Posts Tagged ‘Beer Belly’

Upcoming Events: May 15-21, 2017

Posted: May 15, 2017 in Animals, Art, Beer, Burgers, Cars, Country, Drinks, Events, Food, Hot Women, Inland Empire, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Music, Orange County, Punk Rock, Restaurant, San Diego, Sports, Wine
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American Craft Beer Week
May 15-21
Nationwide
http://www.craftbeer.com/news-and-events/american-craft-beer-week

Celebrate the joy and passion of craft beer all week throughout the United States. All week long, thousands of restaurants, gastropubs, bars, pubs, breweries, and more will participate in ACBW with beer specials, food specials, special events, and more. Consult with your favorite local establishment and ask about their plans for ACBW.

McFadden Public Market Grand Opening
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, May 15
McFadden Public Market, Santa Ana
http://www.mcfaddenmarket.com/

A new food hall officially opens their doors to the public today in Downtown Santa Ana. All day, receive 25% off all purchases. The first 100 visitors receive a goodie bag with a free food taster voucher plus $2 in arcade tokens. This event costs nothing to attend – simply show up, and check out the place.

Taste of Pasadena Bike Ride
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 16
Del Mar Gold Line Station, Pasadena
http://bikeshare.metro.net/
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/taste-of-pasadena-ride-tickets-33983218722

Bring out your bike and tour Pasadena this Tuesday night all while enjoying local bites and sips. This event costs nothing to attend but you must still register on the website. All participants must use their own bicycles and gear.

DomCon LA 2017
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 17
11:00 am – 12:00 am, May 18
11:00 am – 2:00 am, May 19
10:00 am – 2:00 am, May 20
11:00 am – 12:00 am, May 21
Los Angeles Hilton LAX, Los Angeles
http://domconla.com/

A conference for all things BDSM returns to Los Angeles this weekend. This conference will feature dozens of vendors, classes, workshops, parties, socials, shows, and more. Registration widely ranges depending on what events you want to attend, from $10 up to $125. No one under 18 may attend.

Belmont Shore Stroll & Savor
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, May 17-18
Along 2nd Street, Belmont Shore
http://www.belmontshore.org/stroll-savor/

This “Taste of Belmont Shore” occurs during the summer months annually from May through August on the third Wednesday and the Thursday immediately after. Attendees may purchase booklets of 12 tickets for $10, and redeem these tickets for food & drink samples from various restaurants along 2nd Street.

Wizards Farewell Late Night Private Shopping Experience
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 17
Whimsic Alley, Los Angeles
http://www.whimsicalley.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1241210712663627/

Whimsic Alley will have a closed shopping experience this Wednesday night. Get a free ticket via the event page linked above, and you can enter and shop there.

Bike to Work Day 2017
6:00 am – 9:00 am, May 18
Los Angeles County
http://www.metro.net/riding/bike-month/

This Thursday, LA Metro would like to encourage you to ride a bike to work instead of drive. Throughout the county, keep an eye out for pit stops containing snacks, coffee, and encouragement to ride.

Burgers & Brew
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, May 18
San Diego Museum of Man, Balboa Park, San Diego
http://www.museumofman.org/event/burgers-brews/

Enjoy tastings from several popular local breweries, snack on a variety of delicious burgers, take fun snapshots in the photo booth, explore exciting exhibits, and revel in the festive atmosphere inside one of San Diego’s top museums. Admission costs $30. No one under 21 may participate.

2nd Annual Venice Art Crawl
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 18
Venice Beach
http://www.veniceartcrawl.com/

Venice gets their own art walk this week, complete with a plethora of events that will take place throughout Venice. Check the website for a full list of art exhibits and other art events taking place.

Ese: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, May 18, Blacklight District Lounge, Long Beach
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, May 19, The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 20, Cafe NELA, Los Angeles
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, May 21, Diego’s Rock n Roll Bar, Santa Ana
http://www.facebook.com/ESEtexas

Houston Texas punk rock band Ese will perform a bunch of shows in Southern California this week. No one under 21 may enter any of these shows.

2nd Annual Orange County Beer Week
May 19-28
Orange County
http://ocbrewers.org/oc-beer-week/

This 10-day beer celebration covers all of Orange County, starting with a beer fest at the Fullerton Arboretum. During this period, virtually every restaurant, bar, gastropub, and any other craft beer establishment will host some sort of beer event. Literally hundreds of beer events will take place in Orange County, so for an abridged list, visit the website linked above. Even the website cannot contain every single event! Check with your local favorite brewpub to find out how they will participate. For the purposes of condensing this list, I will not include any event that directly relates to OC Beer Week, as their website will list them all.

3rd Annual Paper Mart Parking Lot Sale
7:00 am – 3:00 pm, May 19
Paper Mart, Orange
http://www.papermart.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1424401114299027/

Free to attend for all ages, find cheap packing materials and other arts & crafts products this Friday morning in Orange.

2017 Fantasia Comic Con
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, May 19
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 20-21
Riverside County Fairgrounds, Indio
http://fantasiacon.com/

Palm Desert gets their very own comic convention this weekend in Indio. Check out three days of comics, artists, vendors, merchandise, seminars, autograph signings, cosplay contests, video game tournaments, film/television screenings, and lots more. Tickets range from $10 to $30 depending on your age and when you want to attend.

2017 Orange County Home & Garden Show
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, May 19
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, May 20
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 21
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim
http://www.homeshowconsultants.com/

This FREE all-ages expo will showcase the latest in home improvement, remodeling, interior-design, decorating, landscaping, and more.

2017 Orange County Greek Festival
3:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 19
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 20-21
St. John Greek Orthodox Church, Anaheim
http://ocgreekfest.com/

This annual all-ages Greek fair takes place this weekend between Buena Park and Anaheim. For $3 admission, attendees will find many merchandise vendors, plenty of food, drinks, live music, rides, games, and more. Guests must park in the parking lot behind Sears at the Buena Park Mall, then take the free shuttle to and from the fair.

