Posts Tagged ‘Donut’

2015 Taste of Arcadia
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, September 28
Los Angeles County Arboretum, Arcadia
http://arcadiacachamber.org/events/taste-of-arcadia/

The annual Taste of Arcadia returns TONIGHT, so for those planning to go, buy the $65 presale tickets now, or pay $80 at the door. More than 40 food vendors will serve samples, while over 30 other vendors will keep guests occupied between eats.

42nd Los Angeles Korean Festival
3:00 pm – 11:00 pm, October 1
10:00 am – 11:00 pm, October 2-4
Seoul International Park, Koreatown
http://www.lakoreanfestival.org/en/index.php

Immerse yourself in Korean culture at this four-day Korean festival in Koreatown this weekend. Free to attend for all ages, this festival will have food, drinks, treats, music, entertainment, rides, games, arts & crafts, merchandise, vendors, and much more.

Pumpkin Beers Release
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, October 1
Valiant Brewing, Orange
http://www.valiantbrewing.com/two-pumpkin-beers-one-day/

Valiant Brewing will release two new pumpkin beers this Thursday evening. No admission required – simply show up and enjoy a cold one.

San Gabriel Dumpling & Beer Fest
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, October 1
San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, San Gabriel
http://sangabrielcity.com/dumplingbeerfest

The San Gabriel Valley puts their spin on Oktoberfest with this dumpling & beer fest this Thursday night in San Gabriel. Free to attend for all ages, this festival will feature numerous dumpling vendors, other food vendors, live entertainment, a craft beer garden, and more. A wristband for unlimited beer sampling costs $20 presale or $25 at the gate. All food comes at cost, so bring plenty of cash for that.

42nd La Mesa Oktoberfest
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 2-3
La Mesa Village, La Mesa
http://www.lmvma.com/SeasonalEvents/Oktoberfest.aspx

Enjoy a family-fun Oktoberfest celebration this weekend in La Mesa. Free to attend for all ages, this Oktoberfest celebration will have all the usual Oktoberfest festivities such as dance, music, sausages, pretzels, beer, and more. In addition, visitors will find hundreds of vendors, arts & crafts, games, and more activities for all ages.

58th Annual Tustin Tiller Days
4:00 pm – 11:00 pm, October 2
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, October 3
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, October 4
Columbus Tustin Park, Tustin
http://www.tustintillerdays.org/

Bring the family out to this all-ages city fair this weekend. Free to attend, this fair has everything that a family can enjoy, from the rides and games for kids, to the entertainment and vendors for adults. Remember to check out all the fair food, drinks, and dessert too, since buying food here supports local organizations and businesses. Guests can find free street parking in the surrounding neighborhoods.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 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).

2nd Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival
6:30 pm – 11:00 pm, October 2
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, October 3-4
Newport Beach Civic Center, Newport Beach
http://newportwineandfood.com/

Lots of activity will take place in the culinary world this weekend in Newport Beach. On Friday night, a VIP party will take place with a cocktail reception and a three-course food & wine pairing dinner. On Saturday and Sunday, attendees of the festival gain access to unlimited food tastings, cooking demos, cocktail mixing demos, live music, a silent auction, and more. Admission prices significantly vary based on the mode of attendance, with single-day admission costing $195 and a weekend pass costing $350.

Duane Peters Gunfight @ Karman Bar
8:00 pm – 12:30 am, October 2
Karman Bar, Laguna Niguel
http://www.facebook.com/events/1471391639851968/

Local punk bands will perform at the Karman Bar in Laguna Niguel this Friday night. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

Agent Orange: Live in Southern California
8:30 pm – 1:00 am, October 2, Soda Bar, Normal Heights, San Diego http://www.sodabarmusic.com/calendar.php?event_id=2582
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, October 3, Discovery, Ventura http://nightout.com/events/agent-orange-discovery/

Legendary surf punk band Agent Orange will headline two shows in Southern California this weekend. Each show has a different ticket price and age restriction, so click on a show’s link for more information.

1st Annual Los Angeles Moon Festival Cocktail Feast
9:00 pm – 12:00 am, October 2
Vibiana, Downtown Los Angeles
http://luckyrice.com/event/los-angeles-moon-festival-cocktail-feast/

Sip on cocktails and other libations all night in Downtown Los Angeles. General admission costs $50 and starts at 10pm, while VIP admission costs $88 and starts at 9pm. No one under 21 may attend.

Cadillac Tramps @ Alex’s Bar
9:00 pm – 1:30 am, October 2
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/960169-cadillac-tramps-long-beach/

Enjoy some local music at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach this Friday night. Tickets to this show cost $13 presale or $15 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

Long Beach Heart Walk
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, October 3
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach
http://www.heartwalkla.org/

Raise money to walk around Long Beach during this charity walk this Saturday morning.

18th Annual Pacific Beachfest
8:00 am – 7:00 pm, October 3
Crystal Pier, Pacific Beach, San Diego
http://pacificbeachfest.org/

Enjoy a full day of outdoor activities at this free and all-ages beach festival in Pacific Beach. Visitors will find sports, tournaments, activities, live entertainment, arts & crafts, games, food, drinks, and more.

