00 pm, November 22
Old Towne Orange Farmers & Artisans Market, Orange

This Saturday morning, purchase some bread and/or baked goods from the OC Baking Company in Orange, and a portion of the sales will go to diabetes research.

Repticon Los Angeles
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, November 22
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, November 23
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa

Check out two days of reptiles, amphibians, exotic pets, pet products, seminars, and more this weekend at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa. General admission starts at 10am and costs $15 for both days, $10 for one day, or $5 for children. Online-only VIP admission costs $12 for adults or $5 for children, allows admission to both days, and allows entry at 9am on Saturday.

22nd Annual Arroyo Arts Collective Discovery Tour
9:30 am – 5:00 pm, November 22
Lummis House, Highland Park

This Saturday, check out homes and studios of artists and craftspeople around Highland Park, Eagle Rock, and surrounding areas. This self-guided tour costs $10 presale or $15 on the day of the event, and allows access to art purchasing, building tours, and more. While strolling, check out some of the great places to grab a bite or sip, such as Fusion Burgers, Donut Friend, The Oinkster, and more.

29th Annual Elves’ Faire
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, November 22
Pasadena Waldorf School, Altadena

This FREE and all-ages fair will allow visitors to enjoy medieval activities, games, live music, food, entertainment, and more.

Microsoft Store Grand Opening Celebration w/ Kelly Clarkson
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, November 22
Los Cerritos Center (Mall), Cerritos

A new Microsoft Store will open their doors to the public starting this Saturday, and they will have two items at a very low price for that day only. In addition, the first thousand people in line for the store will receive a pair of tickets to see Kelly Clarkson perform live at the Cerritos Mall for FREE. People may start lining up as early as 11pm the previous night at the mall entrance between Lazy Dog Café and California Pizza Kitchen.

Hangar 24 Brewery’s Warmer Release
11:00 am – 12:00 am, November 22
Hangar 24 Brewery, Redlands

This Saturday, Hangar 24 will release the next beer in their Local Fields series, Warmer, ahead of the normal yearly schedule. Anyone visiting the tasting room can sip on Warmer from draft, as well as take bottles or growlers of it home. Throughout the day, visitors can enjoy live music, as well as food from the local mobile eatery.

14th Annual Cranksgiving Los Angeles
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, November 22
Echo Park Lake, Echo Park

Thanksgiving has inspired many 5K/10K runs in the past, colloquially know as Turkey Trots. This Saturday, participate in a Thanksgiving-inspired bike ride called Cranksgiving. Registration starts at noon, while the actual ride will start at 1pm. All participants must bring their own bike, helmet, lock, and bag(s).

24th Annual Encinitas Fall Street Fair
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, November 23
South Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas

This FREE street fair takes place this Sunday in Encinitas. Featuring 450 unique food, arts & crafts vendors, five music stages, rides & games, and a beer garden hosted by Stone Brewing and Port Brewing, people of all ages will enjoy this street fair. Due to the compact nature of this area, parking can get extremely difficult to locate. Arrive early, or take public transportation to arrive safely.