4th Annual OC Night Market
4:00 pm – 12:00 am, May 19-20
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 21
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.ocnightmarket.com/

The popular 626 Night Market comes to Orange County this weekend at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa. This weekend-long all-ages festival brings the nightlife of the east to the west, and shows the locals what goes on at night in populated Asian cities. Visitors will find lots of food, merchandise, live entertainment, music, games, and more. Admission costs $5 per person, while parking costs $8 per vehicle. These night market events always see wall-to-wall people, so expect a big crowd all weekend.

30th Annual Yorba Linda Lobsterfest
5:30 pm – 11:30 pm, May 19
Yorba Linda Community Center, Yorba Linda
http://www.yllobsterfest.com/

For $88 presale or $100 at the door, gain access to all-you-can-eat lobster and steak while supplies last. Attendees will also find a silent auction, live music, a full bar, and more.

Brea Bonanza Days 2017
5:30 pm – 10:00 pm, May 19
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 20-21
W Birch St, Downtown Brea
http://www.breadowntown.com/bonanza-days-2017/

A free and all-ages street fair and country music concert takes place on the streets of Downtown Brea this weekend.

DTLA Dark Nights
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, May 19
L.A. Live, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.lalive.com/events-calendar/dark-nights

L.A. Live will host their own version of a night market this Friday night in Downtown LA. Free to attend for all ages, visitors can expect to find food vendors, merchandise, live entertainment, dancing, art, and more.

Booze & Glory: Live in Southern California
8:00 am – 1:00 am, May 18, The Garage, Ventura
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, May 19, Characters Sports Bar, Pomona
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, May 20, Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.boozeandglory.com/

Booze & Glory currently tours across the country, and that tour will swing through Southern California this week. Each show varies in price, so check with the venue for prices. No one under 21 may enter any of these shows.

23rd Annual Muckenthaler Motor Car Festival
8:00 am – 2:00 pm, May 20
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, May 21
Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton
http://www.muckcarshow.org/

See tons of cars, new and old, this weekend at The Muck in Fullerton. In addition, catch food trucks, local breweries, and local musicians as they accent this car festival. Admission to this event costs $5 on Saturday and $10 on Sunday.

1st Annual OTL Tournament & Craft Beer Festival
8:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 20-21
Mariners Point, Mission Beach, San Diego
http://www.ombac.org/

An over-the-line tournament will take place throughout this weekend in San Diego, as well as a craft beer festival on Saturday afternoon. The beer fest will run from 12pm to 4pm on Saturday afternoon and cost $30 to enter. The tournament costs $120 for a three-person team.

Monrovia Days 2017
8:00 am – 9:00 pm, May 20
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 21
Library Park, Monrovia
http://www.monroviadays.org/

A free and all-ages event will take place this weekend in Monrovia. Enjoy a city fair complete with games, rides, food, vendors, entertainment, and more.

38th Annual Fiesta del Sol
9:00 am – 9:00 pm, May 20-21
Fletcher Cove, Solana Beach
http://fiestadelsol.net/

Check out this free and all-ages street fair in Solana Beach this weekend, complete with food, vendors, arts & crafts, games, rides, live entertainment, and more.

31st Annual Bug Fair
9:30 am – 5:00 pm, May 20-21
Natural History Museum, Los Angeles
http://nhm.org/site/activities-programs/bug-fair

Explore the world of bugs and insects this weekend at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. Admission into the museum costs $27, with discounts available for students and seniors.

Extreme Dimensions 11th Annual Charity Car Show
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, May 20
Extreme Dimensions, Fullerton
http://extremedimensions.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1085649824897313/

Enjoy a free and all-ages car show in Fullerton this Saturday, loaded with classic cars on display, as well as plenty of vendors and gourmet food trucks.

Pirate Days
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, May 20-21
Maritime Museum, San Diego
http://sdmaritime.org/visit/public-events/pirate-days/

Bring out the family to this all-ages pirate festival featuring live entertainment, music, arts & crafts, games, rides, food, drinks, and more. General admission costs $17, with discounts available for seniors, military, children, and students.

Spring Awakening Festival 2017
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, May 20-21
Eaton Canyon Natural Area, Pasadena
http://www.ecnca.org/
http://www.crazycrow.com/site/event/eaton-canyon-spring-awakening-festival/

At this free and all-ages festival this weekend in Pasadena, visitors will check out Native American culture with arts & crafts, music, dance, food, and more.

5th Annual Heritage of Aloha Festival
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, May 20-21
Heritage Park, Santa Fe Springs
http://www.hooilinafoundation.com/heritage-of-aloha-fest

This FREE and all-ages Hawaiian cultural festival contains food, drinks, live entertainment, music, dancing, arts & crafts, games, contests, and over 70 different vendors.

2017 Beverly Hills Art Show
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 20-21
Beverly Gardens Park, Beverly Hills
http://www.beverlyhills.org/exploring/beverlyhillsartshow/artshowinformation/

Free to attend for all ages, this fair features art from across the nation, showcasing their work for the public to exhibit. Many food trucks will open for business here, and adults can visit and beer and wine garden within the fair. Guests may park for free in nearby parking structures – consult the website for a map of those structures.

2017 California Strawberry Festival
10:00 am – 6:30 pm, May 20-21
College Park, Oxnard
http://strawberry-fest.org/

An all-ages fair/carnival comes to Oxnard this weekend, complete with live entertainment, food, drinks, desserts, rides, games, vendors, arts & crafts, and more. Tickets start at $5, while parking costs $10 per vehicle.

5th Annual Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, May 20
Reyes Winery, Santa Clarita
http://www.sierrapelonavintners.com/

General admission costs $85 and starts at 12pm, while VIP admission costs $110 and starts at 11am. All attendees receive free parking, a plate and glass for sampling, a gift bag, and unlimited food and wine tasters while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

The Californian Vintage Motorcycle Show
11:00 am – 5:30 pm, May 20
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.santaanita.com/events/the-californian-motorcycle-show/

$10 gets you in to see lots of classic and modern motorcycles on display in Arcadia this Saturday afternoon.