OrangeCon 2015
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, October 3
Pavilion at the University Conference Center, Cal State Fullerton, Fullerton
http://www.ipmsoc.org/

The name of this event does not describe it at all. This all-ages exhibit showcases miniature models of airplanes and other types of vehicles, mostly military in theme. Admission to this viewing costs $5.

2015 Dana Point State BBQ Championships
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, October 3
Sea Terrace Park, Dana Point
http://www.danapointbbqchampionships.com/

Over 100 teams of grill masters will gather from around the country to serve up their finest BBQ and compete for cash, prizes, and titles. Free to attend for all ages, visitors can purchase sample tickets for $2, and use those tickets to exchange for samples from any of the participants. For the adults, catch the craft beer & wine garden, featuring some of the country’s favorite breweries and wineries. Small 4oz beer pours will cost $2 each, while large 12oz beer pours will cost $6, and visitors can walk freely around the festival with drinks in hand. Visitors may park for free at the Salt Creek Beach parking lot located within PCH and Ritz Carlton Dr, despite signs saying that parking requires a fee. Otherwise, park at Dana Hills High School, and take the free shuttle service to the park.

1st Annual Maker Faire San Diego
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, October 3-4
Balboa Park, San Diego
http://sdmakerfaire.org/

Celebrate local makers, artists, designers, and more at this two-day fair taking place in Balboa Park this weekend in San Diego. Attendees will experience handmade goods such as gadgets, sculptures, art, food, apparel, accessories, merchandise, and more. Admission varies depending on age and date of attendance, starting at $12.50 and going up to $30.

43rd Annual Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, October 3-4
Live Oak Park South Field, Manhattan Beach
http://www.mbfair.org/

This free fair for all ages makes its annual return this weekend, featuring games, arts & crafts, food, beer & wine gardens, live entertainment, and more. The city will provide free parking and shuttle transportation at the Northrop Grumman Building at 15092 Aviation Blvd near the intersection of Aviation Blvd and Marine Street in Manhattan Beach.

Los Angeles Donut Festival
11:00 am – 2:00 pm, October 3
Mad Ave LA, East Hollywood
http://ladonutfestival.com/

Spend three hours of your Saturday afternoon standing in long lines munching on donut samples at this donut festival in East Hollywood.

Fall 2015 Brewery Art Walk
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, October 3-4
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.

2nd Annual Artesia International Street Fair & Diversity Festival
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, October 3
Pioneer & 183rd, Artesia
http://www.cityofartesia.us/index.aspx?NID=282

At this free and all-ages street fair this Saturday, visitors will find food, music, dance, live entertainment, arts & crafts, games, rides, vendors, and more.

2nd Annual Vegan Oktoberfest
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, October 3-4
LA Center Studios, Los Angeles
http://www.veganoktoberfest.com/

If you love Oktoberfest but follow the vegan plan, then you will fit right in at this one-of-a-kind Oktoberfest. All the typical Oktoberfest festivities will keep everyone occupied, while everyone gets full on vegan food and vegan beer. General admission costs $45, starts at 1pm, and includes one stein glass with unlimited beer pours. VIP admission costs $55, starts at 12pm, and also provides access to a VIP area with food samples.

3rd Annual Brewer’s Chili Cookoff
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 3
Select Beer Store, Redondo Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/1681526008746826/

A handful of Southern Californian breweries will collide at Select Beer Store this Saturday for an all-day chili cookoff featuring chili made by the brewers as well as beers from the breweries on tap. Chili tasting starts at 4pm, while the beers will flow all day.

San Diego Japan Fair
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 3
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, October 4
NTC Liberty Station, San Diego
http://sd-japanfair.com/

Immerse yourself in Japanese culture this weekend at NTC Liberty Statio in San Diego. 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.

1st Annual Los Angeles Paella & Wine Festival
2:00 pm – 8:00 pm, October 3
La Plaza de Culturas y Artes, Los Angeles
http://www.lapaellafest.com/

Enjoy paella and lots of wine and spirits this Saturday near Downtown Los Angeles. General admission costs $65 presale or $75 at the gate, and includes unlimited food and drink samples. VIP admission costs $120, and also includes access to a VIP area with some exclusive food and drinks.

Roxanne’s Lounge’s 2nd Annual Oktoberfest
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 3
Roxanne’s Lounge, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/834701753242473/

Roxanne’s Lounge in Long Beach will celebrate their own Oktoberfest this Saturday. $15 admission gets you five beer tasters plus access to all the usual Oktoberfest activities, games, contests, music, entertainment, and more. No one under 21 may attend.

Anaheim Brewery’s Oktoberfest
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 3
Anaheim Brewery, Anaheim
http://www.anaheimbrew.com/

Anaheim Brewery will celebrate Oktoberfest with two Saturdays full of Oktoberfest activities, such as live music, freshly-prepared sausages on-site, German-style beers, and more. No admission required – simply show up, paid for beers as you go, and have fun.

