Posts Tagged ‘Cheese’

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Ohana Burger‘s The Daniel-San

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

3. Little Bear‘s Liege Waffle Burger

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

2. VaKA Burger Express‘ El Porky

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

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

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

How does one discover the best of local food spots? They ask the locals, of course. When one travels, they still need to eat. What will they choose to eat at their new destination? Will they stick to corporate chains that they have familiarity with? Or will they explore the local places to savor the local flavor? How would they find these local places? Will they search their smartphones for them? Not all places will appear in searches, however. Some hole-in-the-wall places do not have an internet presence, so digitally searching for some of the better places may not work out. It takes word-of-mouth from the locals to spread the information of such places, such as a little food stand simply called Melt.

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 Cheese Fries. Though it appears small, this makes for the perfect side dish portioned perfectly, as Melt tops a side order of fries with melted cheddar cheese, marinated ribeye beef, bulgogi aioli sauce, chopped green onions, jalapeños, and housemade Melt sauce. Although you cannot share this due to its size, it costs so little that anyone can enjoy their own order of Bulgogi Cheese Fries for $4.75 each.

Interested in tasting this creative creation of fusion? Head on over to the H Mart in Diamond Bar, and locate the food court within to discover Melt. Melt has no method of marketing other than word-of-mouth, not even a website or social media. If you like what you encounter, help them out by telling friends and family about Melt!

Halloween
October 31

Happy Candy Day! Have fun, and stay safe on this night.

Dia De Los Muertos 2016
October 31

Honor the deceased on this traditional day of remembrance. Many businesses will have specials and special activities on this day, so check with your local businesses to learn more.

Trick or Treat on 2nd Street
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, October 31
2nd Street, Belmont Shore, Long Beach
http://www.belmontshore.org/trick-or-treat/

Trick or Treat with the family in Belmont Shore for free! Local businesses will participate by handing out samples and candy during the evening.

Innovation Brew Works’ Costume Contest & Karaoke Night
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, October 31
Innovation Brew Works, Pomona
http://www.ibrewworks.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1242077055863823/

Cal Poly Pomona’s Innovation Brew Works will have some family-friendly activities this Halloween at their tasting room. Participate in a costume contest, and/or enjoy some karaoke. This event costs nothing to attend.

Halloween Night with Skapeche Mode
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, October 31
Slide Bar, Fullerton
http://www.facebook.com/events/330753067316806/

Enjoy a FREE and all-ages ska show this Halloween night in Downtown Fullerton.

The Adicts: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, October 31, The Observatory, Santa Ana http://www.observatoryoc.com/event/theadicts
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 1, The Observatory, North Park, San Diego http://www.observatorysd.com/event/6914025
http://adicts.us/

Legendary punk rock band The Adicts currently tour across the west coast, and that tour will visit Southern California this week. Tickets to these all-ages show vary in price, so click on a show’s link for prices.

Bad Religion: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 1, The Observatory, Santa Ana http://www.observatoryoc.com/event/badreligion
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 4, Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood http://www.thehollywoodpalladium.com/events/bad-religion-against-me-2/
http://www.badreligion.com/

Legendary punk rock band Bad Religion currently tours across the country, and that tour will end in Southern California this week. Tickets to these all-ages show vary in price, so click on a show’s link for prices.

Eat Chow’s Santa Ana Grand Opening
8:00 am – 9:00 pm, November 2
Eat Chow, Downtown Santa Ana
http://www.eatchownow.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1788219281445042/

This Orange County restaurant opens the doors of its third location to the public this Wednesday. Stop on by and check out their success.

The Inspired Market – Rancho Cucamonga
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, November 3
Thomas Winery Plaza, Rancho Cucamonga
http://theinspiredmarket.com/

This free and all-ages arts & crafts fair takes place on the first and third Thursdays of each month in Rancho Cucamonga. Swing on by and check out the various vendors here selling accessories, apparel, and more.

8th Annual San Diego Beer Week
November 4-13
San Diego County
http://sdbw.org/

This 10-day festival celebrates the prominence of craft beer in San Diego County. During these ten days, restaurants, bars, breweries, and other businesses will host special events and hold special deals all pertaining to craft beer. Check the website for a list of all events and businesses participating in San Diego Beer Week.