2017 HorrorCon Jr.
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 20
Expo Arts Center, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach
http://www.horrorconinternational.com/

Visit a mini version of the ultimate Halloween & horror convention this Saturday in Long Beach. Find monsters, zombies, ghosts, and other terrifying things along with costumes, merchandise, art, screenings, cosmetics, special guests, and lots more. Admission to this all-ages event costs $8.50.

1st Annual East LA Comic Con
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, May 20
El Gallo Plaza, East Los Angeles
http://eastlacomiccon.com/

East LA gets their very own free and all-ages comic convention this Saturday afternoon. Check out comics, artists, vendors, merchandise, cosplay contests, video game tournaments, film/television screenings, and more.

Venice Spring Fling 7
11:00 am – 7:30 pm, May 20
Windward Plaza, Venice
http://venicespringfling.com/

A free & all-ages music & arts festival will take place in Venice this Saturday afternoon.

Smog City Brewing’s 2017 Anniversary
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, May 20
Smog City Brewing, Torrance
http://www.smogcitybrewing.com/
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2904086

Smog City Brewing reaches another birthday this week, and to celebrate, they will have multiple rare beers available for you to try this Saturday. A VIP session will take place from 11am to 1pm featuring exclusive tastings. After 1pm, the doors open to the public, so anyone can come in and drink away.

21st Annual North Park Festival of the Arts + Craft Beer Block
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, May 20
University Ave & 30th Street, San Diego
http://northparkfestivalofarts.com/

This Saturday, San Diego’s North Park hosts a grand street festival comprised of more festivals within the festival! At this all-day festival, guests will experience six stages of live music, live DJ’s, food, food trucks, drinks, dancing, art, and more. Within the festival, guests 21 and over can participate in two different drink tastings. For $40 admission, guests can enter the craft beer block and receive thirteen 4oz beer tastings from any of the over 30 participating breweries. Any guest may park for free all day in the parking structure located at 29th & University. In addition, catch Stone Brewing’s beer garden in front of Bar Pink, which will run from noon to 6pm. This one has no admission – guests pay for the beers they want to drink.

2017 San Diego Taco Fest
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, May 20
Waterfront Park, San Diego
http://sdtacofest.com/

Tacos, drinks, music, dancing, dogs, wrestling, wild women, and lots of other unrelated things collide this Saturday in San diego. General admission costs $30 presale or $35 at the gate and gets you in to this wicked party. Admission does not include food or drinks – it only just gets you inside, so you still have to pay for everything once in. No one under 21 may attend.

6th Annual LitFest Pasadena
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, May 20
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, May 21
Playhouse District, Pasadena
http://litfestpasadena.org/

Check out this free and all-ages event dedicated to books and authors taking place this weekend in Pasadena.

2017 Long Beach Pride Festival & Parade
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, May 20-21
Rainbow Lagoon, Long Beach
http://longbeachpride.com/

An LGBT pride festival takes place this weekend in Long Beach, complete with live entertainment, music, dance, vendors, food, arts & crafts, and more. Admission costs $20 presale or $25 at the door.

2017 Ventura Surf ‘n’ Suds Beer Festival
11:30 am – 5:00 pm, May 20
Ventura Harbor, Ventura
http://surfbeerfest.com/

This beer tasting event in Ventura will have over 45 breweries to choose beer from, as well as local surfboard shapers, local music, food trucks, and more. General admission costs $50 and starts at 12:30pm, while VIP admission costs $65 and starts at 11:30am. All attendees receive unlimited beer tastings while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

1st Annual Craft Lager Fest
11:30 am – 12:00 am, May 20
38 Degrees, Alhambra
http://www.38degreesalehouse.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1928620550700418/

This Saturday, Alhambra’s 38 Degrees Ale House will tap over a dozen different craft lagers for you to try. This event has no admission fee or cover charge – simply show up, and pay for food and drinks as you go.

Beer Belly 6th Anniversary
11:30 am – 1:00 am, May 20
Beer Belly, Koreatown
http://www.beerbellyla.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/148999155639199/

Koreatown’s Beer Belly turns six years old this week, and to celebrate, they will have a bunch of sour ales on tap. They will also hold a wing-eating contest at some point in the day. This event has no admission or cover charge – simply show up, and pay as you go.

Uncorked: Derby Days Summer Wine Fest
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, May 20
Culver Studios, Culver City
http://uncorkedwinefestivals.com/uncorked-derby-days-wine-fest-2017/

A fancy wine tasting event comes to Culver City this Saturday and will span two different sessions. General admission costs $60 and lasts three hours, from 1pm to 4pm or 5pm to 8pm. VIP admission costs $70 and starts at 12pm, providing four hours of wine tasting. No one under 21 may attend.

Eeeeeats Con
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 20
Barker Hangar, Santa Monica
http://theinfatuation.com/EEEEEATSCON

Sample food from dozens of Los Angeles County restaurants at this all-ages event this Saturday in Santa Monica. General admission costs $40, while VIP admission costs $100 and includes a VIP lanyard, early entry, a water bottle, and gift bag. Admission only gets you in to the event – all attendees will still need to pay for all food or drinks once inside.

Hangar 24 AirFest & 9th Anniversary Celebration
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 20
Redlands Municipal Airport, Redlands
http://www.hangar24airfest.com/

Celebrate Hangar 24 Brewery’s 9th Anniversary with an all-day air show at the Redlands Municipal Airport, located just across the street from the tasting room. Guests gain entry into the airport, where they will witness aerial acrobatics, vintage planes on displays in the hangars, and fireworks shows at night. Live bands will play music all day, and food trucks will keep guests fed and full. Last but not least, Hangar 24 will unleash over 30 beers for consumption, including many rare and limited brews. General admission costs $25 but does not include any beer – guests must purchase drink tickets for that.

1st Annual Hardcore Fest
2:00 pm – 12:00 am, May 20
Fraternal Order of Eagles, Culver City
http://www.facebook.com/events/1885035888451901/

Release some inner aggression at this hardcore punk show this Saturday in Culver City. The cover for this all-ages show costs $8.

