Archive for January, 2016

Narcoleptic Youth performing Bitch Needs A Muzzle at Aladdin Jr in Pomona, CA. Filmed on September 6, 2013.

Special events give fans a treat to enjoy something in real life. People can see events any time from the comfort of home on television or as replays online. While this means getting a free view of the event with proper sound and a camera angle that shows the important parts, it does not come with the ambiance of attending the event. Watching an event simply gives the result, while actually going to the event yields a completely different feeling. For example, watching racing can get boring after a while because you see cars going around a track dozens to hundreds of times. However, actually going to a race, such as NASCAR, comes with a much more exciting feeling, like riding a roller coaster. You can watch people ride a roller coaster, sure, but riding it gives a more exhilarating feeling. One cannot understand the thrill of racing without attending an actual race, something that the team at Bear Republic Brewing understands.

As no strangers to the racetrack, Bear Republic Brewing started with a passion for both the track and craft beer. However, most races come with generic macro beer, leaving the craft beer enthusiasts left out. Enter Bear Republic, a brewery that has churned out quality beers for two decades. Based in Northern California, Bear Republic has remained a staple in any craft beer enthusiast’s portfolio because they choose to focus on quality over quantity. You can find their passion for quality in their Grand-Am American Pale Ale. Inspired by the brew team’s passion for the racetrack, this American Pale Ale combines classic and new American hops with a distinct malt foundation. Sitting at 6.0% abv and 50 IBU, Grand-Am American Pale Ale makes for a perfect balanced session ale that pairs well with any type of food.

As mentioned above, Bear Republic has done great things for two decades. You can revel in this legacy at their 20th anniversary celebration coming up next month on February 29th. Of course, this means traveling to their brewpub in Heraldsburg, but you can expect great things at this event. For more about upcoming brews and events from Bear Republic, check out their Facebook and Twitter pages.

People have an unexplainable love for fries. Something about deep-fried sticks of potatoes makes people love them so much to add them to most meals. It has no nutritional value – it only exists to harbor salt and other condiments. Yet to this day, people still go nuts for fries just about anywhere. It started off as a simple cheap side to a meal, but grew to fame so much that it eventually turned into its own category of food. These days, fries exist as more than just a side – fries have turned into complete entrées that can feed one or a group. You can put just about anything on top of fries to make it an entrée – the possibilities have no end. As a blank canvas, you can turn fries into any cultural dish too. Throw some carne asada and guacamole on it for Mexican. Toss in BBQ beef and teriyaki sauce and you have Asian fries. If that sounds too complicated, take it back to basics, as Grinderz has.

When coming up with a winning product, two routes exist: you can invent, or you can reinvent. On one hand, creating something brand new comes with great risk that nobody will want said new item. On the other hand, you can only redesign something so many times. If attempting to redesign something poses a roadblock, why not just go back to basics and make the base item significantly better? Enter Grinderz, where they take a classic approach with an old timey burger shop and bring some modern flair into it. The bare bones menu at Grinderz resembles another overhyped Californian burger institution, with simply burgers, fries, and drinks. Grinderz does their own thing by doing food right with high quality ingredients and customization for your order. To taste the true flavor of Grinderz, go towards their Pigsty Fries, which resembles another famous place’s fries, but better. Grinderz takes their beer-battered fries, then tosses them with caramelized red onions, cheddar cheese, thousand island dressing, bacon, and avocado. You get enough to feed up to four people, or one person with a massive appetite can devour this bowl. Either way, after you try this, you will crave this more than the other famous place’s fries.

Grinderz has a Facebook and Twitter, but it appears that they rarely update them. If you like their food, support them liking/following them on social media!

The So Cal Winter Brew Fest returned this past Saturday for their third go at a beer tasting event. Following up from two beer festivals in Anaheim last year in June and August, this beer fest returned to the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, the site of the first So Cal Brew Fest, and featured over 30 breweries all pouring a couple of their refreshing brews. In addition to just beer, this festival also featured a few cideries and wineries for those who prefer that sort of thing. Operating much like their beer fest at Phoenix Club last year, the flat admission allowed attendees unlimited beer samples while supplies lasted. Attendees could find breweries set up both outside and under the big top, but whoever handled the music perhaps turned the volume up way too loud inside, so most people opted to remain outside. Aside from all the beer and live music, attendees found plenty of food trucks serving up yummy goodies, as well as games such as Jenga and cornhole.

