Posts Tagged ‘Chili’

Reminiscing back to our childhoods, we recall all the good times and bad times that significantly impacted us as children. Everyone remembers certain moments during their childhoods that has permanently affected our personalities today. Even without anything to capture those moments, we can still reminisce about the good old days through photos taken way back then. In fact, today’s society has accepted Throwback Thursdays as an homage to the good old days, when life did not bear so much worry, and we could live out our days without fear or oppression. These days, society has to deal with corruption on many levels, from governments to the internet to bullies in school and more. Like the human immune system, society reacts to these corruptions by implementing methods to combat those problems by either minimizing problems or eliminating them altogether. This may not restore the good old days, but as a society, we still like to look back to what paved the way for us to stand here today. Significantly, we remember the foods we once ate as children, even recalling the low prices. Those old signs advertising $0.10 French Fries did not lie – food stands actually sold items that now cost ten times more, or even more than that! Though we can still buy the same fast food items as back then, we have much better options today as far as finer dining without the inflated price tags. If you miss those $0.10 fries, wait until you see some of the appetizers that you can share with friends or enjoy as an entrée. I have discovered five different shareable appetizers that you can find in the Greater Los Angeles Area, and you can either enjoy these on its own or share them among the table.

5. Plan Check Kitchen‘s Sweet Potato Waffle Fries

Many of us grew up with French fries as a classic side. During the turn of the century, restaurants started to utilize sweet potato fries instead of regular fries. They do not cost that much more, have a completely different flavor, and have more health benefits than regular potatoes. Some of us may even remember waffle-cut fries, or as one fast food chain calls it, criss-cut fries. What does all this mean? Head over to Plan Check Kitchen to find out. With three locations around Los Angeles, Plan Check Kitchen serves up delicious faire out of their small kitchen. While each location has a slightly different menu, you will always want to check if they have the Sweet Potato Waffle Fries available. Simple yet fulfilling, this plate of waffle-cut sweet potato fries gets fried in beef tallow and served with a side of peach ketchup made in-house. While the above photo makes it appear small, it can easily satisfy two people at just $6 per order.

4. The Oinkster‘s Piggy Fries

A certain Californian fast food institution has an ever-popular off-menu item that nearly every Californian has tried at least once. Most people who have tried it swear by it and nothing else, albeit many local places make something just as good, if not better. If you have heard of The Oinkster, then you know about what I refer to. As its name suggests, The Oinkster specializes in meaty foods and delicious sides to go along with them. At both of The Oinkster’s locations, you can find Piggy Fries on the menu. Contrary to its name, these fries do not have any meat in them at all, though you can get crafty and add the meat in yourself. For just $4, this boat of fries comes with housemade thousand island dressing, caramelized onions, and shredded cheddar cheese. If you want to make this truly piggy fries, unload a sandwich onto these fries for the ultimate meal.

3. Dolce Bistro & Bakery‘s Spicy Maple Bacon Popcorn

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 Dolce Bistro & Bakery in Montclair. As their name suggests, in addition to a full-service restaurant, they also have a bakery full of delectable desserts, but I shall talk about that in another post. For now, we focus on the restaurant side where they have lots of great food such as the Spicy Maple Bacon Popcorn. Dolce Bistro tosses popcorn with chili powder and cumin, then mixes in maple bacon for an easy snack that everyone around the table can enjoy. Enjoy it with friends, enjoy it on its own, or enjoy it for the occasion for just $5.

2. The Hat‘s Pastrami Chili Cheese Fries

Never neglect the hole-in-the-wall businesses. Small mom & pop shops exist all over the place, and most people simply drive right by them never noticing them. Some mom & pop shops can hold the greatest hidden gems ever, but it takes word-of-mouth to get the news out there, especially if that mom & pop shop has no website, no social media, or no internet presence at all. With no marketing power, mom & pop shops have to deliver something so good that the constituents will do the marketing for them, such as with The Hat. This traditional diner now has eleven locations throughout Southern California all serving up their famous pastrami, but to truly savor their pastrami, go big with the Pastrami Chili Cheese Fries. Beware: the $13 price tag paints the picture that you simply must share this with others. No sole person can possible tackle all of this in one sitting, so if you have a hungry group, satisfy all their hungers with this mountain of meat.

1. Leadbelly’s Barbecue‘s Loaded Pork Garlic Fries

While I can understand food allergies preventing people from enjoying certain foods, I could never understand the people who cannot eat certain foods due to their religion. Red meat simply tastes too good to pass up, so I feel bad for the people who do not eat beef or pork or both. They miss out on the goodness of these meats, cancerous or not. For those who crave the meat, look for a barbecue restaurant, such as Leadbelly’s Barbecue. Tucked away in a corner between Fullerton and Placentia, this restaurant slings lots of meat in many different styles, even on top of fries like on their Loaded Pork Garlic Fries. Leadbelly’s tosses French fries with garlic and then tops it with pulled pork, bacon, pork belly, Parmesan cheese, jack cheese, and chives, which they serve with a side of gravy to pour over the top. At $12.95, this massive plate can easily feed a group of four or more. Go easy on the gravy – its richness can make one full fast.

