Posts Tagged ‘Dinner’

Much of the United States has this fixation about their local fair, whether the city or the state fair. From a narrow perspective, nothing changes year after year at the fair – if you attended previously, you would receive the same experience again the next time. This largely remains true persistently, but the experience generally changes based on who you attend the fair with, not which fair you attend. If you visit various fairs within the same region, you would see most of the same things: fair food, carnival rides, animals, and tons of vendors. For example, the San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles fairs all have the same basic outline of the aforementioned features. Once you have gone to one fair, you have basically experienced it all. So what can you do to continue to enjoy fair life without wading through the hoards of people in the hot sun? If you enjoy fair food, you would have wanted to go to Beachwood BBQ last week for their rendition of fair foods with a twist.

Nestled in a small space in historic old-town Seal Beach, Beachwood BBQ has garnered an outstanding reputation not only among the locals, but across the nation for their influence on the craft beer industry. Sure they revolutionized the idea of rotating taps, but Beachwood BBQ churns out some stellar eats above and beyond standard bar food quality. For the most part, one can see Beachwood BBQ’s menu as mostly bar food, since most, if not all, of the menu pairs really well with whatever beer they have on tap. Folks in the area last Thursday evening could truly immerse themselves in the bar food experience when Beachwood BBQ hosted a dinner night aptly entitled Beachwood On A Stick. On this night, Beachwood BBQ took a good look at common fair foods, and re-envisioned a more gourmet version of each of their ideas. In addition, each food item received its own beer pairing to go with it. Some of the pairings matched well, while a few lost me in the mix. You can peek at the menu above, or scroll down to read the descriptions plus my review.

  • Lamb Kofta, $5: smoked lamb, mint BBQ sauce | Pairs w/ Duvel Single Belgian Pale Ale

I will call this my favorite out of all of the menu. This looks small, but the sheer meatiness of it plus the unique minty BBQ sauce makes for a divine bite.

  • Poutine, $4: mashed potato, mozzarella, sage gravy | Pairs w/ Avery Samael’s Oak Aged Ale, an English Barleywine
  • Chicken Gumbo, $4: diced chicken, onions, bell peppers, okra, sassafras cream, fried rice | Pairs w/ Brouwerij Malheur 12° Belgian Strong Dark Ale

The Poutine basically represents a mozzarella stick, but with mashed potatoes in it as well. The gravy made it soggy, so it crumbled right off the stick. This did not contain meat, which made me sad 😦 Also this beer pairing sorely did not work out for me. On its own, this barleywine would taste great as a sipper. However, due to its strength, it badly damaged my palate.
The Chicken Gumbo basically represents a shish kabob, with no fancy tricks other than the fried (literally) rice.

  • Funnel Cake Dog, $4: smoked andouille sausage, powdered sugar | Pairs w/ Firestone Walker Easy Jack IPA

Take a really spicy sausage, batter it with funnel cake batter, dust some powdered sugar on it, and you have this… Emphasis on really spicy. The beer pairing, for as much IBU’s as it contains, could not douse the fire raging in my mouth.

  • Liver & Onions, $4: grilled chicken livers, roasted pearl onions, red wine demi glace | Pairs w/ Tahoe Mountain Bright Moments Pale Ale

Once you get over the fact that you have liver on a plate in front of you, the flavor comes up remarkably well. The texture of the liver may make some people queasy, so turn off your mind when you eat liver.

  • Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana, $3: rolled in pork rinds | Pairs w/ Almanac Biere de Chocolat Porter

My favorite dessert, since it does not taste that sweet, and it also has pork rinds to give it a salty taste. Imagine a frozen chocolate banana with sea salt, and you have this amazing dessert seemingly easy to make at home.

  • Twinkie, $4: sorrel marshmallow filling, funnel cake fried | Pairs w/ New Belgium Wild² Dubbel

If they could tone down the sweetness, this would have turned out as the most demanded item. The funnel cake batter and the filling’s overbearing sweetness makes this large enough to split with another person.

Miss out on Beachwood On A Stick? Pay attention to their Facebook page, as they always announce events like this in advance there. Even if you cannot make it to a special dinner night, head on over to check out their ever-changing beer selection, plus their menu of great eats.

Barbie And The Hookers in Downtown Los Angeles
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, October 9
Five Star Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/1420219944860511/

Catch this local music show this Wednesday night in Downtown Los Angeles. Guys get in for $3, while gals get in free all night.

Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk (Second Thursdays)
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 10
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 barely exists in Downtown LA, although some meters only operate until 8pm. First-time visitors should attend with someone who has gone here prior.

The Heavenly Hog Fall Pig Out
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 11
La Valencia Hotel, La Jolla
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/447873

At this Fall pairing dinner, eight of San Diego’s top chefs commune to deconstruct a pig into seven parts, plus a wild card. Each chef will then pair a part to a beverage of his/her choice. You can partake in this exciting dinner for $125, which should more than cover the costs of the whole hogs and the drinks.

Art Night Pasadena
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 11
Old Town Pasadena, Pasadena
http://www.artnightpasadena.org/

This free festival celebrates local art with art exhibits, live music, entertainment, and more as Pasadena’s local artists open up their studios to the public. For free street parking, check Corson Street.

Big Orange Book Festival
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, October 11
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, October 12
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, October 13
Chapman University, Orange
http://bigorangebookfestival.com/

Free to attend for all ages, this two-day book festival takes place at Chapman University in Orange this weekend. Come see hundreds of books, writers, live entertainment, food, speakers, and more.

2013 That Dam Mud Run – Los Angeles
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, October 12
Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area, Irwindale
https://efc.webconnex.com/tdmr2013

Tackle a three-mile obstacle course full of dirt, mud, and more this Saturday at a dam. Following the mud run, enjoy yourself with great company and live music at the beer garden (beer sold separately). Registration costs $79 for adults and $25 for children, and include a commemorative t-shirt. Participants should wear comfortable clothing to move in that they do not mind getting dirty, or plan to throw away after this run. Remember to bring extra clothes to change into and plenty of towels for after the run.

4th Annual Santee Car Show & BBQ Festival
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, October 12
Santee Trolley Square, Santee
http://www.santeecarshow.com/

This Saturday, come and check out over 200 hot rods, classic cars, motorcycles and muscle cars all available for your viewing pleasure, absolutely free of charge. This all-ages event allows visitors to gaze upon all of the classic cars and browse through the hundreds of food vendors and merchandise booths. Live music, a beer garden, and a carnival area will keep everyone entertained all day.