Rare Beer Breakfast
9:00 am – 12:00 pm, November 4
Stone Brewing, Escondido
http://www.stonebrewing.com/events/rare-beer-breakfast-0

Indulge in breakfast foods and rare beers this Friday morning in Escondido. The $65 admission provides 15 3oz beer pours, a souvenir glass, and unlimited food while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

10th Annual BlizzCon
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, November 4
10:00 am – 9:00 pm, November 5
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim
http://www.blizzcon.com/

Dive into the world of Overwatch, Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo this weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center. This convention will have speakers, panels, vendors, artists, tournaments, demos, and more. The $199 tickets to attend the convention have sold out, but you may still purchase a virtual ticket to watch the convention from home for $40, which also includes some in-game items for select games.

2016 Revolution Bike Fest
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, November 4
7:00 am – 10:00 pm, November 5
7:00 am – 3:00 pm, November 6
Oak Canyon Park, Silverado
http://revolutionbikefest.com/

A health and wellness festival comes to the hills of Irvine this weekend. More than just bikes, this weekend getaway involves yoga, meditation, hiking, speakers, music, food, and more. Admission ranges from $25 to $495 – check the website for a full breakdown of what each admission gets you.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, November 4
Various locations
Long Beach: http://firstfridayslongbeach.com/
Venice: http://www.abbotkinney1stfridays.com/

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

34th Annual Irvine Holiday Faire
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, November 4
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, November 5
Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine
http://www.cityofirvine.org/irvine-fine-arts-center/holiday-faire

For just $2 admission, gain access to over a hundred local artisans exhibiting their wares, from jewelry to apparel to accessories and more.

8th Annual Montebello Taste of the Town
6:00 pm – 9:30 pm, November 4
Bagramian Hall, Montebello
http://montebellotaste.com/

Sample eats & drinks from various restaurants from Montebello this Friday night. General admission costs $45 presale or $60 at the door, and includes unlimited tastes while supplies last. VIP admission costs $85 and also includes VIP seating and a gift bag.

14th Annual San Diego Brewers Guild Festival
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, November 4
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, November 5
Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier, San Diego
http://sdbw.org/guild-festival/

This beer festival coincides with San Diego Beer Week annually. This year, they have split the festival into two parts. On Friday, a special VIP reception will take place that will have brewers and business owners in San Diego meet together to discuss and enjoy beer. On Saturday, the standard beer fest will take place, which includes a souvenir tasting glass and 15 3oz beer tasters. Prices vary depending on attendance – the VIP reception costs $75, the Saturday beer fest costs $40, an hour early access to that one costs $55, and a two-day pass costs $100. No one under 21 may attend.

6th Annual Konsept Art & Music Festival
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 4
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, November 5
8:00 am – 1:00 pm, November 6
East End, Downtown Santa Ana
http://www.konseptproject.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1650342851657826/

This free and all-ages outdoors events features art, music, fashion, photography, live entertainment, and more, all rolled into one street fest.

The Dickies: Live in Corona
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 4
Bar 1650, Corona
http://www.facebook.com/events/531312403731898/

Legendary punk rock band The Dickies will headline a show in Corona this Friday night. The cover for this show costs $15. No one under 21 may enter.

Taste Talks Los Angeles
8:30 pm – 10:30 pm, November 4
10:00 am – 9:00 pm, November 5
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, November 6
Various locations, Downtown Los Angeles
http://losangeles.tastetalks.com/

A food industry conference comes to Los Angeles this weekend, complete with mixers, parties, sit-down meals, seminars, speakers, demos, samples, and more. Admission starts at $49.

Catalina Island Triathlon & Duathlon
7:30 am – 1:30 pm, November 5
Avalon Pier, Catalina Island
http://renegaderaceseries.com/upcoming-events/eventdetail/14/catalina-island-triathlon-duathlon

Test your athleticism this Saturday on Catalina Island with a triathlon or duathlon. Registration starts at $120.

20th Annual Long Beach Veteran’s Parade
10:00 am – 1:00 pm, November 5
Houghton Park, Long Beach
http://lbveteransdayparade.com/

Bring your family out to watch a parade to honor our nation’s veterans this Saturday morning!