For a weekend with plenty other beer festivals taking place, this event saw some fierce competition in attracting craft beer fans. It did appear that many local craft beer fans chose this festival over others, as the other festivals did require a long drive. In fact, some would even say that the organizer underestimated how many people would attend. As one of the major flops of the festival, they handled the entrance line poorly. Volunteers and security did not start checking ID’s and tickets until right at 12pm, leaving hundreds furious waiting in line to get in. People that arrived right at 12pm would not get in until an hour later. With the setup of the beer festival, they could have easily established the check-in at the venue’s outer gate, then have security hold everyone at the inner gate until 12pm hit. This way, those that arrived early could simply wait for security to open the gate, while those arriving right on time could still check in without having to wait in a long line. As for one more flop, by halfway through the beer festival, at least three breweries had ran out of beer already. Perhaps the breweries underestimated how many people would attend this festival? Regardless, this did not daunt the attendees, as they still had plenty of fun at this event, and they look like they want more.

A small beer fest that faced low attendance has grown to turn into a local favorite. I do expect the So Cal Brew Fest to return again next year, hopefully rectifying any mistakes after three festivals by now. Who knows what else the organizers have in store for their upcoming festivals this year? Keep an eye out for things to come from So Cal Brew Fest by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter. If going by their plan from last year, they should have two more festivals. I do not work for the organizer, so I cannot say for certain what and when their next beer festivals will take place.

10th Annual Newport Beach Restaurant Week
January 18-31
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.

Los Angeles Restaurant Week
January 18-31
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.

Mustard Plug: Live in Southern California
8:30 pm – 11:30 pm, January 26, Slide Bar, Fullerton
8:30 pm – 12:30 am, January 27, Casbah, San Diego

Famous ska band Mustard Plug currently tours across the west coast, and that tour will swing through Southern California this week. Each of these shows have a different ticket price, so click on a show’s link for details. No one under 21 may enter any of these shows.

13th Annual STARS of Santa Barbara
6:00 pm – 9:30 pm, January 27
The Peninsula, Beverly Hills

Enjoy some wines and a silent auction in Beverly Hills this Wednesday night. General admission costs $125, starts at 7pm, and includes unlimited wine and appetizer tastings while supplies last. VIP admission costs $200, starts at 6pm, and also includes a private dinner and wine tasting. No one under 21 may attend.

LA Art Show 2016
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, January 28-31
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles

See thousands of different works of art this week at the LA Convention Center. One-day general admission costs $15 presale or $20 at the door. Four-day general admission costs $35 presale or $40 at the door.

Animé Los Angeles 12
2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, January 28
9:00 am – 9:00 pm, January 29-30
9:00 am – 2:00 pm, January 31
Ontario Convention Center, Ontario

Anime & manga fans will not want to miss Animé LA this weekend, an expo with almost everything imaginable related to anime. From workshops to panels to demos to contests to live music to dances to adult content and more, Animé LA will surely contain something to sate your anime needs. A full weekend pass costs $60, while single-day passes cost $35.

2016 Dark Scotch Ale Release
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, January 28
Anaheim Brewery, Anaheim

Anaheim Brewery releases this year’s version of their Dark Scotch Ale this Thursday evening. Stop on by and give it a taste.

Stout Thing!
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 28
Phantom Carriage Brewery, Carson

Phantom Carriage will have a lot of different stouts available this Thursday evening, along with horror movies, metal music, and some desserts. This event has no admission fee.

Meat Up BBQ’s 1st Year Anniversary
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 28
Meat Up BBQ, Placentia

Meat Up BBQ turns a year old this week, and to celebrate, they will have sour beers on tap, food specials, as well as an anniversary glass available to patrons this Thursday night. This event has no admission fee.

Hangar 24 Tap Takeover
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 29
Blue Palms Brewhouse, Hollywood

Hangar 24 Brewery will take over the taps at Hollywood’s Blue Palms Brewhouse this Friday evening. Stop on by and enjoy a cold one or two.