Skyline: Art, Music, Food
2:00 pm – 11:00 pm, May 20
LA State Historic Park, Los Angeles
http://radiohillevents.com/

This concert will take place just outside of Downtown LA this Saturday. General admission costs $50, while VIP admission costs $85 and includes access to a VIP area with restrooms and bars. No one under 21 may attend.

4th Annual Best Taste Of Santa Ana
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, May 20
2nd Street Promenade, Santa Ana
http://www.assistanceleague.org/santa-ana/best-taste-of-santa-ana/

Sample food from Santa Ana restaurants for $30 per person.

2nd Annual OC Brewers Guild Festival
4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, May 20
Center Street Promenade, Anaheim
http://ocbrewers.org/

The first festival dedicated to Orange County’s microbreweries and restaurants arrives in Anaheim this Saturday evening. The $60 admission grants you unlimited beer tastings while supplies last. Unlike last year, admission no longer includes food – attendees will need to pay separately for food. No one under 21 may attend. Guests can park in the nearby parking structure for free, or find street parking in the neighborhood south of the venue.

2017 Tustin Lobsterfest
4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, May 20
Peppertree Park, Tustin
http://www.tustinlobsterfest.com/

At this annual fundraiser, guests pay $85 presale or $100 at the gate for all-you-can-eat lobster and tri-tip, and other picnic foods like hot dogs, salads, mac & cheese, baked potatoes, various pastries, and more. Each entry ticket comes with an entry to a lottery to win $1000!

D6 Night Market 2017
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 20
Mira Mesa Community Park, San Diego
http://d6nightmarket.com/

A night market comes to Mira Mesa in San Diego County this Saturday night, free to attend for all ages. come check out all the food, vendors, music, dancing, games, and more.

OC Roller Derby – Slay the Force Be With You
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 20
The Rinks, Huntington Beach
http://www.ocderby.com/

Watch intense & brutal girl-on-girl action at these back-to-back roller derby bouts this Saturday in Huntington Beach. Tickets to each roller derby bout cost $15.

3rd Annual Asian American Music Festival
5:00 pm – 9:30 pm, May 20
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, Downtown Los Angeles
http://asianamericanmusicfestival.net/

Enjoy some traditional and modern Asian music this Saturday night in Downtown LA. General admission ranges from $30 to $50 depending on where you want to sit. VIP admission costs $250 and includes a VIP reception.

L.A. Life Run
6:00 am – 11:00 am, May 21
L.A. Live, Downtown Los Angeles
http://renegaderaceseries.com/la-life-run

Run through Downtown Los Angeles this Sunday morning and check out some of Downtown LA’s most iconic buildings. Registration ranges from $18 to $50 based on the distance you intend to run.

The Great Donut Run
8:00 am – 11:00 am, May 21
Irvine Valley College, Irvine
http://www.greatdonutrun.com/

Eat donuts and go on a run this Sunday morning in Irvine. Registration ranges from $25 to $45 based on your age and how long you want to run for.

23rd Annual Balboa Island Artwalk
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, May 21
Balboa Island, Newport Beach
http://www.balboaislandartwalk.info/Artwalk/Balboa_Island_Artwalk.html

Check out the best in local art at this free & all-ages art festival on the island this Sunday. Attendees can view paintings, jewelry, glass, sculptures, photography, and more. Local bands will play music throughout the day all over the island.

Escondido Downtown Street Faire
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, May 21
Grand Ave, Downtown Escondido
http://www.escondido.org/escondido-street-faire.aspx

Here at this free and all-ages street fair, visitors will find over 500 vendors, arts & crafts, food, drinks, games, live entertainment, and more.

Hama Expo 2017
10:00 am – 9:00 pm, May 21
Alpha Upholsterers, Westlake
http://www.facebook.com/events/101837407057258/

A free and all-ages event comes to Westlake this Sunday that involves Japanese cultures and the dog Hamachi.

Museums of the Arroyo Day
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, May 21
Museums of the Arroyo, Pasadena
http://www.museumsofthearroyo.com/

Six museums in Los Angeles and Pasadena will have free admission this Sunday during the listed times.

Rock Against Racism
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 21
Characters Sports Bar, Pomona
http://www.facebook.com/events/642652532593148/

Enjoy a free local punk rock show this Sunday in Pomona. No one under 21 may enter. Guests can find plenty of free street parking in the area, and can avoid paying to park in the adjacent lot.

Flavor of L.A.
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, May 21
CBS Studio Center Back Lot, Studio City
http://flavorofla.com/

$75 gets you in to sample food and drinks from over a dozen different restaurants this Sunday afternoon in Studio City. No one under 21 may attend.

4th Annual South Bay Beer & Wine Festival
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, May 21
Ernie Howlett Park, Rolling Hills Estates
http://www.sbbeerwinefest.com/

Enjoy food, beer, and wine at this tasting event this Sunday afternoon in the South Bay. Admission costs $75 presale and includes unlimited tastings while supplies last. VIP admission costs $105 and include various perks such as reserved parking. No one under under 21 may attend.

2017 Taste Of The World
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm, May 21
Madame Tussauds Hollywood, Hollywood
http://latravelmagazine.com/tow/

Sample food and wines at this tasting event in Hollywood this Sunday afternoon. General admission costs $85, while VIP admission costs $125 and includes various goodies and perks. No one under 21 may attend.

Garb Bazaar, a Vintage Clothing Pop Up
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, May 21
Normal Heights Masonic Center, Normal Heights, San Diego
http://sdvintagefleamarket.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1843014842653306/

Check out a free and all-ages clothing pop-up market this Sunday afternoon in San Diego.

Taste of the Nation – Laguna Beach
2:00 pm – 7:00 pm, May 21
Montage Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach
http://ce.nokidhungry.org/events/taste-nation-laguna-beach

Sample culinary creations from some of Orange County’s greatest chefs and restaurants, while quenching your thirst from various wineries, breweries, and other non-alcoholic drink producers. Admission costs $300 and runs from 2pm to 7pm.

