Posts Tagged ‘Bacon’

Perception never falls into the simple categorization of black versus white. Perception falls anywhere within a boundless spectrum of antipodes. The problem lies with people’s ability to conceive perceptions beyond their scope. You can ask a person what type of music they love the most, while the next person may loathe that type of music. Most people claim to not like country music, yet the truth reveals that they simply have no preference for it; however, few people actually get adamant about the music. Going beyond preferences commonly exists in food and beverages. Where one person may call something “the best,” another will claim something else as better. For example, my father swears by the $2 wine from Trader Joe’s, unable to accept that pricier fine wines taste better. Some people say that no other burger can top a common burger from corporate fast food or corporate restaurants. People truly get attached to their fast food burgers and refuse to believe that better burgers exist out there. Whether or not you claim to know about the best burger in the world, I encourage you to seek out these five burgers in the greater Los Angeles area this season and give them a try. Who knows – maybe you will alter your opinions after one bite!

5. Eat Chow‘s Chow BBQ Burger

Portion size means a lot to the typical person who goes out to eat. Fine-dining restaurants focus on quality over quantity, so while fine-dining entrées appear small, it makes up for it with outstanding flavor. Generally, people want that happy medium between fine-dining and fast food, a restaurant that serves high-quality yet affordable food, something that Eat Chow specializes in. Now with three locations in Orange County, Eat Chow does not boast too much, perhaps because their foods speaks for itself. Eat Chow takes common foods and makes them well, from their burgers to the sandwiches to the entrées and more. Clearly a lot of care has gone into the dishes, evident by how much of the food’s natural flavor one can taste. In addition to the heightened food quality, Eat Chow doles up generous portion sizes too, such as in their Chow BBQ Burger. This grass-fed chuck patty comes topped with housemade barbecue sauce, smoked gouda cheese, crispy onion strings, bacon, mayonnaise, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes on a brioche bun. You can take on this huge burger for just $13.

4. Ocean Diner‘s Kiss Me Kate Burger

Different ingredients yield different flavors to the palate. Some ingredients have mild flavors, while some ingredients have extreme flavors. Some of the extreme-flavored ingredients may come with inauspicious side effects, such as spicy foods attacking the taste buds or foods invoking halitosis, or bad breath. Some of the latter ingredients taste so good that people often endure the side effects, such as garlic. For a calamity of ingredients that can cause bad breath, Ocean Diner has found just the combination. From the outside, Ocean Diner looks like your typical small-town American diner. However, Ocean Diner truly has some amazing things going on in here, such as their Kiss Me Kate Burger. This specialty burger comes with bacon-roasted garlic puree, grilled onions, and goat cheese. This $11.95 comes served with French fries, mashed potatoes, brown rice, coleslaw, or cottage cheese. As a special menu item, it will not last forever, so head over to Ocean Diner fast before this burger leaves their menu!

3. green2Go‘s Grass-Fed Bison Burger

A simple human truth states that people desire control in their lives. When someone lacks control over a situation, they may start to feel stress or panic. Give someone control, and they feel a lot more comfortable over their situation. This applies to all walks of life, including food, and green2Go gives you that control over your food. green2Go uses only the freshest all-natural ingredients to ensure pure flavor and nutrition. While you may certainly order any of their items as the menu describes, green2Go proudly offers a Build-Your-Own section where you get to dress up your favorite menu items, such as their Grass-Fed Bison Burger. This bison patty comes on your choice of brioche or squaw bread, or a lettuce-wrap, organic lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a dill pickle. From there, you can select up to four add-ons to accompany your plate, which you can pick by walking up to the BYO bar to the left of the front counter. For $16, this burger comes to you with your choice of a side salad or roasted mini potatoes.

