Posts Tagged ‘Dessert’

Torrance’s Mitsuwa Marketplace hosted their second annual Nagoya Fair this past weekend. Free to attend for all ages, this mini indoor fair represented the food and culture of Nagoya, Japan. While Nagoya has Japan’s third largest population, much of the world has less familiarity with Nagoya than other cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, or Hiroshima. Regardless, Nagoya has its fair share of unique culture that sets it apart from the rest of Japan, especially in their cuisine. At this Nagoya Fair, visitors could get to sample all sorts of Nagoya foods, such as Sekai no Yamachan (specialty rubbed chicken wings), Kawakyu Ice (Japanese fluffy shave ice), Nagoya miso oden (a type of egg dish), and hitsumabushi (eel, think unagi). Some of the food stands originated from real locations, such as the shave ice that comes from a real Nagoya shop called Koriya Kawakyu. As such, one cannot find these specific recipes and flavors anywhere else except for these actual shops. Throughout the weekend, the lines for all these foods never subsided, making for a long wait in order to taste every single item. A group of four could easily split into all the lines and order enough for everyone to share, as all of these foods together can represent a complete meal.

Mitsuwa Marketplace holds multiple events like this throughout the year, some big and some small. As far as Southern California goes, the Torrance location tends to host the most events since their location lends well to hosting larger events, but that should not deter you from visiting the other Mitsuwa Marketplace locations! For a full list of locations, check out their website for store hours and addresses. Check out Mitsuwa Marketplace on social media too – they have specific accounts based on location, so for this post, check out their main Facebook page and the Twitter page for Southern California.

Summer has undoubtedly arrived, what with the heat wave and all. The weather does not seem that it will lose some degrees in the next month or two, so cool off with a nice cold treat. Some people may not have a sweet tooth like I do, but they have to treat themselves occasionally. Sometimes, your body just craves it – when you feel hot, your body tells you to go find something cold to eat or drink. If you plan on powering through this heat wave, I have some suggestions on how to cool yourself off in Southern California.

5. 21 Choices Frozen Yogurt‘s Peanut Butter Malt

One can find milkshakes at hundreds of places, as milkshakes represent one of the easiest cold treats to make, yet taste amazing nonetheless. While milkshakes exist just about anywhere, one may have a difficult time locating a good malt. Malted milk shakes may sound like a foreign concept to some since not everyone carries malt powder. When you finally find a place that has it, they may not necessarily make it the right way. I have previously covered a place that I believe makes the best malt ever, and I have recently found a new contender for that title in 21 Choices Frozen Yogurt. As its rather direct name suggests, 21 Choices carries 21 flavors of frozen yogurt in their shops. To no one’s surprise, they sell the typical frozen yogurt bowls with toppings here. However, I would like to talk about the other menu items that 21 Choices provides, namely their Peanut Butter Malt. Think peanut butter milkshake, but with a strong hit of malt. To understand the flavor of malt, one needs to understand malt as a primary ingredient in brewing beer. For the beer drinkers out there, a malted milk shake will slightly resemble the malt flavor of beer. Not all places put the right amount of malt in their shakes, but 21 Choices does not skimp on the malt.

4. Hula Girls Shave Ice‘s Pineapple Dole Whip Shave Ice

Southern Californians recognize Disneyland for not just the amusement aspects, but for their food as well. Disney kitchens have churned out some of the most unique foods the world has seen, so when other places can produce similar products they may even taste better, the locals flock to it. I used to swear by Disneyland’s corn dogs until I discovered The Viking Truck. Finally, locals can now find the beloved Pineapple Dole Whip at Hula Girls Shave Ice. Hula Girls serves Hawaiian shave ice and soft serve ice cream out of their little shop down in Huntington Beach. What makes them stand out relates to Disneyland, as Hula Girls serves Pineapple Dole Whip soft serve. Combining their products together, you get a Pineapple Dole Whip Shave Ice, where shave ice with the flavors of your choice sit on top of a swirl of Pineapple Dole Whip soft serve. Enjoy this classic that Disneyland fans rave about without having to pay the exorbitant price to enter the theme park by visiting Hula Girls Shave Ice.

3. Confetti Italian Ice‘s Pineapple Dole Whip + Cococnut Italian Ice Parfait

Everyone loves sweets, but no one can deny that teenagers represent the worst demographic for controlling dessert habits. Teenagers usually have money to buy whatever they want (as long as they can afford it), and they have not grown up enough to make sensible spending decisions. As such, lots of places take advantage of that by introducing desirable foods priced just within reach that young customers will want to come back to, especially cold treats. Starbucks does this well with their blended drinks, as do some Italian Ice places. Take a stroll over to Confetti Italian Ice and you will see that they value quality in their treats instead of simply catering to as many customers as possible. Tightly nestled in a strip mall in Costa Mesa near the Orange County Fairgrounds, Confetti Italian Ice may resemble another popular Southern Californian place that does something similar, but Confetti has vastly unique flavors such as their Pineapple Dole Whip + Cococnut Italian Ice Parfait. This basically resembles a Piña Colada with the smoothness of the coconut and the tanginess of the pineapple. You can get one of these parfaits for $3.75 for a small, $4.25 for a medium, or $5.25 for a large.

