Posts Tagged ‘Burgers’

The hot summer days lends perfectly to grilling weather. As an American tradition, citizens officially start the grilling season on Memorial Day weekend, as that signifies many things. First off, on that weekend, Americans celebrate an important federal holiday to celebrate and honor the lives of those lost while serving for the United States Armed Forces. The weather starts to significantly heat up by this weekend, following the inconsistent weather of April and much of May. As a result of the warmer weather, Americans take advantage of a holiday weekend off of work until the next federal holiday, Independence Day, to gather some friends & family for a party involving grilling. When thinking about grilling for a group of people, what food exactly comes to mind? I guarantee that hot dogs and hamburgers top the list. The notion to purchase these items in bulk contributes to the misconception that these foods do not taste good. The phrase “You get what you pay for” has never applied as much as it does now, as most who purchase in bulk tend to pay low per individual unit. If you seek quality, you will have to drop extra money for it. Hot dogs tend to bear questionable ingredients, but true hamburgers still exist in this world. If you happen to find yourself in Southern California this summer, check out these five places to grab some of the best burgers you will ever have. One bite into these will change the way you look at hamburgers forever.

5. Grill Em All‘s Suicidal A.K.A. Rey Fenix

When someone comes to Los Angeles from out of town, they may feel inundated by all the wonderful food that Southern California has to offer. When travelers want the most unique and ridiculous food, I send them to a select few places known for insane, wacky foods. If a traveler asks to eat the best burger ever, I will not send them to In-N-Out like most Californians would – I would send them to Grill ’em All in Alhambra. When it comes to insane burgers, no one comes close to Grill ’em All. When death metal and professional wrestling influence the ideas behind burgers, you know they will have something crazy going on, such as the Suicidal A.K.A. Rey Fenix, the July 2017 burger-of-the-month. Grill ’em All’s signature burger, The Behemoth, uses two grilled cheese sandwiches as buns. In the Suicidal, two double-decker quesadillas filled with refried beans and cheese replace the burger buns. The half-pound burger comes with shredded lettuce, queso fresco, chipotlé hot sauce, and diced tomatoes, making this slightly resemble a taco or burrito. The world has seen burgers in a quesadilla, but the world has never seen quesadillas used as burger buns quite like this before. But hurry – as the burger of the month, you only have a limited time to go try it out!

4. Pizza Port‘s BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza

A burger by any other name would still taste just as savory. A burger can look like anything, even if it takes on the form of an entirely different food. When a restaurant specializes in one food but still wants to make something else, they get creative, which Pizza Port has done well. As the name suggests, Pizza Port specializes in pizzas and other foods that one would expect to find at a pizzeria, such as chicken and salads. For the traditional folks out there, Pizza Port carries a handful of traditional pizzas. For the adventurous, Pizza Port has crafted some gourmet pizzas, such as their BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza. This pizza pit comes topped with tangy barbecue sauce, beef meatballs, bacon, mozzarella & cheddar cheese, and red onions. It basically tastes like a western-style cheeseburger, just in a different shape. For best results, ask for this pizza on Pizza Port’s signature whole-grain beer crust. Like all their pizzas, this pizza comes in three sizes: small for $9.50, medium for $18.25, or large for $22.

3. Melt’s Bulgogi Burger

When it comes to Melt, word-of-mouth has never applied so much before. Tiny does not describe Melt, as they simply exist as a food counter in a supermarket, kind of like a mall’s food court. In Diamond Bar, a local H Mart houses its own food court with a plethora of unique food counters, ranging from unique desserts to traditional Korean food to all the fusion, which leads us to Melt. From a distance, glancing over at the Melt counter makes them appear like some ordinary burger counter, with hamburgers and fries shown on their menu. However, upon closer inspection, you will discover that Melt does the fusion thing here, and they do it well. They cross Korean cuisine over to the world of burgers and fries, such as with their Bulgogi Burger. Though it appears small, this makes for the perfect lunch portioned perfectly, as Melt tops their regular 4oz Angus beef patty with green lettuce, grilled onions, mayonnaise, and bulgogi aioli. At just $4.50, this makes for the perfect lunch that will break the monotony of bland lunches out there.