2. Abricott‘s Lemongrass Chicken Burger

Who says that a burger must contain a ground beef patty? Not all burgers must contain beef.  We have seen multiple different types of burgers, such as turkey burgers, salmon burgers, and even vegetarian patty burgers. We rarely ever see a chicken burger, much less a chicken burger done right. Abricott would like to turn that perception around. Known for their French-Asian cuisine, Abricott remains a staple in local Pasadena food, and has attracted the attention of locals and travelers alike. Pasadena brings in huge amounts of travelers between the convention center and the Rose Bowl, and travelers often want to savor the local flavor. Abricott’s menu covers multiple forms of food, including their Lemongrass Chicken Burger. Not just any old burger, this burger contains a ground chicken patty seasoned with lemongrass, topped with tomato, onions, lettuce, and mayonnaise served on a bun with coconut tamarind sauce. At $10.95, you can taste this unique burger that few other places can match in flavor.

1. Gus’s Barbecue‘s Brisket Burnt End Burger

When one orders a burger, one can typically expect a ground beef patty supported by various toppings, correct? The beef patty usually stars as the protagonist in the story known as the burger, but once in a while a burger may feature more than one co-protagonist. For a story featuring more than one star, we turn to Gus’s Barbecue in South Pasadena. A local barbecue legend, Gus’s Barbecue has done barbecue right for such a long time that they know exactly how to apply their prized meats to other forms of food. For example, take their Brisket Burnt End Burger. This beef burger comes topped with beef brisket burnt ends, cheese sauce, pickled jalapeños, and mustard on a toasted pretzel bun. All burgers come with your choice of French fries, sweet potato fries, potato salad, cole slaw, or BBQ baked beans. You can pound this mound of meat at Gus’s Barbecue for $13.95.

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

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

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

Americans have a strange fascination with bacon. Something about this small strip of pork drives people to spend obscene amounts of money to add it on to something. Fast food restaurants routinely charge a dollar more to add a piece of bacon, while some restaurants charge up to $4 more to add some bacon. I will never understand why people do this, but I do know that if I crave the flavor of bacon, it had better taste good. Sure bacon may not always represent the healthiest option on any menu, but it certainly beats other questionable ingredients such as white bread. At least with bacon, you do get a minor source of protein, while something like white bread will generally come with fillers and maybe preservatives depending on where you got that bread. But if you want something with a lot of bacon in it, you most likely will not care about the nutrition in it – you care about the taste and how much guilt you can cram into one item of food, and for that I go to Pig Pen Delicacy in Santa Ana.

As the name of this food stand suggests, Pig Pen Delicacy sells pork and pork accessories products in whatever manner they can fashion. Located inside the 4th Street Market, one of Orange County’s well-known food halls, Pig Pen Delicacy wants to deliver pork to you until you just shut up and love it. From pulled pork to pork belly to bacon and more, if you want pork, you got it here at Pig Pen Delicacy. While they have a regular menu with all the porky goodness around, they also have a limited-time specials menu that contains obscene items such as the Cheesy Mac Bun Burger. This burger comes on fried mac & cheese “buns” instead of regular bread, and holds the beef patty (cooked to order), cheddar cheese, candied bacon, and barbecue sauce. I hope your arteries can handle all this greasy goodness, because the faint-of-heart will most definitely not handle this thickness.

For $9.50, you can indulge in this guilty pleasure for a limited time at Pig Pen Delicacy in Downtown Santa Ana. To see what other specials they have cooking up, check out Pig Pen Delicacy on Facebook and Twitter.

2017 has arrived, and we welcome this new year with the reinvention and reintroduction of traditional world events. While the world will welcome the Summer Olympics and the United States will welcome a new president, the notion of bringing back something familiar spreads to other subjects as well. When something goes away for a while and returns much later, we refer to those things as classic. Some people say that the classics never go out of style, but eventually, all good things must come to an end, and classics do too. For that purpose, millennials must continually search for ways to improve or adapt methods in all aspects of life. Today’s culture revolves around two types of people: the safe, and the risk-takers. Safe people will find something they recognize and stick with it, preferring not to deviate away from the norm. Risk-takers feel adventurous and love to try new things. In general, safe people live a bland, boring life, while risk-takers live an exciting spontaneous life. Excitement gets your adrenaline pumping, so add some spontaneity to your life by seeking out these five burgers in the greater Los Angeles area this season.