2. Shave It‘s Mini B

Have you ever heard of the classic song (These Are A Few Of) My Favorite Things? This song lists a handful of things, tangible or not, that fill a person with joy despite bad times. Though the singer lists individual things in the song, why not skip the hassle and combine some of those things? Whenever I can have one of my favorite things, I eagerly look forward to it. Whenever I can have more than one of my favorite things at the same time, my heart fills with glee. Enter Shave It, the brilliant business capturing the hearts of many with their approach to combining two individual items together to form something even better. As their name suggests, Shave It does the shave ice thing, and yes – pronunciation makes a huge difference. Shaved ice with a D typically refers to ground ice, like that of a snow cone. Shave ice without the D refers to how native Hawaiians see it – finely sliced ice so smooth that it feels like ice cream. Upon hearing that comparison, the folks behind Shave It decided to mash the two up by serving up cups of shave ice WITH ice cream – a match made in heaven I tell you! The list of combinations stretches all the way around their store, since any customer can mix and match ice cream and shave ice flavors, such as with the Mini B. This tropical cup not only features tangy ice flavors as well as the vanilla ice cream, but it includes a caramel drizzle to mix things up. The fruitiness of the shave ice combined with the creaminess of the ice cream almost gives it a strawberry milk effect while the caramel adds a zing of sweetness to the mix, something that any kid can enjoy. For less than $5, you too can experience the childhood joys of combining two of your favorite things into one cup.

1. The Bleu House‘s Potted Plant Milk Tea

We live in an age of technology, the internet, social media, and smartphones. The days of face-to-face interaction have died with the past, as most people spend their time in public with their faces buried in their smartphones. People use this as their means of interacting with others, and social media provides an outlet for that. Especially today, we have Instagram food – basic foods made to look pretty so that customers will share it online. If you want the perfect example of Instagram food, take a look at what The Bleu House has to offer. I never expected something so trendy to exist in an otherwise quiet city, but alas The Bleu House represents a haven for teenagers and young adults to hang out at and enjoy some bites and sips. The Bleu House does a great job at serving up fusion style foods that mix eastern flavors with western foods, but perhaps their cold treats have made The Bleu House so popular, such as their Potted Plant Milk Tea. The Bleu House provides seven types of milk teas: Jasmine, Thai, Rose, Almond, Taro, Honey, and Matcha. For $4.25, you can order this served Potted Plant style, where they top it with sweet cream, chocolate cookie crumbles, and a micro sprout. Boba comes optionally, and I would actually suggest no boba so that you can enjoy the cream and cookie crumbs.

The night market trend continues to gain popularity, as it exponentially attracts more and more visitors with each passing event. Derivating from populated Asian countries, a night market represents a food & entertainment festival packed with many different types of food, vendors, and various forms of entertainment, including live performances and games. In the past few years, night markets have spread globally due to the increased desire for Asian food, one of which has landed in Koreatown just west of Downtown Los Angeles. This past weekend, the folks over at the Ktown Night Market hosted their annual event at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Koreatown. This weekend-long all-ages festival brought the nightlife of the east to the west, and showed the locals what goes on at night in populated Asian cities. Admission only cost $5 per person, while guests had to pay for everything else once inside. As an event with “Food Fest” in the name, visitors could expect to discover tons of authentic and interesting foods here. While most of the food found here derived from Korea, visitors could find cuisine from other regions of Asia, such as Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, and more. The organizers did not categorize any sections of the street – visitors could encounter food, merchandise, food trucks, games, and more all scattered throughout the area.

Miss out on this night market? Keep in mind that many other night markets take place, now that its popularity has risen substantially. In Southern California alone, in addition to Koreatown, night markets occur in Arcadia, Downtown LA, Costa Mesa, Monterey Park, Westminster, and San Diego. I believe that within a year from now, many more night markets will pop up – a quick search revealed at least two more in Northern California, so look up some night markets in your area, and experience how locals celebrate their culture in the far east.

The Long Beach edition of the Spring 2017 Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival wrapped up this past Sunday at Marine Stadium in the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach. This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at three different locations: Santa Ana, Long Beach, and Oakland. Patchwork Fest emphasizes supporting the local community, and does so by not allowing anything corporate within the boundaries. To envision Patchwork Fest, imagine an arts & crafts fair, but catered to a modern trendy crowd that features local independent designers. Many locals set up their booths here, selling their wares, merchandise, apparel, accessories, foods, desserts, music, and so on. Twice a year, thousands of visitors descend upon Patchwork Fest to discover and revisit the hundreds of vendors present. No matter who shows up, all visitors will definitely find something that will please their interests.