For LA By LA – The GMO Show
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, October 12
McLogan Supply Co., Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/636760283008625/

This all-ages art event raises awareness of GMO’s in today’s food industry. For $5 entry, see lots of local artists, vendors, food trucks, and more, as we learn about GMO’s, its effect on the industry, and most importantly, its effect on humans.

Corgi Fall Beach Day
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, October 12
Huntington Dog Beach, Huntington Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/196822827148503/

Corgi lovers and Corgi owners unite this Saturday afternoon for a dog day at the beach, free to attend and for all ages. Share your love of this wonderful breed by showing off your adorable companion or by showing love for someone else’s adorable companion.

8th Annual Pasadena Artwalk
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, October 12
Colorado & El Molino, Pasadena
http://www.playhousedistrict.org/calendar-of-events/artwalk/

This free all-ages event highlights Southern California’s aspiring artists looking to make an impact with their creations. Artwork will include paintings, sculptures, watercolors, photography, mixed media, ceramics, jewelry, drawings, printmaking, and more.

Fall 2013 Brewery Art Walk
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, October 12-13
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.

Fall 2013 Artisanal LA
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, October 12-13
LA Mart, Los Angeles
http://artisanalla.com/

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 $12 presale and $15 at the door. Parking at the venue costs $15 per vehicle, but visitors can either search for other parking lots or street meters, or take public transportation to save on commute costs.

Orange County Japan Fair
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, October 12
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, October 13
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://cjapan-usa.com/

Immerse yourself in Japanese culture this weekend at the OC Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. Visitors will find lots of ramen, sake tastings, live entertainment, arts & crafts, activities, other food & drinks, vendors, and more. Admission costs $5 for one day or $8 for two days, and parking costs $7 per vehicle.

Zombie Fest
3:00 pm – 11:00 pm, October 12
The Vex, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/618867528165137/

Go nuts at this death metal show this Saturday afternoon in East LA. This all-ages show costs $10. Guests should park in the alley behind the building, but avoid parking too far into the alley, or those arriving afterwards may block the path.

Treatoberfest
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, October 12
Angel City Brewery, Downtown Los Angeles
http://treatoberfest-efbevent.eventbrite.com/

Celebrate Halloween early as only adults should celebrate! Don your best Halloween costume, and go trick-or-treating among Los Angeles’ top dessert providers. General admission costs $15, and includes three 4oz beer pours from Angel City Brewery, unlimited food & dessert samples, and $20 Uber ride service gift card for new signups. VIP costs $40, includes all of the general admission goodies, plus a goodie bag, an LA Foodie t-shirt, a fashionable wristband, and Angel City Brewery goodies. Food trucks will serve food outside at a separate cost. Guests can find parking throughout the Arts District, as meters run up to 6pm on most of the streets.

Circle One in Ventura
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 12
Zoey’s, Ventura
http://www.facebook.com/events/323417231129100/

Catch a local punk show in Ventura this Saturday evening. This all-ages show only costs $7 to enter.

Five Iron Frenzy @ The Glass House
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, October 12
The Glass House, Pomona
http://www.theglasshouse.us/event/368145-five-iron-frenzy-pomona/

Pomona gets a dosage of ska this Saturday night, as Five Iron Frenzy headlines a show with Suburban Legends, Rebel Revive, and CodeName: Rocky. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $25. Guests can find plenty of free parking around the area, but pay attention to the signs, as some lots require a parking fee.

Ghetto Ska Show
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, October 12
Shred Masters, San Bernardino
http://www.facebook.com/events/325351857598331/

Inland Empire gets a night of ska, as South Central Skankers headline a show in San Bernardino with Vidalta, 2 Tone Boners, Me Gusta Putas, Los Alkoliados, and Grito Rebelde. This all-ages show costs $10 before 9pm and $12 afterwards to enter.

Free Punk Show @ Blacklight District Lounge
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, October 12
Blacklight District Lounge, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/590710764300813/

Rodents of Unusual Size, Rottbite, Malditas Drogas, Underground Alliance, and Foggy Nation play at this free show this Saturday night in Long Beach. No one under 21 may enter.

2013 Long Beach Marathon
6:00 am – 3:00 pm, October 13
Shoreline Village, Long Beach
http://runlongbeach.com/

The annual Long Beach Marathon takes place this Sunday. Please note the street closures for that day, and adjust your day accordingly.

4th Annual Redondo Beach Taste of the Pier
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, October 13
Redondo Beach Pier
http://www.redondopier.com/event/4th-annual-taste-of-the-pier/

This food fest will include food tastings, bands, balloons, face painting, arts & crafts, and more. Enjoy a variety of small bites, live music, and fun while you tour the pier. Each restaurant will feature a different menu item and non-food retailers will offer other discounts and items in support of the Cancer Support Community and Redondo Beach Educational Foundation. Free to attend, tasting tickets cost $1 each.

The 5th Annual International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) brought about many different activities and opportunities for all attendees. While a majority of the conference took place at the W Hotel in Downtown Seattle, attendees would find a few activities that took place outside of the hotel. One such event, the Urbanspoon Dine-Around Dinner, provided attendees an opportunity to have dinner at a mystery location with a pre-selected group. This Surprise Supper, as they put it, covered dozens of restaurants over various towns/regions in & around Seattle, and placed attendees at these locations, mainly based on dietary needs if necessary (i.e. vegans went to a vegan restaurant). Each group would depart the hotel to the location via shuttle at various times depending on the group, leaving as early as 7:00 pm to as late as 8:30 pm. No one in charge divulged any information about any of the locations until Saturday, when attendees could trade their positions for other groups. For example, I got originally placed in the Downtown 2 group, which ended up at RN74, but I traded that spot away for Belltown 2, which I later discovered would land me at Spur Gastropub.

Led by chef/owners Brian McCracken and Dana Tough, Spur Gastropub pays homage to the local area’s pioneer, fishermen, and outlaw roots. Sourcing only local ingredients, Spur’s menu changes frequently based on availability of products in the season. With an eclectic and modern American menu, Spur takes traditional cuisine and applies modern techniques to preparation. For our dinner, Spur served us a five-course meal with one complimentary drink, which I exchanged for a local beer on tap. I shared the table with ten other individuals, including Jessica Tupper, Carrie Trax, Bordeaux Wines, and more.