5. The Black Plate‘s Kobe Beef Bacon Jam Sliders

It appears that The Black Plate cannot make up its mind. It feels like every month, they operate as something else. Something here changes every month, such as the owner or the name of the restaurant. Perhaps its terrible location right off the freeway in Westminster lends to the inconsistency here. Thankfully, through it all, their food has remained consistently memorable. The Black Plate may carry a variety of foods, from sausages to hot dogs to sliders to phô to seafood to classic entrées and more. However, I always come back to the Kobe Beef Bacon Jam Sliders. The Black Plate does not serve full burgers. Instead, they have these premium Kobe beef sliders served with spicy maple jalapeño bacon jam and melted sharp cheddar on brioche slider buns. You get three to a plate for $11. You ought to hurry over to The Black Plate to try these, or they might go through some other transformation into another restaurant.

4. Ohana Burger‘s The Daniel-San

Asian food has remained under the spotlight for quite a long time, and still remains a favorite food choice for many people. Even better, people go crazy for the food when it contains an element of fusion in it. So when people discover an Asian fusion restaurant, naturally they all flock to it, such as Ohana Burger in West LA. Located in Little Osaka replacing the previous Bachi Burger, Ohana Burger brings Japanese and island flavors to the west by introducing them to a form that Americans easily recognize: burgers. Visitors can savor this fusion best in The Daniel-San. Ohana Burger takes a marinated Angus beef patty and tops it with chili mayonnaise, a fried egg, furikake, caramelized bacon, and crispy onion rings – basically, an Asian version of the western bacon cheeseburger. Anyone who loves Asian food will fall in love with this burger, as it basically represents Asian-style BBQ in a burger. Sadly, burgers do not come with any side, but once you sink your teeth into this $13 burger, you will not require a side, as you will want to prolong this experience as long as you can.

3. Little Bear‘s Liege Waffle Burger

Breakfast: the most important meal of the day. Traditionally, breakfast restricted our first daily meals to a select few types of foods, such as eggs, meat (bacon/ham/sausage), and some bread (muffin/toast/pancakes/waffles/etc). While we used to eat these with a knife and fork, why not combine it all in one plate? The folks over at Little Bear in Downtown LA have done that already. While one can easily spot Little Bear out in the open, not too many people drive down this street, so they often miss this fun little Belgian pub. As a Belgian pub, you can expect lots of Belgian beers and Belgian foods, including Belgian Waffles, which you can eat with the Liege Waffle Burger. Served only during brunch hours, Little Bear takes a fresh-ground Angus beef patty and tops it with sharp cheddar, bacon, and a fried egg. But to give it that Little Bear twist, instead of regular buns, Little Bear uses Liege Waffles as the buns, which they serve with a side of maple syrup. With the maple syrup, I suggest using a knife and fork. However, for the true burger experience, just pick it up and dive right in. You can start off your day the Little Bear way for $16.

2. VaKA Burger Express‘ El Porky

In a condensed city such as Los Angeles, hidden gems and hole-in-the-wall places exist in every nook & cranny. If you discover or someone tells you about VaKA Burger Express and you decide to go look for them, you may require more than one try to actually locate them. If you simply drive to the address, you may completely pass by them, as they have virtually no signage visible from the street. You have to actually enter Boyle Heights’ Ramirez Liquor and make your way to the back left corner to find the counter for VaKA Burger Express. Once there, you will discover a mini burger paradise with some of the best hidden burgers this side of Los Angeles, such as their El Porky. Blitz your taste buds with this burger that features provolone cheese, crispy pork belly, six-hour braised onions: French-onion soup-style, and housemade smoked barbecue sauce. Do note that they store their barbecue sauce cold, so the first few bites may feel like a blend of hot and cold. For $14 for this burger, you will never taste another burger like this again.

1. Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern‘s Jimmy Burger

If you seek classic American cuisine with an artisanal touch, look no further than Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern (JFAT). Reinventing traditional restaurant faire, JFAT covers many grounds of cuisine familiar to many with their high-quality approach to cooking. Currently boasting four locations between Los Angeles County, Orange County, and San Diego County, and with a fifth location opening soon, JFAT takes what you know about traditional American restaurants and turns it up to eleven. Between brunch, lunch, dinner, and a full bar, any time of the day makes for a great time to stop on by JFAT and enjoy a bite or sip or more. Their beverage offering alone always stays current with the seasons, as they routinely rotate out their craft beer offerings as well as their fine wines. People also love the cocktails at JFAT, as the drinks here range from sweet to spicy, mild to bold, and more. On the food side, JFAT pays close attention to not only the quality, but the portions of their dishes. For a traditional pub entrée, go with a burger, such as their Jimmy Burger. This $18 burger comes with applewood-smoked bacon, spicy jalapeño jam, and southern pimento cheese. Although more sweet and hearty than spicy, a little bit of heat kicks in at the end, giving a full spectrum of flavor in each bite. While the menu and food at Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern looks and sounds familiar, one cannot judge a book by its cover. You cannot appreciate the flavor until you try it for yourself. Head on over to Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern at Point Loma (San Diego), Dana Point, Brea, Woodland Hills, or Santa Monica to savor American cuisine at its finest.

When something has existed locally for a long time, you can bet that the locals will know a thing or two about it. From landmarks to businesses, everything has a story behind it, and the locals will tell you all about it. Some things may get talked about more often than others, but the legacy remains, and eventually other people discover it, leading to the growth and spread of knowing about such things. Speaking of which, even after the original person passes on, the legacy remains (RWBY, for example), and Hodad’s proves exactly that.

As one of San Diego’s longest standing institutions, Hodad’s represents an American Dream come true. Hodad’s allows guests to dine inside restored cars, or surrounded by walls covered with custom license plates. Clearly, the founder of Hodad’s had a passion for cars, but he also had a passion for surfing. Hodad means a non-surfer who spends time at the beach masquerading as a surfer. Whether they surf or not, guests of Hodad’s flock there to appreciate the interior design as well as the classic diner food. As a burger joint, Hodad’s delivers the classics here: burgers, fries, onion rings, shakes, and malts. While they have a few fancy burgers, nearly all of the visitors go for the classics, such as the Double Bacon Cheeseburger. With mine above, I opted for grilled onions, which made the burger even messier. Too big to hold in hand, this burger could not even fit in my mouth, so I had to bite corners off to get through the burger. Along with the burger came Onion Rings. Nothing stood out as unique with the onion rings – Hodad’s just makes them very well. To top off the meal, Hodad’s hand-blends up classic Malts using real malted barley.

Hodad’s boasts three locations in San Diego County: its original location in Ocean Beach, a second location in Downtown San Diego, and a branch in Petco Park. Check out what Hodad’s has going on by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

When the seasons change, many more things change than just the weather. Looking at the weather alone, Southern California currently experiences a massive heat wave that may make you believe that the seasons had not turned yet. The pharmaceutical industry has come under heavy scrutiny. Scientists have discovered flowing water on Mars. A drought threatens the inhabitation of California. As a society, we cannot accurately predict what radical event will change the world next, but we can brace ourselves for anything, as we always have in the past as an enduring society. We can also fall back on what we typically associate with this time of the year. Fall, as we know it, indicates pumpkins, red wine, NFL, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the fall harvest, especially the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, giving us a reason to gorge on Mooncakes. Looking at all these opportunities to feast on favorable foods, we should not overlook outdoor grilling, nor the foods prepared that way. Though the winds will chill the air more so than in the summer, many folks will still utilize the grill up through Thanksgiving. In homage of the veritable fall feast, take a look at these five burgers in the Greater Los Angeles Area that I highly recommend seeking out this season.