Completely free to attend to the public, Patchwork Fest openly welcomes pets, and boasts a free bike valet for visitors. Each branch of the streets featured over a hundred different local vendors all selling their various goods and/or services. Visitors who get hungry could enjoy fresh hot eats from the various food vendors throughout the event area, or can browse through the various food booths in the fest for portable eats. Much like every iteration of the Patchwork Fest in Long Beach, the day saw plenty of sunshine and cool sea breezes, making it a comfortable day to spend some time here. Of particular note, a majority of the vendors here exhibited soaps and candles, adding a fresh scent to the event. Sun, sea, and soy collided as these scents waft through the air.

If one thing has remained unchanged throughout history, ice cream has held on as one of the most popular desserts for people around the world. Many people love ice cream and the many forms of it. Ice cream can come to us a la carte, on a cone, or in something else. What does something else mean? In the past decade or so, thanks to the advent of the internet and social media, people share their food with the rest of the world, and that has led to other people trying to create something fancy to show off. The Instagram culture means that one place would try to one-up others by delivering something that looks different or unique. As such, we have seen ice cream served in almost every imaginable way possible, from churro ice cream sandwiches to ice cream donuts to ice cream burgers. This time, we can feast our eyes on ice cream inside croissants at Churned Creamery.

Churned Creamery aims to make their mark in the ice cream business in Orange County with their creative take on serving up everyone’s favorite dessert, ice cream. Churned Creamery opened their first location in Tustin but should have seven locations open in Southern California by the end of the year. So what makes Churned Creamery stand out among all the other ice cream places in Southern California? While other places may give you something like a donut or a churro with your ice cream, Churned Creamery will give you your ice cream inside a croissant. Has anyone else done this yet? Perhaps. However, this combination remains relatively unknown to the public, and Churned Creamery has taken a step forward in getting croissant ice cream sandwiches into the limelight. They will do so by opening up more locations, such as the Cypress location that had its grand opening this past Saturday. At the grand opening, the first 200 customers received a free CroCream (Churned Creamery’s name for the croissant ice cream sandwich), a Churned Creamery tote bag, and a raffle ticket to win an iPad.

At the time of this post, Churned Creamery has four locations open, with a fifth location opening this Saturday in Irvine. According to their website, two more locations should open up sometime afterwards. Keep up with what Churned Creamery has opening up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The Santa Ana edition of the Spring 2017 Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival wrapped up this past Sunday in Downtown Santa Ana. This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at three different locations: Santa Ana, Long Beach, and Oakland. Patchwork Fest emphasizes supporting the local community, and does so by not allowing anything corporate within the boundaries. To envision Patchwork Fest, imagine an arts & crafts fair, but catered to a modern trendy crowd that features local independent designers. Many locals set up their booths here, selling their wares, merchandise, apparel, accessories, foods, desserts, music, and so on. Twice a year, thousands of visitors descend upon Patchwork Fest to discover and revisit the dozens of vendors present. No matter who shows up, all visitors will definitely find something that will please their interests.

Completely free to attend to the public, Patchwork Fest openly welcomes pets, and boasts a free bike valet for visitors. Each branch of the streets features over a dozen different local vendors all selling their various goods and/or services. Visitors who get hungry could enjoy fresh hot eats from the various food vendors throughout the event area, or can browse through the various food booths in the fest for portable eats. Unlike the previous year where it rained on the event, this year’s event saw plenty of sunshine, which did not stop the vendors from going strong, nor did the heat stop the hundreds of visitors from seeking out great gifts.

The series of Patchwork Festivals happens twice a year: in Spring and Fall. With each series, it runs weekend after weekend at different locations. The next Patchwork Fest will occur in Long Beach in a few weeks. In addition to new foods to try, the lineup of vendors changes, so you may find some great new gifts for your friends & family. Give a like to the Patchwork Festival on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to see what they have in store for you at future shows. For a free fest, what have you got to lose?

The first of this year’s summer series of Belmont Shore’s Stroll & Savor of Long Beach wrapped up last week. This “Taste of Belmont Shore” occurs every year from May through August on the third Wednesday, and the Thursday immediately following. Free to attend for all ages, guests participate by paying $10 for a booklet containing 12 tickets that get redeemed at participating businesses along 2nd Street in Belmont Shore. The products offered by participating businesses range from appetizers to drinks to desserts to even full plates of food. Ticket costs vary based on the location, with some offering more than the value of the tickets, and many offering less than the value of the tickets. Although most of the participating businesses served the same things that they serve yearly, sometimes things will stand out from the crowd. I took one booklet last week, and went on a nice stroll through Belmont Shore.