For our starting amuse-bouche, we received a Sockeye Salmon Crostini with mascarpone, capers, and pickled shallots. Available year-round on their menu, Spur sells these two-bite starters individually for $4 each.

Spur served us their Chicory Salad as our first course. A simple chicory & sorrel salad topped with Gorgonzola cheese and candied pecans, the lack of dressing allowed us to taste the ingredients’ real flavor without the heavy saturation of dressing found in corporate restaurants. This salad sits on Spur’s seasonal menu for $10.

We received a plate with Venison Tartare next. I have eaten venison and tartare previously as separate preparations, but I have not tried this combination yet. Spur tops the venison tartare with compressed yogurt, sliced cucumbers, and dark berries. Olive oil crostinis accompanied this dish to help break down the intense gamey flavor of the venison. Finding its place on Spur’s seasonal menu, you may order this for $18.

For our third course, our servers brought out this plate of Seared Gnudi. If you can picture gnocchi, then you can envision gnudi, made with ricotta cheese and flour instead of potato. Served with sharp cheddar, soubise sauce, and radishes, this course carried the best comfort food feeling so far, as it reminded all of us about gnocchi. Only available this season, you can try this amazing twist on a classic for $18.

The fourth and main course of dinner came out in the form of Slow Cooked Pork Cheeks. Sitting on a bed of red cabbage, crispy spaetzle, and compressed cider (the cubes on the plate), Spur has reinvented this dish from their menu. Although it currently appears on their seasonal menu for $26, Spur plated this dish unique just for us, using spaetzle in a creative manner to accompany this pork cheek. Like any slow-cooked meat, this pork cheek fell apart so nice and smooth when biting into it. Spur got this dish right, and I feel sad for seeing it on their seasonal menu, knowing that it will not linger around for much longer.

After the main course, our servers brought out a palate cleanser. Deceiving me at first glance, these large spoons held something icy and cold, not grainy like it appeared to me. I cannot accurately describe this, but it tasted sour and slightly salty… like a margarita.

Finally closing out the evening, Spur plated for us this White Peach, Jasmine, and Leatherwood Honey dessert, a mixture of various desserts. A scoop of peach sorbet sat on a layer of plum powder, providing the tart taste for this dessert. A piece of sponge cake and slice of white peach accompanied the sorbet, plus two pieces of meringue. Guests can order this off Spur’s regular menu for $10.

We all wrapped up fairly quickly following dessert, while I still had a drink to chug. With no shuttle to bring us back, we all walked back to the hotel collectively; luckily, the weather did not give us any problems, save for a bit of wind. On our way back, we spotted this oddly-placed ice cream statue on the corner of 4th & Blanchard.

Thanks so much to Urbanspoon for the dinner and opportunity to explore a fine local establishment. Can you believe that Urbanspoon covered dinner and a drink for all of this year’s conference attendees? Not every conference attendee could make it to the dinner due to its start late in the night; in fact, we did not leave Spur until about 10:30 pm, three hours after the shuttle left the W Hotel. So far, everyone that attended a dinner has reported great success in the event, but everyone had something to say about the late dinners. More likely than not, Urbanspoon will rectify that issue next time, should Urbanspoon redo this dinner special at next year’s conference. In the meantime, check out the local eats around Seattle, as they have lots of unique cuisine that I have never seen nor heard of.

Taste of Downtown Long Beach
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 28-29
Pine Avenue Pier, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.downtownlongbeach.org/Latest-News-Detail/Taste-of-Downtown-Waterfront?id=65374

Sample food from local restaurants in Downtown Long Beach at this two-night tasting, or enjoy some brews at the beer garden sponsored by Beachwood BBQ. Each sample costs varying amounts of tickets, which cost $1 each. Purchase tickets online to receive two free tickets for every $10 spent. Guests can park for free for up to two hours in the parking structure between 3rd, 4th, and Pine.

HopScotch Tavern & Bootlegger’s Brewery Pairing Dinner
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 28
HopScotch Tavern, Downtown Fullerton
http://www.facebook.com/events/368499229944424/

Indulge in a five-course dinner complete with Bootlegger’s beer and beer cocktail pairings this Wednesday night at Hopscotch Tavern in Downtown Fullerton. Interested guests must RSVP by phone, and provided payment information for the $75 ticket fee, plus a 20% non-refundable deposit. Guests can find plenty of free parking options nearby, so avoid parking at street meters. No one under 21 may attend this dinner.

The Originalites @ House of Blues Anaheim
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 28
House of Blues, Anaheim
http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=82680

Get your skanking on this Wednesday night at the House of Blues at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, as The Originalites headline this local ska show. Admission to this show costs $15. No one under 18 may attend. Attendees may park for free for up to five hours using the wristband from this as validation, so plan your arrival accordingly.

The Dirty Little Secrets – Rock Burlesque
9:00 pm – 11:30 pm, August 28
One-Eyed Gypsy, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/186946694822905/

Catch a free sexy burlesque show this Wednesday night in Downtown Los Angeles, dedicated to women on film. Guests may park on the street for free after 8pm. No one under 21 may attend.

LA County Fair – Opening Day
3:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 30
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.lacountyfair.com/

Your local fair will open this Friday at the Fairplex in Pomona. If you missed the OC Fair, you will not want to miss the LA County Fair. Ticket prices range from free up to $17, but stores like Walgreens and Costco sell discounted ticket packages.

Los Angeles Times: The TASTE
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, August 30 – September 1
Paramount Pictures Studios, Hollywood
http://events.latimes.com/taste/

Los Angeles Times presents The TASTE, a series of food-based events at Paramount Pictures Studios. Each event will feature unlimited food & drink tastings from over 40 of LA’s top restaurants, along with live cooking & mixology demonstrations, wine seminars, and panel discussions. Presale tickets sell for $65, while tickets will cost $75 at the door.

2013 E Hula Mau
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 30
8:00 am – 12:00 am, August 31 – September 1
Terrace Theater @ the Long Beach Convention Center
http://www.ehulamau.org/

The annual E Hula Mau returns to Long Beach to exhibit various Pacific Islander performances, arts & crafts, food, vendors, and more. The actual fest requires no admission, while spectating the competitions requires a ticket purchase. Nearby parking structures east of Pine Avenue between 3rd & 6th Streets provide free parking for up to two hours.