2. Working Class Kitchen‘s Chianina Beef Burger w/ Foie Gras

Five years ago, a ban on the sale of Foie Gras in California went into effect. However, that ban mysteriously went away in early 2015. While California restaurants may now legally sell Foie Gras once again, many restaurants have felt the aftermath of the ban, and most avoid serving it for fear of the ban returning. As such, it takes some dedicated hunters & searchers to locate where to obtain Foie Gras, such as at Working Class Kitchen in Long Beach. Although located in the middle of a bustling city, Working Class Kitchen resides off the beaten path, so in order to discover it, one must actively look for it as opposed to passing by it. But if you do decide to visit Working Class Kitchen, you will discover some fresh, natural food that you can feel proud to consume, such as their Chianina Beef Burger with Foie Gras. The base burger costs $7 and comes with simply caramelized onions and remoulade spread on a potato bun. For $4 extra, Working Class Kitchen will throw an ounce of Hudson Valley Foie Gras onto the burger. As if the beef burger did not already have enough juices oozing out, the Foie Gras will add even more meaty goodness to the burger. Consider this a cheat meal, because if you eat this, you ought to eat clean the rest of the day.

1. VaKA Burger Express‘ The Vaka

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 Whittier’s The Real McCoy and make your way to the bar 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 The Vaka. Blitz your taste buds with this burger that features a beer-battered tempura ring, muenster cheese, bacon jam, and VaKA’s signature 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 $11.50 for this burger, you will never taste another burger like this again.

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.

2017 Space Tech Expo USA
8:30 am – 6:00 pm, May 23
8:30 am – 5:30 pm, May 24
8:30 am – 3:00 pm, May 25
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena
http://www.spacetechexpo.com/

Check out America’s engineering meeting place for space technology. This exhibition draws thousands of industry leaders, decision makers, engineers, and buyers to meet manufacturers and the supply chain for civil, military, and commercial space. Interested attendees can register for FREE to check out the main expo of this event.

I Love Poke Festival 2017
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 23
Bali Hai Restaurant, Point Loma, San Diego
http://onoyum.com/

Sample the best in island cuisine at this tasting event in San Diego. Over 20 different chefs/restaurants will attend to serve food samples to attendees, while ten local chefs will compete in a poke competition, allowing attendees to sample their food too. Tickets to this all-ages tasting event cost $75, which includes unlimited food samples while supplies last. All attendees must take care of their own parking and transportation.

2017 Lightning In A Bottle
May 24-29
San Antonio Recreation Area, Bradley
http://lightninginabottle.org/

If I could pick one word to describe Lightning In A Bottle, I would pick hippie. Lightning In A Bottle brings people together from all over the world to celebrate earth and life with music, art, dance, yoga, speakers, workshops, and more. Expect to encounter thousands of people with a hippie mindset, like Woodstock but more controlled. Ticket prices vary depending on the mode of attendance, and they offer a presale discount, so check the prices on their site, and if you like what you see, purchase a ticket online to save some green.

Naja’s Place 9th Annual IPA Festival
2:00 pm – 12:00 am, May 24-31
Naja’s Place, Redondo Beach
http://www.najasplace.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/602988599889975/

For eight days straight, Naja’s Place in Redondo Beach will tap nothing but IPA’s from all over. Come get hopped up at Naja’s Place this week.

Beer & Ice Cream Pairing
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 24
Next Door Craft Beer & Wine Bar, La Mesa, San Diego
http://www.nextdoorsd.com/

Enjoy local craft beer paired with ice cream from local creameries this Wednesday night in La Mesa. Tickets cost $20, and gets you in to one of two two-hour sessions (6-8pm or 8-10pm) along with four total pairings. No one under 21 may attend.

2nd Annual Burgers Bourbon + Beer
7:00 pm – 9:30 pm, May 24
The Victorian, Santa Monica
http://www.lamag.com/lasocialevents/burgers-bourbon-beer-2/

Indulge on all the burgers, beer, and bourbon that you can handle (while supplies last) this Wednesday night in Santa Monica for $70 per person. No one under 21 may attend.

