Posts Tagged ‘April 2014’

Colloquially referred to as “God’s gift to man’s stomach,” Macaroni & Cheese represents the epitomé of comfort food. Something about small pasta noodles smothered in creamy cheese appeals to nearly anybody. This past Sunday, Los Angeles got a taste of a Mac & Cheese haven at the Los Angeles Mac And Cheeze Takedown at the Bootleg Theater in Westlake. Local home cooks and chefs entered their prized mac & cheese dish into this competition and all-ages food fest, hoping to take home the coveted prize of Best in Mac. Hungry attendees paid only $15 for this all-you-can-eat mac & cheese gorge-out.

The Mac And Cheeze Takedown took place in the back theater section of the venue, complete with theater-style seating and a large open floor to set up the tables. Tables lined the outer edges of the floor, forming an upside-down U facing the seats. Signs with numbers 1-24 hung from each table half, running from the left side all the way to the right, representing 24 total entrants, albeit not all 24 showed up. Originally, the organizers allowed attendees to start from anywhere in the line, but that quickly went out the door as almost everyone started their mac & cheese journey at entrant #1. Splitting the line in half would have worked for the better, as attendees would find the plates, utensils, and napkins in the middle between #12 and #13. Clutter never occurred, as because of the all-you-can-eat nature, the attendees split their time perfectly between eating and browsing. As for drinks, the venue has a bar in the front concert room of the building, where attendees could get soft drinks, beer, or wine.

Most of the entrants utilized some ingredient or technique that set them apart from the rest. No entrant made simple traditional mac & cheese – each mac & cheese had something to make it glorified. Not every entrant made it to the Mac And Cheeze Takedown either, so some spots went empty, or got taken over by a neighbor. Read on to see who made what, and my comments about each one.

  1. Spicy mac with shrimp. Contained more spice than shrimp, so I would have liked more shrimp in this.
  2. No show. Spot taken over by #1.
  3. Pasta salad mac. Rather bland in the flavor department, and did not detect meat.
  4. Truffle mac. Great balance of truffles in here.
  5. No show.
  6. Mac with ham and corn. The corn threw off the texture; otherwise, good job with the meat choice.
  7. Bacon mac. Good traditional taste, but nothing fancy.
  8. No show.
  9. Apple cobbler mac. One of two dessert macs, and tasted just like traditional apple cobbler.
  10. Strawberry cream mac and coffee cream mac. The second of the two dessert macs, these came as one-bite macs, rich with creamy goodness.
  11. Large shell mac with bacon. The only entrant to use a large shell like this, and contained what tasted like gorgonzola cheese, making for a bold kick.
  12. Bacon mac. Slightly drier than #7.

The first half had some interesting ones, but only a few truly stood out. Moving on to the second half:

  1. Penne-style pasta. Nice creamy flavor, but no meat.
  2. Puff-pastry filled with mac. Unique, but drier than hoped for.
  3. Indian-style vegan mac. Lack of both cheese and meat turned me off, though others may like it.
  4. Just mac & cheese. Nothing stood out from this.
  5. No show.
  6. Bacon mac with multiple cheeses. One of the best, as agreed by many others. Very well balanced with all ingredients.
  7. Chef’s special mac with secret ingredients. Very creamy, and loaded with great cheeses.
  8. No show.
  9. Mac with Cheez-Its and Chinese sausage. On paper, this should sell very well. Unfortunately, something did not click together.
  10. Creamy mac with balsamic reduction and collard greens. Tasted more like a salad.
  11. Bacon mac. Rather lackluster.
  12. Mac with a crust. Good traditional flavor, but nothing stood out.

Attendees could vote on only one of the entrants to win the title of the Best in Mac. Narrowing the choices down to one boggled the minds of many. Personally, it came down to #4, #18, and #19. #4 had the great balance of truffle in it, as it did not overwhelm, yet you could easily detect the truffle in it. #18 used the right combination of cheeses, bacon, and crispy toppings to make an unforgettable mac & cheese. #19 with his secret ingredients made his creamy mac a delight, though a sample from the top layer proved less appetizing than mac from the middle of the pan.

The Takedowns holds these competitions in other places than just Southern California! They go cross-country and hold takedowns for not only different types of foods, but for anything that can merit a competition. For example, the next takedown will occur in two weeks in Detroit and will focus on BACON. The takedown after that will occur two weeks later in Brooklyn, and will showcase skatedeck paintings. Make sure you LIKE The Takedowns in Facebook to receive information about their upcoming events, as they may stop by a place near you!

Southern California has such a diverse culture that appreciates many different things. Nowhere else does this diversity appear more in than within the cuisine here. Southern California houses so many different types of food that keeping track of them all turns into a job rather than a chore. Luckily, Southern California has food events, such as Artisanal LA, that allow visitors to experience what Southern California has to offer to your curious tastebuds. Artisanal LA returned for its semiannual show this past weekend to LA Mart in Downtown Los Angeles, bringing along with it a slew of local designer goods for our eyes and mouths. At Artisanal LA, this two-day all-ages event allows visitors to stroll through the numerous aisles filled with local artisanal vendors, where visitors can sample products, purchase products, or receive information about services for future business. At select times during the weekend, seminars would take place, where visitors can sit down to listen and watch demos or learn about things. Although this past weekend’s event did not carry as many vendors as the last Artisanal LA, just as many visitors showed up, making for a greater customer to vendor ratio. Take a tour as I peruse through the aisles of Artisanal LA from left to right.