30th On 30th
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 30
30th Street, North Park, San Diego
http://30thstreet.org/

The monthly 30th On 30th event takes place on 30th Street in the North Park community of San Diego on the 30th of every month, with the exception of February, when this event turns into 30th On 28th (or 29th). On the 30th of each month, many restaurants, bars, and shops on & near 30th Street offer specials, often in mini sizes so that visitors can check out multiple locations. Many locations start their specials in the evening, while some offer it during the day. Specials range from food samples to drink specials, and sometimes even free food!

Orange International Street Fair
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 30
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, August 31 – September 1
Streets of Old Town Orange
http://www.orangestreetfair.org/

One of the grandest events to grace Orange County, the annual OISF returns this weekend to the streets of Old Town Orange. Completely free to attend and open to all ages, the OISF brings together regions of the world and their food, drinks, merchandise, dance, music, and so much more. The four roads radiating from the Orange Circle each contain 3-4 themed “Streets” based on a region of the world. For example, the east road usually contains Old American, New American, and Mexican Streets. But we all go to the OISF every year for one reason: Irish Street. Located at the end of the southern road, immediately in front of Haven Gastropub houses the Guinness truck and the Irish music stage, of which bands like The American Wake entertain crowds all evening. You have never seen a street party this huge – trust me.

Wild in the Streets of South Central
6:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 30
8116 S Central Ave, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/207028072796143/

Backyard & street punk rock show in South Central LA – if you think you know punk rock, you have never seen anything like this before. Experience the true nature of punk rock at this no-holds-barred outdoor show not sanctioned by any business. Girls get in free before 7:30, or for $2 afterwards; guys get in for $3.

Smut Peddlers @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 30
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/smut-peddlers-2013

Catch legendary punk band Smut Peddlers at this show as they celebrate 20 years in the industry with other bands, including Bonecrusher. This all-ages show costs $15 to attend. Arrive early to find free parking at the venue, for if you arrive too late, you may have to park in neighboring lots, which will charge parking fees.

JFA CD Release Show
7:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 30
The Joint, West Los Angeles
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/415737

JFA has a new tribute album out, and they play absolutely nothing on it as other famous bands cover their songs. To celebrate this release, JFA will play some CD Release shows. This Friday night in West LA, guests may see this show for $10 presale or $12 at the door. The first band starts at 8pm. No one under 18 may attend.

Banner Pilot, The Bombpops, and More in Downtown Los Angeles
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 30
Five Star Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/275521095924993/

Punk rock comes to Downtown Los Angeles this Friday night with Banner Pilot, The Bomb Pops, and more. This show costs $10 to enter. No one under 21 may attend. Guests may park on the street for free after 8pm.

Agent Orange in San Diego
8:30 pm – 1:30 am, August 30
The Casbah, San Diego
http://www.casbahmusic.com/event/4286/

Legendary punk band Agent Orange will play a small show this Friday night. Admission costs $13 presale and $15 at the door. No one under 21 may attend.

Awesome Fest 7
8:30 pm – 2:00 am, August 30
3:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 31 – September 1
Four different venues, San Diego
http://awesomefest7.com/

Three days + four venues + 65 bands = one awesome weekend of punk rock. This three-day concert has sold out of tickets; however, you can still find after-market tickets for sale on sites like StubHub or Craigslist.

Fiesta Hermosa
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 31 – September 2
Downtown Hermosa Beach
http://fiestahermosa.net/

Fiesta Hermosa returns to the streets of Downtown Hermosa Beach this weekend. Free to park and attend, this street fair will have food, drinks, music, arts & crafts, games, rides, vendors, and more. You cannot park AT the event – for those driving, you must park at the Northrop Grumman Building at Marine & Aviation in Redondo Beach, and a free shuttle will carry you to and from the fest and parking lot.

Stagecoach Days: A Taste of the Past
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, August 31
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, San Diego
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/432494

Peer into the days of Old Town San Diego and taste what civilians ate in the past. Catch cooking demos, tastings, a cook-off, and activities for the entire family. Admission to this all-ages event costs $15.

Long Beach Greek Festival
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 31 – September 2
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, Long Beach
http://www.lbgreekfest.org/

At this Greek Festival, you will find Greek foods & desserts, drinks, dancers, music, games, rides, arts & crafts, vendors, exhibits, and more. CSULB provides free parking and shuttle rides. Print the voucher from the website to waive the admission fee.

San Diego Bacon Fest
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, August 31
NTC Park – Preble Field, Liberty Station, San Diego
http://www.sdbaconfest.com/

Simply put, you can eat all the bacon and drink all the drinks you can at this festival dedicated to bacon. General admission costs $60 and starts at 2pm. VIP admission costs $100, starts at 1pm, and comes with a beer caddy to hold your beer tasting cup. All admissions include unlimited food and drinks until 5pm. No one under 21 may attend. This fest takes place outdoors, so apply sunscreen prior to arriving, and stay hydrated.

Bottle Share #7
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, August 31
38 Degrees Ale House, Alhambra
http://www.facebook.com/events/511814368899131/

Brew your own beer? Got an interested craft beer to share? Bring it to 38 Degrees’ monthly bottle share event, taking place this Saturday afternoon, and discover other great beers too. Free to attend, guests should bring approximately 40-50 ounce’s worth of beer. The restaurant has its own free parking lot.

Zombie Walk’n
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 31
“The Tunnel” (Whittier), Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/624596614226224/

Get your zombie walking on this Saturday evening. Wear your best zombie clothes and makeup, and stroll over to East LA where this zombie walk will start. Free for all ages, this walk will have music and vendors around the starting area too.

626 Night Market
4:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 31 – September 1
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.626nightmarket.com/

The largest Asian night market in America moves to Santa Anita Park this weekend. This flea market of sorts will host tons of vendors selling Asian wares, merchandise, apparel, appliances, food, drinks, and more. Admission costs $2 before 6pm, and $3 afterwards. Guests may now park here for free during the event.

For What Ales Ya
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 31
Upland Women’s Club, Upland
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/340777

$25 gets you admission to this bottle share party, complete with a souvenir glass, complimentary taco bar, live music, and more. All attendees must bring at least one bottle of craft beer to participate in the beer drinking, as per the rules of any bottle share. No one under 21 may enter. See their website for a map of where attendees may park.

D.I.Y. Music & Fashion Fest 2013
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 31
The Glass House, Pomona
http://bricktoyaface.com/

Check out this all-ages music & art fest this Saturday night in Pomona. Admission costs $10 presale and $15 at the door.