Caturday
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, October 3
Community, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/623936704375767/

Cat lovers will want to check out this free and all-ages event this Saturday night in Anaheim. Visitors will find various cat-themed artists and arts & crafts here, as well as a resident food truck to serve hungry guests.

Zombie Fashion Show & Creature Art Exhibit
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, October 3
Lot 613, Los Angeles
http://www.zombiefashionshow.com/

Dozens of Hollywood makeup artists will transform models into the undead at this Saturday night fashion & art show. While the models strut their deathly stuff, attendees can check out zombie-themed artwork from dozens artists from all over the country. The $10 admission grants access to all these exhibits, plus all-you-can-eat pancakes courtesy of the Pancakes & Booze Art Show. No one under 21 may enter.

12th Annual Orange County Children’s Book Festival
9:30 am – 4:30 pm, October 4
Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa
http://kidsbookfestival.com/

This FREE all-ages fair caters to families as it presents thousands of children’s book available to read or buy. The fair will also host multiple stages complete with family-friendly entertainment.

The Generators @ Alex’s Bar
2:00 pm – 6:30 pm, October 4
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/956805-generators-long-beach/

Rock out this Sunday afternoon at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach. Tickets to this local rock show cost $5 presale or $7 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque – First Sundays @ Harvelle’s
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, October 4
Harvelle’s, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.dirtylittlesecretsburlesque.com/

Get your fill of burlesque every first Sunday of the month at Harvelle’s in Downtown Long Beach. No one under 21 may enter.

41st Annual Gourmet Festival of Fall
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, October 4
AbilityFirst, Pasadena
http://abilityfirstfestival.org/

Enjoy food, wine, craft beer, live music, a silent auction, and more this Sunday evening in Pasadena. General admission costs $150, while VIP admission costs $300 and includes VIP seating.

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The hot summer days lends perfectly to grilling weather. As an American tradition, citizens officially start the grilling season on Memorial Day weekend, as that signifies many things. First off, on that weekend, Americans celebrate an important federal holiday to celebrate and honor the lives of those lost while serving for the United States Armed Forces. The weather starts to significantly heat up by this weekend, following the inconsistent weather of April and much of May. As a result of the warmer weather, Americans take advantage of a holiday weekend off of work until the next federal holiday, Independence Day, to gather some friends & family for a party involving grilling. When thinking about grilling for a group of people, what food exactly comes to mind? I guarantee that hot dogs and hamburgers top the list. The notion to purchase these items in bulk contributes to the misconception that these foods do not taste good. The phrase “You get what you pay for” has never applied as much as it does now, as most who purchase in bulk tend to pay low per individual unit. If you seek quality, you will have to drop extra money for it. Hot dogs tend to bear questionable ingredients, but true hamburgers still exist in this world. If you happen to find yourself in Southern California this summer, check out these five places to grab some of the best burgers you will ever have. One bite into these will change the way you look at hamburgers forever.

5. Stefano’s Golden Baked Hams‘ Bur-gini

When you make a product so good that everyone knows you for it, people start to recognize you for that one particular product. In some cases, you just have to go with it, such as with Stefano’s Golden Baked Hams. Located in Yorba Linda, the folks behind the counter churn out more than just sliced pork – they make sandwiches, salads, and drinks too. Often at full capacity during lunch hours, their menu has attracted countless hungry visitors to try their amazing eats, such as the Bur-gini. A burger meets a panini in this interesting twist with a beef patty consisting of a blend of chuck, short rib, and brisket. Bacon, avocado, tomatoes, cheddar, onions, and a roasted garlic & jalapeño cream cheese spread accompanies this unique spin on a patty melt, yielding a hearty bite with a kick. Unfortunately they will only cook the burger no less than well-done, so true burger enthusiasts may not appreciate the firmness of this patty. You can order this fulfilling burger at Stefano’s in Yorba Linda for just $9.50.

4. The Rookery Alehouse‘s The Gunslinger

The popularity of craft beer continues to exponentially rise annually. While more and more people prefer to drink craft beer, many other crafty craft beer fans have taken to cooking with it. The down-home folks at The Rookery Alehouse in Downtown Pomona love beer so much that they incorporate it into some of their menu items. From IPA battered appetizers to ale-braised pork, a customer can find beer in nearly all food that The Rookery has available. For what I can only refer to as a beer shock, try a burger named The Gunslinger. This burger gets the typical supporting cast of tomatoes, arugula, bacon, pepperjack cheese, and that sauce. That dark colored spread on the bun? The Rookery employs a dark ale reduction sauce that gives this burger a sweet flavor with a little bite. Something in the sauce adds the slightest spice, just enough to open up your tastebuds to absorb more flavor from everything present on this burger. All burgers come with your choice of fries or a side salad; personally, I recommend the salad, as the vinaigrette dressing that The Rookery uses provides a tart flavor to help balance the burger. To complete this meal, add some craft beer – an imperial IPA with its bitterness will serve as a palate reset, while a dark ale will sharpen the burger’s juices and sauce. Get this burger in you for just $11.

