Posts Tagged ‘California’

When it comes to adding flavor to foods, nothing can boss the sauce. At its base, sauce contains sugar, salt, pepper, or any combination of those plus additional ingredients. Some foods contain flavor within itself, such as meats that have seasonings and herbs that help bring out the meat’s natural flavor. Most of the time, people add sauces or condiments to their foods to add flavor. For the most part, sauces bring a sweet component to the table, such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, steak sauce, or teriyaki sauce. Many other sauces can add flavor components from sour to salty to spicy and more. However, when it comes to enhancing the flavors of the original dish, nothing can beat hot sauce. The capsaicin in hot sauces helps to open up our taste buds, allowing us to detect and absorb more flavors. For those that cannot take the heat, just a little bit helps to greatly enhance the flavor of the dish, something you can do at Slide Bar as of this week.

Downtown Fullerton has its fair share of restaurants, and businesses come and go every year. However, Slide Bar has endured the test of time. While some smaller restaurants may not make it past the first year, the Slide Bar has never relented. During the early years of the Slide Bar, most locals viewed the Slide Bar as a bar and concert lounge, a place to spend weekend nights at. Around 2014, the folks at the Slide Bar conducted an overhaul of their kitchen and started serving up better food. Sure they maintained themselves as a bar and concert lounge, but at least now one can consider the Slide Bar as a destination for lunch and/or dinner, where they can snag something such as the Cali Bandito Tacos. Essentially a California Burrito in taco form, this order of tacos comes with three made-to-order corn tortillas, each filled with carne asada marinated in Gringo Bandito hot sauce, French fries, cheddar cheese, an avocado slice, and sour cream. These three tacos come with a side of tortilla chips and a bean dip. These tacos have just the right amount of spiciness to not overwhelm your palate, but still give enough kick to allow you to fully enjoy the natural flavor of the carne asada.

The Slide Bar does more than just host bands and sling drinks – they have a full kitchen with a menu worth checking out. Check out what they have cooking up in their kitchen by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

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In India, citizens celebrate the arrival of Spring with the Holi Festival, a time where the people leave their worries & stresses at home to get happy with music and shower others with color. Traditionally, people celebrated with natural colors and traditional music, sometimes even including ritualistic effigy burnings. Today, the entire world has caught on with the Holi festival, and celebrate it 21st century style. Numerous 5K runs across the world incorporate color throws into their races, turning the intensity of a race into more of a “hurry to the next color” fun run. To partake in the shower of colors without the necessity of running, one must seek out an actual Holi celebration, and Southern Californians can find these festivals throughout the area.

This Saturday afternoon, the 2017 Riverside Holi Festival of Colors returns to the fields of Martha McLean Park in Riverside. People of all ages and nationalities will gather on this day to dance and socialize without worrying about mundane activities like work or school. In essence, this festival strongly resembles Woodstock because of the friendliness of all attendees and the entrancing pop music. Admission only costs $5 and comes with free parking, but all guests can only use colors purchased within the festival. The organizers will also invite a few food trucks to keep guests fed. Those not wanting to stand in the crowd of people and colors can opt to join in the communal yoga sessions.

If you do go to a Holi festival or any color run, keep in mind the nature of color throws. Unless you have access to industrial-strength laundry machines, wear old clothes and old shoes – albeit the colors wash off, they tend to remain in nooks & crannies, especially in shoes. If you have asthma or other breathing problems, consider donning a dust mask. If your eyes get irritated easily, either wear sunglasses or goggles. Check the weather too – you may need to apply sunscreen. An important tip to remember – bring spare towels and keep them in your car. Find more information about this weekend’s event and future ones by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter. But most important of all – have fun and socialize with everyone. Holi comes once a year, so like New Year’s Eve, let loose and enjoy the day.

Coincidentally landing at the end of American Craft Beer Week, Hangar 24 Brewery celebrated their 8th anniversary with their inaugural AirFest and beer festival at Redlands Municipal Airport this past weekend. This anniversary celebration took place just across the street from the Hangar 24 tasting room, allowing guests to roam much of the airport grounds to view all the airplanes on exhibit, and check out all the food and beer available. All around the festival area, all of the attractions evenly spread out, from the food vendors to the beer tents to the airplanes on display and more. Throughout the day, live music would occur on the main stage, and various aerial acrobatics would occur overhead, demonstrating cool stunts performed in airplanes.