End of Summer Blowout 2
6:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 31
The Airliner, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/288379434633411/

Check out this massive punk rock show with over 20 bands scheduled to play! Tickets to this show cost $6 presale and $8 at the door. No one under 18 may attend. Guests should park in the neighborhood across the street, past the Bank of America.

Motive Presents: Atlantis
6:00 pm – 4:00 am, August 31
Belasco Theater, Los Angeles
http://www.motiveevents.com/atlantis/

Think of this all-night EDM party like a rave, as it will include many DJ’s, lights & lasers, lots of drinks, and lots of bad decisions. General admission costs $35. No one under 18 may attend.

The Seed – Art Exhibit
6:30 pm – 10:30 pm, August 31
Chevy Chase Baptist Church, Glendale
http://www.facebook.com/events/168775406628649/

Catch live music, art, poetry, photography, food, and more at this free and all-ages art exhibit.

Battle of the Breweries – Saint Archer vs. Stone Brewing
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 31
House of Blues, San Diego
http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=83344

Old meets new in this special event, where the pupil will challenge the master to see who truly has brewed the best. Although free to attend, no one under 21 may attend.

The All Stars of Tease – A Burlesque Extravaganza
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 31
Yost Theater, Santa Ana
http://www.yosttheater.com/calendar/2013/the-all-stars-of-tease-a-burlesque-extravaganza/

Catch this sexy burlesque show featuring a mixed cast of beautiful performers from all over. General admission costs $25, while reserved seating costs $40. No one under 18 may attend.

2013 International Surf Festival
9:00 am – 12:00 pm, July 31
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 1
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 2
6:45 am – 10:00 pm, August 3
7:30 am – 3:00 pm, August 4
Various beaches, Hermosa/Manhattan/Redondo Beach
http://www.surffestival.org/

Celebrate beach life with the 2013 International Surf Festival that spans five days starting Wednesday morning. The festival comes chock-full of events and activities – see the website for a complete schedule. Actual surfing competitions start Saturday morning, while visitors can catch other activities on all the other times, such as beach volleyball, lifeguard demos, beach runs, and more.

Hopscotch Inaugural Pairing Dinner
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 31
Hopscotch Tavern, Fullerton
http://www.facebook.com/events/187137448117796/

Indulge in a five-course dinner complete with drink pairings this Wednesday night at Hopscotch Tavern in Downtown Fullerton. Interested guests must RSVP by phone, and provided payment information for the $85 ticket fee, plus a 20% non-refundable deposit. Guests can find plenty of free parking options nearby, so avoid parking at street meters. No one under 21 may attend this dinner.

The Dirty Little Secrets – Girls On Film
9:00 pm – 10:30 pm, July 31
One-Eyed Gypsy, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/189536131208458/

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

X Games 2013 – Los Angeles
11:00 am – 10:30 pm, August 1
12:00 pm – 1:30 am, August 2
11:00 am – 10:30 pm, August 3
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, August 4
Los Angeles Convention Center, Downtown Los Angeles
http://xgames.espn.go.com/events/2013/los-angeles/schedule/

This year’s X Games marks the last Los Angeles games indefinitely, as X Games has gone global. Admission to X Games varies depending on the event, but all of the LA Convention Center, Staples Center, and LA Live will turn into a massive festival and expo for all things extreme sports. After the competitions end each day, stick around for live music from bands such as AWOLNATION and Pepper.

2013 International Quilt Festival – Long Beach
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 1
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 2-3
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, August 4
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.quilts.com/home/shows/viewer.php?page=SummerFestival

See all things quilts this weekend in Long Beach at the International Quilt Festival. This expo showcases anything connected to the quilting industry, and showcases everything for the quilting hobbyist. A full weekend pass costs $25, while a one-day admission costs $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. Children 10 and under get in free with paid adult or senior admission. Parking at the convention center ranges from $5 to $10, so have cash available for parking. Otherwise, attendees can park in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue.

Rx Bandits @ The Glass House
7:30 pm – 11:30 pm, August 1
The Glass House, Pomona
http://www.theglasshouse.us/event/269865-rx-bandits-pomona/

Ska band Rx Bandits ends their tour by returning to Southern California this week, stopping by the Glass House this Thursday night. This all-ages show has already sold out, but you may still find some after-market tickets available.

60th Annual Kids Fishing Rodeo
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, August 2
Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach
http://www.alfredosbeachclub.com/seafest-fishing.html

This FREE kids’ fishing contest will provide a safe environment for kids to learn how to fish, about fishing equipment, and about the environment. All participants must supply their own rod and reel – the event will provide bait and tackle.

Wilmore 9 Summer Festival
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 2
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, August 3-4
Pine Avenue b/t 6th & 8th, Long Beach
http://www.wilmore9.com/

The Wilmore 9 Festival debuts in Long Beach this weekend. This festival of music, film, and art will celebrate the best of the arts, from the local community all the way to international headliners. In addition to the arts, Wilmore 9 will throw everything imaginable to attendees, such as skateboarding, comedy, food trucks, a beer & wine garden, hands-on activities, dodge ball, kick ball, and more. Tickets to this all-ages festival range from $10 all the way to $70, depending on the method of attendance.

SGMHS Summer Family Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 2
San Gabriel Mission High School, San Gabriel
http://www.facebook.com/events/609186219099417/

Catch a family-fun street fair this Friday night in the San Gabriel Valley. Costing just $5 for adults and free for kids 12 and under, this street fair will bring vendors, arts, crafts, kids’ activities, food trucks, live entertainment, a beer garden, and more.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 2
Various locations
Long Beach: http://firstfridayslongbeach.com/
Venice: http://www.abbotkinney1stfridays.com/

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

65th Annual La Habra Corn Festival
5:30 pm – 11:00 pm, August 2
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, August 3
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 4
El Centro Park, La Habra
http://lahabracornfestival.com/

This city fair celebrates corn with food, rides, games, drinks, vendors, merchandise, raffles, entertainment, and more. This fair will have a parade on Saturday afternoon too. Free to attend for all ages, visitors can also participate in a corn-eating contest, cutest baby contest, dog costume contest, apple pie contest, and more.

Agent Orange in Baldwin Park
6:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 2
American Legion Post 241, Baldwin Park
http://www.poortownshows.com/event/141661

Legendary punk band Agent Orange will headline a night of punk rock in Baldwin Park this Friday night along with eight other bands, including Whitekaps. Entry to this all-ages show costs $10. Guests can park for free in the venue’s parking lot.