Fullerton Pumpkin Launch
10:00 am – 2:00 pm, November 5
Discovery Science Center, Cal State Fullerton
http://www.discoverycube.org/oc/exhibits/pumpkin-launch/

At this FREE event (requires registration at their website), witness hundreds of pumpkins getting thrown, launched, catapulted, and more from the Discovery Science Center on the CSUF campus. Food trucks will open their windows to serve food to guests.

Long Beach Airport’s Festival of Flight
10:00 am – 2:00 pm, November 5
Long Beach Airport, Long Beach
http://www.lgb.org/news/displaynews.asp?NewsID=116

At this free and all-ages event this Saturday afternoon, the Long Beach Airport will have information about flight schools, commercial airlines, aviation history, and more. In addition, find food trucks, live entertainment, a mobile aquarium, and prizes from a handful of airlines that they have donated for visitors to win!

StyleCon 2016
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, November 5
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.stylecon.com/

Dozens of fashion and makeup vendors will congregate at the OC Fair this Saturday afternoon. Admission starts at $39 and gets you access to all of the booths on the show floor. The more you pay for admission, the more goodies you get.

ComplexCon 2016
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, November 5-6
Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach
http://complexcon.com/

If you see it on television or hear it on the radio, it will appear at ComplexCon this weekend at the Long Beach Convention Center. Check out all things popular and conformed for $45 per day to access the expo floor. Concert tickets start at $75, which you must pay for on top of the expo pass.

California Dapper Day
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, November 5-6
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim
http://dapperday.com/fall-2016-disneyland-ca

Exhibit your style and profile this weekend at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. The Dapper Day Expo will take place in the Disneyland Hotel on both days, free to attend for the public. This all-ages expo will have dozens of style vendors and services available for the public to check out. On Sunday, Dapper Day attendees will take to Disneyland Park for a day of fun and excitement.

2nd Annual Escondido Tamale Festival
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, November 5
Grape Day Park, Escondido
http://www.escondidotamalefestival.org/

Indulge on tamales at this FREE and all-ages festival this Saturday in Escondido. This event will features dozens of food vendors, live entertainment, vendors, arts & crafts, and more. Everything comes at cost, so guests should bring plenty of cash for this day. A special VIP package costs $35 that includes exclusive gourmet tamales along with craft beer and wine pairings.

Ritual Brewing’s 4th Anniversary Celebration
12:00 pm – 4:30 pm, November 5
Ritual Brewing, Redlands
http://ritualbrewing.com/

Ritual Brewing turns four years old this week, and to celebrate, they will have festivities at their tasting room in Redlands this Saturday. General admission costs $35 and starts at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $45 and starts at 12pm. All attendees receive an anniversary glass and unlimited beer pours while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend this event.

3rd Annual Orange County Halal Food Fest
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, November 5
Islamic Society of Orange County, Garden Grove
http://www.isocmasjid.org/

Free to attend for all ages, this food festival in Garden Grove will have lots of Halal food around. Visitors will also find live entertainment, vendors, children’s entertainment, and more.

Alosta Brewing 3rd Anniversary Celebration
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, November 5
Alosta Brewing, Covina
http://alostabrewing.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/538306356375022/

Alosta Brewing has completed three years in the beer industry, and to celebrate, they will hold two beer tasting sessions this Saturday: 12-4pm and 5-9pm. Each session costs $30 to attend, and includes a souvenir glass, 12 beer half-pours (can use two to make a full pour), and three raffle tickets. Bring in a canned good to donate to receive an additional two half-pours and two raffle tickets. Alosta will bring on live entertainment, food vendors, and a special anniversary brew. No one under 21 may attend.

Balboa Craft Beer Festival
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, November 5
Balboa Village, Newport Beach
http://www.balboabeerfest.com/

Enjoy beach weather and craft beer this Saturday afternoon near Balboa Island. General admission costs $65, and includes unlimited beer AND food. No one under 21 may attend.

Los Angeles Burning Man Decompression Arts & Music Festival
1:00 pm – 2:00 am, November 5
Secret location, Arts District, Los Angeles
http://www.ladecom.com/

Los Angeles’ version of Burning Man, this event starts in the afternoon and continues until morning the next day. Experience nonstop music, dance, rituals, live DJ’s, theme camps, art cars, green technology, puppetry, circus, marching bands, and more all in the name of FIRE.

