Posts Tagged ‘Downtown’

The 9th Annual Global Reddit Meetup Day took place this past Saturday. The Los Angeles region met up at Grand Park in Downtown LA, with an afternoon filled with food and games. This free and all-ages event invited Reddit users to come mix and mingle to meet new friends and share ideas and fun. Operating like a potluck, many of the attendees brought snacks and treats, while some others brought things to do, such as games, piñatas, and sporting goods such as balls and frisbees. While stereotypes of Reddit users revolve around shut-ins who stay on their computers and/or smartphones, this event proved otherwise. In fact, no one ever truly witnessed anyone else buried away on their smartphone. Virtually all of the attendees had a good time meeting others and chatting the day away. Many others felt the same way – during my walk towards the location, I encountered a few others looking for the event, and they too had their skepticism about the types of people that we would encounter. Fortunately, everyone exhibited a friendly vibe, and I felt sad to leave so soon because I had 2-hour parking only and wanted to stay longer.

For more information about this meetup event, check out the Los Angeles section of Reddit for recent posts. Check out that page from time to time for updates from around LA County, as well as information about future events and meetups.

This past Saturday, Orange County food event planners 100eats returned to the streets of Downtown Santa Ana to bring back a food festival experience to an up & coming area. Called Pub & Grub: A Culinary Crawl, this tasting event brought out over a dozen of Orange County restaurants and gourmet food trucks to serve up their best street food samples to the hundreds of attendees. In addition, a handful of Southern California’s microbreweries set up to serve some refreshing brews to pair with all the food going around. The event covered 5th Street between Main Street and Spurgeon Street, as well as Bush Street down to 4th Street, the entrance to the event. Folks who have attended one of their previous events, Ooze Festival, will recognize how they set up Pub & Grub. The general admission method involves pay-as-you-go. The event took place on Saturday opening at 12pm and closing at 11pm. Pub & Grub operated continuously during that time, with a cost $10 to enter. Once inside, attendees would then have to pay for any food they wish to consume. This works best for those who did not plan to eat as much, or wanted to selectively choose what to eat or drink. The VIP admission method involved a traditional food fest operation. This took place in one of two three-hour sessions: 2pm-5pm and 6pm-9pm, and for $40 presale or $60 at the gate, any attendee received unlimited food & drink samples for this duration.

As I attended the night session, I eventually encountered the downfalls of this event. Two major issues arose by the halfway point of this event. Not only did the VIP vendors start running out of food and/or drinks by then, but the entire event had so much empty space. The VIP section had one liquor booth, three breweries, four food booths, and one dessert booth. The general section had three food trucks, one dessert truck, and one snack booth. Overall, this made for a LOT of open space that the organizers could have easily filled with more vendors. Did food vendors drop out of the event? In any case, this led to long lines in the VIP section and VIP vendors running out early. All of these issues would dissolve with more vendors. Unfortunately, this weekend contained a lot of other events, such as the LA Food Fest, so getting an adequate amount of vendors to this event resembled bidding on vendors.

When it comes to adding flavor to foods, nothing can boss the sauce. At its base, sauce contains sugar, salt, pepper, or any combination of those plus additional ingredients. Some foods contain flavor within itself, such as meats that have seasonings and herbs that help bring out the meat’s natural flavor. Most of the time, people add sauces or condiments to their foods to add flavor. For the most part, sauces bring a sweet component to the table, such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, steak sauce, or teriyaki sauce. Many other sauces can add flavor components from sour to salty to spicy and more. However, when it comes to enhancing the flavors of the original dish, nothing can beat hot sauce. The capsaicin in hot sauces helps to open up our taste buds, allowing us to detect and absorb more flavors. For those that cannot take the heat, just a little bit helps to greatly enhance the flavor of the dish, something you can do at Slide Bar as of this week.

Downtown Fullerton has its fair share of restaurants, and businesses come and go every year. However, Slide Bar has endured the test of time. While some smaller restaurants may not make it past the first year, the Slide Bar has never relented. During the early years of the Slide Bar, most locals viewed the Slide Bar as a bar and concert lounge, a place to spend weekend nights at. Around 2014, the folks at the Slide Bar conducted an overhaul of their kitchen and started serving up better food. Sure they maintained themselves as a bar and concert lounge, but at least now one can consider the Slide Bar as a destination for lunch and/or dinner, where they can snag something such as the Cali Bandito Tacos. Essentially a California Burrito in taco form, this order of tacos comes with three made-to-order corn tortillas, each filled with carne asada marinated in Gringo Bandito hot sauce, French fries, cheddar cheese, an avocado slice, and sour cream. These three tacos come with a side of tortilla chips and a bean dip. These tacos have just the right amount of spiciness to not overwhelm your palate, but still give enough kick to allow you to fully enjoy the natural flavor of the carne asada.