2016 Golden State Tattoo Expo
4:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 29
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 30
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, January 31
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena

Check out hundreds of tattoo artists from around the globe at this tattoo convention this weekend in Pasadena. Admission costs $25 per day or $60 for the entire weekend.

Lunar New Year Tết Festival 2016
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 29
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, January 30-31
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego

Celebrate Lunar New Year at this festival at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego this weekend. Visitors of all ages will find cultural food, vendors, rides, games, arts & crafts, music, entertainment, merchandise, and more. Admission costs $5 for adults and $4 for children.

The Dwarves: Live in Southern California
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 29, The Yost Theater, Santa Ana
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 30, The Garage, Ventura

Famous punk band The Dwarves will headline two shows in Southern California this week. Each show has its own age limit and ticket price, so click on a show’s link for additional details.

Riot LA: Alternative Comedy Festival
7:30 pm – 12:00 am, January 29
1:00 pm – 12:30 am, January 30
3:00 pm – 10:30 pm, January 31
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 a superfan pass costs $110 good for all Saturday and Sunday shows.

Viernes 13 @ The Vibe Riverside
7:30 pm – 1:30 am, January 29
The Vibe Bar & Grill, Riverside

Get your skanking on in Riverside this Friday night. The cover for this all-ages show costs $10.

Death By Stereo @ The World Famous Doll Hut
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 29
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim

Death By Stereo will headline a small show at the Doll Hut in Anaheim this Friday night. The cover for this show costs $15. No one under 21 may enter.

Agression: Live in Tarzana
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 29
Petie’s Place, Tarzana

Legendary nardcore band Agression will headline a show in Tarzana this Friday night. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

Tartar Control: Live in Laguna Niguel
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 29
Karman Bar, Laguna Niguel

Get your weekly dose of punk rock in Laguna Niguel this Friday night. The cover for this show costs $8. No one under 21 may enter.

Alex’s Bar Sweet 16 Anniversary Show
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 29-30
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach

Long Beach’s Alex’s Bar turns sixteen years old this week, and to celebrate, they will have two nights of punk rock this weekend. Tickets to each of these show cost $20 presale or $22 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

Museums Free-For-All
January 30
Participating Museums, Southern California

This Saturday, participating Southern Californian museums will allows visitors in free of charge. Check the website linked above for a full list of participating locations.

CoffeeCon LA 2016
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, January 30
The Reef, Los Angeles

This Saturday at CoffeeCon LA 2016 in Los Angeles, indulge in all things coffee, from the classic beverage to coffee candy to coffee desserts to coffee foods and more. Sessions last three and a half hours, starting at 9am or 12:30pm. General admission costs $23 for one session, or $30 for the entire day.

APCA Asian Pacific Lunar New Year Festival
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, January 30
Mission Inn Courtyard, Downtown Riverside

At this free and all-ages festival this Saturday in Downtown Riverside, celebrate Lunar Yew Year with food, entertainment, vendors, merchanidse, entertainment, arts & crafts, games, music, exhibits, fireworks, and more.

Laughs By Volume: A Craft Beer & Comedy Show
1:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 30
LA Mother, Hollywood

A beer fest and comedy show merge into one this Saturday afternoon in Hollywood, featuring over 20 different beers and six comedians. Three three-hour sessions will take place: 1pm, 5pm, and 9pm. Admission per session costs $27.50 presale or $30 at the door. No one under 21 may attend.

1:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 30
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim

Over a dozen local punk rock bands will perform at this all-day show this Saturday at the Doll Hut in Anaheim, free of charge. No one under 21 may enter.

New Beer Release: Cerveza Hermosa
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 30
King Harbor Brewing, Redondo Beach

Redondo Beach’s King Harbor Brewing will release a new Mexican amber lager this Saturday. Stop on by and give it a try. They will also have free carne asada tacos for customers starting at 2pm while supplies last.

Night On Broadway
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, January 30
Globe Theater, Downtown Los Angeles

An evening of arts, culture and, entertainment arrives in Downtown LA this Saturday night, featuring a wealth of activities including the Southern California return of Rebel Bingo. Check the website linked above for a full list of events, which details any admission fees or age limits.