3. Fusion Burgers‘ Noir Burger

Never judge a book by its cover. Even the scariest neighborhoods can hide diamonds in the rough. When a friend recommended to me to explore her neighborhood of Highland Park, at first I felt skeptical about visiting what I perceived as a desolate and dangerous city. Undaunted, I sought out those recommendations, and one of them landed me at Fusion Burgers. From the outside, this place looks like a hole-in-the-wall. From the inside, this place looks like a hole-in-the-wall. One look upon their burgers, and you will realize this place holds more value than just a hole-in-the-wall. The quality of their burgers rival that of Umami Burger, but cost way less than them. Spoil yourself with Fusion Burgers’ Noir Burger, a spitting image of the Port & Stilton Burger from Umami Burger. The Noir Burger comes with aioli, boschetto a la tartufo (cheese infused with truffles), and a pinot noir sauce. Prepare to get messy with this burger, a burger that takes an umami-coated bat and slams you in the face with it. The pinot noir sauce attempts to tone down the intense savoriness of the burger with its tartness, but simply adds sweetness, intensifying this psychedelic experience. Ask for this burger medium rare, because they will cook it a perfect medium rare. For something that makes top competitors look like child’s play, this burger only costs a mere $10! While the commute here may feel like a chore, the rewards will definitely please you.

2. The Factory Gastrobar‘s Glazed Donut Burger

In regards to when in the day people order the most burgers, the most burgers get served during lunchtime. Dinner often sees burgers getting ordered, just not as much as lunchtime. But burgers for breakfast? Does such a thing exist? Burgers for breakfast definitely exist, just not as prevalent as it should. Fortunately, The Factory Gastrobar in Long Beach has capitalized on the concept of a burger for breakfast. Gastropubs hastily and competitively get into the brunch business in hopes of tiding over the mimosa crowd over to the craft beer crowd, and thanks to the introduction of certain beer styles such as oatmeal stouts and citrus wheat ales, gastropubs can function just fine for brunch. The Factory now has undergone its full transfiguration of experiencing every angle of running a restaurant, resulting in versatility unmatched by competitors. Now open for brunch on weekends, The Factory can sling its locally-grown faire under a warm California sun, such as their Glazed Donut Burger. The patty consists of a pork sausage blend, reminiscent of the breakfast links found in supermarkets, but without preservatives or artificial ingredients. This patty sits on a bed of a cherry bourbon preserve and bacon. All this gets sandwiched between two glazed donut halves, then drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Each burger comes with a side of scrambled eggs, which I recommend you insert into the burger for an all-in-one meal. Even better, you can order craft beer during brunch hours! I cannot determine the perfect beer to pair with this, as I could recommend anything from an IPA to a wild/sour ale. Whatever you choose, I believe that you will believe in The Factory for what they can accomplish.

1. Messhall Kitchen‘s Mess Burger

If you ask anybody about the top three most important factors in what makes a business successful, you will hear “Location, Location, Location.” Sure that mainly applies to real estate, but honestly, this concept applies to virtually everything tangible in this world. Luckily for the burger connoisseurs, the Messhall Kitchen resides in an easily accessible location in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. This mess hall does not mess around with their menu – they carry a massive variety of bourbon, a rotating selection of craft beer, and a diverse menu sure to please anyone of any background. Any first-time visitor will definitely not want to miss the signature Mess Burger, a burger with so much going on that the mind cannot possibly comprehend its existence. This burger comes with “slow onions” (which I will deem as caramelized onions), Vermont cheddar, garlic-infused pickles, and “smokey sauce” (like a thousand island and aioli hybrid). Why bother going through the hassle of throwing on lettuce and tomatoes when you only need the few necessary ingredients to extract the true flavor behind the seared exterior of the beef? You have these slow onions which provide a slight sweetness, cheddar to provide the creaminess, pickles to provide the tartness with a kick of garlic, and this smokey sauce that just emulsifies it all together. If ordered medium rare, the patty comes out with a perfect warm pink center that extends all the way to the side with a nice sear on the exterior. If you find yourself lucky enough to make landfall at or around Los Feliz, head on over and score this beaut of a meal, which costs $16 during dinnertime or $11 during lunchtime. You can also order this burger as sliders during Happy Hour for just $8! Feed your appetite at any size, just the way you want it!

When people think about dessert, they often imagine sweet treats. Where does this conception of sweet dessert derive from? Upon searching for definitions of dessert, the word usually appears quite often. One dictionary defines dessert as a usually sweet dish usually served at the end of a meal. Why do you suppose civilization has come to the acceptance of sweet desserts? Sources say that humans wanted to balance meals that almost always contained salt or savory flavors, so they added something sweet to follow up. Any respectable health and/or fitness person will tell you not to balance salt with sweet, but instead to chug water to balance the pH levels in the body. Basic science experiments in school teach us that salt absorbs water, which dehydrates humans, while sugar inflates water, which bloats humans. Conclusively, if humans consume a savory meal without drinking adequate water, a sweet dessert would attempt to inflate the water in our bodies, but since the salt absorbed the water, the sugar will inflate other fluids, leading to fat gain. Lesson learned: always drink water with every meal. However, I now digress – you probably now crave something sweet after taking all that in. Continue reading to discover five bacon desserts in the Greater Los Angeles Area that you ought to seek out this season.