6th Annual Pasadena Cheeseburger Week
January 8-13
40 Participating Restaurants, Pasadena
http://www.pasadenarestaurantweek.com/

During this six-day period, 40 different restaurants, bars, pubs, and lounges in Pasadena will offer specials on their signature cheeseburgers, or will craft special items just for this week.

Free Ska Show @ Slide Bar
9:00 pm – 12:00 pm, January 10
Slide Bar, Fullerton
http://www.facebook.com/events/193990614400267/

Get your skanking on at this FREE local ska show this Tuesday night in Downtown Fullerton. No one under 21 may enter.

Barrel Fest with Hangar 24
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 11
Stout, Hollywood
http://www.stoutburgersandbeers.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1882915241920684/

This Wednesday night, Hollywood’s Stout will have a handful of strong beers from Hangar 24 available for you to try. This event has no admission fee – simply show up, and pay for beers as you go.

Brujeria, The Casualties, and Piñata Protest: Live in Santa Ana
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 11
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/event/brujeria

Release some inner aggression at this all-ages punk rock show this Wednesday night in Santa Ana. Tickets cost $15 each.

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend
January 12-15
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim
http://www.rundisney.com/star-wars-half-marathon/

This entire weekend, the Star Wars universe takes over the Disneyland Resort with this running extravaganza. Choose your distance (5k, 10k, or half marathon) and course (run or obstacle), and each run will have a different theme, from Jedi Knights to Rebels and more. Throughout the weekend, Star Wars festivities will take place all over the Disneyland Resort, as well as a health & fitness expo in the Disneyland Hotel.

LA Art Show 2017
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, January 12-15
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles
http://www.laartshow.com/

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.

Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk (Second Thursdays)
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 12
Downtown Los Angeles
http://downtownartwalk.org/

This free monthly event takes place over many blocks in Downtown Los Angeles. Many galleries will open late, and some parking lots will contain more art, vendors, food trucks, entertainment, and more. Unless you know business owners, free parking barely exists in Downtown LA, although some meters only operate until 8pm. First-time visitors should attend with someone who has gone here prior.

Los Angeles Restaurant Week
January 13-27
Various locations
http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/dinela-los-angeles-restaurant-week

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.

26th Annual International Los Angeles Photographic Art Exposition
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, January 13-15
The Reef, Los Angeles
http://www.photola.com/

One of the world’s biggest photography exhibits returns to The Reef in Los Angeles this weekend. Presale admission to this all-ages event costs $20 for one day, $30 for the entire weekend, or $15 for students & seniors. Tickets at the door will cost $5 more. Guests can find free street parking in the nearby neighborhoods.

Coffee & Wine Tasting Event
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, January 13
Vintage Enoteca, Hollywood
http://vintageenoteca.com/

For $40 per person, receive a three-course meal complete with wine pairings. You may arrive at any time during the night, but they highly recommend reservations. No one under 21 may participate.

Whitney’s Freaky Friday the 13th Birthday Bash
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 13
Out Of The Park Pizza, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/147070969103602/

Get your skanking on at this FREE all-ages local ska show this Friday night. Ska Brewing will also have a handful of their beers available on tap on this night.

Friday the 13th Punk Show
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 13
Cafe NELA, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/337820203266734/

Get your weekly dose of punk rock this Friday night in Northeast Los Angeles. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may enter.

MxPx, Five Iron Frenzy, and Dogwood: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 13, The Observatory, North Park, San Diego http://www.observatorysd.com/event/7052365
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 14, Majestic Ventura Theater, Ventura http://www.venturatheater.net/event/1393441-mxpx-ventura/
http://www.mxpx.com/

MxPx will headline shows in San Diego and Ventura this weekend. Ticket prices to these all-ages shows vary, so click on a show’s link for prices.

1st Annual Comic Excitement Convention
9:00 am – 7:00 pm, January 14
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, January 15
Los Angeles Convention Center, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.comicexcitement.com/

A new comic con debuts in Downtown LA this weekend at the LA Convention Center. This all-ages two-day event will feature celebrity guests, cosplay stars, comic book creators, and more. Attendees will find contests, demos, games, exhibits, vendors, and lots of programming to stay occupied all weekend. Admission costs $29 for Saturday, $25 for Sunday, or $49 for both days. Parking at the convention center costs $20 per vehicle.

36th Annual Asian American Expo
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, January 14-15
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.asianamericanexpo.com/

Celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year at this festival celebrating Asian American culture. Open to all ages, the $11 admission grants access to all vendor booths, merchandise, accessories, food courts, entertainment, live music, dance performances, a parade, petting zoo, and more.

Anime Impulse 2017
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, January 14-15
Fairplex, Pomona
http://animeimpulse.com/

See all things anime and manga at this two-day expo at the Fairplex in Pomona this weekend. Visitors will find cosplay, designers, collects, celebrity appearances, panels, vendors, artists, cars, food, treats, fashion, and more. General admission costs $11 for one day or $22 for both days.

Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up – Arcadia Appearance
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, January 14
Westfield Santa Anita, Arcadia
http://hellokittycafe.us/
http://www.facebook.com/events/226410531132933/

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

Grill ‘Em All 4th Anniversary Rager
11:00 am – 12:00 am, January 14
Grill ‘Em All, Alhambra
http://grillemallburgs.com/

Grill ‘Em All’s Alhambra location turns three years old this weekend, and to celebrate, Grill ‘Em All will have specials and events going on all day. All day, visitors will find food specials, beer specials, free birthday cake with any purchase, and more. In the evening, catch a live DJ playing metal hits, and free black metal face painting. This event has no cover charge – simply show up, and enjoy the metal festivities.

Burger & Brewfest
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, January 14
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.santaanita.com/events/burger-bites-brews/

Enjoy burgers, beers, and horse racing this Saturday at the Santa Anita Park racetrack. Admission costs $35 and includes four sliders, eight 3oz beer pours, and admission to the racetrack for betting.