Naked Aggression: Live in Bell Gardens
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 30
American Legion, Bell Gardens

Release some inner aggression at this hardcore punk show in Bell Gardens this Saturday night. The cover for this show costs $7. No one under 18 may enter.

JFA @ The Viper Room
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 30
The Viper Room, West Hollywood

Legendary punk rock band JFA will headline a show in West Hollywood this Saturday night. Tickets to this show cost $12 presale or $15 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

Slaughter & The Dogs: Live in Laguna Niguel
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 30
Karman Bar, Laguna Niguel

Enjoy a local punk rock show this Saturday night in Laguna Niguel. The cover for this show costs $15. No one under 21 may enter.

2nd Annual San Diego Fermentation Festival
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, January 31
Coastal Roots Farm, Encinitas

For $20 admission, gain access to this all-ages festival showcasing Southern California’s bounty of artisanal foodmakers and brewers. This event will feature seminars, workshops, arts & crafts, activities, vendors, food & beverages, live music, and more.

The Downton Abbey Tea
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, January 31
Whimsic Alley, Burbank

Fans of Downton Abbey will not want to miss this formal tea supper this Sunday evening in Burbank. The $40 admission includes tea, sandwiches, dessert, entertainment, and themed activities.

The craft beer community in Orange County continues to grow at an alarming rate with no slowing down in sight. 2015 marked a dark year for craft beer across the country due to all the big companies buying out some of the favorite brands of craft beer. Between the growing number of fans to the beer bars & restaurants cropping up everywhere, microbreweries grow faster than the big companies can stomp them out. Orange County has a decent amount of established breweries already, and that number will rise even more this year. In fact, in just the first month of the year, a brewery has finally opened their doors to the public after years of teasing craft beer fans at local beer festivals. At last, we can finally enjoy what Hoparazzi Brewing has brewed up behind their closed doors.

Orange County locals have known about Hoparazzi Brewing (website down at the time of this post) for years because of their presence at local beer festivals. Hoparazzi stands out from the crowd with their take on fruit beers. Unlike the major blenderies churning out sour ales and wild ales, Hoparazzi’s fruit beers do not necessarily follow the new sour beer trend. Instead, Hoparazzi’s brews essentially taste like alcoholic fruit juices, while still brewing them like traditional beers. This gives Hoparazzi’s drinks a greater appeal to attract the masses, as virtually any adult would love these drinks. The beers appeal to craft beer enthusiasts because of the hop undertones, and the beers appeal to non-beer drinkers because of the fruit flavors present. Now with their doors officially open to the public, Hoparazzi can also exhibit their other beverages, namely their actual beers now. Though Hoparazzi started off brewing fruit beers, they have since expanded their lineup to include standard beer styles typical of any microbrewery, such as a cream ale, IPA, Belgian strong ale, and stout.

Hoparazzi has teased us long enough. Now you can finally coat your taste buds with Hoparazzi’s brews during their business hours instead of having to wait until the next beer festival that they will pour at. See more from Hoparazzi Brewing on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

An Orange County original, the OC Donut Bar, recently announced their closure on New Year’s Day. However, at that same time, they also announced that they would soon reopen under the name Crafted Donuts. Fans of the original OC Donut Bar can rejoice over the new branding, as Crafted Donuts makes their donuts in the exact same way as before. Under the new Crafted Donuts brand, the folks here have some new interesting takes on donut flavors, fillings, and toppings. In order to appeal to a mass crowd, Crafted Donuts have gone the way of crazier and more fun flavors, in addition to the traditional donut toppings, fillings, and flavors. Their offerings change on a daily basis, which they post about on their Facebook page linked above. Not to lose out to other competing dessert places nearby such as U Jelly, another donut shop that opened in the same city on the same day, OC Donut Bar had to do something to make themselves stand out among the crowd. Going the route of Crafted Donuts appears as their response to all the hipster dessert places popping up everywhere trying to appeal to kids and teenagers who do not know any better than to buy a $5 donut with ice cream that anyone can make at home for under a dollar. If you fancy some fancy donuts, head on over to Fountain Valley where you will have choices on how to satisfy your morning sweet tooth.