After my first walkthrough, I discovered my old friends from Mwokaji Cakery, Bad Pickle Tees, and Krave Jerky. I also discovered a few new vendors that caught my attention and held onto it for quite some time.

  • ProCakes: High protein pancake mix – make guilt-free pancakes with more protein and less carbs
  • Buff Bake: Baked goods for the fit – mini muffins and other baked goods high in protein and low in carbs
  • Dakota’s Pop Parlor: Unique sweet treats – basically, the design of this booth captivated me

Around every corner, most products sold consisted of snacks, especially jerky, or dessert, such as cookies, cupcakes, candy, and more. I would anticipate that anyone arriving without a sweet tooth may feel left out of the many vendors present. Regardless, Artisanal LA did a great job of stocking a diverse lineup of vendors, such as the few fit food vendors.

What other ways exist to sample some of the great products that Southern California has to offer other than at Artisanal LA? Remember that Artisanal LA takes place twice a year, so keep an eye out for news of the Fall event that should occur in October. Like the Artisanal LA Facebook page for more information about their upcoming events as they release it.

Not one to shy away from their neighbors down south, Orange County houses plenty of amazing microbreweries this side of the Mississippi. While Orange County may not have the raw number of microbreweries compared to some regions, such as San Diego County or the state of Washington, Orange County focuses on quality over quantity. This past Saturday, Orange County powerhouse Bootlegger’s Brewery threw a party to celebrate six years in the craft beer industry. As one of the first in Orange County’s current generation of breweries, Bootlegger’s sets a precedent for the Orange County craft beer scene. Just like in the previous years, Bootlegger’s returns to the historical Muckenthaler Cultural Center, or The Muck for short, in Fullerton. This time, Bootlegger’s decided to amp up their game by not only expanding the coverage of the festival to basically the entire geographical space, but also inviting many more breweries and vendors to participate. Come now on a brief tour of what went down at this beer festival.

The moment that guests walked in, they saw the wide open field to the right, complete with tables and chairs, along with all the food vendors, plus a few beer vendors in Ninkasi and Drake’s. All throughout the festival area, guests would find Bootlegger’s beers scattered, some meshing in with the guest breweries. In this field, some of the Bootlegger’s beers flowed from the Ninkasi and Drake’s station.

On the right side of the entrance, the first wave of beers greeted the guests as they entered. At this first section, Hoparazzi, Bruery, Cismontane, and lots of Bootlegger’s beers awaited the cups of everyone walking in. Due to the layout of the venue, guests could wander from section to section without having to follow a set path. From here, guests could cut directly to the back via a path to the side, or continue down the center two paths. After this, we shall move on through the center path veering to the right.

Moving on down the center path, we find some more beers plus the auxiliary vendors, such as Gray Cloud Cigars, I Heart Momo Photo Booth, Tustin Brewery all by themselves, and the main stage where all the live music took place all day.

Following the stage, the path split into three. Going to the left loops back to the front, and going forward or left loops together. Moving forward brought us to the back left of the venue area, filled with a handful of non-Orange County breweries. Back here, guests would find stronger beers from the likes of I And I, Ritual, Monkish, Eagle Rock, Firestone, Bravery, and El Segundo.

Walking down the path past El Segundo brought us to the back grass field, complete with a handful of Bootlegger’s beers, Noble Ale, Bottle Logic, and Goose Island.

Finally, returning to the split and now going forward from this perspective lands us at the center of the venue, where we find Newport Beach Brew Co., Heroes, and Valiant.

Compared to last year, Bootlegger’s added a significant amount of new content this year. Most notably, they invited way more guest breweries than ever before. In the previous years, the anniversary would contain a majority of Bootlegger’s beers, with few guest breweries present. For the first time since Bootlegger’s started their anniversary festivals, I have never seen so many other breweries besides their own. This did not mask Bootlegger’s lack of new beers, as a few random blokes have rumored. In fact, Bootlegger’s brought out many of their reserved and archived beers just for this celebration. With the exception of a few belligerent blokes, this festival had good company, with everyone in high spirits. It also helped that Bootlegger’s invited the right food vendors – food vendors that knew how to feed beer drinkers, as well as get orders out efficiently. With such diverse food like pizza (website required), hot dogs, barbeque, Mexican, and dessert, all attendees could have their food and beer, and eat cake too.

If Bootlegger’s Brewery has ever made any mistakes in the past, they remedied it with this beer festival. With smooth operations and all bases covered, anything that could have gone wrong never surfaced. With April now coming to an end, we start to enter the warm months, which means many more beer festivals await. Some will suck, while others will flourish, so stick with me as I discover the best in beer festivals in Southern California. Also check out all breweries and vendors linked within this review for more information about their goods and services, and give them all a big Like on Facebook.