5. Chunk N Chip‘s The Elvis

Desserts date back to ancient civilizations, when humans consumed raw products like fruit, honey, and nuts. Over time, as foods evolve, taste evolves too. Time gets to a point where we finally get to do and try things we always wanted to as children, but could not due to age restrictions. When Elvis Presley grew up, he finally could eat peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwiches to his heart’s content. Those who have not heard of The Elvis may not immediately find this type of sandwich appetizing, but the folks at Chunk N Chip have discovered a fun way of delivering the legacy. Their version of The Elvis consists of bananas foster ice cream and candied bacon sandwiched between two warm peanut butter cookies. The bacon carries a texture similar to candied pecans, or pralines, but with its trademark salty meaty flavor. In this ice cream sandwich, the bacon adds a crunchy texture to an otherwise soft and gooey treat. Chunk N Chip changes their daily selection, so if you crave The Elvis, contact them on Facebook or Twitter and ask when they plan to carry this. Who says no to bacon for dessert?

4. Suite 106 Cupcakery‘s Pancakes N’ Bacon Cupcake


Shown on right

Some time after the frozen yogurt fad took off around 2004-2005, the cupcake trend emerged thanks to the opening of Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills. After their success, hundreds of pastry chefs across the nation followed that trend and soon opened up their own cupcakery. Many have tried, yet many have failed due to bad cupcakes. However, some cupcake stores have proven that they deserve to remain in the business. While Suite 106 Cupcakery lacks their own independent storefront, they make up for it with their moist and delicious cupcakes. Located inside the Victoria Gardens food court in Rancho Cucamonga, Suite 106 utilizes organic and all-natural ingredients to give their cupcakes the texture, moisture, and sweetness that makes a cupcake worth it. Prominently, their frosting does not taste overwhelmingly of butter, which many other cupcakeries seem to not pay any attention to. This allows their cupcakes to portray more of the true flavors of the cupcakes rather than the richness found in most other frostings elsewhere. On weekends, their cupcake rotation includes the popular Pancakes N’ Bacon Cupcakes, a buttermilk spice cake topped with spiced bacon buttercream, real bacon bits, and maple syrup. The concept of bacon cupcakes started just a few years ago, yet many of those so-called bacon cupcakes fail to accurately balance the saltiness of the bacon with the sweetness of the cupcake, not to mention all the terrible frostings I have attempted to taste. Suite 106 understands the art of baking, as evident in their little packages of goodness. Make a road trip to Suite 106, and you will not regret it.

3. Chapter One: The Modern Local‘s Bourbon Bacon Banana Donut

I blame the saturation of generic donut shops across the nation for the poor conception of donuts. In a similar vein to old food trucks, generic donut shops cause most people to view donuts as cheap sugar foods that police like to eat out of convenience. No one ever took donuts seriously until Krispy Kreme expanded in the late 1990’s. Their significant improvements on donuts paved the way for chefs and restaurant owners to attempt their skills at further improving the donut. If you seek one of these superior donuts, look no further than Chapter One: The Modern Local. This little restaurant in Downtown Santa Ana pushes the limits of quality in food, drinks, and service. With an amazing selection of eats & drinks, they constantly hold a full house on weekends. Perhaps everyone crowds around the bar because of their infamous Bourbon Bacon Banana Donut. Take a banana donut, layer it with bourbon maple frosting, marmalade, and cocoa nibs, then brûlée a banana with candied bacon bits, and sit it on top of the donut. This treat attracts eyes everywhere, which will envy anyone ordering this epic donut. The rich donut carries more density than standard donuts, so I suggest splitting the donut if possible. Once you do finally get to dig in to this donut, remember to scoop a little of every ingredient in each bite. All ingredients contribute to the dish, so you do not want to miss any feature of it.

2. The Factory Gastropub‘s Breakfast For Dessert

The media does an evil job of portraying sweets for breakfast. When kids watch commercials saying “Trix are for kids,” they program into their minds that they should eat that sugary cereal for breakfast. Sadly, many cereals oriented towards kids carry more sugar than a candy bar. I mean, how can anyone consider Lucky Charms an acceptable breakfast? Marshmallows have no place at the breakfast table. Real people eat bacon for breakfast! But what if you want to enjoy your bacon breakfast later in the day? If you so please, you can have your bacon breakfast and eat it later in the day too at The Factory Gastropub in the Bixby Knolls community of Long Beach. In this quaint neighborhood, The Factory attracts gourmet food and craft beer lovers from all over to soak in the smooth atmosphere in a quiet setting. The taps pour local brews, while the kitchen cooks up local organic and sustainable ingredients. They love to experiment with food often, and will host special dinner nights every now and then as test plates for customers to try. When an experiment works, it earns a spot on their menu. In the case of Breakfast For Dessert, this genius idea easily won hearts and a permanent spot on the dessert menu. This plate receives a scoop of peanut butter ice cream, sea salt focaccia French toast, stout-chocolate-covered bacon, and maple syrup. With as much butter as they use in the French toast, you would swear Paula Deen made this dish. The stout they use for the bacon depends on the current stout on tap. Fast food has capitalized on the idea of breakfast any time of the day, so when a local restaurant seizes this idea, one can expect great things to churn out of the kitchen. To get your bacon, breakfast, and dessert all on the same plate, head to The Factory and order the Breakfast For Dessert.