5. The Apple Pan‘s Steakburger

With all this newfangled technology and modernism going on these days, sometimes it helps to go back to the basics. We turn to the originals to inspired us to prepare for the future. For the originals, we head over to The Apple Pan in Century City. The name should speak for itself, but for those who have not heard of the name, The Apple Pan represents one of the oldest Los Angeles restaurants still in operation to this day. The Apple Pan even inspired the Johnny Rockets chain we see everywhere. The Apple Pan’s old-time charm holds dear to our hearts, but their classic food represents comfort food at its finest. The Apple Pan serves two signature burgers with different cuts of beef: a hickory burger, and the Steakburger. Where the hickory burger carries more smoke flavor, the Steakburger remains closer to a medium beef patty. Each one costs $7.65 and comes with The Apple Pan’s signature sauce (resembles salsa), mayonnaise, pickles, and lettuce. For a small upcharge, you can add Tillamook cheddar to the burger, which I highly recommend since they let the cheese melt onto the grill, providing some crispness to the cheese. At The Apple Pan, the classics never go out of style!

4. Beer Belly‘s The Duck! Cheeseburger

We move from the classics to the modern era, where crafty chefs like to get fancy and creative with their foods. We deviate away from the norm with the type of ingredients used in classic dishes, but deviate too far and you may end up putting off willing customers. Thankfully, Koreatown’s Beer Belly walks the line between classic and inventive with their modernized take on classic foods. Beer Belly’s menu contains classic foods as you may recognize, but they use slightly different ingredients than you may recall. Take, for example, The Duck! Cheeseburger. Sure it may cost $15.50 for just a burger, but looking at what they put in this burger may justify the cost. Beer Belly uses a patty of duck and bacon for this burger, which can already kill the savory senses for those not accustomed to this barrage of meaty goodness. In addition, they even put foie gras on this burger! The hits do not stop there – you also get provolone cheese, mustard, peach ketchup, arugula, and pickled red onions on this burger in an onion brioche bun. Just for kicks, you can add a fried egg to this burger for $1.50 more. If you want to blitz your taste buds, Beer Belly has the ticket for that.

3. Urbana‘s Urbana Burger

Now we move from the modern era to the fusion path, where we start to cross cuisines of different cultures. As its name may suggest, the hamburger originated in Germany, yet today it somehow has a lot more popularity in the United States than Germany. One thing led to another, and we have foods mixing and matching all over the world. Most prominently, Latin cuisine mixes very well with other cuisines, something that Urbana in Anaheim does very well. Urbana takes Mexican flavors and applies them to many types of dishes besides Mexican food. While Urbana has the classics such as tacos, Urbana puts a Latin spin on other foods not typically thought of as Mexican, just like in their Urbana Burger. While it eats like a burger, the grass-fed beef patty comes filled with Queso Oaxaca for a stuffed burger experience. This stuffed patty sits on a layer of chorizo and gets topped with arugula, caramelized onions, and cilantro aioli. For $18, this monstrous burger comes with fries to feed you for the night.

2. Pig Pen Delicacy‘s Maple Bacon Jam Burger

Americans have a strange fascination with bacon. Something about this small strip of pork drives people to spend obscene amounts of money to add it on to something. Fast food restaurants routinely charge a dollar more to add a piece of bacon, while some restaurants charge up to $4 more to add some bacon. I will never understand why people do this, but I do know that if I crave the flavor of bacon, it had better taste good, so I go to Pig Pen Delicacy in Santa Ana. As the name of this food stand suggests, Pig Pen Delicacy sells pork and pork accessories products in whatever manner they can fashion. Look at their Maple Bacon Jam Burger to see how much they love pork here. An all-beef patty comes coated with maple bacon jam, havarti cheese, chive aioli, and friend onion strings. At just $8.50, you can have a mess on your hands and eat it too. Between all the bacon, pulled pork, and pork belly, if you want pork, you got it here at Pig Pen Delicacy.