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This Saturday afternoon, the Old Town Seal Beach Chili Cook Off returns for its third year in a row. This chili cookoff used to coincide with Seal Beach Restaurant Week, but so far it appears that the organizers have cancelled the week due to low turnout, so they will host only the chili cookoff. Occurring similar to a strolling event, visitors will pay $10 to receive a stamp card listing all participating restaurants on Main Street in Seal Beach. Visitors will then take this stamp card to the restaurants to receive a sample of chili, so essentially each sample costs a dollar. Last year, ten restaurants participated in the chili cookoff – who knows how many restaurants will participate this year.

Personally I would like to see the restaurant week return, but these restaurants need a greater turnout for the week to return. Perhaps the organizers need better marketing? In any case, show up this Saturday and show your support for the local community, and show Seal Beach that old town charm always wins our hearts.

The Tustin Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off returns for its 31st annual installment this Sunday afternoon. This FREE & all-ages street fair completely takes over Old Town Tustin, blocking off a sizable area between 1st and 6th Streets. The streets will fill up with many booths containing arts & crafts, merchandise, entertainment, kids’ activities, music, chili teams, and more. Spread throughout the festival area, guests will find multiple entertainment stages, with acts such as live music, dancing, and various contests. The streets do not follow categorical zoning – instead of all booths of one type in one area, guests will find all sorts of booths all over, though some vendors will concentrate more towards the south and north ends. The kids’ area lies to the northwest end of the festival area.

First-time visitors to this event should make adequate preparations to ensure a smooth experience. The street fair takes place entirely outdoors, so wear comfortable clothes to move in, and apply sunscreen all over. Bring cash, as most of the vendors do not accept cards, including chili ticket booths. Chili tastings cost $1 per ticket, which guests may redeem for a taster at any chili team. Guests 21 and over may purchase alcoholic drinks after purchasing a wristband for $2 following an ID check. Non-chili food vendors will also sell food too, but when you attend a chili cookoff, why eat anything else?

Parking gets extremely tough during this time, but I have typically found better luck with street parking north of 1st Street. Check the neighborhoods off of Prospect Avenue, as the neighborhood has no parking restrictions on Sundays. Understand that Old Town Tustin will completely close off to traffic starting in the morning, so normal routes to arrive there may not exist that day, so plan alternate routes on arriving at the location timely.

Following on the heels of the last year’s successful first run, the Old Town Seal Beach Chili Cook Off returned this past Saturday afternoon. Coinciding with the 2nd Annual Seal Beach Restaurant Week, ten Seal Beach restaurants prepared their best renditions of chili to serve to visitors. Occurring similar to a strolling event, visitors paid $10 to receive a stamp card listing all ten participating restaurants on Main Street in Seal Beach. Visitors could then take this stamp card to the ten locations to receive a sample of chili. A number of changes occurred during this event that contrasted what transpired last year.

  • Last year’s chili cookoff took place in the Hennessey’s Grill parking lot. This year’s event forced visitors to have to explore Seal Beach to find all the restaurants.
  • All visitors received one free raffle ticket last year to win a prize. This year, visitors had to pay for raffle tickets.
  • Visitors could eat as much chili as they wanted to last year. This year only allowed one sample per visitor per location.

Put all together, it appears that the event lost the qualities that made it so fun last year. Personally, none of the chili stood out to me this year, whereas last year I recall going back for 320 Main and Beachwood BBQ‘s chili. Normally I would remember which ones truly shined, but after trying all ten chili samples, I did not fondly remember any of the chili.

Like last year, ten restaurants participated in the chili cookoff. A few opted to not participate, while a few stepped up to take their place.

Crema Café ended up taking the grand prize, while Beachwood BBQ won the people’s choice. Personally, I voted for Thai On Main because of the strong Thai flavors in their chili. Overall, all of the participating restaurants delivered a fun and tasty afternoon, albeit not every restaurant in Seal Beach participated. Seal Beach Restaurant Week continues to run now through this Saturday, so I urge you to head on down to Seal Beach and explore the many local restaurants & shops down there to experience a true old-town feel.

The 2nd Annual Seal Beach Restaurant Week returns next week, starting on Monday and lasting through Saturday. Seal Beach bears a lot of history, especially down on Main Street. This small town hangs onto tradition with the many small shops and restaurants all representing an old-town feel. With plenty of fantastic local food & drink spots, Southern Californians regard Seal Beach as a place that will not change, but will always stick around as a go-to spot for what Seal Beach currently has. With all this going on, you would think that Seal Beach needed their own Restaurant Week instead of just tagging along with Long Beach or West Orange County, and Seal Beach finally has one.