Taste of Brea 2017
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 25
Downtown Brea
http://tasteofbrea.com/

This free and all-ages event will see over 30 restaurants from the area providing samples of their food to visitors. Visitors may freely walk into the event area for free, but must purchase a $25 wristband to redeem for food or drinks. In addition to all the food, visitors will find live music, a kids zone, arts & crafts, and more.

Ranchwood BBQ Grand Re-Opening Mixer
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm, May 25
Ranchwood BBQ, La Mesa, San Diego
http://www.sandiego-bbq.com/

This San Diego barbecue restaurant opens their doors to the public once again this Thursday night. The cover for the opening reception costs $10 and includes two beverages.

6th Annual Taste of Boyle Heights
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 25
Casa Del Mexicano, Boyle Heights
http://www.elacc.org/

Sample the local flavors of Boyle Heights this Thursday night in Boyle Heights. Admission costs $100 and includes unlimited food and drinks while supplies last, plus a tote bag with various goodies inside.

Down By Law – Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 25, Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 26, The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 27, The Holding Company, Ocean Beach, San Diego
http://www.downbylaw.com/

Punk rock band Down By Law will headline a handful of shows in Southern California this week. Ticket prices for each show vary by the venue, so check with the venue for prices. No one under 21 may enter any of these shows.

Gamex 2017
12:00 pm, May 26 – 6:00 pm, May 29
Hilton LAX, Los Angeles
http://www.strategicon.net/

This weekend-long expo will feature all sorts of board games, card games, miniatures, role-playing, collectibles, computer games and more. Registration varies, ranging from $5 all the way up to $500, so see the website for a breakdown of the prices to attend.

59th Annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival
1:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 26
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, May 27-28
10:00 am – 9:00 pm, May 29
Village Green, Garden Grove
http://strawberryfestival.org/

This free annual all-ages city fair features rides, games, vendors, food, contests, live entertainment, a parade, and more. Despite its name, the festival does not liberally give out strawberries or sell it – it just uses strawberries as its theme. Guests may go on rides with all-day wristbands, which cost $30 each, or just $25 on Friday.

Blackest Of The Black Festival
3:30 pm – 10:30 pm, May 26
1:00 pm – 10:30 pm, May 27
Oak Canyon Park, Silverado
http://blackestfest.com/

Metal, hardcore, post-hardcore, and more bands will rock out the hills of Silverado this weekend. Tickets to this black concert start at $39.

14th Annual Newport Beach Wine Festival
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 26
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, May 27
10:00 am – 2:00 pm, May 28
Balboa Bay Resort, Newport Beach
http://meritagecollection.com/balboabayresort/newport-beach-wine-festival/

A handful of wine tasting events will take place in Newport Beach this weekend. Admission to these events range from $65 to $150.

The Varukers – Live in Santa Ana
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 26
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/node/3097

Get your weekly dose of punk rock this Friday night in Santa Ana. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $20.

The Adicts – Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 26, The Belasco Theater, Downtown Los Angeles
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 27, The Observatory, North Park, San Diego
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 28, House of Blues, Anaheim
http://adicts.us/

Legendary punk rock band The Adicts will headline a bunch of shows in Southern California this week. Ticket prices to these all-ages show vary by location, so check with the venue for prices.

Ten Foot Pole – Live in San Diego
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, May 26
Soda Bar, Normal Heights, San Diego
http://www.tenfootpole.com/

Punk rock band Ten Foot Pole will headline a few shows in Southern California this week – they will co-headline a show with Down By Law, mentioned above. Tickets to this show cost $10 presale or $12 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

Muscle Beach Memorial Day Weekend Spectacular
May 27-29
Muscle Beach, Venice Beach
http://www.musclebeachvenice.com/

Various strength and strongman events will take place in Venice Beach this weekend. Visitors of all ages may spectate the events for free.

Junior Volleyball Association’s 1st Annual West Coast Cup
8:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 27-29
Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach
http://www.jvaonline.org/events/jva-west-coast-cup

A volleyball competition will take place in Downtown Long Beach this weekend. Spectator admission ranges from $8 to $20, or $6 to $15 for students.