1. Cafe Cola‘s Smoov Burger

We live in a time where every single human being desires absolute control over his or her life. As a universal human truth, people need to have complete control over their lives and do things only their way, even if it obstructs another person’s path to freedom. Sad as that might sound, history has shown exactly this. When you have control, you feel authoritative and confident. When you lack control, you may start to feel scared or angry. By allowing people to have control, they feel more comfortable with the current situation. They have ditched the old motto of “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” for a more direct approach that gives them control. Instead of getting mad, go somewhere that allows you to enjoy your control by allowing you the pleasure of customization, such as at Cafe Cola in Covina. Now officially reopened (albeit only on weekends), Cafe Cola has introduced a brand new model of allowing customers to build their own burger from the plate up for one flat price. Customers pay $9.95 for the Smoov Burger, and can choose as many toppings as they want to go on it. Personally, I think too many toppings kills the flavor, but with so much to choose from, you can afford to carefully select toppings. Despite this gimmick, the burger comes out amazing, as Cafe Cola does not muck around with the beef patty. Very few places can boast about unlimited toppings at one low price, and Cafe Cola has sealed the deal as the best customizable burger in the Greater Los Angeles area.

2016 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, August 28-30
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles
http://www.westernfoodexpo.com/

The food and hospitality industry will have its own expo this weekend, featuring many aspects from food, ingredients, equipment, accessories, services, and more. This time, they have opened the expo to the public, so you no longer need to work in the industry to attend this. Attendees should expect lots of food and drink samples, plus lots of information about businesses and the industry. Registration for an attendee starts at $65. No one under 18 may attend.

Haven Gastropub 7th Anniversary Celebration
11:00 am – 12:00 am, August 29 – September 1
Haven Gastropub, Orange
http://www.havengastropub.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/668535763310192/

The long-standing Haven Gastropub turns seven years old this week, and to celebrate, they will have four days of food and drink specials at their restaurant in Old Towne Orange, where they will tap a bunch of rare brews for your enjoyment. They will also have a handful of food specials served during these days.

Great Society Cider & Mead’s Grand Opening
4:30 pm – 11:00 pm, August 30
Great Society Cider & Mead, Long Beach
http://www.greatsocietycider.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/160375111035292/

After weeks of launching as a soft opening, Long Beach’s Great Society Cider & Mead will finally officially open their doors to the public this Tuesday evening. They will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:30, and will have a special cider available just for this day. Stop on by and enjoy some mid-week drinks.

11th Annual Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend
10:00 am – 12:00 am, September 1
5:30 am – 8:00 pm, September 2
5:30 am – 4:00 pm, September 3
5:30 am – 11:30 am, September 4
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim
http://www.rundisney.com/disneyland-half-marathon/

The Disneyland Half Marathon returns for its tenth year this weekend with a plethora of things to see and do. Participate in any of the races, check out the health & fitness expo, and stick around for after-parties throughout the weekend. The website has an extensive list of everything going on this weekend, so consult with the website for more details.

Flights 2nd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 1
Flights Beer Bar, Hawthorne
http://flightsbeerbar.com/

This Thursday, Flights Beer Bar in Hawthorne will stock all of their taps with only South Bay brewery beer. Come taste local flavor in one spot. This event has no admission fee or cover charge – simply show up and pay for drinks as you go.

To Live & Dine in OC 2016
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm, September 1
Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo
http://www.modernluxury.com/orange-county/events/live-dine-1

Sample food and drinks from some of Orange County’s top restaurants this Thursday evening in Aliso Viejo. Tickets cost $40 presale or $50 at the door. No one under 21 may attend.

5th Annual Long Beach Psyclone Weekender
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, September 1-4
Seaport Marina Hotel, Long Beach
http://www.lbpsyclone.com/

Lots of psychobilly bands will invade Long Beach this weekend for this annual rockabilly festival. Live music will go on all weekend, and other events will circulate around town to coincide with this festival too, such as BBQ/pool parties, brunches, bus rides, and more. Find tickets for sale at select retailers, or purchase them online. Thursday night costs $10, the weekend costs $30 per day, and the full weekend pass costs $80.

U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge & 3D Art Expo
9:00 am – 7:00 pm, September 2-5
B Street Pier, San Diego
http://www.ussandsculpting.com/

Check out various works of art involving sand sculpting and 3D printing this weekend in San Diego. Admission ranges from $5 to $17.