Until they can kick off their restaurant week, Old Town Seal Beach will precede it with a Chili Cook Off. Taking place this Saturday afternoon on Main Street in Seal Beach, over a dozen Seal Beach restaurants will prepare their best renditions of chili to serve to visitors. Just like last year, it will cost visitors $10 to receive a wristband and sample all the chili they can eat, and vote for their favorite chili by the end of the day. In addition, all visitors will receive a raffle ticket with admission to win prizes from local businesses. Unlike last year’s chili cookoff that took place in the Hennessey’s Grill parking lot, this year’s chili cookoff will function more like a stroll. Visitors of all ages may sample as much chili as they like from participating restaurants up and down Main Street, and get some walking done in the process. The Hennessey’s Grill parking lot will function as the hub, where visitors can purchase wristbands, observe raffle prizes, and vote for their favorite chili.

Last year, ten businesses participated. This year, the organizers expect at least a dozen to participate, adding more to last year’s lineup, which included:

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

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

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

4. The Crooked Duck‘s Duck Chili

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

3. The Viking Truck‘s Nemesis Corn Dog

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

2. Beer Belly‘s Beer Belly Grilled Cheese

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

1. Tavern On 2‘s Rosa’s Chilaquiles

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

Los Angeles Restaurant Week
January 20-31
Various locations
http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/dinela-los-angeles-restaurant-week

This dining event showcases the best in food Los Angeles has to offer. All participating restaurants will feature prix-fixe menus for locals and visitors alike. Lunches range from $15-25, while dinners range from $25-45.

2014 OC Music Awards Showcase Series Night 4
7:30 pm – 11:30 pm, January 28
Slide Bar, Fullerton
http://www.facebook.com/events/598793220174870/

This free and all-ages show will feature some of the nominated musicians for the OC Music Awards. Each night features five different local artists performing and competing for the title of Best Live Band awarded at the OC Music Awards in March. This series of free shows occurs every Tuesday night all the way through the finals on February 25.

Avery Brewing – Tap Takeover @ The Factory
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 29
The Factory, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/214914548710706/

Come try some Maharaja or any other of Avery’s beers as they take over the taps at The Factory this Wednesday night.

Chili-Infused Beer Dinner
6:30 pm – 10:30 pm, January 29
The Grill at Torrey Pines, San Diego
http://lodgetorreypines.com/beer/

Five San Diego breweries will pair their beers with various chili dishes from The Grill at Torrey Pines this Wednesday night. The $80 admission includes food, beer pairings, valet parking, tax, and gratuity. No one under 21 may attend.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque – Last Thursdays @ One Eyed Gypsy
9:00 pm – 11:30 pm, January 30
One Eyed Gypsy, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/713678805331671/

Get your fill of burlesque every last Thursday of the month at One Eyed Gypsy in Downtown Los Angeles, for free! Guests can park on the street for free after 8pm. No one under 21 may enter.

World’s Worst Ska Competition
8:00 pm – 1:00 am January 31
House of Blues, Anaheim
http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=85080

Come see some local and not local ska bands as they perform this ska-tastic show this Friday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $10 presale and $12.50 at the door. Contact one of the bands, such as The Maxies, and they may give you a discount, or even give you tickets for free!

Guttermouth & Authority Zero @ The Observatory
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 31
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/guttermouth-authorityzero

Two heavy-hitters in punk rock play a show this Friday night, as Guttermouth and Authority Zero co-headline this value of an all-ages show. At $5 per ticket, this show will likely sell out by Friday night, so go get your tickets fast!

Southern California Pet Expo
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, February 1
Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach
http://www.socalpetexpo.com/

This FREE all-ages expo for all things pet-related takes place this Saturday at the Long Beach Convention Center. Open to all types of pets (with proof of vaccination), visitors can experience agility demos, prize giveaways, pet adoptions, free grooming, training sessions, and more.

Hangar 24 California Spring Beer Release Celebration
11:00 am – 12:00 am, February 1
Hangar 24 Brewery, Redlands
http://www.facebook.com/events/660569240665798/

Hangar 24 will celebrate an early Spring this year with an extra early release of their spring seasonal beer this weekend. Visitors can fill up growlers of this seasonal beer starting this Saturday, and can also enjoy live music starting in the afternoon.

2014 Bock Fest
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, February 1
The Olympic Collection, West Los Angeles
http://www.bockfest.net/

A unique beer fest of its kind, this winter fest celebrates the tasty brews of wintertime in a premiere setting. Primarily brewed in cold seasons, bocks originate in Germany, where the Germans love to brew beer full of flavor and alcohol while minimizing the alcoholic taste. These strong lagers appear darker than most beers, ranging from pale yellow like a pilsner to dark brown like a brown ale. Although this fest focuses on bocks and other German beers, many other microbrews will serve their amazing craft beers as well, such as Lagunitas, Fireman’s Brew, Weihenstephan, Affligem, and more. Local food businesses, such as Pink’s Hot Dogs, will serve food to those wanting to eat between or during beers. For just $29 admission, attendees receive three hours of UNLIMITED beer pours, plus a souvenir glass to take home. Upgrading to the $85 VIP admission allows entry an hour earlier, plus access to the return of Sugar Lounge for more entertainment and drinks.

