Posts Tagged ‘Dessert’


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The Fall 2017 Santa Ana Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival returns to Downtown Santa Ana this coming Sunday. Now at a new location at East 4th Street and Spurgeon Street, this semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fairs in Long Beach, Oakland, and Santa Ana. To envision Patchwork Fest, imagine an arts & crafts fair, but catered to a modern trendy crowd. As I describe it to others, imagine an art fair full of hipsters, but in a non-offensive way. The many local vendors set up their booths here, selling their wares, merchandise, apparel, accessories, foods, desserts, music, and so on. Patchwork Fest emphasizes supporting the local community, a perfect follow-up to Small Business Saturday that takes place this Saturday, a day prior to Patchwork Fest.

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 will feature dozens of different local vendors all selling their various goods and/or services. Check out the few music booths around the area, which will host local musicians. Visitors who get hungry can 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. As this event takes place in Downtown Santa Ana, visitors will walk by a handful of great local restaurants as well.

As a FREE event open to all ages and all pets, Patchwork Fest presents a welcome opportunity to support the local community. Commuting visitors should look for parking in the neighborhood to the south. Come experience what makes Patchwork Fest a repeat success, and support local businesses while having fun this Sunday. For more information about this Sunday’s event and future events, make sure you keep up with Patchwork Fest by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

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Food news & media giant Foodbeast brought back one of their major events this past Saturday, Ooze Fest, for its third year running. Hailed as Southern California’s premier cheese festival, this tasting event brought out dozens of Orange County restaurants to serve up their best cheese-inspired food samples to the hundreds of attendees. In addition, a handful of Southern California’s microbreweries set up to serve some refreshing brews to pair with all the food going around. Ooze Fest took place across two different time slots on Saturday in order to spread out the amount of attendees: an afternoon session and an evening session. Each session allowed all attendees to have unlimited food and drinks while supplies lasted, and as far as the first session went, no booth ran out of food. The first session featured a grilled cheese sandwich eating contest, while the second session featured a pizza eating contest and a hot sauce challenge. Other than that, this event ran exactly how they described it originally – pay to get in, then eat and drink as much as you can until the event ends. Fortunately, spreading this event over two sessions meant that attendees did not have to deal with long lines at the food and drink booths.

In the days leading up to this event, I only worried about excess attendance and having to wait in lines for food. Fortunately this issue never surfaced greatly thanks to having two sessions instead of cramming everyone into one session. At times, a few of the vendors had to catch up on making food, so some people inevitably had to wait in a line. In the end, this event never turned into a wait fest, unlike some other similar events. Stay tuned in the upcoming year as they plan to bring back some of their other events, such as a noodle fest.

Modern desserts look a lot different than they did a few decades ago. While a lot of traditional desserts still exist, their appearance and method for making them have gradually changed over time. Thanks to the prevalence of social media, food appearance matters more than ever. On top of people wanting food that looks good, methods for creating such food has changed much over time as well. For example, decades ago, very few thought to create instant ice cream using liquid nitrogen. Makers had to make a batch of ice cream and store it in a freezer of an ice cram machine. Now with the spread of liquid nitrogen, lots of places can now create fresh ice cream instantly, such as at Scoops N Scoops Creamery.

The use of liquid nitrogen in cuisine has spread far by now, and Scoops N Scoops Creamery utilizes that technique to get creative. Scoops N Scoops Creamery has all the necessary tools that one would expect of a place that does liquid nitrogen ice cream – they can create any flavor on their menu that a customer requests, and they can add toppings to any order. However, Scoops N Scoops Creamery does something a little different at their little shop – they can put their ice cream inside a macaroon to create a Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwich. The name says it all – you get Scoops N Scoops Creamery’s fresh ice cream, and place it between two macaroon halves to create a giant ice cream sandwich. The small size costs $5 but grants you two heaping scoops of the ice cream flavor of your choice. At just a small, you would still need a spoon to eat one of the scoops before you can think of eating this like an actual sandwich and picking it up by hand.

Scoops N Scoops Creamery currently has two locations: Irvine and Chino Hills. If you seek a fun and delicious dessert to sate your sweet tooth, head on over to Scoops N Scoops Creamery and try their Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwich today. Check them out on Facebook and Twitter to see what else they have to offer.

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.