Not much has changed in the way of offerings from the participating businesses. Between each year, most of the restaurants stick to their guns and offer what the people like, opting not to experiment or offer anything different. For that reason, I do not always attend every Stroll & Savor event in a given year. This year, I felt hesitant to go, knowing that not much will have changed. However, I bit the bullet and went last week to see if anything new had popped up. I got a chance to try the following:

  • Rance’s Chicago Pizza had replaced the former Shore Public House, a restaurant that did not fare too well in Belmont Shore.
  • The former Powell’s Sweet Shoppe had closed for good, and Rocket Fizz swooped in to replace it. They served craft sodas for the event.
  • Pho-Nomenon did not last very long in Belmont Shore, as they had closed. Lasher’s Kitchen has since moved into that spot from their old location on Broadway & Redondo.
  • Frosted Cupcakery featured a new item this time, Sugar Cookies, in addition to their standard mini cupcakes and hi-tops.
  • Saint & Second finally participated for the first time in Stroll & Savor. Matching their pricey menu, they served meatballs that cost $2 per meatball.

All in all, a few things may have changed, but most restaurants have kept their offerings the same for Stroll & Savor. If you like what you see, check out what other events Belmont Shore has coming up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Craftcation: Business + Makers Conference
2:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 26
9:00 am – 8:00 pm, April 27-29
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 30
Ventura Beach Marriott, Ventura
http://dearhandmadelife.com/craftcation-conference/

Designers and makers will not want to miss the Craftcation conference this weekend in Ventura. Partake in four days of networking, learning, sharing, sampling, and more. Registration costs $470 per person and includes full access to the entire weekend of programs, workshops, seminars, demos, and everything else.

The Taste of Downtown Glendale 2017
5:30 pm – 8:30 pm, April 26
Brand Blvd, Downtown Glendale
http://www.tasteofdowntownglendale.com/

Sample food from dozens of restaurants from Glendale this Wednesday night along the streets of Downtown Glendale. Admission costs $35 for food-only or $45 for food+wine, and includes unlimited samples while supplies last. VIP admission costs $75 and comes with access to a VIP area with exclusive tastings.

Extreme Midget Wrestling
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 26, Water Wheel Saloon, Norco
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 29, Spotlight 29 Casino, Coachella
http://extrememidgetwrestling.com/

You have not witnessed anything unlike midget wrestling. Come watch this unbelievable spectacle this weekend for a good drunken night. Admission starts at $20. No one under 21 may enter.

8th Annual Kingdom-Con
3:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 27
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 28-30
Crowne Plaza, Mission Valley, San Diego
http://kingdom-con.com/

This all-ages Table Top gaming convention contains all things board games, mini games, role-playing games, vendors, and more. Admission costs $20 for one day or $50 for the entire weekend.

EZFoodFest Los Angeles 2017
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, April 27
Califormia Market Center, Los Angeles
http://ezfoodfest.com/

Sample food and drinks from local restaurants this Thursday night in Downtown Los Angeles. It costs nothing to attend, but interested attendees must still register on the website. No one under 21 may attend.

Boogaloo Mountain Jam 2016
8:00 am – 3:00 am, April 28
7:00 am – 2:00 am, April 29
7:00 am – 3:00 am, April 30
Oak Canyon Park, Silverado
http://boogaloofestival.com/

An entire weekend of electronic music, yoga, art, workshops, cars, food, vendors, and more awaits you at this all-ages music festival. Tickets start at $145.

28th Annual America’s Family Pet Expo
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 28-30
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://petexpooc.org/

Pet lovers will want to check out this pet expo at the OC Fair & Event Center this weekend. Open to all ages, attendees will find lots of pet resources, including food, merchandise, demos, exhibits, shows, pet adoptions, and more. General admission costs $15, but guests may NOT bring pets.

Turkish Food Festival
10:00 am – 7:30 pm, April 28-30
12642 Brookhurst St, Garden Grove
http://www.facebook.com/events/229535717524404/

Free to attend for all ages, a fair with lots of Turkish food will take place this weekend in Garden Grove. Bring cash to pay for any food or drinks you intend to consume.

Spring 2017 Brewery Art Walk
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 28-29
Brewery Art Association, Los Angeles
http://breweryartwalk.com/

This FREE semiannual art walk features hundreds of residents artists showcasing their finest work. Guests may even purchase art they like from the artists. Free to park and enter for all ages, the facility even includes an in-house restaurant, so bring your friends and family to look at some great art.

21st Annual Upland Lemon Festival
3:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 28
10:00 am – 11:00 pm, April 29
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, April 30
9th St & Euclid Ave, Upland
http://www.uplandlemonfestival.com/

This street fair in Upland will have food, arts & crafts, live music, dance, entertainment, and lemons everywhere. Completely free to attend for all ages, visitors should park in the neighborhoods around the street closures.