The Slide Bar does more than just host bands and sling drinks – they have a full kitchen with a menu worth checking out. Check out what they have cooking up in their kitchen by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Food business means serious business. In any given 24-hour period, over a billion dollars circulate in the economy that pertain to food sales, both prepared foods and food ingredients. As such, this makes the food & beverage industry a vast world to explore, proposing little barriers to entry but a long climb to the top to remain successful in a large industry. Any daring entrepreneur can step into the food industry, but remaining in the industry poses an entirely different challenge. Catering has remained a less popular aspect of the industry, as most people prefer to do their own choosing and selecting when it comes to food. However, an organization hopes to change that perspective with their ezFoodFest, an event aimed at showcasing the best of local food.

Hosted by ezCater, the ezFoodFest represents a gathering of dozens of local restaurants and food businesses under one roof, all sampling their goods to the hundreds of attendees throughout the night. The ezFoodFest started in Boston, and the Los Angeles event took place last Thursday night on the first floor of the California Market Center in Downtown Los Angeles. So what makes ezFoodFest stand out among the rest of the multitude of food festivals that take place in the greater Los Angeles area? One word: FREE. Indeed, it costs zero for interested attendees to come on in, check out the event, and stuff themselves full on this night. Even better, attendees received TWO drink tickets good for any drink at the bars, including straight liquor on the rocks. Of course, this meant that anyone under 21 could not attend. According to one of the organizers of the event, they make their ezFoodFest events free as a means of paying it forward, hoping that attendees would not only give their business to the participating restaurants, but also use the ezCater service.

Interested in checking out what ezCater has to offer? They will hold two more ezFoodFest events this year – one in Atlanta later this month, and one back in Boston later this year. Check out ezCater’s website linked above, and also take a look at their Facebook and Twitter pages to see what neat things they have in store.

The second Taste of Downtown Long Beach of 2017 will occur this week on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Free to attend for all ages, numerous businesses in Downtown Long Beach will set up along Pine Avenue to serve food & drinks to guests who purchase food tickets. Guests can purchase 12 tickets for $10 online, or one ticket for $1 each at the event. The restaurants that serve at this event range from the many restaurants around the East Village to those along Pine Avenue to the handful of restaurants in Shoreline Village and Rainbow Harbor. In addition to all the food, local bands will play music throughout the night, and local artists and vendors set up to sell their merchandise and other work.

If you cannot make it out to this food fest, the Downtown Long Beach Association will host the taste one more time in late August. For a simple method to sample what Downtown Long Beach has to offer, you do not want to miss the next taste or two.

Technology has truly come a long way in short time. In the 1990’s, many people did not know of the internet, and those that did had to deal with the frustration of dial-up. Just a decade ago, smartphones had just made its introduction to the world, revolutionizing information technology by placing the world in your hands. Many other gadgets have surfaced since the smartphone, including many wearables and other useful tools. The way we view electronics has changed greatly over time too. Touch screens started off as resistive, meaning it relied on physical pressure to measure taps and touches. Touch screens later evolved into capacitive, which senses the conductive capacity of an object that touches the screen, such as human skin. In addition to touch screens, 3D and virtual reality has existed for a long time too, but had not made it into the mainstream as much. Times have changed, and you can now possess virtual reality in your hands, which the VRLA Expo 2017 showcased many forms of VR.

The general public used to think of virtual reality as a luxury item, but in today’s economy, anyone can experience VR, and the VRLA Expo 2017 exhibited the many ways that one can experience VR. This all-ages electronics expo took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center’s west hall this past weekend, and contained dozens of vendors all showcasing their entry into the VR market. Within the expo hall, the convention center staff had the lights dimmed the entire time so that attendees can better witness the spectacle of virtual reality. Most of the demos involved a VR headset that you either hold up to your eyes or have them strapped around your eyes so that you get the full immersion of the video clip or game. Most commonly, attendees got to use the HTC Vive (a complete virtual reality headset that includes a viewer and controllers, but no headphones) or other similar VR headset such as the Samsung Gear VR or Oculus Rift. Other VR demos at this expo included mixed reality (MR), full body motion capture, physical/cardio machines (bikes, elliptical, etc), and a 360 dome that simulated perspective distortion, where you lie still in a room surrounded by a round screen, and that screen displayed a video that made you feel like you moved with the video.