1. Animal Restaurant‘s Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar

If it moos, oinks, baas, clucks, coos, or swims, you can eat it. Only the brave can stomach what the public does not accept as “normal” food. But when has conformity stopped anyone from doing what they want to do? The media explains the acceptance of eating chicken, pork, and beef, but at the same time, the media loves to display groups like PETA, providing a contradictory stance of survival of the fittest. As such, most people find it unacceptable to eat meats like lamb, venison, wild boar, and more. In addition, most people do not consider all parts of an animal as food, and thanks to the media, the general public shuns the notion of eating animal parts like offals, guts, and other appendages. When cooked right, people have nothing to fear, and the lads at Animal Restaurant boldly go where no chef has gone before – into the hearts of the animals. A legendary institution of Fairfax, the folks at Animal treat every party of an animal’s body with utmost care and equality. They do not discriminate against which part of the animal goes into a dish, believing in reducing waste by consuming everything. The main menu changes monthly depending on the market’s offerings, but the dessert menu remains fairly consistent. When you carry something famous like the Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar, you would think twice about modifying that section of the menu. This dense bar of chocolate and bacon gets served with salt & pepper ice cream and vanilla bean powder. Take a moment to understand the constituents of the plate. First off, look at that Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar. They carefully layer the bar to appear like a glorified bacon strip after slicing it. No term can accurately describe the bar, since its high density makes it beyond a cake. Now look at that ball of ice cream… Salt & Pepper ice cream. They took it a step beyond vanilla bean ice cream and made their own unique ice cream flavor, tasting like a cold creamy treat of salt and pepper. I dare you to find salt and pepper ice cream like this anywhere else in the world. Just to bring things back into perspective, the plate gets topped off with vanilla bean powder. Do not underestimate the small stature of this plate – this dense bar will easily fill up one person, so take care of yourself and whoever else you bring here by splitting the bar and ice cream. Everybody wins in this case.

Eat dessert first.

What does a typical person seek in a dessert? Does dessert have to taste sweet? Can that dessert come in liquid form? Does dessert automatically exclude some ingredients? Depending on the palate, people define a dessert in an endless amount of ways. Many people prefer a traditional sweet and solid dessert, such as cake or pie. Some prefer a liquid dessert, such as a milkshake, coffee, wine, or even beer. Would you ever consider a dessert that contains components found in the main course of the meal? Chefs and cooks have toyed around with this idea for the past few years, often adding meat or other odd ingredients to their desserts – sometimes it works, often times it does not. In the case of the former, I have discovered a restaurant that struck gold playing with this notion – adding bacon and liquor to dessert. One can find this interesting dessert at Chapter One: The Modern Local in Downtown Santa Ana.

Chapter One: The Modern Local cuts no corners when it comes to quality; in fact, they shave it down to a perfect 90° angle. Using the best in local and seasonal ingredients, they craft each plate and drink with remarkable precision. Their food menu can leave anyone overwhelmed at the choices of amazing dishes to select, but the dessert menu can leave anyone bewildered. Dessert at Chapter One consists primarily of donuts with the Chapter One twist. Customers can witness this twist best in their Bourbon Bacon Banana Donut. This banana doughnut gets a heaping coating of bourbon maple frosting, marmalade, and cocoa nibs. A brûléed banana half sits on top of this doughnut, covered with candied bacon bits. It goes without saying that anyone ordering this has to get a little of everything in each bite. Take some of the banana and bacon, and dive into the doughnut, scooping some of the marmalade along the way.

Who said meat only belongs on the entrée? Any willing diners can obtain this Bourbon Bacon Banana Donut at Chapter One in Downtown Santa Ana for just $6. Head on over there and tantalize your taste buds with this superior take on bacon donuts.

Pondering upon the staples in American cuisine, the hamburger remains one of the most widely known foods that virtually everyone has eaten at one point in life. Even vegans and vegetarians have tried a form of the hamburger, usually using imitation or soy patties, or in some cases, a patty constructed with oats & barley. Chefs and home cooks alike love to cook and create hamburgers because of its blank canvas nature, rivaled only by the sandwich in terms of versatility. My love of hamburgers derives from this ability of versatility and creativity in formulating the perfect bite. Over time, I have searched around for the best hamburgers ever, and though my search never produced a clear best, I have had the privilege of sampling some of the greater hamburgers in the area. Earlier in the summer, I listed 5 hamburgers to try during the summer months. If you have not gone to try those burgers, then you really need to seek those burgers down, because some of those may not remain on their respective menus for long. For now, I have five more hamburgers that you must try in the Los Angeles area this season.