115th Golden Dragon Parade & Chinese New Year Festival
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, February 1
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, February 2
Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.chinatownla.com/calendar.php?eventId=204

Celebrate the Lunar New Year this weekend in Downtown LA’s historic Chinatown at this free all-ages festival. All weekend, visitors will find arts & crafts, cultural merchandise, food trucks, live entertainment, a beer garden, and more. On Saturday early afternoon, a parade will roll through the area, closing off most streets around Chinatown to through-traffic. Guests can find plenty of free street parking up Spring Street or anywhere eastward.

The Menzingers @ The Constellation Room
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 1
The Observatory’s Constellation Room, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/the-menzingers

The Menzingers currently tour across the country, and that tour stop by Southern California this weekend. Tickets to the all-ages show at The Observatory this Saturday night cost $13.

Guttermouth @ Brick By Brick
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, February 1
Brick By Brick, San Diego
http://www.etix.com/ticket/online/performanceSearch.jsp?performance_id=1773660&cobrand=brickbybrick

Guttermouth headlines a show in San Diego this Saturday night, complete with other great local bands. Tickets to this show cost $17 presale and $20 at the door. No one under 21 may attend.

Last week, Seal Beach has its first ever Restaurant Week, starting on Tuesday and lasting through Saturday, culminating in a chili cook off involving local restaurants. Seal Beach bears a lot of history, especially down on Main Street. This small town hangs onto tradition with the many small shops and restaurants all representing an old-town feel. With plenty of fantastic local food & drink spots, Southern Californians regard Seal Beach as a place that will not change, but will always stick around as a go-to spot for what Seal Beach currently has.

With all this going on, you would think that Seal Beach needed their own Restaurant Week instead of just tagging along with Long Beach or West Orange County. At last, Seal Beach finally has one, and they also ended their week with a Chili Cook Off. Taking place this past Saturday afternoon at Hennessey’s Grill, ten Seal Beach restaurants prepared their best renditions of chili to serve to visitors. Costing just $10 to enter, visitors could sample all the chili they could eat, and vote for their favorite chili by the end of the day. In addition, all visitors received a raffle ticket with admission to win prizes from local businesses. The ten participants:

All of the chili tasted fantastic, but only one could win. Beachwood BBQ did a great job with their deconstructed pig chili, full of varied textures and meaty flavor; however, their chili landed them in second place. 320 Main would come out on top as the winner with their chili. I did not catch all of the ingredients, but I do recall that they used prunes to sweeten their chili. The Irisher took third place with their chili verde. Personally, I also liked The Hangout’s chili for the absolutely tender meat used in their stew. Overall, all of the participating restaurants delivered a fun and tasty afternoon, albeit not every restaurant in Seal Beach participated. While Seal Beach Restaurant Week will likely return again next year, you should not wait for that week to start checking out the restaurants. Head on down to Seal Beach soon and explore the many local restaurants and shops down there to experience a true old-town feel.

Upcoming Events: August 19-25, 2013

Posted: August 19, 2013 in Art, Bar, Beer, Burlesque, Dance, Drinks, Events, Food, Hot Women, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Music, Orange County, Punk Rock, Restaurant, San Diego, Ska, Sports, Wine
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Costa Mesa Restaurant Week
Now through August 23
Various locations, Costa Mesa
http://www.travelcostamesa.com/costa-mesa-restaurant-week/

The annual Costa Mesa Restaurant Week returns! Numerous restaurants in Costa Mesa will feature special prix fixe meals or other discounted items during this time. Many of these restaurants have amazing food, so I encourage you to check out at least one of the restaurants during this week.

24th Annual Taste of MainStreet – Encinitas
5:30 pm – 8:30 pm, August 20
Main Street, Encinitas
http://www.encinitas101.com/events/annual-taste-of-mainstreet/

Sample food from 34 restaurants in Encinitas this Tuesday night. Douse your thirst at the 16 sip stops along the street as well. You can gain all-access to this for $35 presale, or just $25 for food-only. This taste tends to sell out each year, so purchase your tickets soon if you wish to attend.

Chef Karl’s Summer Boil
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, August 21
Handlery Hotel, San Diego
http://summerboil.bpt.me/

Put a taste of the south in your mouth at this all-ages summer’s end country boil. For $25, guests will see 3/4 lbs of crawfish, 1/2 lbs of shrimp, 1/2 lbs of spicy andouille sausage, steamed red potatoes, and corn on the cob thrown into a communal boil for a grand feast. In addition, Hess Brewing will provide one free beer to each guest 21 and over. Guests also receive access to the swimming pool at this venue and their Reef Lounge for those wanting to stay after the feast ends. Bring cash just in case they charge for parking.