Roxanne’s Lounge Presents: So Cal Whisky Wonderland
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, January 14
Roxanne’s Lounge, Long Beach
http://www.roxanneslounge.com/
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/so-cal-whisky-wonderland-tickets-24826951079

While Roxanne’s Lounge normally celebrates their anniversary around this time of year, this year they will hold a whisky & winter festival instead. Enjoy some snow fun, food, drinks, and more. General admission costs $20 and comes with one beverage and 10 tasting tickets. VIP admission costs $50 and also includes access to the VIP area that will have exclusive drinks. No one under 21 may attend.

Eventrockit Food Market – Pasadena
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, January 14
Paseo Colorado, Pasadena
http://eventrockit.com/

An all-ages outdoor food market and tasting event will take place in Pasadena this Saturday afternoon. It costs nothing to attend this event, but you still need to RSVP a ticket via their website so that the vendors know how much food to bring. Alternatively, spend $2 for a special pass, and show this pass to vendors to receive a dollar off all items.

Noods Noods Noods – SoCal Asian Food Festival
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, January 14
eSports Arena, Downtown Santa Ana
http://www.noodsfest.com/

Foodbeast returns with another food event this Saturday in Downtown Santa Ana focused on Asian food. This event will operate much like their last event in October last year. $10 gets you admission throughout the day into the area, where you can simply pay for food as you go. For the food fest experience, $60 gets you all-you-can-eat for four hours – two of these four-hour VIP sessions will take place, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.

Meditation Flash Mob
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm, January 14
Balboa Park, San Diego
http://www.ransomly.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1192496597499811/

Show up to the park, do some meditating, and mingle with others at this free and all-ages flash mob this Saturday afternoon in San Diego. Pay attention to the event page for the exact time and location.

390’s CD Release Party
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 14
DTSA Underground, Downtown Santa Ana
http://www.facebook.com/events/347930658902284/

Rock out to some local punk rock this Saturday night in Downtown Santa Ana. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

13th Annual San Diego Restaurant Week
January 15-22
Participating restaurants in San Diego
http://sandiegorestaurantweek.com/

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

Pomona Swap Meet & Classic Car Show
5:00 am – 2:00 pm, January 15
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.pomonaswapmeet.com/

See thousands of original and restored classic cars at the Fairplex this Sunday morning. Many of the vendors will also sell automotive accessories, parts, and more as well. This all-ages show cost $10 to enter, while children 10 and under get in free with a paid adult admission. Parking costs $10 per vehicle – guests must enter via gate 17 on Fairplex Drive, directly off the 10 freeway.

Beer Belly Bottle Share
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, January 15
Beer Belly, Long Beach
http://www.beerbellyla.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/351062788583550/

Beer Belly’s new Long Beach location will host a bottle share this Sunday afternoon. Bring a beer or two to share with others, and taste what others have to share.

Celebrate The Life Of Mike “Gabby” Gaborno
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 15
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.facebook.com/events/163221700827738/

An all-ages punk rock benefit show will take place in Santa Ana this Sunday night. Tickets to this show cost $10.

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.

Over time, human tastes change due to exposure to new things, new experiences, and new knowledge. Starting off as a child, we consumed basic foods mainly for nutrition, not for enjoyment. Once we left our toddler stage, we start to eat common foods like hot dogs, pizza, and hamburgers, as well as crave sweets. From that point on, we would slowly start to like new and different foods and different tastes. For example, most kids and teenagers love ketchup, but cannot stand mustard. Conversely, adults tend to prefer mustard over ketchup due to its flavor complementing meat products, as well as having no sugar. Once we get older, we tend to stick with what we have come to eat on a regular basis. Sometimes, we start to crave what we once had as children. This concept of eating what we did as children, known as comfort food, has recently gained popularity with today’s society, but with gourmet twists to satiate our adult needs. Sure we may want basic macaroni & cheese sometimes, but order it while dining out, and you may receive it with bread crumbs, truffle oil, and/or some kind of meat in it, like bacon. Sometimes, you just want the original thing, and you want it to taste good. Whether you want the original or a rebooted original, comfort food will always have a part in our lives. If you desire comfort food, check out these five comfort foods that you can find in the greater Los Angeles area.

5. La Palma Chicken Pie Shop‘s Chicken Pot Pie

Longevity of a business typically indicates that any business does their job well at staying in business. If a business can remain open for years in a highly competitive industry, that business deserve to remain there. La Palma Chicken Pie Shop has existed in Anaheim for so many decades that nobody can truly claim local status without having heard of this place. Since their inception in the 1950’s or whenever they opened, they have done their thing and have not changed a bit. Find all your typical comfort foods here, from the turkey sandwiches to the chicken noodle soup to all the delightful pastries and baked goods here. Of course, anyone visiting this quaint shop must try their namesake, the Chicken Pot Pie. For less than $5, you can order a smothered chicken pot pie a la carte. This pot pie contains nothing extraordinary – just your typical chicken meat, peas, carrots, and gravy. When you order it a la carte, they smother it with more gravy. Sure it may not contain anything unique, but it tastes exactly as how you would imagine it. No reason exists to fix something not broken.

4. The Crooked Duck‘s Duck Chili

Do you occasionally drive down a busy street and see businesses to the side that makes you wonder what they have? Some major roads have plenty of great local businesses along the path, but the majority of everyone driving on that road simply zooms past these businesses and never take time to discover what awaits if they stop to visit. Slowing down may lead you to discover interesting places, such as The Crooked Duck in Long Beach. I feel that its location hinders its popularity, as the speed limit in front of The Crooked Duck clocks in at over 50 MPH, so most people zoom past this place and never know what lies here. I can tell you now that if you stop to visit this place, you will discover amazing comfort food prepared with local ingredients. But since they have duck in their name, you can expect some of the greatest duck dishes here, such as their Duck Chili. This black bean chili has 5-spice duck in it, with wonton chips and a hoisin sauce drizzle on top. Despite the presence of a strong sauce, the duck boldly stands out. For just $5.25, you can get this duck on and satisfy your hunger with a right portion.