85th Annual Scottish Fest USA
9:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 27-28
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.scottishfest.com/

This annual all-ages Scottish festival features hundreds of bagpipers & drummers, Scottish & Irish food & vendors, Scottish clans, Highland dancing, Scottish athletes, and more. Admission costs $18 with discounts available for military, seniors, and children. Parking costs $8 per vehicle.

9th Annual Santee Street Fair & Craft Beer Festival
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 27
Riverview Pkwy & Town Center Pkwy, Santee
http://santeestreetfair.com/

Thousands of visitors will roam the streets of Santee this weekend during their annual street fair, now combined with a craft beer garden. Free for all-ages to attend, the fair will contain live music, entertainment, food, drinks, games, arts & crafts, rides, vendors, and so much more. Pricing for the beer festival varies depending on how many tasters a person wants, ranging from $10 to $30.

Classic Not Plastic 2017
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 27-28
Various locations, Long Beach
http://www.classicnotplastic.net/

A scooter/moped rally will take place in Long Beach this weekend. Consult with the website for the full schedule of events and rides.

Fiesta Hermosa 2017
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 27-29
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.

Geeky Craft Faire
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 27-29
Whimsic Alley, Los Angeles
http://www.whimsicalley.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1958778197741755/

Check out this free and all-ages arts & crafts fair this weekend in Los Angeles featuring geek culture.

31st Annual California Festival of Beers
10:30 am – 5:00 pm, May 27
Madonna Inn Meadows, San Luis Obispo
http://www.californiafestivalofbeers.com/

Spend an afternoon drinking lots of beer this Saturday in San Luis Obispo. General admission costs $60 and starts at 12pm. Aficionado admission costs $80, starts at 11am, and provides access to exclusive beers and food samples. All attendees receive unlimited beer tasters while supplies last. All non-VIP food comes at a separate cost, so have cash available for that. No one under 21 may attend.

Beer Fest & Pool Party
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, May 27
Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach, Torrance
http://www.absolutionbrewingcompany.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1373435679412750/

$25 gets you in to this beer tasting event and pool party this Saturday afternoon in the South Bay. For an additional $10, receive access to a taco bar plus food bites. No one under 21 may attend.

California Gold Rush Beer Festival 2017
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, May 27
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.santaanita.com/events/california-gold-rush/

Beer and horse-racing mix up at the Santa Anita Park this Saturday afternoon. For $35 admission, you get eight 3oz beer tasters, four 3oz sour ale tasters, and the souvenir cup to take home. No one under 21 may enter this event.

Santa Anita Carnival 2017
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, May 27-29
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.santaanita.com/events/santa-anita-carnival/

Santa Anita Park opens their gates to the public for this FREE weekend-long festival for people of all ages. Visitors will find food, drinks, treats, rides, games, and more.

Cismontane Brewing 7th Anniversary Party
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 27
Cismontane Brewing, Santa Ana
http://www.cismontanebrewing.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/220535458441293/

Cismontane turns seven years old this year, and to celebrate, they will have rare beers on tap at their Santa Ana location. Unlike previous years that acted like a festival, this event will have no cover charge – simply show up, and pay for beers as you go.

Eat Drink Vegan – 8th Annual Los Angeles Vegan Beer & Food Festival
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, May 27
Rose Bowl, Pasadena
http://eatdrinkvegan.com/

Taste the best of Southern California’s vegan foods and craft beers this Saturday afternoon at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. General admission costs $60 presale and starts at 2pm. Children’s admission costs $25. VIP admission costs $120 presale and starts at 12pm. All attendees will receive unlimited beer pours for the duration of the festival. All food comes at additional costs, so bring cash. Arrive early, and plan to pay for parking. The fest takes place outdoors, so prepare accordingly with sunscreen and clothes for hot weather.

2nd Annual Long Beach Craft Beer & Taco Festival
2:00 pm – 8:00 pm , May 27
Shoreline Aquatic Park, Long Beach
http://chugginbrews.com/

Get schwifty in Long Beach this Saturday with beer, tacos, music, and raunchy times. Depending on when you want to attend and how much you intend to consume, ticket prices will vary from $22 to $110. See the website for pricing details. No one under 21 may attend.