Although physically organized similarly to previous years, a clear separation of two halves of the airport existed. Guests entered on the eastern side, which basically represented the “all-ages” side what with the kids’ zone, activities, entertainment, and aviation exhibits. Upon moving over to the western side, we start to see a clear depiction of a typical crowded beer festival what with the crowds and the empty beer cups littered across the ground. With thousands of people gathered mostly to this western side, I could barely manage enough time to get one beer from the limited release booth, which had already run out of most of their beers.

After dredging through the waves of people on the beer side, I return back to the east side to enjoy some aerial acrobatics.

At around 5:30pm, we got treated to a special performance by the Just In Time Skydivers.

Following the skydiving spectacle, we got to see some more aerial acrobatics.

As a special treat, we got to see a muscle bi-plane race against a jet car. As Mythbusters once proved, the plane wins because the car has to face friction, which slows it down tremendously. No surprise here: the plane won the race.

Lastly, the Patriots Jet Team treated everyone to a magnificent air show complete with dazzling red, white, and blue trails.

Coincidentally coinciding with the end of American Craft Beer Week, Hangar 24 Brewery will celebrate their 8th Anniversary this Saturday with their inaugural AirFest taking place at Redlands Municipal Airport. Located across the street from the tasting room, this all-ages gathering covers almost the entire airport area, sans the runway, with dozens of tents & trucks pouring lots of beer. Admission starts at $8, with various tiers and prices that offer different amounts of beer and other perks, including a VIP tent that sits right up front for the viewing of the air show. Strewn throughout the area, in addition to the various tents and trucks pouring beer, the airport crew sets out vintage planes that guests can inspect and gaze at, and they also open some of the hangars so guests can tour the airport. Guests can climb into some of the planes for photo opportunities as well. Throughout the day, local bands play live music, and pilots put on aerial acrobatics shows, providing more than enough entertainment for the crowd. A kids’ play zone will keep the little ones busy while the adults go to drink elsewhere. Free parking means that guests can leave and return at their leisure, provided that they leave their wristbands on. With so much ground to cover, so much beer to drink, and so much else going on, no guest should ever feel bored the entire day.

If you have ever attended the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, you will surely remember the beautiful sunset over the mountains and palm trees. While this airport has no palm trees, its location by the mountains yields a spectacular sight as night falls and the sun produces an entrancing glow over the horizon. This almost makes you want to go to Hangar 24 one day in the evening just to witness the sunset from the tasting room.

In India, citizens celebrate the arrival of Spring with the Holi Festival, a time where the people leave their worries & stresses at home to get happy with music and shower others with color. Traditionally, people celebrated with natural colors and traditional music, sometimes even including ritualistic effigy burnings. Today, the entire world has caught on with the Holi festival, and celebrate it 21st century style. Numerous 5K runs across the world incorporate color throws into their races, turning the intensity of a race into more of a “hurry to the next color” fun run. To partake in the shower of colors without the necessity of running, one must seek out an actual Holi celebration, and Southern Californians can find these festivals throughout Los Angeles County.

This Saturday afternoon, the 4th Annual Los Angeles Holi Festival of Colors returns to the fields of Excelsior High School in Norwalk. People of all ages and nationalities will gather on this day to dance and socialize without worrying about mundane activities like work or school. In essence, this festival strongly resembles Woodstock because of the friendliness of all attendees and the entrancing pop music. Admission only costs $5 and comes with free parking, but all guests can only use colors purchased within the festival. The organizers will also invite a few food trucks to keep guests fed. Those not wanting to stand in the crowd of people and colors can opt to join in the communal yoga sessions.

If you do go to a Holi festival or any color run, keep in mind the nature of color throws. Unless you have access to industrial-strength laundry machines, wear old clothes and old shoes – albeit the colors wash off, they tend to remain in nooks & crannies, especially in shoes. If you have asthma or other breathing problems, consider donning a dust mask. If your eyes get irritated easily, either wear sunglasses or goggles. Check the weather too – you may need to apply sunscreen. An important tip to remember – bring spare towels and keep them in your car. But most important of all – have fun and socialize with everyone. Holi comes once a year, so like New Year’s Eve, let loose and enjoy the day.