SoCal Food & Brew Fest
3:00 pm – 8:00 pm, November 5
Ramona Mainstage, Ramona
http://www.ramonamainstage.com/socal-food-brew-fest/

$89 gets you unlimited food and beer while supplies last in northeast San Diego County this Saturday evening.

Wine, Cheese & Chocolate
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm, November 5
Eat Drink Americano, Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.winela.com/wcc

Indulge in a cheese, chocolate, and wine pairing session this Saturday afternoon in Downtown LA. Admission costs $69 per person, and includes all foods and wines that attendees will enjoy. No one under 21 may attend.

Corrupted Youth Official Music Video Shoot ” Class Struggle”
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, November 5
Los Globos, Silverlake
http://www.clublosglobos.com/event/1355677-concrete-jungle-los-angeles/

Rock out to some local punk rock bands this Saturday night in Silverlake. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $18.

26th Annual SOS Celebrity Chef Dinner & Auction
5:30 pm – 10:30 pm, November 5
Hyatt Regency, Huntington Beach
http://www.shareourselves.org/events/

Enjoy a five-course dinner with wine pairings this Saturday night in Huntington Beach. Attending this luxurious dinner costs $275 per person. No one under 21 may attend.

The Color Run 5k – Los Angeles
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, November 5
StubHub Center, Carson
http://thecolorrun.com/night/locations/los-angeles/

The color run that started it all returns to Carson this Saturday night. This fun run takes the racing out of a 5k or 10k, and places participants in a running course where they will get showered with bright colors. All runners should wear white for this run, as they run through the course and absorb all the colors flying through the air. Registration for this color run costs $55 per solo participant. Waves of runners will start at 6:30pm and launch every few minutes following that for up to an hour, so do not fret about getting there on time.

D.O.A. – Live at Tiki Bar
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 5
Tiki Bar, Costa Mesa
http://www.facebook.com/events/244893722574423/

Legendary hardcore punk band D.O.A. will perform in Costa Mesa this Saturday night. Tickets to this show cost $15. No one under 21 may enter.

San Diego Vintage Flea Market
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, November 6
The Observatory Parking Lot, North Park, San Diego
http://sdvintagefleamarket.com/

At this free all-ages outdoor market, visitors will find modern to vintage inspired clothing, housewares, furniture, smalls, and more for sale from the various local vendors.

CCA CAL Orange County Chapter Crawfish Boil
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, November 6
Cypress Community Center, Cypress
http://www.ccacalifornia.org/cca-cal-orange-county-chapter-crawfish-boil/

Enjoy a traditional crawfish boil this Sunday afternoon in Cypress. Admission costs $60 per person and provides all of your food and drinks.

11th Annual Taste of University Heights
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, November 6
Buddha’s Light Bookstore, University Heights, San Diego
http://www.uhcdc.org/

Sample eats from the local businesses of University Heights this Sunday afternoon. Admission costs $20 and gets you unlimited food samples from participating businesses while supplies last.

3rd Annual San Diego Cheese & Beer Festival
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, November 6
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, Liberty Station, San Diego
http://www.sdcheesefest.org/

Indulge in gourmet cheeses and craft beers this Saturday afternoon in Liberty Station in San Diego. General admission costs $45 and includes unlimited cheese samples and 15 beer tastings while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

Dia de los Muertos Fiesta
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, November 6
Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton
http://themuck.org/programing/2016/11/6/day-of-the-dead-festival

Free to attend for all ages, a Dia de los Muertos festival will take place in Fullerton this Sunday afternoon complete with arts & crafts, games, activities, entertainment, food, and more.

Rock & Brews 6th Annual Craft Beer Fest
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, November 6
Rock & Brews, El Segundo
http://www.rockandbrews.com/location/el-segundo/
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/rock-brews-6th-annual-beer-fest-tickets-26761334873

$45 gets you in to enjoy ten 6oz beers, plus full access to a buffet. No one under 21 may attend.

Pig Roast 4505
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, November 6
Mikkeller Brewing, Miramar, San Diego
http://4505meats.com/
http://pigroast4505.brownpapertickets.com/

Enjoy an afternoon of tacos, chicharonnes, and beer this Sunday in San Diego. Admission costs $20 presale or $25 at the door, and includes a full plate of food, one pint of beer plus a bonus taster shot, and all the chicharonnes you can eat plus more to take home. No one under 21 may attend.