The 2017 Hollywood Show
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, April 28
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 29
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 30
The Westin LA Airport Hotel, Los Angeles
http://hollywoodshow.com/main.php

Check out the ultimate autograph and pop culture expo taking place this weekend near LAX. Meet a handful of celebrities from the old days, get autographs, take photos, and see more.

4th Annual “Coins for the Crowns” Quartermania
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm, April 28
Brookhurst Community Center, Anaheim
http://www.anaheimfallfestival.org/
http://www.facebook.com/events/380147699020264/

Partake in a fundraising speed-auction this Friday night in Anaheim. Bid increments will go up by quarters, so expect to find a lot of small items that will not cost much. Admission costs $25 per person and includes access to an appetizer & dessert bar.

The Aggrolites + Viernes 13 – Live in Anaheim
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 28
House of Blues, Anaheim
http://www.aggroreggae.com/

Reggae and ska collide in Anaheim this Friday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $15.

Narcoleptic Youth – Live in Anaheim
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, April 28
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.narcolepticyouth.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1829871380599975/

Get your weekly dose of puck rock this Friday night at the Doll Hut in Anaheim. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

Punk Rock Karaoke
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 28, Knights of Columbus Hall, Canoga Park
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 29, Karman Bar, Laguna Niguel
http://www.originalpunkrockkaraoke.com/

Live out your punk rock dream with Punk Rock Karaoke this weekend, complete with a backing band consisting of professional musicians. Admission costs $10 for each show. No one under 21 may enter.

7th Annual Walk for Wishes
7:30 am – 12:00 pm, April 29
Orange County Great Park, Irvine
http://site.wish.org/site/TR/WalkForWishes/Make-A-WishOrangeCountyandtheInlandEmpire

Take a walk around the park this Saturday morning while raising money for charity. Registration for this walk costs $25 plus however much you decide to donate.

Wanderlust 108
7:30 am – 3:30 pm, April 29-30
Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica
http://wanderlust.com/

Join in on this yoga meetup this Saturday on the Santa Monica Pier. Admission costs $55, and includes entry into a 5k run, yoga, and meditation. Attendees should bring their own yoga mat, plus sunscreen if they want to share.

4th Annual San Diego Shaka Fest
8:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 29
Crown Point Park Mission Bay, San Diego
http://sandiegoshakafest.com/

Bring your friends and family out to this all-ages athletics & Hawaiian cultural festival this Saturday in San Diego. This event combines a traditional cultural festival with some athletic activities and competitions, featuring rowing, obstacle courses, yoga, and more activities along with the festival’s food, drinks, music, arts & crafts, vendors, and more.

Autism Speaks Walk – Los Angeles
9:00 am – 1:00 pm, April 29
Rose Bowl, Pasadena
http://act.autismspeaks.org/site/TR/Walk/SouthernCalifornia

Walk for charity this Sunday morning in Anaheim. Raise certain amounts of money to qualify for rewards, which you can find out about on their website.

34th Annual Encinitas Street Fair
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 29-30
South Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas
http://encinitas101.com/

This FREE street fair takes place this weekend in Encinitas. Featuring 450 unique food, arts & crafts vendors, five music stages, rides & games, and a beer garden hosted by Stone Brewing and Port Brewing, people of all ages will enjoy this street fair. Due to the compact nature of this area, parking can get extremely difficult to locate. Arrive early, or take public transportation to arrive safely.

STEAM Expo 2017
10:00 am – 2:00 pm, April 29
Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach
http://magnoliapublicschools.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=325600&type=d

Bring out the family to this free and all-ages event this Saturday morning in Long Beach featuring activities, games, and other arts & crafts surrounding science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.

30th Annual Seal Beach Classic Car Show
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 29
Main Street, Seal Beach
http://sealbeachchamber.org/seal-beach-car-show-gallery/

Free to attend for all ages, check out this classic car show that will take over the streets of Old Town Seal Beach this Saturday.

Downtown Burbank Arts Festival
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 29-30
San Fernando Blvd b/t Magnolia & Olive, Downtown Burbank
http://dtnbur.com/

Check out hundreds of artists, street painters, sidewalk chalk artists, and more this weekend in Downtown Burbank. Completely free to attend for all ages, guests can exhibit the many art on display, create their own art with sidewalk chalk or other artists allowing guests to interact, or purchase art to take home.

Spring 2017 Jackalope Art & Craft Fair – Pasadena
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 29-30
Central Park, Pasadena
http://www.jackalopeartfair.com/pasadena

Free to attend for all ages, this two-day arts & crafts fair will feature local artisans, curators, food trucks, live music, and more.

Los Angeles Ultimate Women’s Expo
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 29-30
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles
http://lawomensexpo.com/

This two-day expo in Los Angeles celebrates women’s culture with shopping, fashion, food, entertainment, cosmetics, career development, travel, financial planning, and more. Other activities include spa treatments, massages, martini & wine tastings, retail therapy, celebrity keynote speakers, endless shopping, samples, and more. Admission to the expo costs only $10.

Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey/Hop Concept 11th Anniversary Party
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 29
Lost Abbey, San Marcos
http://shop.lostabbey.com/

Celebrate the 11th anniversary of this brewery conglomerate with lots of beer this Saturday in San Marcos. Admission costs $30 and comes with ten beer tasters, a souvenir glass, and access to purchase additional rare beers from their vintage case. No one under 21 may attend.

Beach Streets: University
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 29
Cal State Long Beach, Long Beach
http://beachstreets.com/

Long Beach has its own version of a ciclovia where the city officials closes a portion of the city to vehicular traffic to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to freely roam the streets. This Saturday, that will occur on the Cal State Long Beach campus and surrounding streets. Plan your commute accordingly.

8th Annual San Diego Metal Swap Meet
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 29
Quartyard, San Diego
http://www.metalswapmeet.com/

Metal fans will not want to miss this all-ages flea market for all things heavy metal. For just $5 admission, gain access to all sorts of vendors selling music, apparel, accessories, art, and more.

33rd Annual Mission Federal ArtWalk
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 29-30
Little Italy, San Diego
http://www.missionfederalartwalk.org/

Free to the public, this art walk takes up 17 blocks of Little Italy filled with over 350 artists. All throughout the fest, guests can discover music and dance performances, and plenty of kids’ activities.

CSUF TitanCon 2017
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, April 29
Cal State Fullerton, Fullerton
http://www.csuftitancon.com/

Hosted by fans for fans, this free and all-ages event involves all things anime, manga, video games, comics, cosplay, and more. Visitors can expect to find artists, vendors, panels, merchandise, games, gourmet food trucks, cosplay contests, and more. One should not underestimate this event, as it attracts thousands of visitors annually.

Mission Viejo Arts Alive & Street Painting Festival
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, April 29
Oso Viejo Community Park, Mission Viejo
http://cityofmissionviejo.org/artsalivefestival/

Free to enter for all ages, guests will find plenty of arts & crafts, vendors, food, live entertainment, and other things to do. All things come at cost, so make sure you bring cash to take part in this event.

7th Annual Session Fest
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, April 29
Eagle Rock Brewery, Eagle Rock
http://www.eaglerockbrewery.com/event/7th-annual-session-fest/

On the opposite side of strong ales lie session beers – beers lower in alcohol content while maximizing flavor. Brewers created session ales so that craft beer lovers can drink more in a session without going overboard, especially with strong ales or hoppy beers. Eagle Rock Brewery started Session Fest to encourage new craft beer drinkers to enjoy what breweries can offer, and they will repeat the fest again this Sunday. For $25 presale or $30 at the door, guests will receive five pints of any session beer featured at the tasting room, in addition to keeping the glass they receive to drink out of. Guests may purchase additional drink tickets if desired. No one under 21 may attend.

Adams Avenue Unplugged 2017
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 29
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 30
Adams Avenue, San Diego
http://www.adamsavenuebusiness.com/Adams-Avenue-Unplugged.html

Completely free to the public, guests will spectate 180 live music acts throughout the day all in the various local businesses and multiple stages. The city will also offer free trolley service to transport guests from one end to the other.

Wicks Brewing Co. 4th Anniversary Celebration
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 29
Wicks Brewing Co., Riverside
http://www.wicksbrewing.com/

Wicks Brewing Co. opened their doors to the public four years ago, and to celebrate their anniversary this weekend, they will have an all-day party at their tasting room in Riverside. This event has no cover charge – simply show up and enjoy their anniversary ale, other special brews, and live music throughout the day.

Pico Block Party Spring 2017
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, April 29
18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica
http://18thstreet.org/pico-block-party-spring-2017/

Check out this free and all-ages music & arts event this Saturday afternoon in Santa Monica.

Brew Lagoon Craft Beer & Music Festival
2:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 29
Seaside Lagoon, Redondo Beach
http://www.brewlagoonfest.com/

A beer and music festival comes to Redondo Beach this Saturday afternoon. Admission costs $40 presale or $50 at the gate, and provides unlimited beer tasters while supplies last. Bring cash for food, and prepare for hot sunny weather. No one under 21 may attend. Attendees can find plenty of free street parking in the nearby neighborhoods.

LA Weekly’s Burgers & Beer
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 29
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum & Sports Arena, Los Angeles
http://burgersandbeer.laweekly.com/

Hang with hipsters at this gourmet foodie and craft beer event in Los Angeles this Saturday afternoon. Find burgers from dozens of Los Angeles County’s hottest burger joints, and enjoy beer samples from dozens of Southern Californian microbreweries. General admission starts at 4pm and costs $55. VIP admission costs $75 and starts at 3pm. All attendees receive unlimited samples until it runs out. No one under 21 may attend.