Not Another Ska Fest 5
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 27
Club Los Globos, Silverlake
http://www.facebook.com/events/1901159830168798/

An all-ages ska show takes place in Silverlake this Sunday night. Tickets to this show cost $7.

Dirt City Roller Rats vs Rough Diamond Rebels
5:30 pm – 10:30 pm, May 27
Holiday Skating Center, Victorville
http://www.dirtcityrollerrats.com/

Watch intense & brutal girl-on-girl action at this roller derby bout this Saturday night in Victorville. Tickets to this roller derby bout cost $10.

Newport Beach Beerfest
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 27
Newport Dunes Waterfront, Newport Beach
http://www.newportbeachbeerfest.com/

If you want to get drunk in Newport Beach this Saturday night, do it here at this beer tasting event. General admission costs $35 and starts at 7pm, while VIP admission costs $50, starts at 6pm, and includes access to a VIP area with exclusive beers. No one under 21 may attend.

Nick Lamagna Benefit Show
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 27
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 28
Cafe NELA, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/1280822628654078/

Rock out to some local punk rock bands this weekend in Northeast LA. The cover for these shows cost $7 for one night or $10 for both. No one under 21 may enter.

2017 Vista Village Strawberry Festival
7:00 am – 7:00 pm, May 28
Historic Downtown Vista
http://vistastrawberryfest.com/

At this free festival, guests of all-ages can experience a plethora of activities all day in Vista, formerly the Strawberry Capital of the World. The day starts with a 5K run, and when the run ends, the main festival begins. The multitude of activities include a beer garden, pie-eating contests, cooking contest, golf/putting contest, homebrew contest, video contest, strawberry costume contest, demos, live entertainment, car show, rides, games, food, and so much more. Visit the website for a full schedule and list of activities, plus directions on where to park.

21st Annual Redlands Firefighters Car Show
8:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 28
State Street, Downtown Redlands
http://www.redlandsfirefighterscarshow.com/

Check out a free and all-ages car show on the streets of Downtown Redlands this Sunday.

6th Annual LA Zine Fest
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 28
California Market Center, Downtown Los Angeles
http://lazinefest.com/

This free and all-ages expo will feature hundreds of local and/or independent authors and publishers sharing their magazines, comics, and other DIY material. Workshops and speakers will engage attendees with more material.

Long Beachland
11:00 am – 1:00 pm, May 28
Art Theatre Long Beach, Retro Row, Long Beach
http://www.charlesphoenix.com/event/charles-phoenix-long-beachland/

Enjoy a local comedy slide show this Saturday in Long Beach. Admission costs $29.

Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, May 28
2nd & Sycamore, Santa Ana
http://dearhandmadelife.com/patchwork-show/upcoming-shows/

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

Timeless Booty BBQ
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, May 28
Woodley Park Section Two, Van Nuys
http://www.timelessdnb.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/402558446769022/

Free to attend for all ages, a music concert will take place in Van Nuys this Sunday afternoon. They will have food vendors present, so have cash available if you want to buy food.

Los Skangeles Fest
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 28
Club Los Globos, Silverlake
http://www.facebook.com/events/282783288821053/

An all-day all-ages ska concert takes place in Silverlake this Sunday. Tickets to this show cost $22.

4th Annual MAINopoly: Taste of Main Street
3:00 pm – 8:00 pm, May 28
Main Street & Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica
http://mainopolysm.com/

Sample the flavors of Santa Monica’s Main Street during this Monopoly-themed tasting event this Sunday afternoon. Admission varies in price depending on how much you plan to consume, starting at $25.

Under the Sun Grand Opening
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 28
Under the Sun, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/1400083713400546/

A vegan cafe will officially open their doors to the public this Sunday evening. Enjoy free samples during this time as well as live entertainment.

19th Annual City of Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and Kids Run
5:30 am – 11:30 am, May 29
Laguna Hills Mall, Laguna Hills
http://www.lagunahillshalfmarathon.com/

Celebrate this Memorial Day with a run down in sunny Orange County. Register for any of various distances, and head to the starting line by 7am for the race start. Registration fees vary based on the distance, with the half marathon costing $75.