Beer Nerd Exam Night – IPA
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 21
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/492124894211209/

Think you know your beer? Come taste-test some mystery beers to see if you know your IPA’s. Correctly guess three out of four beers to get entered into a drawing to win various Beachwood BBQ prizes. No purchase necessary and free to enter, no one under 21 may participate.

2013 Naples Island Street Fair
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 22
Naples Fountain, Naples Island, Long Beach
http://www.naplesislandbusiness.com/

Bring your family out to this free street fair on Naples Island this Thursday evening. Complete with food, music, and plenty of activities, all visitors will find plenty to do, including raffles, face painting, sidewalk sales, live music, and more. Visitors should park in the neighborhood north of 2nd Street, as the southern neighborhood will close off to traffic.

3rd Annual Essex Skyline Fashion Show
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 22
Essex Skyline, Santa Ana
http://expo4life.com/survivor-strut-3rd-annual-fashion-show/

At this fundraiser, attendees will see local designers showcase their work on models down the runway, all while munching on food & drink samples from local restaurants and bars. Attendees looking to take something home can browse through the boutique for apparel, or buy into a silent auction or raffle. Doors open at 6pm, and the fashion show starts at 7:30pm. Admission costs $50, and the first 100 guests to purchase admission receive a t-shirt and gift bag.

MDC, Duane Peters Gunfight, Dime Runner, and Project Shepherd @ Alex’s Bar
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 22
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/141368

A weekend of punk rock comes to Alex’s Bar, starting with MDC this Thursday night. If you missed MDC a week and a half ago, you have another chance to catch them here. Tickets cost $8 presale and $10 at the door. No one under 21 may attend. Guests should park on Orizaba Ave, or anywhere in the neighborhood south of Anaheim St.

SRH Fest 2013 w/ Strung Out & Unwritten Law
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, Agusut 23, House of Blues, Anaheim http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=82199
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 24, House of Blues, San Diego http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=82260

Strung Out and Unwritten Law tag-team a set of shows this weekend in Southern California. This Friday night, they play an all-ages show at the House of Blues at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, which costs $17.50 presale and $20 on the day of the show. On Saturday night, they play a 21+ show at House of Blues in Downtown San Diego, which costs $15 presale and $20 on the day of the show.

Motorsoule, Cadillac Tramps, Heroines, Brass Knuckle Voodoo, and more @ Tiki Bar
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 23
Tiki Bar, Costa Mesa
http://www.facebook.com/events/182319431946807/

Looking for some old school music? Check out this show this Friday night. Little information about this show has gone out, such as cover charge, age requirement, and parking.

Slab, One Less Zero, Rope In Hand @ Hi Brow Lounge
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 23
Hi Brow Lounge, Upland
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=590021677711071

One Less Zero returns from their half-year break to play at this fundraiser Friday night in Upland. With limited information available, bring some cash in case of parking and entry fees. They did not specify an age requirement either.

Steve Soto’s 50th Birthday Extravaganza
9:00 pm – 1:30 am, August 23-24
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
August 23: http://www.alexsbar.com/event/143136
August 24: http://www.alexsbar.com/event/143138

Steve Soto, guitarist for The Adolescents, celebrates his 50th birthday this weekend, and in celebratory punk rock fashion, he will host TWO nights of punk rock this weekend at Alex’s Bar. Both shows cost $13 presale and $15 at the door. No one under 21 may attend either show. On Friday, catch The Adolescents, The Middle Class, The Crowd, and Rats In The Wall. On Saturday, catch Manic Hispanic, CH3, Shattered Faith, and Transistor LB.

The Gears, Carnage Asada, Gypz, and Somos Mysteriosos @ El Corita
9:30 pm – 12:30 am, August 23
El Corita, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/177597319085757/

Check out this small all-ages classic punk rock show this Friday night in Northeast LA. This show only costs $5 to get in.

13th Annual Tiki Beach Festival
6:30 am – 5:30 pm, August 24-25
Granada Launch Ramp, Long Beach
http://alfredosbeachclub.com/tiki-festival.html

This Hawaiian & Islander festival takes place at Granada Beach this weekend from sunrise to sunset. Completely FREE to attend, you will find food, arts & crafts, vendors, games, music, dancers, hula hoop lessons, and more here.

Color In Motion 5k – San Diego
7:00 am – 1:00 pm, August 24
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
http://colorinmotion5k.com/San_Diego

After many weekends of other off-center 5k races, we now return to the style that started it all – the color 5k. Start your weekend off with an all-ages 5k run while getting color dusted in your face. Registration costs $50 per person, or $45 if registering with a team. All participants should wear white during the run to absorb and show off the most color. Participants should bring extra towels and spare clothes for the ride home.

8th Annual ArtWalk San Diego
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 24-25
NTC Liberty Station, San Diego
http://www.artwalksandiego.org/ntc/

Check out the best in local art at this FREE all-ages art walk in Liberty Station this weekend. In addition to seeing art on display, visitors will likely see many artists creating artwork on the spot.