The Aggrolites @ Slide Bar
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, November 6
Slide Bar, Fullerton
http://www.aggroreggae.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/193406577768356/

The Aggrolites will perform a FREE all-ages show this Sunday evening in Fullerton.

This upcoming weekend, food news & media giant Foodbeast will team up with Orange County event planners 100eats to bring back one of their largest events for its second year running, Ooze Festival, to the parking lot in front of the Yost Theater in Downtown Santa Ana. Hailed as Southern California’s premier cheese festival, this tasting event brings out dozens of Orange County restaurants to serve up their best cheese-inspired food samples to the hundreds of attendees. In addition, a handful of Southern California’s microbreweries set up to serve some refreshing brews to pair with all the food going around.

New this year, Ooze Fest will cater to two entirely different types of admissions. The first admission method involves pay-as-you-go. The event will take place on both this Saturday and Sunday opening at 12pm and closing at 10pm. Ooze Fest will run continuously during that time, and cost $10 to enter. Once inside, attendees will then have to pay for any food they wish to consume. This works best for those who do not plan to eat as much, or want to selectively choose what to eat or drink. The second admission method involves a traditional food fest operation. This will run from 5pm to 9pm each evening, and for $50, any attendee will receive unlimited food samples for this duration. Due to the nature of how the organizers set this up, I do not expect any vendor to run out of food, although I cannot guarantee that, so I still suggest arriving as early as possible.

Due to the tendency for food festivals like this to turn into a line fest, I would take caution with the $50 food fest experience. This works best with a small group, as each group member can stand in different lines and then bring food back to the group, cutting the wait time down considerably. Alternatively, for the frugal, look up the list of vendors on their website (linked above), and simply visit those establishments on your own free time. Doing so basically eliminates the $10 entry fee and allows you to not have to deal with lines and potentially overpriced food samples.

For more posts from the organizers, check out Foodbeast on Facebook and Twitter, and 100eats on Facebook and Twitter.

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. Village Idiot‘s Griddle Burger

With all these newfangled restaurants popping up everywhere, sometimes it helps to exhibit a little modesty. Young adults want to visit the trendiest, hippest restaurants and/or bars because of interaction and mingling with others of similar age and personality. With so many of these new places around, some restaurants or bars just want to resemble the go-to place away from all the hustle of noisy places. Enter the Village Idiot in West Hollywood as your go-to place to relax. The Village Idiot looks like your typical neighborhood restaurant with no frills or anything fancy inside. They have an old-fashioned bar with plenty of seating in the dining area, perfect for parties of all sizes. With a wide array of food and drink options, Village Idiot will have something for everyone. For something familiar yet scrumptious, go with their Griddle Burger. This simple yet effective $15 burger carries two patties along with dijon mustard and a heaping serving of caramelized onions, with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and fries on the side. Accessorize your burger with cheese or a fried egg at an additional cost. Available throughout the day, this burger will help you get away from the bustle of daily life momentarily while you savor this local flavor.

4. Brew Kitchen Ale House‘s Smokin’ Bacon Burger

When attributing food to a particular location, each region has its own designation on how people should perceive it. For example, we often hear about western, eastern, northern, and southern food. While in the United States this applies mainly to the contingent 48 states, the rest of the world sees things differently. The world does not have northern (New England) or southern (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, etc) cuisine. Instead, the world primarily splits up regions by either its exact name (Japanese, Italian, etc) or simply east versus west. We know that eastern tends to refer to Asian cuisine, while western refers to American barbecue. Why barbecue specifically, I do not have the precise answer, but I do know that Brew Kitchen Ale House has a killer western-influenced menu. Tucked away in a strip mall in Los Alamitos, Brew Kitchen Ale House aims to bring a craft beer presence to Los Alamitos, historically a conservative city. They employ a rotating tap system much like other prominent craft beer restaurants, which greatly accompanies their food menu. Brew Kitchen Ale House contains many gastropub staples, such as their Smokin’ Bacon Burger. This meaty burger comes with sharp cheddar cheese, cherry wood bacon, beer barrel onion strings, and Uncle Joe’s Memphis Brew-B-Que sauce, served with a side of bar fries. Why people associate this particular combination of ingredients with “western” I will never know. However, I do know that you can pound this burger for just $11 at Brew Kitchen Ale House in Los Alamitos.