Color Fun Fest 5K Los Angeles
3:30 pm – 9:30 pm, April 29
Irwindale Speedway, Irwindale
http://colorfunfest5k.com/los-angeles/

Subject yourself to another color run at this color 5k this Saturday in Irwindale. This event features two running events: one during the day, and one at night. Registration for this run costs $25 presale or $60 on the day of the event, if any tickets remain.

Narcoleptic Youth: Live in San Bernardino
4:00 pm – 1:00 am, April 29
Elks Lodge, San Bernardino
http://www.facebook.com/events/675643159281621/

Rock out to some local punk rock bands this Saturday evening in San Bernardino. The cover for this all-ages show costs $7.

10th Annual Taste of Aliso Niguel
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 29
Laguna Design Center, Laguna Niguel
http://www.anhspfan.org/

Taste the flavors of South Orange County at this tasting event this Saturday night in Laguna Niguel. Admission to this food fest costs $35. No one under 21 may attend.

Night Nation Run – Orange County
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 29
Angel Stadium, Anaheim
http://nightnationrun.com/orange-county-anaheim/

People always seem to want to find any way possible to make running less boring. Introducing Night Nation Run, a glow run that now involves EDM. Run a course complete with lights, glow sticks, lasers, EDM, and more. Registration costs $30 presale or $60 once presale registration runs out, and includes a t-shirt, a glow necklace, a goodie bag, and access to the after-party with more EDM.

Punk Rock Night in Boyle Heights
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, April 29
The BLVD, Boyle Heights
http://www.facebook.com/events/243556156115156/

Rock out to some local punk rock bands this Saturday night in Boyle Heights. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may enter.

Pasadena Restaurant Week
April 30 – May 5
Various restaurants, Pasadena
http://www.pasadenarestaurantweek.com/

Between April 30 and May 5, over 40 different restaurants in Pasadena will offer prix-fixe lunches and/or dinners. In addition, some locations will offer other discounts, prizes, and more. See the full list of participating restaurants by clicking the link to the website above.

Tacos & Beer 5K Run & Festival
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 30
Embarcadero Marina Park South, San Diego
http://www.tacosnbeer5k.com/

Take a fun run, hold it before Cinco de Mayo weekend, add tacos and beer, throw costumes on, and you have a white boy’s fantasy party all on one day. Basically, if you have seen an MTV party, this does not stray too far from it. This event starts with a 5K fun run in the morning, and then when that ends, all participants can stay for tacos and beer for the rest of the festival. The organizers encourage everyone to wear silly costumes in an attempt to see who can stereotype the Latin culture the most. Food will come from local vendors, and since this takes place in San Diego, except very normal Mexican food. Also, Bud Light will sponsor the beer, so keep that in mind if you care about the quality of your beer. If you still feel like going to this, registration costs $54 presale or $59 on the day of the event.

3rd Annual Badge of Heart Car Show
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 30
LAPD Ahmanson Recruit Training Center, Westchester
http://lapd.com/events/3rd_annual_badge_of_heart_car_show/

Enjoy a free and all-ages classic car show this Sunday in Westchester.

6th Annual Chocolate Festival
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 30
Maritime Museum, San Diego
http://sdmaritime.org/visit/public-events/chocolate-festival/

This Sunday, guests of all ages can enjoy plenty of chocolate to eat, demos, arts & crafts, and more. Museum admission includes access to the chocolate area, which costs $20 presale or $33 at the door for adults, with discounts applicable to seniors, military, and children.

Spring 2017 Brentwood Art Festival
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 30
San Vicente Blvd b/t Barrington & Bundy
http://www.brentwoodartfestival.com/

Check out a free and all-ages art festival this Sunday afternoon in Brentwood, complete with art, food trucks, music, shopping, a kids zone, and more.

VegFest Los Angeles 2017
10:30 am – 6:30 pm, April 30
Woodley Park, Encino
http://vegfestla.org/

Bring your vegan appetite to this vegan food tasting event this Sunday in the San Fernando Valley. Free to attend for all ages, visitors will find lots of vegan food, live entertainment, speakers, arts & crafts, demos, vendors, and more activities.

2017 Taste of Huntington Beach
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 30
Huntington Beach Sports Complex, Huntington Beach
http://www.tastehb.com/

Sample the flavors of Huntington Beach’s local restaurants this Sunday at their food fest. Admission includes unlimited food samples and wine & beer tasters. General admission costs $70 and starts at 12pm, while VIP costs $90 and starts at 11am. VIP comes with complimentary champagne, extra hors d-oeuvres, free raffle entries, and free goodies. For both admissions, designated drivers will save $5, which only means they cannot receive any wine or beer.