Southern California has no shortage of festivals featuring adult beverages. Almost every week of the year, a festival occurs that features either craft beer, wine, or cocktails/spirits. When adults think festivals that include alcohol, they immediately think about drinks that will get them instantly drunk. The quality of beverages has changed over time to focus more on the taste and character of the drinks rather than the alcoholic content of the drink, and more and more festivals have started to focus on these beverages that highlight flavor rather than alcohol content. For example, Session Fest focuses on beers under 6%. However, beer falls under the category of drinks that can go higher in ABV. For adult beverages with a lower traditional ABV, we turn to ciders. Ciders do not get much exposure since they have the stereotype of having lower ABV, and thus only get small exposure at festivals. Times have changed, and the world now sees not only stronger ciders, but cider festivals, such as the Hard Core Cider Tour.

This past Saturday, the Hard Core Cider Tour landed in Los Angeles County to deliver dozens of ciders to our thirsty lips. Taking place at beautiful Brookside Park in Pasadena near the Rose Bowl, this festival featured over 20 different cideries serving up a multitude of ciders for attendees to sip on. The general admission of $45 allowed attendees to sip on as much cider as they would like for the duration of the festival. Upon entering the festival, attendees received a lanyard with a stamp card with numbers representing each cidery, and each vendor should have stamped the number representing them when attendees arrived for a drink. However, many vendors allowed attendees to keep returning for more cider pours, or never stamped the cards. The website originally stated that attendees could receive only one drink from each vendor; however, they stated that only to follow ABC protocol. In reality, attendees kept going back over and over to the booths for more cider. Perhaps this statement may have turned off many potential attendees, as they felt that $45 for one cider per vendor cost too much. Knowing that attendees could basically drink as much as they could handle, the price could justify itself.

The rectangular area of this festival provided more than enough space for the attendees to roam around. The cideries lined up the long ends of the space, the food trucks took up the north side, and the music stage took up the south side. The center of the space allowed for field games, such as beanbag toss, Connect Four, and Jenga. The space did not allow for much shade, and the trees did not shade the area until halfway through the festival, so attendees that did not retreat to the booths would get sunburned fast.

Despite a somewhat low turnout, all of the attendees had a great time at this festival. Even after sipping on all the ciders, no one ended up truly drunk. Half of the ciders present had an ABV above 6%, just like that of many standard craft beers. Regardless, this did not put anyone over the edge, so everyone enjoyed the festival and left with a positive experience that would likely bring them back next time.

Interested in attending a cider festival? While their website may say that attendees only get a limited amount of cider samples, attendees will likely get as many pours as they desire. Like the Hard Core Cider Tour on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for future updates about upcoming cider events.

In India, citizens celebrate the arrival of Spring with the Holi Festival, a time where the people leave their worries & stresses at home to get happy with music and shower others with color. Traditionally, people celebrated with natural colors and traditional music, sometimes even including ritualistic effigy burnings. Today, the entire world has caught on with the Holi festival, and celebrate it 21st century style. Numerous 5K runs across the world incorporate color throws into their races, turning the intensity of a race into more of a “hurry to the next color” fun run. To partake in the shower of colors without the necessity of running, one must seek out an actual Holi celebration, and Southern Californians can find these festivals this weekend in Los Angeles County. Although multiple festivals will take place this month, this post will cover two of them that will occur this Saturday.

This Saturday afternoon, the 2015 Los Angeles Festival of Colors returns to the fields of Excelsior High School in Norwalk. People of all ages and nationalities will gather on this day to dance and socialize without worrying about mundane activities like work or school. In essence, this festival strongly resembles Woodstock because of the friendliness of all attendees and the entrancing pop music. Admission only costs $5 and comes with free parking, but all guests can only use colors purchased within the festival. The organizers will also invite a few food trucks to keep guests fed. Those not wanting to stand in the crowd of people and colors can opt to join in the communal yoga sessions.

The 8th Annual Holi On The Beach moves to a new location in Redondo Beach at Seaside Lagoon. Holi On The Beach lacks a structured schedule – instead, attendees simply arrive, receive colors from the organizers, and let loose on the sand. A live DJ provides music all throughout the afternoon while everyone dances and get merry with colors. Whereas other fests contain vendors and other content such as yoga, Holi On The Beach only provides the colors and the space to run around and get dirty. Sometimes, you need no rules to live a joyful life. Admission to this all-ages events costs $12 presale and $15 on the day of the event. Most importantly, wear old clothes, and keep spare towels in your car.