Pasadena Restaurant Week
Business hours, April 27 – May 2
Various restaurants, Pasadena

Between April 27 and May 2, 45 different restaurants in Pasadena will offer prix-fixe lunches and/or dinners. In addition, some locations will offer other discounts, prizes, and more. See the full list of participating restaurants by clicking the link to the website above.

Citraholic IPA Release
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 29
Beachwood Brewing, Long Beach

IPA fans will want to check out Beachwood Brewing’s latest concoction this Tuesday evening, as they unveil their latest west coast IPA to the public. Guests to Beachwood Brewing may enjoy the brew there, or purchase bottles to take home. Beachwood Brewing will also run food specials that night.

Ska-Punk Show in La Puente
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, May 1
Bridgetown DIY, La Puente

Enjoy a fun all-ages ska-punk show this Thursday night in La Puente. The cover for this show costs $8.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 2
Various locations
Long Beach:

This monthly artwalk occurs on the first Friday of every month. Each location offers different activities, but most will contain food & drink specials, art exhibits & displays, street performers, and more. Venice and Long Beach have the two largest gatherings of all First Fridays. Other locations include Westchester, Fullerton, and City of Industry. Most First Fridays locations cost nothing to attend, while the local businesses uphold their standard rules (e.g. bars 21+ only).

Pancakes & Booze Art Show
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, May 2-3
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 Secret Affair – 60’s Night
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 2
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach

Occurring on every month’s first Friday, this 60’s night at Alex’s Bar will play all vinyl music of motown, northern soul, boogaloo, 60’s pop, and more. Feel free to dress up too, as the bar staff will hold costume contests and dance contests.

Free Comic Book Day
May 3
Participating locations, Worldwide

Get a comic book for FREE this Saturday at participating comic book stores. Many stores will also host some sort of celebration, such as complimentary snacks, live entertainment, contests, and more, so check in with your favorite shop for details.

Tacos & Beer 5K Run & Festival
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, May 3
Long Beach Golf Learning Center, Long Beach

Take a fun run, hold it during Cinco de Mayo weekend, add tacos and beer, throw costumes on, and you have a white boy’s fantasy party all on one day. Basically, if you have seen an MTV party, this does not stray too far from it. This event starts with a 5K fun run in the morning, and then when that ends, all participants can stay for tacos and beer for the rest of the festival. The organizers encourage everyone to wear silly costumes in an attempt to see who can stereotype the Latin culture the most. Food will come from local vendors, and since this takes place in West Long Beach, except very normal Mexican food. Also, Bud Light will sponsor the beer, so keep that in mind if you care about the quality of your beer. If you still feel like going to this, registration costs $45 presale or $55 on the day of the event.

San Diego Ho’olaule’a Hawaiian Cultural Festival
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, May 3-4
De Anza Cove, Mission Bay, San Diego

Enjoy an all-ages Hawaiian festival for FREE this weekend in San Diego. At this two-day festival, find islander cuisine, live music, dancing, arts & crafts, and more.

Soka University’s 13th Annual International Festival
10:30 am – 5:00 pm, May 3
Soka University, Aliso Viejo

At this free festival, guests of all ages can enjoy music, dance, arts & crafts, artists, and more. Parking costs $10 per vehicle, so consider carpooling if attending.

6th Annual Unique LA Spring Show
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 3-4
The California Market Center, Downtown Los Angeles

Their website describes this event best: “The largest independent design show in the country, attendees get the rare chance to meet and shop directly from over 350 hand-selected designers and artists. The exciting two-day shopping event makes it easy for you to buy local and support LA’s economy, discover great design and deals, join in community, and have a blast.” The $10 admission allows for unlimited reentry for both days, and anyone buying presale online will receive a free tote bag. Guests over 21 can receive free cocktails, while all guests may receive other free drinks, like teas and waters. The show will also feature some of LA’s most popular restaurants and food trucks serving their delicious food. Parking directly at the venue costs $6, while nearby parking lots will range from $3-5.

3rd Annual Rhythm & Brews Music & Craft Beer Festival
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, May 3
Mother Earth Brew Co., Vista

The San Diego Brewers Guild presents the Rhythm & Brews Music & Craft Beer Festival this Saturday afternoon in the historic Vista Village district. Now in its third year, this festival now contains over 50 breweries, nine music acts across three stages, and plenty of food for sale from local businesses. This festival will also feature a home brewers competition. General admission costs $50 presale or $60 at the door, starts at 12pm, and comes with a souvenir glass good for unlimited beer tastings. VIP admission costs $60 presale only, and starts an hour earlier at 11am. No one under 21 may attend.

Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, May 3
Lake View Park, Silverado

From the ensorcelling minds behind OC Brew Ha Ha comes a Spring version of Orange County’s biggest beer festival – a beer & taco festival on this lovely Cinco de Mayo weekend. Here at this festival, attendees will find over 30 microbreweries serving their refreshing brews, dozens of chefs and restaurants serving up gourmet tacos, live Latin music all day, and much more. The $55 admission includes unlimited beer tasters, a souvenir glass, free parking, free water, live entertainment, games, a cigar lounge, and more. All tacos will cost $2, so prepare to carry cash, preferably singles. No one under 21 may attend.

The Copper Door 1 Year Anniversary Show
12:00 pm – 2:00 am, May 3
The Copper Door, Santa Ana

This Saturday, The Copper Door will celebrate their first year in business with an all-day music & art festival. Catch live music, live DJ’s, burlesque shows from the Dirty Little Secrets, art exhibits, and more. Order food before 5pm for 20% off! No one under 21 may attend.

14th Annual Junior League of San Diego Food & Wine Festival
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, May 3
La Jolla Cove, La Jolla

Taste food from many of San Diego’s finest restaurants, and sip on California’s great wines and craft beers at this festival. Guests can participate in a silent auction, while live music and painting will keep guests occupied. General admission costs $85, or $140 for VIP, which includes preferred parking, access to exclusive drinks, and a VIP lounge. No one under 21 may attend.

2nd Annual Heritage, Music & Arts Festival
1:00 pm – 8:00 pm, May 3
Angel City Brewery, Downtown Los Angeles

Celebrate the culture and spirit of the Downtown LA Arts District at this festival, taking place at Angel City Brewery this Saturday. Local bands will play music all day, food trucks will serve food, brewers will lead brewery tours, and more activities will keep guests occupied. Guests pay no fee to enter, just the cost to purchase anything or participate in some activities. Parking for this event costs $4.

2014 Long Beach Bike Fest
2:00 pm – 11:00 pm, May 3
The Pike, Long Beach

Enjoy a family-fun day filled with bike activities, vendors, and exhibits at the finish line of the Tour of Long Beach, located at The Pike right next to the Laugh Factory. This free all-ages event will feature bike exhibits, live entertainment, a bike valet, rides, games, vendors, food, a mini beer fest hosted by Beachwood BBQ, and more. The mini beer fest has no admission fee, but costs $20 for ten 5oz beer tastings. In addition to beers from Beachwood Brewing, other local breweries will make an appearance too.

20th Annual Jewels of the Night Food & Wine Festival
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 3
Walter Pyramid, Long Beach

This Saturday evening, Cal State Long Beach hosts its annual food & wine festival for the 20th year in a row at the Walter Pyramid on the north side of the campus. Over 20 of the area’s top restaurants will serve their delicious food at this tasting gala, and a handful of California wineries will pour their signature wines. General admission to this event costs $100.

Manic Hispanic @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 3
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Manic Hispanic returns to The Observatory this Saturday night for their annual Cinco de Mayo show. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $15. The venue has limited parking and runs two shows on this night, so arrive early to park for free. Arrive too late, and end up parking in a lot down the street for $10.

Naked Aggression: Live in La Habra
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 3
13th Frame Lounge, La Habra

Great local punk rock bands hit up La Habra this Saturday evening. The cover for this all-ages show costs $10.

Narcoleptic Youth: Live in Carson
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 3
Overtime Bar & Grill, Carson

Experience hardcore punk in Carson this Saturday night with Narcoleptic Youth, Corrupted Youth, and more. The cover for this show if entering before 9:30 costs $7, or $12 for two people. If entering after 9:30, the cover costs $10 per person. No one under 21 may enter.

Ska Night @ The Constellation Room
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 3
The Observatory’s Constellation Room, Santa Ana

Enjoy a fun all-ages ska show this Saturday night at the Constellation Room in The Observatory in Santa Ana. Tickets to this show cost only $5. The venue has limited parking and runs two shows on this night, so arrive early to park for free. Arrive too late, and end up parking in a lot down the street for $10.

10th Annual Orange County Marathon
5:00 am – 1:00 pm, May 4
Newport Center, Newport Beach

The OC Marathon takes place this Sunday morning. Please plan your commute accordingly.

9th Annual Taste of Orange
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, May 4
Orange Circle, Old Town Orange

Sample the local flavors of Old Town Orange this Sunday at their annual Taste of Orange event. For $40, guests receive unlimited food samples, beer & wine tastings (additional cost), access to silent auctions, opportunity drawings, photo booth, and more.

Artisanal LA returns for its semiannual show this weekend at LA Mart in Downtown Los Angeles. Featuring the latest and greatest of artisan food and drinks in Southern California, this designer edibles fair brings together the latest trends in food, drinks, fashion, accessories, and more. Hundreds of artists, chefs, bakers, designers, and more from across the world showcase their goods and sell their wonderful products to all the attendees. Last year, the organizers had invited so many vendors that they not only took up an entire floor to fill up all the space, but they ended up utilizing another floor, creating two full floors of content for all the attendees.