3. The Viking Truck‘s Nemesis Corn Dog

In recent years, Disneyland has stepped up the quality of their food in regards to ingredients. Unfortunately, the price increases of everything including the entrance ticket does not justify visiting this theme park for a mere bite. For years, I have sworn by the corn dog from the Little Red Wagon in Disneyland, but could not afford to visit the park whenever I craved it. Fortunately, the discovery of The Viking Truck in Orange County has nullified any reason I have to go into Disneyland for a corn dog. The Viking Truck, which roams Orange County in their food truck, specializes in gourmet sausages, and utilizes them not only in sandwiches, but in corn dogs. Using a homemade batter, The Viking Truck uses their gourmet sausages for unique corn dogs not easy to replicate. Their signature corn dog, the Nemesis Corn Dog, contains their smoked bratwurst. This combination works so well because of the batter’s sweetness matched with the bratwurst’s smokiness and meatiness. The flavors contrast so well, but the addition of spicy brown mustard adds an additional sour flavor, completing the full taste bud spectrum. This brilliant corn dog costs just $6.50 (when not at special locations such as a convention center), slightly more than a Disneyland corn dog. But when you consider the freshness of this corn dog, and the fact that you do not have to pay to visit this food truck, who cares about which one costs less?

2. Beer Belly‘s Beer Belly Grilled Cheese

If something does not fit in with the others, do you call it a black sheep or a wolf in sheep’s clothing? You probably answered black sheep… but what if the black sheep holds power over the herd? Enter Beer Belly, Koreatown’s wolf in sheep’s clothing. A random gastropub tucked away in the urban sprawl of Korean businesses… no one would believe a hidden gem like this exists in such a town. Once you discover it and venture inside, you will discover that you may fall in love with Beer Belly. For a place so small, Beer Belly offers a vast variety of not only food, but beer as well. Their reinvention of classic comfort food into a fine dining experience will leave you craving more, especially their Beer Belly Grilled Cheese. At $12, this one-of-a-kind grilled cheese basically takes two grilled cheese sandwiches and utilizes each of them as a bun, resulting in a sandwich containing four slices of bread. Playing along with the power of Four, four cheeses play into this sandwich: cheddar, asiago, gruyère, and goat cheese. As if four cheeses did not appear enough, the center layer contains applewood-smoked bacon, and the entire sandwich receives a drizzle of maple syrup. I sincerely hope that if you plan to tackle this beast of a sandwich that you do not follow any diets. As they say about comfort food: good for heart, but bad for your heart.

1. Tavern On 2‘s Rosa’s Chilaquiles

I love to watch the evolution of local establishments. New businesses mostly start out small, and with the growing fan base, the business must grow too. When Tavern On 2 finally unveiled the doubling of their dining area, business boomed for them, as expected. One of two gastropubs in Belmont Shore (the other one counts as a chain), Tavern On 2 understands their loyal customers, and constantly adapts to the changing times of not only the local community, but to the frequent visitors from out of town. Those who have not visited Tavern On 2 within the past few months ought to return to gaze upon the new menu curated by Tavern On 2’s new chef. Many of the old favorites remain on the menu, such as their Oxtail Poutine, but the brunch menu has received a complete overhaul, which now lists some interesting dishes, such as Rosa’s Chilaquiles. This modern reinvention of a classic starts with a traditional chilaquiles base of egg-washed tortilla pieces smothered with chile verde. This dish receives a generous helping of avocado, sliced radishes, cilantro, queso fresco, crema, and roasted pork belly. Wait, what? Looks like the chef decided to place a spin on this traditional dish. Although the pork belly represents a small portion out of the entire dish, it brings enough porky undertones to make its presence felt during the course of devouring. Score this rad dish during brunch on the weekends for just $12. Do not forget to pair this with some great craft beer that Tavern On 2 changes weekly!

In recent years, the influx of gastropubs have many people around the world searching for the next best place to grab a bite or a drink. Much like how craft still only accounts for less than 10% of the world’s total beer consumption, less than 10% of the world understands the meaning of a gastropub. In short, we call a restaurant a gastropub when they focus on higher quality in the food and beer. If a restaurant does not serve beer and food, that restaurant cannot claim the title of gastropub. Although gastropubs have existed as early as the early 1990’s, many more gastropubs have surfaced within the past few years thanks to the public’s desire for better quality than the standard corporate business. Today, gastropubs exist in every major metropolitan area and in many rural areas as well. With this, a handful of them sadly do not live up to the expectations of a gastropub. To eliminate any doubt about gastropubs, check out five in the greater Los Angeles area I highly suggest visiting this season for various reasons.

5. The Rusty Monk

Opening less than a year ago, The Rusty Monk comes forward with a old-time Belgian theme. Located in Uptown Whittier very close to another popular gastropub, The Rusty Monk makes you feel like dining in a traditional European establish, what with the interior decor and the snazzy outfits of the servers. The food menu resembles typical pub grub, which includes various sandwiches, entrées, and many Western-Central European dishes, such as schnitzel, shepherd’s pie, Bavarian pretzels, and more. The true delight lies in their beer selection, which contains a plethora of imported Belgian, Austrian, and German beers. Fans of Western-Central European beers ought to visit The Rusty Monk now while we wait for Oktoberfest, because we can only imagine how busy The Rusty Monk gets during the Oktoberfest time.