If you do go to a Holi festival or any color run, keep in mind the nature of color throws. Unless you have access to industrial-strength laundry machines, wear old clothes and old shoes – albeit the colors wash off, they tend to remain in nooks & crannies, especially in shoes. If you have asthma or other breathing problems, consider donning a dust mask. If your eyes get irritated easily, either wear sunglasses or goggles. Check the weather too – you may need to apply sunscreen. An important tip to remember – bring spare towels and keep them in your car. But most important of all – have fun and socialize with everyone. Holi comes once a year, so like New Year’s Eve, let loose and enjoy the day.

The 12th Annual Taste of Alhambra returns to Downtown Alhambra this Sunday night at the Civic Center Library. Taking place at the same time and place as last year, this food fest contains more than enough food & drinks to satisfy all the attendees. As a 21 & over event, guests can find a handful of ways to get their drinking on, yet admission only includes unlimited drinks while the supplies last. Beyond the main stage where the tribute bands play, guests can receive samples of beer and take the glasses home too. Other than those, guests may not really take anything else away except for marketing material from individual booths.

Looking back at last year, Taste of Alhambra hosted lots of corporate businesses on board, which amounted to about half of the booths present. Any city aiming to throw a taste of their city event should bring on only local businesses, but instead end up inviting plenty of corporate businesses and claiming those as the local flavor. I hardly see how Little Caesar’s represents the local flavor of Alhambra. Historically speaking, Alhambra has not come up in people’s minds as far as trendy restaurants, bars, or pubs go. Alhambra holds many corporate businesses, and then many hole-in-the-wall businesses. In the past few years, a few trendy places opened up, such as 38 Degrees, Boteco, and Grill ‘Em All, bringing new life to a city dwelled by mostly Asian and Hispanic/Latino citizens. Other local businesses in Alhambra and surrounding cities have capitalized on the importance of social media, and use those tools to attract new customers as they revamp their product offerings and make other general improvements. Many local businesses in Alhambra have made an effort to improve the city’s economy by attracting a younger customer base, so why did the organizers of Taste of Alhambra not invite more local businesses over the corporates?

Many attendees still had a great time at last year’s Taste of Alhambra. The tribute bands that played entertained a gathering audience throughout the fest, and the unlimited food & drinks kept everyone happy with their stomachs, though not as much so with some of their livers. This year, I would love to see the Taste of Alhambra feature many more local businesses, and severely tone down the corporate business involvement. If you have a suggestion of a favorite local business to invite, contact them by visiting their website, lined above. Keep in mind that they do not mind inviting local businesses from surrounding areas; for example, they invited Fluff Ice from Monterey Park.

For Best of the Fest, I select the Kalua Pork Taco from Shakas Hawaiian Flavors.

The 12th Annual Taste of Alhambra starts this Sunday, June 1st, at 5pm and runs until 8pm at the civic center in Downtown Alhambra. Admission costs $50 presale or $60 at the door. Guests should park in any of the various parking structures in the area, such as the one on the corner of 1st Street and Main Street. The entrance to the festival lies on 1st Street – once you find the civic center’s library, the entrance awaits around the corner. Keep in mind that since no one under 21 may attend the festival, all guests must show a valid ID to enter. Dress for warm weather, as this event takes place outdoors with limited shade, and the temperature will reach the mid 80’s that day. Remember to stay hydrated too – the combination of warm weather, salty food, and alcohol can quickly dehydrate any attendee.

Coincidentally landing at the end of American Craft Beer Week, Hangar 24 Brewery celebrated their 6th anniversary with a two-day AirFest and beer festival at Redlands Airport this past weekend. This anniversary celebration took place just across the street from the Hangar 24 tasting room, allowing guests to roam much of the airport grounds to view all the airplanes on exhibit, and check out all the food and beer available. All around the festival area, all of the attractions evenly spread out, from the food vendors to the beer tents to the airplanes on display and more. Throughout the day, live music would occur on the main stage, and various aerial acrobatics would occur overhead, demonstrating cool stunts performed in airplanes.