The bulk of the vendors set up on the 2nd floor of the LA Mart building, while the organizers reserve the 11th floor for workshops, demos, panels, tastings, and more. The 2nd floor features aisles after aisles full of vendors in each little space, all vying for attendees to try their goods, and hopefully generate a fan out of them. Due to the enclosed space with no industrial ventilation, most of the food arrived premade, or as cold/room temperature goods; a wagyu beef table proved the only real exception of cooking their food on the premises. From refreshing soft drinks to chocolates to ice cream to grass-fed beef to cakes and beyond, Artisanal LA truly exhibits the best of local Southern Californian flavor. Words cannot fully depict all that transpires at Artisanal LA, so take an abridged tour through the 2nd floor from last year’s Artisanal LA here:

Up on the 11th floor, attendees can find demos, workshops, panels, and a few other odds and ends. A mini café set up in the middle of the space would serve sandwiches and wraps all constructed with local ingredients. For all the surrounding space, attendees had to look for a schedule that listed the programs and times that would take place at each spot.

Find the latest trends in food, drinks, fashion, accessories, and more at this designer fair this weekend. See dozens of artists, chefs, bakers, designers, and more from across the world showcasing their goods and selling their wonderful products. Admission to this all-ages event costs $12 presale and $15 at the door. If buying presale, use promo code ebfan to save 30% off the presale price! Parking at the venue costs $15 per vehicle, but visitors can either search for other parking lots or street meters, or take public transportation to save on commute costs.

What do breweries do on their birthdays, or anniversaries? They throw a beer fest, of course! Bootlegger’s Brewery turns six years old this week, and to celebrate, just like previous years, they will throw a music & beer festival this weekend. The fest will take place this Saturday afternoon at the same location as last year. All drinking guests pay $40 to attend, and receive unlimited 4oz beer tasters plus the glass to take home. Some Orange County food trucks will keep guests fed, while local musicians will perform throughout the fest, and plenty of games of skill will keep guests occupied.

In general, arrive early to maximize your time inside the festival area. In the previous year, guests may have spent at least half an hour waiting in the line to enter. Last year, Bootlegger’s sold only will-call tickets, backing up the sole entrance for quite some time. I do not know how Bootlegger’s will handle the entrance line this time, but if you value your drinking time, arrive early so you can start as soon as you can.

Taking place at the historical Muckenthaler Cultural Center, or The Muck for short, the fest area covers a wide ground, and allows guests to freely roam the venue without the need to push their way through a crowd. Bootlegger’s usually does a good job at spreading everything out, as beer stations cover all the main paths of the venue. In any section of the venue, guests can find random activities to keep them occupied between drinks, such as field games, a mechanical bull ride, a cigar area, the music stage, and a high striker.

Besides all the festivities, what do people go to a beer fest for? Beer, of course! Bootlegger’s does a good job of bringing out their archive beers for this fest, including many aged beers, such as the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Black Phoenix, where the brewers not only age the beer, but brew it stronger, hence the Imperial name. Bootlegger’s also generally invites some other local breweries to attend this fest to serve their beers, such as Noble Ale Works, The Bruery, Tustin Brewing, Packing House, Bravery Brewing, and Newport Beach Brewing.

The Bootlegger’s Brewery 6th Anniversary Music & Beer Fest takes place this Saturday, April 26, from 12pm to 4pm. The $40 admission to this festival includes unlimited beer tasters, a souvenir glass, over 30 brews including rares and limited brews, food trucks (food sold separately), live music, access to the venue’s art gallery, a bull ride, bocce ball, dunk tank, cigar lounge (cigars sold separately), and more. No one under 21 may attend. Although guests may park for free, the parking lot can only hold so many cars, so try to carpool or designate a sober driver. Dress for warm weather, as this fest takes place mostly outdoors with limited shade. Most importantly, stay hydrated – the combination of alcohol, sunshine, and potential salty foods can seriously dehydrate anyone in no time.

Beer floats have existed for some time, now, though not as prevalent as craft beer and ice cream separately. L.A. Foodie decided to combine the two with their Float Trip this past Saturday at Angel City Brewery in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles. This special event for adults at Angel City Brewery allowed attendees to indulge in select beers from the brewery and ice cream from local creameries. While Angel City offered only three beer varieties, the three ice cream vendors offered a greater variety of ice cream flavors, allowing attendees to mix and match any flavors they like. Originally presumed to have pairings recommended by L.A. Foodie, the greater amount of ice cream compared to beer meant that attendees could create their own beer floats. As a result, some people made some ravishing discoveries, while others, such as myself, discovered that perhaps beer and ice cream should stay separate.

Float Trip took place on Angel City’s new upper deck area, which had remained closed to the public ever since their opening in early 2013. Roaming this upper area sure made us feel important, but it appeared that Angel City still has more plans for it. As the first thing that some would notice, the heat builds up here rather quickly. Angel City had not installed fans or air conditioning up here, so upon first arriving, I certainly felt the heat. Having all the doors open allows for some circulation, allowing the upper area to cool down later in the evening.

In addition to all the beers and ice cream, attendees could munch on free mini cupcakes from Mwokaji Cakery.