2013 Indonesian Festival
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, August 24
Consulate General of Republic of Indonesia, Los Angeles
http://indonesianfestivalla.com/

This free all-ages festival celebrates Indonesian culture with music, food, dance, activities, arts & crafts, and more.

Lost 80’s Live
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 24
Madhaus, Long Beach
http://cavemanpresents.com/

Check out this outdoor all-ages 80’s music festival this Saturday in Long Beach. General admission costs $35, while VIP tickets cost $75 and comes with access to a VIP bar with two drink tickets, a t-shirt, VIP seats, and meet & greet with the bands, which include original members from 80’s bands.

2nd Annual Mira Mesa Festival of Beers
1:00 pm – 5:30 pm, August 24
Mira Mesa Community Park, Mira Mesa
http://www.miramesabeerfest.com/

Sample lots of great beers this Saturday afternoon in Mira Mesa. General admission costs $25 presale and $30 at the gate, starts at 2pm, and comes with ten 4oz beer tasters. VIP admission costs $32 presale and $37 at the gate, starts at 1pm, comes with twelve 4oz beer tasters, and receive in-and-out privileges throughout the fest.

5th Annual San Diego Spirits Festival
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, August 24-25
The Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier, San Diego
http://www.sandiegospiritsfestival.com/

Immerse yourself into the wonderful world of spirits this weekend in San Diego. This year’s fest features three sections: cocktails, culinary, and culture., thus providing something to entice everyone. Attendees will also find live entertainment, bartender battles, chef demos, a fashion show, a burlesque show, and more. The all-inclusive admission costs $90, so attendees should arrive early to maximize their eating & drinking time. No one under 21 may attend.

JFA CD Release Show w. D.I., Amerikan Made, and more @ Gaslamp Restaurant & Bar
2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 24
Gaslamp Restaurant & Bar, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/148485892018068/

This all-ages show this Saturday has so many bands that the show will start in the afternoon! For just $12 entry, you get treated to headliners JFA and D.I., along with many other great local punk rock bands such as Amerikan Made.

FYF Fest
2:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 24-25
LA State Historic Park, Downtown Los Angeles
http://fyffest.com/

Last year, FYF Fest raised the bar by including in the lineup Refused, one of the most revolutionary hardcore punk rock bands in history. This year, they have yet to announce something groundbreaking, but FYF Fest still remains a rock music lover’s ultimate fantasy. Featuring well-known bands such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Flag (comprised of former member of Black Flag), MGMT, Touché Amoré, Title Fight, Joyce Manor, and more, rock music lovers will definitely find something that interests them, as well as discover new music, leading to potentially new tastes of music. In addition to the music, FYF Fest will also feature local comedians for those looking for something different other than music. FYF Fest takes place the weekend prior to Labor Day weekend at LA State Historic Park, opens at 2pm, and closes at 12am on both days. Open to all ages, weekend passes start at $99, since single-day passes sold out a while ago. FYF Fest does not allow reentries, so take note of that when arriving. For more information, check out their website, which lists a great amount of information.

Orfila’s 20th Annual Grape Stomp
4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, August 24
Orfila Vineyards & Winery, Escondido
http://www.orfila.com/winery-events/grape-stomp/

Celebrate this annual vineyard tradition this Saturday in Escondido. General admission costs $85 and includes dinner buffet, dancing & live music, wine tasting, tractor rides, grape stomping, and more. No one under 21 may attend.

The Long Table: A Playhouse District Food & Wine Celebration
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, August 24
(forner) Bistro 561, Pasadena
http://www.playhousedistrict.org/calendar-of-events/the-long-table/

Treat yourself to a multi-course dinner this Saturday prepared by some of Southern California’s renowned chefs. Diners can also sip on paired wines or beers during dinner. Attendance to this dinner costs $75 per person.

2nd Annual Brews, Blues, N’ BBQ Festival
5:30 pm – 9:30 pm, August 24
Fullerton Arboretum, Fullerton
http://www.fullertonarboretum.org/brews_and_blues.php

The Fullerton Arboretum hosts a festival for blues music, craft beers, and BBQ this Saturday night. The $40 admission includes a souvenir glass, ten 4-oz beer tasters, free parking, live blues music, and complimentary sodas and water. All BBQ and food comes at a separate cost. No one under 21 may attend.

11th Annual Chula Vista Wine & Food Festival
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 24
Otay Ranch Town Center, Chula Vista
http://www.facebook.com/events/228953777247025/

Treat yourself to a taste of over 20 restaurants from Chula Vista this Saturday night, and wash it all down with a fine selection of beer, wine, and spirits. Attendees will also find a silent auction, raffle prizes, live music, and more all in this outdoor setting. Admission to this tasting costs $50.

The Undertakers, Media Blitz, Rick Wilder, Decry, and more @ Dilettante
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 24
Dilettante, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/614271491937129/

See a bunch of local punk rock bands play at this fundraiser this Saturday night in Downtown Los Angeles. Entry to this all-ages fundraiser costs $10. Guests can park on the streets for free after 8pm.