The Secret Affair – 60’s Night
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 2
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/141364

Occurring on every month’s first Friday, this 60’s night at Alex’s Bar will play all vinyl music of motown, northern soul, boogaloo, 60’s pop, and more. Feel free to dress up too, as the bar staff will hold costume contests and dance contests.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque @ The Pike Bar
10:30 pm – 12:00 am, August 2
The Pike Bar & Grill, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/474048376023085/

The sexy ladies from the Dirty Little Secrets have a free treat for you this Friday night, and it involves a lot of debauchery and sensual music. Enjoy two free burlesque shows this Friday night at The Pike Bar in Long Beach. Guests can park for free in the surrounding neighborhoods. No one under 21 may enter.

Splash Dash 5K – Los Angeles
7:00 am – 12:00 pm, August 3
Fairplex, Pomona
http://splashdash5k.com/locations/ca-losangeles/

Most runners run outdoors on clear days. Few runners dare to run in the rain. Challenge yourself to run in invariably wet conditions this Saturday morning with the Splash Dash 5K, taking place at the Fairplex in Pomona. Unlike most other 5K runs of this nature, the Splash Dash does not fit into the category of a fun run, as this race actually grants awards to top finishers. Prepare to run a 5k course while getting pelted with water balloons, water guns, water slides, waterfalls, and more water-filled contraptions. Registration for the 5k costs $45 presale and $55 on the day of the race. Registration for the 1k costs $25 presale and $30 on the day of the race. All participants receive a t-shirt and access to the after-party, filled with music and treats. No one under the age of 5 may run in this race. As this race only features one start time, I suggest arriving at least an hour early to find parking and to prepare for the race. Bring cash for parking, which will range from $5 to $10. Wear whatever you feel comfortable running in, or wear a costume – you choose how to represent yourself. Bring a spare set of clothes and plenty of towels for the drive home.

24th Annual Clairemont Family Day
8:00 am – 4:00 pm, August 3
South Clairemont Park, San Diego
http://www.clairemontfamilyday.com/

Bring the entire family over to the park this Saturday for a FREE fair at the park. This fair will feature a pancake breakfast, arts & crafts, live entertainment, food, drinks, games, rides, a car show, and more. Visitors can swim for FREE in the park’s pool from 12pm until 3pm.

2013 Lucas Oil Long Beach Sprint Nationals
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, August 3-4
Marine Stadium, Long Beach
http://www.scscracing.com/

Powerboat racers from across the country will congregate in Long Beach this weekend for this annual competition. Admission costs $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

20th Annual Long Beach Crawfish Festival
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 3
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 4
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach
http://www.longbeachcrawfishfestival.com/

Indulge in crawfish, beignets, drinks, and other New Orleans eats this weekend in Long Beach. In addition to all the food, attendees will find a TV lounge, dance contests, live music, souvenir photos, and more. Entry to this all-ages festival cost $13 presale and $15 at the gate for adults, while kids 12 and under get in free with a paid adult admission. Adding a two-pound crawfish feast will cost $28 presale and $38 at the gate. Adding a three-pound crawfish feast will cost $35 presale and $48 at the gate. The parking lots across the street charge for use – park for free in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue.

HARD Summer Music Festival
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 3-4
LA State Historic Park, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.hardsummer.com/

Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has always remained a popular genre in our recent history. Since the early 1990’s, people have jammed and danced to EDM through various forms, such as rave, techno, trance, dubstep, and more. Due to this genre’s lack of lyrics, EDM sounds the same to everyone around the world. This international appeal reaches every corner in the world, especially at Electric Daisy Carnival. This weekend, Los Angeles will see its own EDM concert with Hard Summer, a two-day outdoor concert taking place at LA State Historic Park in Downtown Los Angeles. Complete with some of the more recognizable EDM artists, such as Flux Pavilion, Justice, and Bassnectar, Hard Summer will also feature some rappers, like 2 Chainz. Hard Summer runs from 12pm to 12am on August 3rd and 4th. Tickets start at $85 for one-day general admission, and go up as high as $270 for a two-day VIP pass. No one under 18 may attend.

Downtown Riverside Summer Street Jam
2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 3
University Avenue b/t Orange & Lemon, Riverside
http://www.riversidedowntown.org/2013/07/23/summer-street-jam/

Check out this FREE all-ages outdoor music festival on the streets of Downtown Riverside this Saturday afternoon. The actual event does not serve food, but visitors can stop at any of the local businesses to dine at. The music lineup contains some punk, ska, and reggae bands, including The Aggrolites.

The All Stars Tour 2013 with Every Time I Die
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 2-3
August 2: House of Blues, West Hollywood http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=81169
August 3: The Observatory, Santa Ana http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/all-stars-tour

Rip your hair out to intense post-hardcore music this weekend with Every Time I Die and more. Tickets to these all-ages shows cost $22.50; tickets to the House of Blues show cost $25 if purchased on the day of the show.

BrewFest Encinitas 2013
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, August 3
MiraCosta College, Encinitas
http://www.brewfestencinitas.com/

San Diego loves their beer, and they keep rolling out beer fests to celebrate their love for beer! BrewFest Encinitas 2013 will feature 15 breweries, a few food trucks, free parking, live entertainment, and more. General admission costs $40 and comes with a souvenir glass and 10 beer tasters. VIP admission costs $75 and allows access to a VIP area, complete with exclusive beer and food. Always remember – when going to a beer fest, bring your ID! No one under 21 may attend.

626 Night Market
4:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 3
4:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 4
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.626nightmarket.com/

The largest Asian night market in America moves to Santa Anita Park this weekend. This flea market of sorts will host tons of vendors selling Asian wares, merchandise, apparel, appliances, food, drinks, and more. Admission costs $2 before 6pm, and $3 afterwards. Guests may now park here for free during the event.

The Gears @ The Vex LA
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 3
The Vex, Los Angeles
http://www.voiceplaces.com/los-angeles/the-stains-the-gears-symbol-six-hollywood-hate-the-screws-why-things-burn-2117337-e

Catch punk bands The Gears, The Stains, Hollywood Hate, Symbol Six, The Screws, and Why Things Burn this Saturday night at The Vex in Los Angeles, just a few miles east of Downtown. Entry to this all-ages show costs $10. Guests can find parking behind the building, but avoid parking too deep, as you may get blocked in by other cars.