As far as the ice cream went, Peddler’s Creamery, Ice Cream Lab, and Ramekin delightfully served their scrumptious concoctions to all the attendees until they ran out. Peddler’s served five different flavors: cardamom, Mexican chocolate, dark choclate, strawberry basil, and vanilla. Ramekin served eight flavors, which included chai tea, chocolate espresso, Mexican chocolate, maple, and more. Ice Cream Lab made only one flavor: salted caramel with pretzels. Due to their method of churning fresh ice cream and doing so outside of their facility, they could only make one flavor.

Angel City served up three different beers: a pilsner, a wheat ale, and a Mexican Coke ale. I tried my best to pair an ice cream flavor with each one, but none of the beers stand out as a qualified candidate to enter a beer float. Thicker beers, such as pub ales and stouts, would work much better with ice cream. The Mexican Coke ale paired with Mexican chocolate ice cream probably tasted the closest to a beer float, but still had quite a ways to go.

For an event as simple as this, what more could you ask for? L.A. Foodie left the bells and whistles at home this time, opting for a low-cost event that still delivers fun and booze. If anything went wrong, it occurred beyond L.A. Foodie’s control. Notably, 4th Street, the main road used to get to Angel City Brewery from the nearest freeway, closed to traffic due to Brokechella taking place at this same time just down the street from the brewery. As a result, navigating the streets almost felt like driving through the Las Vegas Strip – full of pedestrians, and nowhere to park within half a mile. As for the date, this actually occurred on a Saturday with the least amount of Southern California events all month. So in hindsight, L.A. Foodie put on a great event as they always do. Due to external factors weighing on this event, L.A. Foodie certainly could have attained more with Float Trip.

When talking about something that markets well, people see how well something will perform around the world. Things that people in any country can connect with usually indicate that it works well with or without translation. For example, instrumental music works very well across the world due to a lack of lyrics binding it to one language. Take a look at the history of Lindsey Stirling – she originally appeared on America’s Got Talent, where a judge criticized her that her performance would not market well. Well it turns out that a young attractive violinist that can dance, sing, and mix dubstep could market very well on an international level. The significance of the international market greatly influences any business decision from the top of the corporate ladder all the way down to daily exchanges. Besides music, food translates very well around the world. Everybody around the world has to eat, so food makes for a great way to sell a brand or concept in other regions. When regions clash, you end up with fusion, which Grill ‘Em All has stepped up this month at their restaurant in Alhambra.

Now paying homage to the eastern world this month, Grill ‘Em All continues to ramp up their repertoire of burgers so off-the-charts that they can only serve it for a month. Just like the nature behind the restaurant, expect no formalities at Grill ‘Em All – heavy metal reverberates between the walls here, breaking down any and all barriers, yet accepting all who enter the doors to Valhalla. These doors extend all the way around the world, and this month, those doors greet South Korean death metal band Tokkaebi, roughly translating to goblin. Much like how punk rock has gone global, death metal reaches all corners of the world. To honor death metal around the world, Grill ‘Em All creates this Korean-inspired burger by topping a half-pound beef patty with kimchi (spiced pickled veggies) and Gochujang (savory hot sauce), then placing it over a pajeon (Korean-style pancake), bulgogi (Korean beef), lettuce, and sriracha sauce (really spicy sauce). Although this sounds like a spice attack, everything else in the burger contains the heat rather well. Of particular note, the bulgogi stands out the most. The way that Grill ‘Em All grills the bulgogi makes it crisp with a unique caramelized taste. If you happen to pluck out a piece of the bulgogi to eat by itself, you may find yourself craving only that ingredient.

Grill ‘Em All also calls this the Wing Kanemura, which refers to a wrestler if you Google that name. How a wrestler relates to a death metal band, I have yet to discover; perhaps the wrestler used the band’s music as an entrance theme? But I digress – you have until the end of this month (read: next week!) to snag a Tokkaebi Burger at Grill ‘Em All for just $12! Now that Lent has ended, you have no excuse for bringing yourself, your friends, and your family over to Grill ‘Em All for a taste of the East!

Hawaiian-Themed Beer Dinner
6:30 pm – 10:30 pm, April 23
The Grill at Torrey Pines, San Diego

Saint Archer Brewing Company will pair their beers with various Hawaiian dishes from The Grill at Torrey Pines this Wednesday night. The $80 admission includes food, beer pairings, valet parking, tax, and gratuity. No one under 21 may attend.

Build Your Own Poutine Night
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 24
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach

Beachwood BBQ throws a special food night every month or two, each with a different type of food, such as chili or ribs. This time, they feature the ever-popular Build Your Own Poutine Night. Pick the base, cheese, gravy, meat, and more, and pair it with a nice craft beer or two. No reservations required – simply show up, and order!

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque – Last Thursdays @ One Eyed Gypsy
9:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 24
One Eyed Gypsy, Downtown Los Angeles

Get your fill of burlesque every last Thursday of the month at One Eyed Gypsy in Downtown Los Angeles, for free! Guests can park on the street for free after 8pm. No one under 21 may enter.