OC Punx – Free Show
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 24
Good Ol’ Boys Saloon & Sports Bar, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/159572404232612/

Check out local OC punk bands at this free show this Saturday night. No one under 21 may enter.

Burlesque of Hollywood
11:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 24
M Bar, Hollywood
http://bobbieburlesque.wix.com/losangelesburlesque#!burlesqueofhollywood/cfvg

Ten of Los Angeles’ hottest burlesque acts will congregate to form this collaborative burlesque show this Saturday night in Hollywood. Admission costs $18 presale and $20 at the door. No one under 21 may attend. All guests must purchase a minimum of $10 of food or drinks.

9th Annual Leucadia Artwalk
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, August 25
West side of Hwy 101, Leucadia
http://www.leucadia101.com/Artwalk.php

Check out local artists on this leisurely art walk in sunny Leucadia this Sunday. Completely free to attend for all ages, many art galleries along Highway 101 will open all their doors to the public, and live music will play throughout the area. All the local businesses will remain open under normal business hours, so you can check out the best in local eats & drinks too.

Trump National Golf Club’s 5th Annual Wine & Beer Festival
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, August 25
Trump National Golf Club, Rancho Palos Verdes
http://www.trumpnationallosangeles.com/Default.aspx?p=DynamicModule&pageid=372108&ssid=286115&vnf=1

Have some wine and beer at one of Donald Trump’s golf clubs here in Southern California. The $50 admission comes with unlimited wine & beer and valet parking. Food trucks will keep patrons fed, and volunteers will sell raffle tickets.

7th Annual Charity Chili Cook Off
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, August 25
Hi-Time Wine Cellars, Costa Mesa
http://www.hitimewine.net/7th-Annual-Charity-Chili-Cook-Off.html

Don your best cowboy/cowgirl outfit and mosey on over to Hi-Time Wine Cellars this Sunday for their annual chili cook-off. At this pinnacle of chili fests, guests will find live music, beer, wine, spirits, and more. Presale admission costs $10, while admission with ten raffle/drink tickets cost $20. Act quick, as this event sells out every year!

South Central Skankers CD Release Show
2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 25
Yost Theater, Santa Ana
http://www.yosttheater.com/calendar/2013/south-central-skankers-cd-release/

South Central Skankers will release a new album soon, and this Sunday, they will bring only a hundred advance copies of it to sell at this ska show. They will headline this show, which features numerous other local ska bands, including Matamoska. Entry to this all-ages show cost $16 presale and $20 at the door. If you want to purchase an album for $10, you must e-mail them via their Facebook page to reserve a spot to purchase the album, which will also come with a CD release poster.

Alkaline Trio @ House of Blues
6:30 pm – 11:30 pm, June 11 – House of Blues, West Hollywood http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=79576
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, June 12 – House of Blues, Anaheim http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=79931

Alkaline Trio currently tours with Bayside and Off With Their Heads, and you can catch them all this week at the House of Blues in West Hollywood and Downtown Disney in Anaheim. Tickets range from $24 to $28 depending on presale price and date, so check both links above to see the prices.

Crawfish Boil
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, June 13
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/514822155250870/

Love crawfish? Head over to Beachwood BBQ this Thursday night for their special Crawfish Boil. This dinner requires no reservations, so simply show up, order crawfish by the pound, and receive your crawfish with a baguette, corn, andouille sausage, and potatoes. Depending on the available taps, your server will recommend some beer pairings for your crawfish dinner.

Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk (Second Thursdays)
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, June 13
Downtown Los Angeles
http://downtownartwalk.org/

This free monthly event takes place over many blocks in Downtown Los Angeles. Many galleries will open late, and some parking lots will contain more art, vendors, food trucks, entertainment, and more. Unless you know business owners, free parking does not exist in Downtown LA, although some meters only operate until 8pm. First-time visitors should attend with someone who has gone here before.

3rd Annual Sugar Rush Los Angeles
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, June 14
Aesthesia Studios, Culver City
http://www.sparkprogram.org/index.php/get_involved/sugar_rush/sugar-rush-los-angeles

Satisfy your sweet tooth at this dessert & cocktail reception this Friday night in Culver City. Treat yourself to delectable eats and desserts from high-end chefs, along with wine and champagne. Attendees can also bid in a silent auction for various items. The VIP reception starts at 6pm and costs $125 presale or $140 at the door. General admission starts at 7pm and costs $75 presale and $85 at the door.