The future has arrived, and the future includes virtual reality. We live in a future where we put clocks in our smartphones so that we do not need to wear a watch, yet we now have smartwatches so that we do not have to pull our phones out of our pockets. In this future, we now use a USB cord to charge books and cigarettes. Virtual reality does not have to cost you much – if you have a smartphone (I recommend at least a five inch screen), you can use a Google Cardboard with it, which should only cost a few dollars on third-party sites. If you missed out on the VRLA Expo 2017, fret not, as they normally run their expo twice a year. In the meantime, check out the VRLA Expo on Facebook and Twitter for more info about future expos and all the vendors that participated in this past weekend’s expo.

Ever participate in a flash mob? No, not the kind of flash mob where everyone breaks out in dance. I speak of the infamous pillow fight flash mob. World Pillow Fight Day takes place every year on the first Saturday of April, where communities around the world gather to unleash a fray of feather-fueled frenzy on unsuspecting combatants. Due to the unorganized nature of a flash mob, no one can control what occurs, so anyone can join in, yet anything goes. One will encounter solo pillow fighters, pillow fighter parties, and specific pillow fighter “targets” dressed in costume. Throughout the melee, someone may call out a target, prompting anyone nearby to all focus on that particular pillow fighter. While many people brought cotton pillows, the few that brought feather pillows made the pillow fight much more interesting. Of course, this also caused some breathing issues as the air filled with dust and feathers. Regardless, everyone had a great time, and despite the location, the event did not see any troublemakers.

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

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

Ever participate in a flash mob? No, not the kind of flash mob where everyone breaks out in dance. I speak of the infamous pillow fight flash mob. World Pillow Fight Day takes place every year on the first Saturday of April, where communities around the world gather to unleash a fray feather-fueled frenzy on unsuspecting combatants. Due to the unorganized nature of a flash mob, no one can control what occurs, so anyone can join in, yet anything goes. One will encounter solo pillow fighters, pillow fighter parties, and specific pillow fighter “targets” dressed in costume. Throughout the melee, someone will call out a target, prompting anyone nearby to all focus on that particular pillow fighter. For best results, participants should use feather pillows instead of cotton or memory foam pillows, and make a few perforations on the pillows to allow the feathers to fly. Participants should maintain their health by wearing goggles, bandanas, masks, or anything else to help preserve vision and breathing.

Note that most locations take place in dense areas, so prepare to pay for parking. Check the website for confirmed locations throughout the world. As far as Southern California goes, World Pillow Fight Day returns to Los Angeles after taking many years off, with the last one taking place in 2011.

When it comes to adding flavor to foods, nothing can boss the sauce. At its base, sauce contains sugar, salt, pepper, or any combination of those plus additional ingredients. Some foods contain flavor within itself, such as meats that have seasonings and herbs that help bring out the meat’s natural flavor. Most of the time, people add sauces or condiments to their foods to add flavor. For the most part, sauces bring a sweet component to the table, such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, steak sauce, or teriyaki sauce. Many other sauces can add flavor components from sour to salty to spicy and more. However, when it comes to enhancing the flavors of the original dish, nothing can beat hot sauce. The capsaicin in hot sauces helps to open up our taste buds, allowing us to detect and absorb more flavors. For those that cannot take the heat, just a little bit helps to greatly enhance the flavor of the dish, something you can do at Burger Parlor as of this week.

An Orange County staple, Burger Parlor brings the right balance of familiar foods with intuitive innovation. Now approaching their fifth year in business, Burger Parlor has the right business formula to keep customers coming back, as well as attract new customers to crave more. Their standard menu has not changed that much since they got started – the menu you see today contains items that has lived on that menu for years. However, that does not mean that Burger Parlor does not innovate – in fact, Burger Parlor appears to always have limited-time specials, such as their Gringo Bandito Burger available starting this week. Named for its signature ingredient, this burger comes with Gringo Bandito aioli, roasted Anaheim chiles, crushed avocado, a crisp tostada chip, a fried egg, and Gringo Bandito crema, topped with more Gringo Bandito sauce. Despite all the hot sauce getting thrown around, the overall burger does not come off as a spice attack. It balances quite nicely between the aioli, crema, avocado, and egg.

You can snag this burger at both Burger Parlor locations in Fullerton and Orange for a limited time. Head on over and taste this bit of heat to spice up your day. Follow Burger Parlor on Facebook and Twitter for more details about the Gringo Bandito Burger.