Los Angeles Times: The TASTE
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, September 2-4
Paramount Pictures Studios, Hollywood
http://events.latimes.com/taste/

Los Angeles Times presents The TASTE, a series of food-based events at Paramount Pictures Studios. Each event will feature unlimited food & drink tastings from over 40 of LA’s top restaurants, along with live cooking & mixology demonstrations, wine seminars, and panel discussions. Tickets vary in price depending on the event attended, starting at $100.

Anime California 2016
11:00 am – 2:00 am, September 2
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 3-4
Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach
http://www.animecalifornia.com/

Anime, manga, and cosplay fans rejoice! Anime California returns this weekend to its new home at the Long Beach Convention Center. This 3-day expo contains hundreds of artist & vendor booths, various special events such as a masquerade ball, music videos, concerts, battle of the bands, fashion shows, dancing, video games, karaoke, cosplay gatherings & contests, and much more. Admission to this all-ages expo costs $60 for the entire weekend.

LA County Fair – Opening Day
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 2
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.lacountyfair.com/

Your local fair will open this Friday at the Fairplex in Pomona. If you missed the OC Fair, you will not want to miss the LA County Fair. Ticket prices range from free up to $17, but stores like Walgreens and Costco sell discounted ticket packages.

2016 E Hula Mau
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 2
8:00 am – 12:00 am, September 3-4
Terrace Theater @ the Long Beach Convention Center
http://www.ehulamau.org/

The annual E Hula Mau returns to Long Beach to exhibit various Pacific Islander performances, arts & crafts, food, vendors, and more. The actual fest requires no admission, while spectating the competitions requires a ticket purchase. Nearby parking structures east of Pine Avenue between 3rd & 6th Streets provide free parking for up to two hours.

626 Night Market
4:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 2-4
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.626nightmarket.com/

The largest Asian night market in America returns to Santa Anita Park this weekend. For just $3 to enter, this flea market of sorts will host tons of vendors selling Asian wares, merchandise, apparel, appliances, food, drinks, and more.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 2
Various locations
Long Beach: http://firstfridayslongbeach.com/
Venice: http://www.abbotkinney1stfridays.com/

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).

Orange International Street Fair
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 2
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, September 3-4
Streets of Old Town Orange
http://www.orangestreetfair.org/

One of the grandest events to grace Orange County, the annual OISF returns this weekend to the streets of Old Town Orange. Completely free to attend and open to all ages, the OISF brings together regions of the world and their food, drinks, merchandise, dance, music, and so much more. The four roads radiating from the Orange Circle each contain 3-4 themed “Streets” based on a region of the world. This year, the organizers have shifted. You have never seen a street party this huge – trust me.

2016 Vegan Street Fair: Nights
5:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 2-3
The Federal Bar, North Hollywood
http://www.veganstreetfair.com/

The vegans have their nights in North Hollywood this weekend. General admission costs $20 while VIP admission costs $40 that includes a “fast pass” for food lines. This event will operate similarly to a night market, where guests will still have to pay for any food or drinks they wish to consume.

La Fiesta de San Gabriel 2016
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 2
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 3-4
San Gabriel Mission, San Gabriel
http://www.sangabrielmissionfiesta.org/

A free and all-ages street fair comes to San Gabriel this weekend. Visitors will find food, entertainment, arts & crafts, activities, and more.

14th Annual Ventura Nationals Hot Rod & Motorcycle Show
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 3
Ventura Fairgrounds, Ventura
http://www.venturanationals.com/

Immerse yourself in a world of classic cars, local music, pinup models, and more at this rockabilly event in Ventura this Saturday. Admission costs $15 for adults or $10 for active military with ID. Children 12 & under enter for free with a paid adult admission.

New Blues Festival III
9:00 am – 8:00 pm, September 3-4
El Dorado Park, Long Beach
http://newbluesfestival.com/

Enjoy two full days of local blues music at this all-ages concert this weekend at El Dorado Park in Long Beach. General admission costs $30 for one day or $50 for both days. VIP admission costs $125 for one day, and includes access to a VIP tent. Parking costs $8 per vehicle.