New this year (or not marketed much last year), AirFest lasted two days, starting on Friday afternoon, and running for most of the day Saturday. Naturally, admission for Saturday cost more than Friday. This year, I attended on the Friday of the celebration; however, I could tell that most of the fun would occur on Saturday. Some of the main attractions that occurred on Saturday for AirFest included the 30+ varieties of beer that they advertised, more varieties of aerial acrobatics, a fireworks show at night, longer hours, and more well-known music acts. On Friday, we only got ten varieties of beer, and besides the anniversary beer, anyone could obtain any of these beers at any time at the tasting room. Although I enjoyed the air shows, they started to get stale halfway through the runs. The night also did not feature any illuminating acts – just a staged airplane stunt. The beers also stopped way earlier than I recall, as beers kept going until after 9pm last year. Everclear also headlined the music on Saturday, whereas JT Hodges headlined the music on Friday. Lastly, Friday just did not have that many people there. Last year, the festival contained tons of people everywhere. Friday felt dead, as if Hangar 24 did not advertise the Friday event. At least Hangar 24 stepped it up with the food and merchandise vendors, now adding 400% more vendors than last year.

As far as the music went, Friday mainly revolved around country music. Country bands like Redneck Rodeo and HER played that beer-drinking music that everyone loves.

Aerial stunts took place throughout the day, giving everyone a reason to not slouch and look up. These pilots always amaze everyone viewing, and serve as great interruptions to groups of people. After a few hours though, most of the stunts start to look the same. Allegedly, Saturday’s stunts featured a lot more danger and variety.

Once all that ended, we got to see some parachuters, and one of them deployed a flag during the national anthem playing on the ground floor.

Some more aerial acrobatics occurred while waiting for the next music act to set up.

Country singer JT Hodges headlined the night with two sets. His sets contained a mix of his own original songs and cover songs. While he performed, little activity occurred elsewhere around the festival, as he captured the attention of nearly everyone present.

As I suggested to everyone I encountered, the sunset out here looks beautiful, and everyone should always seek to capture a great photo of this moment.

Between JT Hodges’ two sets, one final air show took place. Unfortunately, the fireworks show only occurred on Saturday.

I remember having the time of my life at last year’s AirFest. This time, my choice of attending on Friday may have soured my perception of this event, though I cannot say the same for anyone else that attended on Friday only. Perhaps the lack of true content compared to a previous year may have lowered my perception. Perhaps last year’s event went so well that it spoiled me from future events. Since the weekend, I have heard mixed reviews of this and last year’s AirFest. As best as I can say, just like the president, you cannot please everyone. Just do the best you can to inflict the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. Hangar 24 always does their best, but I think at least for the Friday event, it should wither away and leave everything to Saturday.

In India, citizens celebrate the arrival of Spring with the Holi Festival, a time where the people leave their worries & stresses at home to get happy with music and shower others with color. Traditionally, people celebrated with natural colors and traditional music, sometimes even including ritualistic effigy burnings. Today, the entire world has caught on with the Holi festival, and celebrate it 21st century style. Numerous 5K runs across the world incorporate color throws into their races, turning the intensity of a race into more of a “hurry to the next color” fun run. To partake in the shower of colors without the necessity of running, one must seek out an actual Holi celebration, and Southern Californians can find one of these festivals this weekend at the Los Angeles Festival of Colors.

This Saturday afternoon, the 2014 Los Angeles Festival of Colors will take place on the fields of Excelsior High School in Norwalk. People of all ages and nationalities will gather on this day to dance and socialize without worrying about mundane activities like work or school. In essence, this festival strongly resembles Woodstock because of the friendliness of all attendees and the entrancing pop music. Admission only costs $5 and comes with free parking, but all guests can only use colors purchased within the festival. The organizers will also invite a few food trucks to keep guests fed. Those not wanting to stand in the crowd of people and colors can opt to join in the communal yoga sessions for free.

Starting at 12pm, all guests will gather in front of the stage for a mass color throw. Think mosh pit, but with colors clashing instead of bodies. The current on-stage act will start a countdown, and on zero, everyone throws random colors into the air, thus pelting everyone with all colors from all directions. This lasts at least a minute, as not only will many people continue throwing colors into the air, but the wind picks up the colors and keeps the colors airborne.

If you do go to a Holi festival or any color run, keep in mind the nature of color throws. Unless you have access to industrial-strength laundry machines, wear old clothes and old shoes – albeit the colors wash off, they tend to remain in nooks & crannies, especially in shoes. If you have asthma or other breathing problems, consider donning a dust mask. If your eyes get irritated easily, either wear sunglasses or goggles. Check the weather too – you may need to apply sunscreen. An important tip to remember – bring spare towels and keep them in your car. But most important of all – have fun and socialize with everyone. Holi comes once a year, so like New Year’s Eve, let loose and enjoy the day.