Naked Aggression @ The Social Bar Lounge
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 3
The Social Bar Lounge, Hacienda Heights
http://www.facebook.com/events/1390125667866083/

Catch punk bands Naked Aggression, The Voids, Urban Decay, Corrupted Youth, and Baldwin Park Disasters this Saturday in Hacienda Heights. Entry to this show costs $10. No one under 21 may attend this show.

OC Fair Fun Run 5K
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, August 4
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.ocfair5k.com/

The OC Fair hosts a 5K at the fairgrounds this Sunday morning. Registration costs $40 presale and $45 on the day of the race, if any spots remain. Children ages 6-12 register for $25 presale and $30 on the day of the race, if any spots remain. Online registration closes this Thursday. All participants receive a goodie bag, which includes a T-shirt, a medal for participating, and one admission into the OC Fair.

Summer Cement Craft Block
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, August 4
Birch Theater, North Park, San Diego
http://www.sandiegonorthparkcraftmafia.com/SCS/SCS-summer.html

This free all-ages event will host over 50 local arts & crafts vendors for visitors to peruse through.

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. Fried chicken also falls into the comfort food category, and while most other people will think about Kentucky Fried Chicken, set your sight towards Beachwood BBQ for their fried chicken.

Known as a purveyor of special dinner nights such as Mac & Cheese Night and Chili Night, Beachwood BBQ has redefined the pop-up concept. Credited as the world’s first rotating tap restaurant, Beachwood BBQ strays away from routine by offering food and drinks for only a limited time or while supplies last. In the case of beer, once a keg runs out of beer, the folks at Beachwood BBQ take that keg out, and replace the spot with a new beer. As kegs run out on a daily basis, customers will likely see a different selection of beers every time they come in. In the case of food, while Beachwood BBQ does serve a standard menu, they also host special dinner nights centered around a particular dish. These special dinners occur every one to two months, usually on a Wednesday or Thursday night. Last night, Beachwood BBQ traveled down a different path by crafting a Fried Chicken Night. For this occasion, customers may order a leg & thigh, breast & wing, or all four, and choose between regular or spicy. All plates come with green beans, smoky mashed potatoes with rosemary gravy, and an herb biscuit with hot honey dipping sauce. I could not decipher how they prepared their batter and seasoning, but I can safely say this: KFC, eat your heart out. One bite into this clucker will make you forget about KFC in a heartbeat. The spicy chicken did not taste that spicy at all – I cannot handle any level beyond medium, and this chicken tasted rather mild to me. In fact, the honey sauce for the biscuit tasted intensely more spicy than the chicken. For a plate like this containing many savory items, a beer would go great in washing this down. Although an IPA does a great job at cutting through bold savory flavors, this fried chicken went best with something fruity or almost sour, like a saison, fruit beer, or even a sour.

Beachwood BBQ always does great things at their tiny little location in Seal Beach, and they do even greater amazing things at their brewpub in Downtown Long Beach. Want to see what they cook up next? Follow Beachwood BBQ on Twitter, and Like their page on Facebook for the latest updates. I recommend checking back next month – albeit these nights normally run once every two months, Beachwood BBQ has ran special dinner nights on consecutive months in the past. With their string of success, you would miss out on a fantastic opportunity if you skip their next dinner night.

California houses some of the world’s most progressive and innovative cuisine. Whereas the general populace regards other cultures for certain culinary styles, such as Asian or Italian food, Californian cuisine does not follow any standard guidelines. When suggesting places to dine at in California to any out-of-state visitor, the list of possible places includes so many establishments that if you placed all of them side by side in a row, that row of buildings would easily stretch around the world, and would include cuisine from every corner of the world. With so much food to discover, any adventurous soul must first take small steps prior to the stride leading to the more exuberant establishments. Here in Southern California, Los Angeles alone carries hundreds of local food businesses that could take an individual months of dine at each and every single one of them. Nobody ever really knows if a place merits a visit, but luckily a group of young food fans colloquially known as L.A. Foodie has taken on the mission of discovering the best of food in Los Angeles.

Everybody deserves to know where to find the best food, and L.A. Foodie has accepted the challenge of locating all of it. This group of young food lovers travels around LA County and surrounding areas searching for the best hidden gems, and gives the place some press via a review or a podcast. Once in a while, in addition to a podcast, they will host a dinner event, which varies in format depending on the location. The crew threw their latest dinner event last Wednesday night at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Downtown Long Beach. Aptly named Get Porked, attendees got to sit down and enjoy a 4-course dinner & beer pairing consisting of four styles of pork and four different brews from Beachwood Brewing. In addition to this dinner, attendees could also sample treat from Krave Jerky and Mwokaji Cakery.

Prior to the start of dinner, the L.A. Foodie crew started their podcast with their own introductory segment before speaking with Gabe Gordon from Beachwood Brewing about the styles of BBQ and the beers they brew here. Servers brought out the beers first, but as a paired dinner, I held onto my beers, while a few other attendees started drinking their beers. Servers delivered the beer tasters in this order:

  • Knucklehead – a 5.7% American Red Ale
  • Hef Leppard – a 5.1% Bavarian Style Hefeweizen
  • Hops of Brixton – a 6.1% English Special Bitter (ESB)
  • Amalgamator – a 7.1% West Coast IPA

Once all attendees had received their beers, the servers brought out the food – a plate that contained all four items so that we would have all the food in front of us instead of waiting for the servers to bring out each plate one by one. From start to finish, all attendees dined on:

  • Hickory smoked pork with mustard BBQ sauce and chow chow on Texas Toast
  • Oak smoked pork with spicy whisky tomato sauce and tobacco onions on a grit cake << My Favorite
  • Applewood smoked dry-rubbed pork with vinegar BBQ sauce and vinegar coleslaw on a pretzel bun
  • Pecan smoked pork with apricot BBQ sauce on a sweet potato pancake

Once dinner had ended, servers started to slowly bring out more beer as the dessert beer pairing. Unlike dinner, attendees received one larger glass of beer, as they intended to pair this beer with all four desserts. For our dessert beer, attendees received a glass of Beyond a Reasonable Stout, a 10.0% American Imperial (read: Double) Stout. For our actual dessert plates, attendees received in order:

  • Sponge cake with passion fruit filling, topped with whipped frosting and fresh fruit (strawberries, blackberries, and/or mangoes)
  • Red velvet bacon cupcake with cream cheese frosting
  • Dark Chocolate Verrine
  • (White) Chocolate Chip Sprinkle and Coconut Cranberry Drop Cookies

Once dinner had wrapped up, many of the attendees left, while the L.A. Foodie crew continued to record their podcast. At this point, they now turned their attention towards attendees to ask them about the dinner event. They also wanted to play a short game with a few of us, so I volunteered myself to play along. The first game involved blindfolding the contestants, and having us guess the food that they handed to us. The second game involved a local quiz, which I can tell you right now I failed horribly at. Have a listen to their podcast below, which features lots of information about Beachwood BBQ, Mwokaji Cakery, Long Beach, and more. The segments featuring me start at 15:30. Click here to open the podcast in a new window.