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.

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.

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.

This past Saturday, Burger Boss officially opened the doors to their fourth (unconfirmed?) location in Cypress right next to Cypress High School. This location used to hold an old strip mall with small shops, which included the former Furnace Skate Shop location. This center has since then undergone reconstruction into new shops, possibly gentrifying the area to better attract locals to the area, especially teenagers of the nearby Cypress High School. Residing alongside popular businesses such as 85°C Bakery and Pieology, Burger Boss has come to deliver good food and good-for-you food with their local and sustainable ingredients. Burger Boss allows customers to build their own burger from the base up by selecting all of the ingredients that go into their sandwich. Starting with the bun and protein, customers then choose the cheese(s), sauce(s), and toppings. This concept also applies to the fries at Burger Boss, where customers can select the sauce(s) and toppings that go with the fries. As far as the full menu goes, it ends there for Burger Boss, as they do not offer much else aside from fountain drinks. While a lot of other burger joints provide milkshakes, Burger Boss foregoes that to opt for a healthier approach to dining, since milkshakes go against healthy dining. The presentation of the food in those steel baskets greatly resembles other well-known burger joints, such as Smashburger and The Habit Burger Grill.

Burger Boss has other locations in Riverside/Moreno Valley, Lake Forest, and Mission Viejo, with more locations planned for Tustin and Newport Beach (which may have already opened by the time you read this post). All locations boast the same menu, so stop on in and experience the all-natural flavor that food should taste like. Check out what Burger Boss has going on, including updates for their upcoming locations, by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Southern California truly represents a mecca for unique eats. As a huge melting pot, Southern Californians can find almost any type of food from all over the world here. Aside from the variety, we can find all sorts of levels of cooking skills as well. From the cheap fast food spots to the fancy pricey joints, a restaurant exists for just about anybody. You can have a place with something fancy like lobster tacos that cost a few dollars. On the other hand, you can have a place with something common like a hamburger that costs a bit more for greater quality. For the latter, these restaurants that serve up common foods of higher quality typically fall under the moniker of a gastropub, and a lot of these have popped up across the nation in the past handful of years. In fact, another one popped up in Downtown Santa Ana last week under the name Eat Chow.

Last Wednesday, Eat Chow opened the doors to their third location in Downtown Santa Ana to the public. This humble restaurant has garnered a huge following ever since their discovery by the Orange County locals. 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. Their Ancho & Coffee Crusted Petite Filet plate costs $18 and gets you a lot on the plate. Filet Mignon normally costs a lot more than that, so you get great value at Eat Chow with anything they serve, even their drinks. With a vast lineup of beverages, it would take someone months to sip on everything that Eat Chow has to offer.

See what other things Eat Chow has in store by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

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.

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 green2Go.

Eat good good-for-you food at green2Go, a fast-casual dining spot in Brea. While the restaurant’s name suggests salads, green2Go does so much more than just salads – green2Go puts a fresh and healthy spin on classic dishes. Burgers, tacos, salads, rice bowls, sandwiches, flatbreads, pizzas… green2Go does a lot of different food here. However, green2Go uses only the freshest all-natural ingredients to ensure pure flavor and nutrition. This also ensures that they can cater to anyone with dietary restrictions – green2Go can make most of their menu items vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or any other method (ask a server about specific items). 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. You select a burger, salad, quinoa bowl, kaleslaw, rice bowl, grilled veggies, or mac & cheese, and 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. Just when you think they do only nutritious food, green2Go also serves a wide variety of desserts and treats, as well as craft beers and wines.

One should never have to forsake eating well to satisfy a flavor craving, as you can get both at green2Go. In addition, green2Go offers a meal-prep program, so for those who need pre-portioned meals to-go, green2Go satisfies that need. One cannot judge a book by its cover, and no one should certainly judge green2Go by its name. In fact, green2Go also hosts regular beer-pairing dinners, such as one with Mother Earth Brewing next month. You can see what else green2Go has to offer on their Facebook and Twitter pages. At green2Go, you can have your cheat meal and eat it too.