Dessert Fest
12:00 pm – 5:30 pm, April 30
Studio 11, Mid-City, Los Angeles
http://www.timeout.com/los-angeles/things-to-do/dessert-fest-presented-by-time-out-l-a

Gorge out on sweets this Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. Admission ranges from $25 to $35 depending on when and how long you want to attend. All attendees receive unlimited dessert samples while supplies last.

Bottle Share @ Monrovia Homebrew Shop
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, April 30
Monrovia Homebrew Shop, Monrovia
http://www.monroviahomebrewshop.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1457827284228533/

Share a beer or two at this free bottle share in Monrovia this Sunday afternoon. Guests should bring a 22oz bomber or two 12oz bottles to share with others.

22nd Annual San Diego County Vintners Association Wine & Food Festival
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, April 30
Bernardo Winery, Rancho Bernardo
http://sandiegowineries.org/

Sample local wine and food this Sunday afternoon in Rancho Bernardo in San Diego County. Admission costs $55 and comes with unlimited food and wine samples while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

7th Annual Taste of the Eastside
3:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 30
Los Angeles River Center & Gardens, Los Angeles
http://tasteoftheeastside.com/

Sample the best of East LA’s restaurants this Sunday evening. At this all-ages tasting, guests can receive unlimited food samples from all of the 20+ participating vendors. Admission comes in three levels and varies depending on when you purchase it, starting at $45 and rising up to $85 – check the website for pricing details.

Artisanal LA returns for its semiannual show this weekend to its new home at the California Market Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Featuring the latest and greatest of artisan food and drinks in Southern California, this designer edibles fair brings together the latest trends in food, drinks, fashion, accessories, and more. Hundreds of artists, chefs, bakers, designers, and more from across the world showcase their goods and sell their wonderful products to all the attendees. The floor features aisles after aisles full of vendors in each little space, all vying for attendees to try their goods, and hopefully generate a fan out of them. Due to the enclosed space with no industrial ventilation, most of the food arrived premade, or as cold/room temperature goods. From refreshing soft drinks to chocolates to ice cream to grass-fed beef to cakes and beyond, Artisanal LA truly exhibits the best of local Southern Californian flavor.

Find the latest trends in food, drinks, fashion, accessories, and more at this designer fair this weekend. See dozens of artists, chefs, bakers, designers, and more from across the world showcasing their goods and selling their wonderful products. Admission to this all-ages event costs $10 presale or $15 at the door. Parking at the venue costs $6 per vehicle, but visitors can either search for other parking lots or street meters, or take public transportation to save on commute costs. Words cannot fully depict all that transpires at Artisanal LA, so take an abridged tour through last year’s Artisanal LA here:

Americans love their coffee. Visiting and inhabiting coffee shops represents a traditional American pastime. Business meetings, clubs, and first dates all do well with coffee in hand. Americans love their coffee so much that they dedicated events towards the love of coffee, such as at CoffeeCon LA 2017. Taking place at The Reef in Los Angeles this past weekend, this java-themed event featured all things coffee, from various types of coffee to coffee edibles to coffee equipment and more. Dozens of vendors sampled their brews, both hot and cold, while a handful of other vendors exhibited their coffee complements, such as candy, desserts, and other food. Many other vendors exhibited coffee equipment, such as machines or presses used to brew coffee. Throughout the day, seminars would take place detailing various topics about coffee, from the origins of certain types of coffee to how to utilize coffee in the culinary sense.

Following up on last year’s overwhelming attendance, CoffeeCon made some changes this year to accommodate attendees. They expanded CoffeeCon from one day to both Saturday and Sunday. Last year’s CoffeeCon took place in the basement of The Reef, a small, tight, and compact space. This year’s CoffeeCon moved to the second floor of The Reef, a significantly larger space. I have strolled through the second floor here for multiple events, and this huge space provided more than enough room for attendees to roam freely without worry of bumping into other people. While the second floor provided more walking space, I feel that the organizers could have spaced out the vendors a bit further apart, as some of the aisles felt really cramped in the middle of the afternoon when the most amount of people showed up and got into unorganized lines at booths. But most importantly, CoffeeCon got rid of all the non-coffee vendors that felt out-of-place last year, such as vendors selling t-shirts or coffee accessories. While this year’s CoffeeCon delivered a largely fresh batch of vendors, I still saw Bona Fide Craft Draft that I remember from last year as a mobile coffee vendor. They essentially rent or staff coffee taps for special events, similar to food trucks, but they come with the option of filling the taps with whatever the client chooses, as well as the option to allows patrons to self themselves.

It looks like with these improvements, CoffeeCon has found a way to cement themselves into the Los Angeles event market mainstay. My only complaint revolves around the entrance line, as it took too long for them to scan tickets, and the line to enter stretched outside the building. Consider that it rained on Sunday morning through the early afternoon, so that dampened some attendees’ spirits. As long as they fix that for next year, I believe they will have a winning formula to keep people coming back. For more information regarding future CoffeeCon events, check them out on Facebook and Twitter for further updates.