For as much as these guys accomplish, I feel sad for just discovering this and missing all of their past events, such as their Slider pairing the month prior. They have the right idea by exploring this vast region, seeking out tremendous things right under our noses that we often just zip by on the road. All of society can benefit from variety and diversity in life, so try something new and switch up your normal routine to add some kick to life.

Punk Rock NYE @ The Doll Hut
1:00 pm – 1:00 am, December 31
The Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/131758643645811/

A $5 cover lasts all day for this 21 & over all-day punk rock show!

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

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

Nique Ta Mère – Flash Art Mob
9:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 4
Pershing Square, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/339941749438492/

Welcome to a pop-up art exhibit, flash-mob style. During this one-hour spree, artists set up their work on the subway train as a moving art show. After completing a round trip from LA to Hollywood displaying art through the train windows, participants get to hang out and party at Pershing Square!

The Secret Affair – 60’s Night
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 4
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/404973546245223/

Occurring on every month’s first Friday, this 60’s night at Alex’s Bar will play all vinyl music of motown, northern soul, boogaloo, 60’s pop, and more. Feel free to dress up too, as the bar staff will hold costume contests and dance contests.

Health & Wellness Day
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, January 5
The OC Mix, Costa Mesa
http://www.facebook.com/events/456292677766414/

Every first Saturday, people of all ages can visit this free experience at the OC Mart Mix. Visitors will enjoy the weekly farmer’s market, mini seminars from fitness trainers, yoga, cooking demos, olive oil demos & tastings, and more.

Reel Big Fish with The Pilfers and Dan P from MU330 @ House of Blues Anaheim
7:30 pm – 11:30 am, January 5
House of Blues, Anaheim
http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=78227

Get your skanking on this Saturday night with Reel Big Fish at the House of Blues in Anaheim. Tickets cost $23.50 presale and $26.50 at the door.

Free Blues Concert w/ Chris Cain
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 6
Buster’s Beach House, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/393723397379879/

Check out this blues concert on Sunday night at Buster’s Beach House. No one under 21 may enter, as Buster’s enforces a two-drink minimum in exchange for no cover charge.

Concert For Cancer
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 5
The Glass House, Pomona
http://www.theglasshouse.us/event/177935/

The ticket sales to this charity concert assists families affected by cancer. In addition to raising cancer awareness to the community, this concert will feature prize raffles, while local vendors will sell their food, drinks, and merchandise here.

Spring Street Farm’s Sunday Supper
5:30 pm – 9:30 pm, January 6
Expo Arts Center, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/304682

For $100, guests get treated to a local & seasonal fundraiser dinner prepared by local chefs, including wine pairings.

Zephyr’s 6th Annual Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, November 21
Zephyr Cafe, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/483658944987978/

Bring a holiday vegan dish to share, mingle with locals, enjoy local music, and more. Zephyr only provides the venue – guests must provide food, drinks, plates, cups, napkins, utensils, etc.

Long Beach Turkey Trot 5k/10k Run/Walk
6:00 am – 11:00 am, November 22
Belmont Olympic Pool, Long Beach
http://justinrudd.com/trot.html

This fun run takes place on Thanksgiving morning. Participants should pick up their bib and packet from Belmont Olympic Pool prior to that morning – see the site for schedules. Four different runs start at 7am, 8am, 9am, and 10am. The registration fee now costs $40 per person for any run. As a fun run, participants do not receive any actual prizes – only bragging rights. Participants may park in nearby beach parking lots for free until the end of the event, upon which officials will enforce the parking meters.

Dana Point Turkey Trot
6:00 am – 11:00 am, November 22
Dana Point Harbor, Dana Point
http://www.turkeytrot.com/

Another Thanksgiving fun run takes place in Dana Point. Registration costs $40 per person. As with any fun run, participants do not receive prizes for winning.

San Dimas Turkey Trot
6:30 am – 10:30 am, November 24
Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park, San Dimas
http://www.renegaderaceseries.com/index.php?view=details&id=20%3Asan-dimas-turkey-trot-5k-10k-a-kids-run&option=com_eventlist&Itemid=146

Unlike standard turkey trots, this fun run takes runners through dirt and other sorts of uneven trails, even passing through a stream. Looking for a challenge to burn off that Thanksgiving dinner? Look no further than the San Dimas Turkey Trot.

Santa Monica Gobble Wobble
6:30 am – 11:00 am, November 24
Emerson Reed Park, Santa Monica
http://www.santamonicagobblewobble.com/

Combining a fair with a race, the Gobble Wobble adds to the main run with a costume contest, turkey calling contest, potato sack races, and other fair-themed activities. Registration currently costs $35, but will increase to $40 starting Thursday.

ReactorCon
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, November 24
Frank & Son’s, Rowland Heights
http://reactorcon.com/

This FREE expo this Saturday will feature games, costumes, music, tournaments, panels, speakers, celebrity meetings, and more. Fans of all things geeky will want to come to meet the legendary Dean Cain of Superman fame, play in video game tournaments, dress up in costumes, and more.

Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, November 25
Sycamore & 2nd, Downtown Santa Ana
http://www.patchworkshow.com/locations-santa-ana.php

This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at four different locations: Culver City, Long Beach, Oakland, and Santa Ana. As with any typical arts & crafts fair, Patchwork will feature many traditional forms of art and merchandise, but also mixes in alternative art – thinking outside the box, or Rebel Art. Those who have attended Renegade Craft Fair will view Patchwork as a hybrid of that and a traditional art fair. Featuring clothing, accessories, home goods, jewelry, pet items, and more, this FREE fest caters to a wide & diverse crowd. Food trucks will serve guests during the fest. Always remember to carry cash, since most vendors only accept cash. Visitors may park in the nearby parking structure for free.