The Aggrolites – Live in Southern California
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 24, The Observatory, Santa Ana
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 25, Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach

Catch The Aggrolites as they headline two shows in Southern California this weekend. Tickets to the all-ages show at The Observatory in Santa Ana this Thursday night cost $5. Tickets to the 21 & up show at Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach this Friday night cost $18 presale or $20 at the door.

25th Annual America’s Family Pet Expo
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 25-27
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa

Pet lovers will want to check out this pet expo at the OC Fair & Event Center this weekend. Open to all ages, attendees will find lots of pet resources, including food, merchandise, demos, exhibits, shows, pet adoptions, and more. General admission costs $13, but guests may NOT bring pets.

San Diego Magazine’s Best of North County Party
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm, April 25
Park Hyatt Aviara, Carlsbad

Samples food from North San Diego County’s top restaurants and chefs, and sip on wines and beers from the area’s breweries and wineries at this tasting gala this Friday night. Admission to this event costs $75 per person, or $65 each when purchasing five or more in a single transaction.

Luicidal @ Blacklight District Lounge
7:00 pm – 2:00 am, April 25
Blacklight District Lounge, Long Beach

Catch Luicidal as they headline a local punk show this Friday night in Long Beach. The cover for this show costs $8. No one under 21 may enter.

Johnny Madcap & The Distractions – 7″ Record Release Party
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 25
Cafe NELA, Los Angeles

Enjoy a local rock show this Friday night at Cafe NELA northeast of Downtown Los Angeles. The cover for this show costs $7. No one under 21 may enter. Guests can find plenty of free parking on the street.

The Return of The Dips
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, April 25
The Vu Bar & Lounge, Newhall

Punk rock hits Newhall this Friday night, with The Dips returning to the stage after a long wait. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may enter.

19th Annual Uptown Whittier Spring Antique Street Faire
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 26
Greenleaf Avenue, Uptown Whittier

Check out over 90 vendors selling collectibles, jewelry, art, furniture, glassware, and more at this street fair this Saturday. Free to attend for all ages, guests will find many rare merchandise from local businesses and home vendors. Guests can dine at any of the local establishments, which will remain open under their normal business hours. Guests can park for free on the street in adjacent neighborhoods.

31st Annual Encinitas Street Fair
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 26-27
South Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas

This FREE street fair takes place this weekend 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.

Green Prize Festival
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 26
Bixby Park, Long Beach

Celebrate Earth Day this Saturday in Long Beach. At this free all-ages community festival down by the beach, visitors will find demos by local farms & chefs, live entertainment, local artists, green & eco-friendly services, speakers, arts & crafts, food from local restaurants, delis, food trucks, and more.

Spring 2014 Brewery Art Walk
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 26-27
Brewery Art Association, Los Angeles

This FREE semiannual art walk features hundreds of residents artists showcasing their finest work. Guests may even purchase art they like from the artists. Free to park and enter for all ages, the facility even includes an in-house restaurant, so bring your friends and family to look at some great art.

30th Annual Mission Federal ArtWalk
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 26-27
Little Italy, San Diego

Free to the public, this art walk takes up 17 blocks of Little Italy filled with over 350 artists. All throughout the fest, guests can discover music and dance performances, and plenty of kids’ activities.

Spring 2014 Artisanal LA
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 26-27
LA Mart, Los Angeles

Find the latest trends in food, drinks, fashion, accessories, and more at this designer fair this weekend. See dozens of artists, chefs, bakers, designers, and more from across the world showcasing their goods and selling their wonderful products. Admission to this all-ages event costs $12 presale and $15 at the door. If buying presale, use promo code ebfan to save 30% off the presale price! Parking at the venue costs $15 per vehicle, but visitors can either search for other parking lots or street meters, or take public transportation to save on commute costs.

Bootlegger’s Brewery 6th Anniversary Music & Beer Fest
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, April 26
Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton

Celebrate Bootlegger’s Brewery’s 6th anniversary at their music & beer fest this Saturday in Fullerton. The $40 admission includes unlimited beer tasters, a souvenir glass, over 30 brews including rares and limited brews, food trucks, live music, access to the venue’s art gallery, a bull ride, bocce ball, dunk tank, and more. No one under 21 may attend.

Adams Avenue Unplugged 2014
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 26
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 27
Adams Avenue, San Diego

Completely free to the public, guests will spectate 180 live music acts throughout the day all in the various local businesses and multiple stages. The city will also offer free trolley service to transport guests from one end to the other.

4th Annual San Clemente Micro-Brew Fest
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, April 26
Left Coast Brewing Company, San Clemente

Enjoy an afternoon of beer and food in San Clemente this Saturday afternoon. This beer festival will contain 17 local breweries all serving their wonderful brews, and food from local non-profit groups. Admission costs $30 presale or $35 at the door, and comes with 12 4oz beer pours.