Fiesta Hermosa
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 3-5
Downtown Hermosa Beach
http://fiestahermosa.net/

Fiesta Hermosa returns to the streets of Downtown Hermosa Beach this weekend. Free to park and attend, this street fair will have food, drinks, music, arts & crafts, games, rides, vendors, and more. You cannot park AT the event – for those driving, you must park at the Northrop Grumman Building at Marine & Aviation in Redondo Beach, and a free shuttle will carry you to and from the fest and parking lot.

Four Sons Brewing 2nd Year Anniversary
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 3-4
Four Sons Brewing, Huntington Beach
http://foursonsbrewing.com/event/four-sons-2nd-anniversary-celebration/

Four Sons Brewing in Huntington Beach turns two years old this weekend, and to celebrate, they will tap a bunch of rare brews at their tasting room all weekend. No admission required – simply show up, and enjoy some rare brews.

67th Annual Long Beach Greek Festival
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 3-5
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, Long Beach
http://www.lbgreekfest.org/

At this Greek Festival, you will find Greek foods & desserts, drinks, dancers, music, games, rides, arts & crafts, vendors, exhibits, and more. CSULB provides free parking and shuttle rides. Print the voucher from the website to waive the admission fee.

San Diego Bacon Fest
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, September 3
NTC Park – Preble Field, Liberty Station, San Diego
http://www.sdbaconfest.com/

Simply put, you can eat all the bacon and drink all the drinks you can at this festival dedicated to bacon. General admission costs $60 and starts at 2pm. VIP admission costs $100, starts at 1pm, and comes with a beer caddy to hold your beer tasting cup. All admissions include unlimited food and drinks until 5pm. No one under 21 may attend. This fest takes place outdoors, so apply sunscreen prior to arriving, and stay hydrated.

6th Annual D.I.Y. Music & Fashion Fest
4:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 3
The Glass House, Pomona
http://bricktoyaface.com/
http://www.facebook.com/BrickToYaFace

Check out this all-ages music & art fest this Saturday night in Pomona. Admission costs $15 presale or $20 at the door.

8th Annual BuskerFest
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 3
East Village Arts District, Long Beach
http://www.summerandmusic.com/buskerfest

BuskerFest returns to Long Beach this Saturday. Like the Long Beach Funk Fest, various bands will perform on buskers in the East Village Arts Districts, with the headliners playing on the main stage. Free to attend for all ages, fans of music will surely want to come here. For long-term parking, search for street parking in neighborhoods to the east or north.

For What Ales Ya 2016
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 3
Maniac Mike’s Cafe, Upland
http://www.facebook.com/events/223705457992880/

$35 gets you admittance to this bottle share party, complete with a souvenir glass, complimentary taco bar, live music, and more. All attendees must bring at least one bottle of craft beer to participate in the beer drinking, as per the rules of any bottle share. No one under 21 may enter. See their website for a map of where attendees may park.

The Virus @ The Observatory
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 3
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/event/thevirus

Punk rock band The Virus will make a rare appearance headlining an all-ages show in Santa Ana this Saturday night. Tickets to this show cost only $5. Arrive early to park at the venue’s parking lot for free. Arrive too late, and end up parking in a lot down the street for $10.

Punk Rock Karaoke
8:30 pm – 1:30 am, September 3
Casbah, San Diego
http://www.casbahmusic.com/event/1222029-punk-rock-karaoke-san-diego/

Live out your punk rock dream with Punk Rock Karaoke this Saturday night in San Diego, complete with a backing band consisting of professional musicians. Admission costs $12. No one under 21 may enter.

Ballast Point 20th Anniversary Festival
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 4
Del Mar Racetrack, Del Mar
http://www.ballastpoint.com/og20/

San Diego’s Ballast Point reaches a milestone this week, and to celebrate, they will have lots of beer and live music this Sunday evening in Del Mar. General admission costs $55 and starts at 5pm. VIP admission costs $70 and starts at 4pm. All attendees receive ten 4oz beer pours, a souvenir glass, and access to the full venue grounds and music concerts. No one under 21 may attend.