4. The Rookery

Downtown Pomona has really turned into a popular place for young adults in the past few years. Many stores now appear more alternative, almost giving off a hipster vibe without feeling so pretentious. Traditional restaurants and bars aplenty, new restaurants have slowly moved in over the past few years, such as The Rookery right there on the corner. This gastropub opened a while back, yet to this day, they still do not utilize a POS system; believe it or not, your bill and receipt come on a handwritten notepad, straight out of the 80’s. Tidbit aside, they have stepped things up since my first visit. The menu remains fairly small, possessing a few burgers, and even fewer entrées. I appreciate their use of local seasonal ingredients, evident most when you order the same thing a second time and it comes out different than the first. The Rookery also deploys a rotating taps system, changing up their beers whenever a keg blows to keep things fresh and spontaneous. Craft beer fans will want to visit The Rookery at night every third Wednesday of each month, when The Rookery hosts their monthly Bottle Share event. Not only does The Rookery have a great location on the corner of the main intersection of Downtown Pomona, but guests can find free parking just a block away (the lot adjacent to The Rookery costs a minimal fee). For a great space, The Rookery has great potential to turn into a thriving business, which may include a larger menu, more beer taps, and the installation of a much-needed POS system.

3. Tavern On 2

I love to watch the evolution of local establishments. New businesses mostly start out small, and with the growing fan base, the business must grow too. When Tavern On 2 finally unveiled the doubling of their dining area, business boomed for them, as expected. One of two gastropubs in Belmont Shore (the other one counts as a chain), Tavern On 2 understands their loyal customers, and constantly adapts to the changing times of not only the local community, but to the frequent visitors from out of town. Those who have not visited Tavern On 2 within the past few months ought to return to gaze upon the new menu curated by Tavern On 2’s new chef. Many of the old favorites remain on the menu, such as their Oxtail Poutine, but Tavern On 2 now finally serves entrée dishes, such as a Pork Belly & Octopus dish. With this new menu in place that continues to add new dishes, customers old and new will love to explore the wonderful culinary creations churning out of this kitchen.

2. Beer Belly

If something does not fit in with the others, do you call it a black sheep or a wolf in sheep’s clothing? You probably answered black sheep… but what if the black sheep holds power over the herd? Enter Beer Belly, Koreatown’s wolf in sheep’s clothing. A random gastropub tucked away in the urban sprawl of Korean businesses, no one would believe a hidden gem like this exists in such a town. Once you discover it and venture inside, you will discover that you may fall in love with Beer Belly. For a place so small, Beer Belly offers a vast variety of not only food, but beer as well. Their reinvention of classic comfort food into a fine dining experience will leave you craving more. Remember to visit on a Sunday morning to check out their brunch menu, where they offer some dishes that only exist during this time.

1. The Factory Gastrobar

Never underestimate places off the beaten path – awesome things go on outside of the populated areas, and could potentially generate its own populated area. While many young adults love to frequent “downtown” anything, some other cool places exist sporadically around the city. The best places do not necessarily have to exist in populated areas – if a business does well enough, they will attract the crowds to them, much like how The Factory Gastrobar does each and every day. Located in the heart of the Bixby Knolls community of Long Beach, The Factory never sees a dull moment in the kitchen, in the dining area, or on the street out front. With a menu that changes based on the availability of seasonal ingredients, customers of The Factory never get bored of the food here. Add to that their beer and wine offerings that also constantly change based on the availability from suppliers, and you have a place where you can not experience the same thing twice ever. The Factory’s calendar includes various events, such as tap takeovers, special multi-course dinners, cooking classes, bottle shares, live music, and more. With The Factory, you always get a brand new experience!

After a night of partying hard, what should people expect to feel like the following morning? Depending on the actions taken during the previous night, a person can feel anywhere from refreshed to exhausted to downright hungover in the morning. For those on the lower end, people can take up multiple types of remedies to relieve the fatigue and pain caused from excessive drinking the previous night. Some may take a cold shower, while some may drink black coffee. On the more aggressive end, the “hair of the dog” approach sees them drinking again that morning, but in lesser quantities to act as “downward stairs” to slowly descend from a boozy night to a manageable morning. Drinking lots of water always helps, but so far, the best remedy involves eating a greasy breakfast. Although terrible for your health (and drinking ruins your health too), greasy foods act as alcohol sponges, since the oil will help to nullify the effects of alcohol in your system. Sunday brunch typically involves this approach, plus the “hair of the dog” approach, to generate a fatty breakfast plus a mimosa or two, a drink light enough on alcohol that serves as the perfect vessel to bring down a previous night’s high. Sure you can have your omelet bars or pancakes and such, but if you want to truly indulge, take a trip to Beer Belly for the guiltiest pleasures in Sunday brunches.

Nestled deep inside Koreatown largely hidden from street view, Beer Belly lives up to its name as a food and beer institution. Imagine your typical gastropub looking all fancy and such, then along comes Beer Belly to tear it all down and deliver taste directly to your face. Beer Belly does not utilize standard restaurant service procedures – guests order food at the bar/counter, receive a number, then sit down and wait for a server to deliver the goods. These goods include conventional bar snacks elevated to a new level. For example, I can rave all day about their grilled cheese, but I shall save that for another day. Their Sunday brunch includes some items exclusive to that menu, such as their Chicken “IN” Waffle – again, saving that for another day. During brunch hours, the regular menu remains available, allowing access to Sunday morning goodies such as their Death By Duck. This duck three-way item comes with Duck Fat Fries (with Smoked Salt and Sweet Onion Sugar), Duck Skin Cracklins, Duck Confit, and Raspberry Mustard sauce. Sauce? Who needs sauce? Once you bite into a fry, you may quack in ecstasy as the duck fat oozes out from the fry to vehemently massage your taste buds. Set that sauce aside for now and savor the ducky flavor, because a duck sacrificed itself so that you may relish this moment. Just for fun, because they serve it here, pair this duck three-way with a nice cold light beer, such as a cream ale, pilsner, or lager.

Duck got your tongue? You can nab a Death By Duck from Beer Belly for just $8. You can find Beer Belly in Koreatown west of Downtown Los Angeles on S Western Avenue between 5th and 6th Street. Once you can locate Iota and I Love Boba, look at the back of the parking lot between the two, and you will find Beer Belly. Guests can park in the parking lot on the other side of I Love Boba, though I suggest parking in the neighborhood via 5th Street. If you find yourself believing in the powers of the almighty Beer Belly, check out the rest of their menu when you arrive there. Bring friends too, as you will all want to come back sooner than later.