3. Dory Deli‘s Dory Burger

How does a business generate buzz and hype? Marketing comes in many forms, and each method of marketing reaches out to a different audience. Does a business use word-of-mouth? Does a business use friends & family referrals? Does a business pay for ad space? Does a business rely on internet and social media? No matter how a business chooses to market, they still need to get their name out there, but how they get from point A to point B can differ based on the business owner’s preference. But what if you have products so good that the product markets itself? Enter Dory Deli, a local treat whose name speaks for itself. Located just a stone’s throw away from the sands of Newport Beach, Dory Deli opened their doors last year to the delight of many locals for their use of locally sourced ingredients prepared with fresh, unique flavors. Although they have “Deli” in their name, Dory Deli functions as more than just a deli – they represent a full-service restaurant, along with fresh coffee and juices. Along the menu, you can find hot items such as their Dory Burger. This thick burger patty gets paired with pastrami, horseradish-beet sauce, sliced pickles, caramelized onions, and Swiss cheese on a brioche bun. This burger comes a la carte for $11. Parking nearby requires coins for meters, so if you want to park for free, expect to have to park further and walk quite a bit.

2. 25 Degrees Huntington Beach‘s Number 4

Cheese: you either love it or you hate it. Cheese has existed long before anyone even thought to record the discovery of it. Since the beginning, cheese has made its way all over the culinary world, and has seen countless variations. The texture, flavor, shape, aroma, and other factors all vary based on where it started, how it started, and who made it. Certain cheeses fit certain foods better; for example, mozzarella goes well with pizza, while cheddar goes well with hamburgers. In more recent times, creative chefs have mixed up cheese types to attempt to draw out new flavor combinations. Some have worked, others have not. But when a combination does work, the chef will hastily add it to the menu, just like at 25 Degrees. While 25 Degrees has multiple locations including one in Los Angeles, each one has its own menu, so this will focus on its Huntington Beach location. 25 Degrees represents your typical gastropub and whisky bar, with a lineup full of different beverages and a menu full of goodies. At night, most people go here for the drinks. Throughout the rest of the day, people go here for both the food and drinks, where they might order something such as the Number 4. Unique to the Huntington Beach location, the fourth burger on their menu has bacon, barbecue sauce, mezzo secco cheese, jack cheese, chipotlé aioli, and a fried onion ring. After a few bites, you may just want a side of the cheese by itself due to its savory nature that does not overwhelm the taste senses. To experience this cheesy bliss, check out 25 Degrees in Downtown Huntington Beach order the Number 4 for $11.

1. Rockfire Grill‘s Carnitas Burger

If something on the menu has the word (ham)burger in it, you can bet it will have ground beef in it. Traditional hamburgers have the ground beef patty inside a hamburger bun. However, the definition has expanded to allow more than just the bun to define the dish. For example, hamburger pasta means pasta that has ground beef in it, even if it contains just ground beef pieces instead of a solid patty. Because of this expansion of the definition of a hamburger, creative minds have come up with other ways to build upon the traditional dish. Aside from different toppings or different ways to build the patty, one can take a look at the bun. Everyone has surely seen lettuce-wrapped burgers know as “protein-style” burgers, but you can use more than just an ordinary bun to hold a burger, something that Rockfire Grill has grasped the concept of. Rockfire Grill’s primary draw revolves around their use of a wood-fire oven to bake and cook most of their ingredients. From pizzas to flatbreads to fresh focaccia bread, Rockfire Grill has a unique approach to fresh foods. They use this oven to cook not only their meats, but the breads they use for their menu items, including their burgers and sandwiches. Rockfire Grill wraps their burgers inside their fresh-baked focaccia bread, creating something similar to a pita wrap. Their Carnitas Burger contains two different meats stuffed inside a focaccia bread. After splitting open a fresh-baked focaccia bread, Rockfire Grill fills it with an angus beef patty, salsa verde, pulled pork, tender greens, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, grilled onions, and their house spread. You can taste this fresh-baked difference for $8.95 at the original Rockfire Grill in Mission Viejo, or check out their newer locations in Santa Ana and Newport Beach.