5th Annual AutoCon Los Angeles
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 26
Fairplex, Pomona

See all things cars at AutoCon this Saturday at the Fairplex in Pomona. Attendees will find hundreds of classic & customs cars, a huge vendor village, demos, food trucks, import models, and more. General admission to this all-ages convention cost $15. Bring cash for parking as well, which will cost between $5 and $15 per vehicle.

St. Georgie Venereal’s B-Day Bash
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 26
13th Frame Lounge, La Habra

Enjoy a FREE all-ages punk rock show this Saturday night with Broken Patron Saints, High Gain Fury, Carpit, and more.

The Dickies, The Queers, and More @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, April 26
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Big names in punk rock invade The Observatory this Saturday night, as The Dickies and The Queers headline this all-ages show. Tickets to this show cost $10. The venue has limited free parking, so arrive early to secure a parking spot. Arrive too late, and end up parking in a lot down the street for $10.

Hollywood Hate @ Cafe NELA
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, April 26
Cafe NELA, Los Angeles

Get all punk rock out with Hollywood Hate this Saturday night in Los Angeles. The cover for this show costs only $5. No one under 21 may enter. Guests can find plenty of free street parking around the area.

Punk Show @ Jack’s Bar & Grill
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, April 26
Jack’s Bar & Grill, Riverside

Catch some great local punk rock bands this Saturday night in Riverside. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may enter.

Pasadena Restaurant Week
Business hours, April 27 – May 2
Various restaurants, Pasadena

Between April 27 and May 2, 45 different restaurants in Pasadena will offer prix-fixe lunches and/or dinners. In addition, some locations will offer other discounts, prizes, and more. See the full list of participating restaurants by clicking the link to the website above.

25th Annual San Diego Earth Fair
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 27
Balboa Park, San Diego

This FREE and all-ages Earth Day celebration takes place this Sunday at Balboa Park in San Diego. Bring the family out to enjoy this fair with art galleries, “green” food, arts & crafts, vendors, a parade, and more.

2014 Taste of Huntington Beach
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 27
Huntington Beach Sports Complex, Huntington Beach

Sample the flavors of Huntington Beach’s local restaurants this Sunday at their food fest. Admission includes unlimited food samples and wine & beer tasters. General admission costs $65 and starts at 12pm, while VIP costs $85 and starts at 11am. VIP comes with complimentary champagne, extra hors d-oeuvres, free raffle entries, and free goodies. For both admissions, designated drivers will save $5, which only means they cannot receive any wine or beer.

2nd Annual Atwater Village Beer, Wine, & Food Festival
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, April 27
55 Degree Wine, Atwater Village

Check out local breweries, local vendors, food & drinks, live music, and more this Sunday at Atwater Village. VIP tickets cost $50 presale or $60 at the door, starts at 12pm, receives unlimited beer tasters and a free goodie bag. General admission costs $40 presale or $50 at the door, and comes with 15 tasters. Designated driver tickets cost $20 presale or $25 at the door.

Punk Rock & Tacos IV
1:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 27
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim

Local punk bands will play for FREE this Sunday all day at the Doll Hut in Anaheim. No one under 21 may enter.

Los Angeles Mac And Cheeze Takedown
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, April 27
The Bootleg Theater, Los Angeles

Enter your Mac & Cheese to compete to win prizes, or just attend and stuff yourself full of mac & cheese! If you have a mac & cheese dish worthy of recognition, enter it into this mac & cheese contest this Sunday afternoon. If you would rather eat other people’s mac, buy tickets for $15 per person, then show up and chow down!

Think you can hold out for Lent for any longer? If you feel that you can stop one day early, you may receive the chance to indulge on sweets, booze, and sweets in booze at L.A. Foodie‘s Float Trip. This Saturday from 4pm to 7pm, the L.A. Foodie crew will once again strut into Angel City Brewery, where the crew will set up for an evening of serving up artisanal ice cream and craft beer. Guests will choose a beer from three choices of Angel City’s brews, and pick any ice cream flavor available from Peddler’s Creamery, Ice Cream Lab, or Ramekin. Additionally, all attendees receive a float-mixing kit, complete with cups, spoons, straws, trays, and more. As for food, attendees can snack on cookies, cakes, and other sweet treats from Mwokaji Cakery, while supplies last. General admission costs just $9, and includes three ice cream beer floats and a $20 Uber ride service gift card for new signups. Beyond this event, all attendees plus regular visitors to the brewery can still order beer from the counter, and purchase food from the food trucks that will serve outside.

Take a peek at L.A. Foodie’s last event, Treatoberfest, here at Angel City Brewery back in October last year:

As this weekend contains countless events throughout Southern California, transportation reigns as the number one obstacle for any local. Not too far from here, Brokechella will occur, occupying most, if not all, parking spaces in the area. Also not too far from Downtown Los Angeles, the K-Town Night Market will take place, causing a clutter of people near Union Station, a 15 minute walk from Angel City. No one under 21 may attend the event, and the brewery’s staff WILL check for ID’s at the door, so remember to bring your ID! Last but not least, drink responsibly, as this area of Los Angeles sees a high density of traffic both on wheels and on foot.