38th Annual Big Irish Fair & Music Fest
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, June 15-16
Oak Canyon Park, Irvine
http://www.irishfair.org/

Orange County’s largest Irish Fair returns this weekend to Oak Canyon Park in Irvine out in the hills. This family-friendly fair brings Irish culture to one location, where attendees can see over a thousands Irish dancers, dozens of live bands, bagpipe demos, a shepherding show, athletic competitions, cultural reenactments, a parade, and more. Guests should bring cash if they want to purchase any food, drinks, merchandise, accessories, or any other Irish goodie. I suggest avoiding American food, and trying the Irish food that you would not find elsewhere. Admission varies depending on how you want to attend, with general admission costing $15 presale, and discounts available for seniors and students. Until 11:59pm this Thursday, you can purchase general admission tickets for only $8 using this link. Parking last year cost $7, so bring cash for parking too.

2013 Pasadena Chalk Art Festival
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, June 15-16
Paseo Colorado, Pasadena
http://www.pasadenachalkfestival.com/

Watch hundreds of artists create massive works of art on the sidewalks, plus enjoy a classic car show on Father’s Day! Completely free to attend for all ages, attendees will also find live music, arts & crafts, merchandise vendors, food trucks, and more.

4th Annual San Diego Oysterfest
10:30 am – 7:30 pm, June 15
Embarcadero Marina Park North, San Diego
http://www.oysterfestsd.com/

More of a music fest than an oyster fest, this all-day festival in San Diego combines live music, oysters, and beer into one crazy festival. As you enjoy the live music, you can purchase fresh oysters from around the world to snack on, then buy some brews to wash it all down. General admission costs $25 but does NOT include food or drinks. No one under 21 may enter.

6th Annual Chili At The Beach
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, June 15
Downtown Huntington Beach
http://www.hbdowntown.com/CHILI_AT_THE_BEACH.html

Got a craving for heat? Satisfy that craving this Saturday in sunny Surf City, as the streets close to traffic for the annual Huntington Beach Chili Cook Off & Salsa Tasting. Free to attend for all ages, this all-in-one street fair covers a massive portion of Downtown Huntington Beach, filled with arts & crafts, food, drinks, merchandise, a kids’ zone, music, and lots of chili and salsa tastings. In order to taste the chili and salsa, guests must purchase tasting tickets for $10 presale or $15 on the day of the fest. As this area gets extremely crowded on this day, I suggest carpooling, taking public transportation, or parking far and walking to downtown.

OC Psycho Punk Fest
4:00 pm – 12:00 am, June 15
Mirror Image Studios, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/528020443903619/

Check out this all-ages punk rock & psychobilly show in Anaheim this Saturday night, featuring 19 bands on two stages. Entry to this show cost $10. This venue does not allow ins & outs, so eat hearty and hydrate well before attending.

Chinatown Summer Nights
5:00 pm – 12:00 am, June 15
Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.chinatownla.com/calendar.php?eventId=424

Have a fun time this summer at Chinatownin Downtown Los Angeles. Free to attend for all ages, this nighttime festival brings together food, music, art, and beer in a multicultural setting. Expect to see food trucks, merchandise, arts & crafts, live music, live DJ’s, a dance floor, a beer garden hosted by Eagle Rock Brewery, and more. Guests can find free street parking on Spring St and the side streets connected to Spring, including College St.

Narcoleptic Youth @ Unit B Studio
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, June 15
Unit B Studio, Santa Ana
http://www.facebook.com/events/630788496936699/

Slam dance, bike, and skateboard to your heart’s content at this punk rock show headlined by Narcoleptic Youth this Saturday night. Admission to this all-ages show cost $10.

Harmful If Swallowed – CD Release Party
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, June 15
The Roxy Theater, Hollywood
http://www.facebook.com/events/237293713079822/

Local punk bands will play at The Roxy this Saturday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $10 presale and $12 at the door.

Agent Orange, Longway, O.C.A., Splntr @ Juke Joint
8:00 pm – 1:30 am, June 15
The Juke Joint, Anaheim
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/390538

Punk rock legend Agent Orange returns to Orange County to headline this show at the Juke Joint. Admission to this show costs $8 presale and $10 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

2013 Big Bite Bacon Fest
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm, June 16
Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar
http://www.bigbitebaconfest.com/

Get your pork on this Father’s Day Sunday down in San Diego. Pig out on bacon eats & treats from some of San Diego’s finest chefs and restaurants, and for the adults, sample brews from San Diego’s multitude of micro breweries. As you munch and sip your way through the fest, test your mettle at pig pong, pork ladder toss, bacon bags, dunk a swine, and more games. General admission costs $55 and allows all-access into the Big Bite Bacon Fest and the San Diego County Fair. Upgrade to VIP for $25 more to enter an hour earlier, receive a goodie bag, and gain access to a VIP lounge with a private tasting. Parking costs $10, so bring cash for that. This festival takes place outdoors, so dress appropriately, and apply sunscreen.

The Dirty Little Secrets – Girls On Film
9:30 pm – 11:00 pm, June 16
TRiP, Santa Monica
http://www.facebook.com/events/381445518642245/

Catch a sexy burlesque show this Sunday night in Santa Monica, dedicated to women on film. Have cash available for parking and a potential cover charge. No one under 21 may attend.