5. Eureka! Burger‘s Fig Marmalade Burger

Travelers can learn much from the locals. Locals tend to know exactly where to find anything travelers need. However, all travelers should know to always ask the locals about the best places to dine at. Leave it to a local to inform me about Eureka! Burger (henceforth just Eureka), a burger bar that specializes in gourmet burgers and craft beer. Eureka’s menu represents your typical American bistro fare – appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and of course, burgers. If it has “Burger” in the name, then their burgers have to taste amazing, right? So the first time I arrived at Eureka, I immediately asked my server to bring me their most popular burger without telling me which burger I had ordered. In no time later, my server brings to me the Fig Marmalade Burger. This burger, cooked to order, comes topped with homemade fig marmalade, melted goat cheese, crispy bacon, minced tomato, onions, and arugula with a spicy porter sauce. Talk about blending a world of flavors together into a melting pot! Fig and goat cheese merge together as a classic combination to create a sweet and creamy blend, while the bacon adds its salty kick, cutting through the fig and goat cheese. Surprisingly, you can clearly taste the porter in the sauce too, although which porter they use remains a mystery to me. Oh, and all burgers come with fries cut in-house. Pair this burger with a nice pale ale or amber ale, and you will have a divine dinner. With seven locations currently open and more on the way, you need to head down to your local Eureka! Burger and try this delicious plate.

4. 1321 Downtown Taproom Bistro‘s MOD Burger

You have to give a lot of credit to themed restaurants. Most restaurants have their servers dress in normal restaurant-black, and they act like normal people. But once you step into a themed restaurant, not only do the servers dress the part, but you may also hear an accent, legit or funny! Finding the right balance of playing the theme and working seriously can bolster business, and 1321 Downtown Taproom Bistro in Torrance has found that balance. Running with an early 1900’s theme, 1321 almost feels like an olde saloon, as the servers dress up in vintage vests and other garments. The restaurant even airs silent black & white movies in the dining area. Straying away from the theme, the menu does not follow the old theme, but instead caters to modern palates. Most of their menu carries modern culinary influence, such as the MOD Burger. This giant beef patty gets topped with white cheddar, stout-braised onions, slab bacon, greens, and smoked tomato remoulade. Now this topping list sounds normal, but instead of trying to create something new, 1321 reinvents the burger with high quality ingredients. When cooked rare to medium rare, the massive patty contains all the juices of the beef, releasing upon the first big bite. The onions come out very strong, and using slab bacon allows for thicker cuts and enhanced taste. Overall, 1321 makes this burger RIGHT. The burger comes with Pub Fries too, but honestly, do you order a burger just so you can eat fries? Order this burger with an Imperial IPA for the optimal pairing.

3. Grill ’em All‘s Behemoth

If you win a Food Network show, then you have a secret weapon that you used to secure the win. To win a competition at such a high level requires either the finest training in the world, or something so outrageous that no one else has ever thought about it. The boys over at Grill ’em All has thrown away all conventions to deliver to starving customers their renditions of Heavy Metal Hamburgers. Grill ’em All does not dolly around with vegetables – all their burgers (except for one) aim to smash your face with other ingredients that seek to obliterate your taste buds. Their monster creation, The Behemoth, has gained widespread popularity thanks in part to their usage of it during their stint on Food Network. First of all, this burger uses TWO grilled cheese sandwiches as buns. A typical person can only down one of these at a time. Grill ’em All would like you to smash TWO sandwiches AND the rest of the burger, which comes with cheddar, bacon, beer-soaked onions, pickles, and BBQ Sauce. Good lord, what has science created? No one will tell you the calorie count for this monstrosity, because no man should ever walk away from this challenge knowing the schematics behind it. Dare you face The Behemoth in one sitting? I shall inform you that this does not taste good when reheated, so you best devour this all in one sitting, lest you deprive yourself the opportunity to conquer this towering beast. You can hunt down Grill ’em All as they roam Los Angeles on wheels, or wait patiently until their store opening in San Gabriel Valley coming soon.

2. Slater’s 50/50‘s Donut Burger

Excerpt from my post about it:

Slater’s 50/50 continually outdoes themselves in manly culinary creations. They serve their latest iteration, the 50/50 Donut Burger, on weekends from 9am to 12pm. This messy mouthful holds their signature 50/50 patty topped with American cheese and a sunny-side up egg, served between TWO glazed donuts with a side of strawberry jam. Unlike other donut burgers we have seen before which consist of one donut cut in half to serve as the buns, Slater’s 50/50 decided to give you TWO donuts as individual buns burger holders. The ingredient list appears minimal, but honestly all you need in a wake-up slap lies right here, because everything works well together. The subtle combo of the egg and cheese plus the sweetness from the donut truly bring out the meatiness of the 50/50 patty. I have eaten 50/50 burgers before, but usually the toppings overwhelm the patty, and the burger becomes an afterthought. With this Donut Burger, nothing overpowers the patty, allowing you to savor the true experience of devouring a 50/50 burger. For those feeling extra bold, request some peanut butter and lather it and the jam on the burger.

1. Haven Gastropub‘s Haven Burger

When a chef leads a petition to overturn a significant food law, you know that everyone trusts that chef to cook the most amazing dishes. The people would go crazy if someone had more talent than the leader. Luckily, the right man led the petition earlier this year to overturn the foie gras ban. Unfortunately, the law never got overturned, hence why we sit here without delicious foie gras in our bellies. That still does not take away the fact that Chef Greg Daniels of Haven Gastropub cooks among the elites of the industry. Living a legacy of its own, Haven Gastropub crafts some of the finest food anyone has ever tried while pouring some of the best craft brews available. When something tastes that good, the chef usually grants the dish a proper name, which you can find in the Haven Burger. Pickled red onions, roasted red bell peppers, wild arugula, and St. Agur cheese accompany this burger, with pommes frites on the side. Paired with an IPA, this meal fits in any time of the day. The burger patty bears so much natural juices that you do not need sauce with this burger – Chef Daniels places all you need on the burger, without the need for anything else. For the love of food, do not modify this burger. In fact, one should never modify anything unless it pertains to certain food allergies. Chefs craft the ingredients for a reason, and each ingredient serves a purpose that contributes to the flavor output. Modifying changes what the chef had in mind for you to try, thus you cannot taste the chef’s true talent. On that note, nothing insults a chef more than customers adding salt and/or pepper to their food. Your dish already has all the flavors it should have, so just adding basic flavors ruins the vision. But anyways, I digress – no other burger comes close to tasting similar to the Haven Burger. When you want to treat your taste buds to paradise, head over to Haven Gastropub in Orange or Pasadena and order the Haven Burger. Savor it for its true form, and your soul shall reward you back.

When you wake up in the morning on the weekend, what do you crave? Thinking about a typical Sunday morning, or maybe even a Saturday morning, most people want to revitalize themselves after a long previous night, so a Sunday brunch hits the spot. But perhaps you want something out of the ordinary one random weekend morning. You want to wake up to no ordinary breakfast, something to get your day started right. Ask yourself this though: do I want something sweet like donuts, or savory like eggs & meat? What if you could get the best of both? If you desire to wake up to something sweet and savory, head over to Slater’s 50/50 and order their 50/50 Donut Burger.

Slater’s 50/50 continually outdoes themselves in manly culinary creations. They serve their latest iteration, the 50/50 Donut Burger, on weekends from 9am to 12pm. This messy mouthful holds their signature 50/50 patty topped with American cheese and a sunny-side up egg, served between TWO glazed donuts with a side of strawberry jam. Unlike other donut burgers we have seen before which consist of one donut cut in half to serve as the buns, Slater’s 50/50 decided to give you TWO donuts as individual buns burger holders. The ingredient list appears minimal, but honestly all you need in a wake-up slap lies right here, because everything works well together. The subtle combo of the egg and cheese plus the sweetness from the donut truly bring out the meatiness of the 50/50 patty. I have eaten 50/50 burgers before, but usually the toppings overwhelm the patty, and the burger becomes an afterthought. With this Donut Burger, nothing overpowers the patty, allowing you to savor the true experience of devouring a 50/50 burger. For those feeling extra bold, request some peanut butter and lather it and the jam on the burger.

Need a wake-up call worth bragging about? Head over to Slater’s 50/50 for breakfast on weekends and order this manly creation for the low price of $9.95. Feel free to take pictures of it and show it off like a boss.

Perhaps you have a favorite restaurant. Perhaps you have a favorite butcher, meat market, or carnicería. Perhaps you have a favorite kosher deli. Perhaps you have a favorite coffee & tea house. Perhaps you have a favorite bar. Perhaps you have a favorite donut shop. You may have all of these already set in your mind, but perhaps you did not know that there is a mecca where you can find ALL of these in one place. That place is the legendary UMAMIcatessen.

The Umami series of restaurants is renowned in Southern California. Umami Burgers are plentiful throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. Umami is fine dining at affordable prices, because there is no competition for their offerings. Nothing can compare to what Umami serves. I can honestly say that Umami holds the #1 spot in many of my Top X lists because it is THAT good. However, this post is not about all the Umami restaurants – this post is about what UMAMIcatessen carries, and that is the Foie Gras & Jelly (FG&J) Donut.

The FG&J Donut resembles a filled donut. The donut is filled with Foie Gras mousse & forest berry jame, and topped with powdered sugar & peanuts (yeast). The filling is not mixed together – one side will have the jelly, while the other side will have the foie gras. Many people I know who have ordered this mouthwatering dessert start from the jelly side. I urge you not to start from the jelly side – ALWAYS start from the foie gras side. You want that instant rush of foie to hit your palette like a ton of bricks. Once you savor the foie gras mousse all over your mouth, then you can get to the jame (I really do not know why it is spelled that way on the menu) and other parts of the donut.

If you are reading this while foie gras can still be served, you can splurge on this donut at UMAMIcatessen for just $8. But why stop there? There is a wide expanse of delights to devour at UMAMIcatessen, so even with foie gras gone, your choices will remain abundant.