Posts Tagged ‘Drinks’

Beautiful California: a state unlike any other. From the luscious weather to the so-called California Girls, California almost represents a unique country of its own. As one of the major metropolitan states of this nation, California has one of the largest populations of virtually all demographics, but especially young adults. As society can guess, young adults sure love their hard beverages, and California has no shortage of festivals featuring hard beverages. Practically every week of the year, a festival occurs that features either craft beer, wine, or cocktails/spirits. When adults think festivals that include alcohol, they immediately think about what other activities and forms of entertainment to expect at the events. The days of simple tasting events have long gone by the wayside, and now people expect to find more than just drinking at such festivals. Typical events may include some games or live music, plus some some of food either included with admission or at a separate cost. The more these events feature, the more they feel like they bit off more than they could chew. Some events promise everything yet deliver underwhelming content, while some events promise the best of a few specialties and deliver all they can to satiate the attendees, such as at the 2nd Annual Driftwood Festival.

The Driftwood Festival returned for its second year running this past Saturday. Taking place at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, this festival combines craft beer, drinks, food, and country music all in one location. With over a hundred different beers and other beverages to sip on, attendees had a plethora of options to get their buzz on. With so much to do in so little time, one would expect to try to rush around to see everything before the event ended. The beer stopped pouring at 4pm, while the entertainment continued onward until 10pm. While it would appear that this would draw in two different types of crowds, every attendee appeared to appreciate everything this festival had to offer. Driftwood represents the ideal country music fan festival, complete with the music, barbecue food, and craft drinks. The venue’s location did mean that travelers would have to plan to pay to park near here, or at least take the shuttle, as the festival this time charged attendees to take the shuttle to a higher-capacity parking area.

Although I did not attend the previous year’s festival, I knew that the organizers behind this event teamed up with the organizers behind OC Brew Ha Ha. As such, they handled the festival operations quite well as they always do with their events. Speaking of which, the annual OC Brew Ho Ho returns in less than a month from now, so if you like good beer and appreciate a well-organized event, you owe it to yourself and your friends to check out that event when it rolls into town in December each year.

Advertisements

Summer has undoubtedly arrived, what with the heat wave and all. The weather does not appear to get any cooler in the next month or two, so cool off with a nice cool treat. The summer season has a great effect on the types of food and drinks that people consume, as more people start to prefer light and refreshing things to consume. Your body just craves it – when you feel hot, your body tells you to go find something cold to eat or drink. If you plan on powering through this heat wave, then Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern has got you covered.

We know and love Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern (JFAT) for their amazing food and great ambiance. Their menu always impresses with rotating and seasonal dishes, and they have plenty of weekly specials that you will want to come back for over and over, such as Happy Hour, Burger & Beer specials, and early dinner (supper) specials. The food menu contains many customer favorites, plus a lot of dishes that depend on the month or season. However, JFAT does not limit seasonal rotations to only their food menu – they apply a seasonal rotation to their drink menu too. Having just launched in early July, JFAT has added six new summer-inspired cocktails to their drink menu. JFAT already had a large list of drinks, and now you can enjoy any of the following to cool yourself off:

  • The Pearfectionist – Tito’s Vodka, Absolut Pear Vodka, Pear Nectar, Agave
  • SoCal Sour – Bulleit Rye, Lemon and Orange Juice, Diseño Malbec
  • Summer Sunrise – Ketel One, Blood Orange Juice, Blood Orange Liqueur, Sparkling Float
  • Blackberry Sangria – Troublemaker GSM, Sacred Bond Brandy, Schnapps, White Grape Juice
  • Peach Sangria – Simi Sauvignon Blanc, Sacred Bond Brandy, Peach Puree, Peach Schnapps
  • Classic Sangria – Simi Sauvignon Blanc, J-FAT Homemade Lemonade, Sacred Bond Brandy, Razzmatazz & Peach Schnapps

Treat yourself to a cool treat at any Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern location while the season lingers! Check out JFAT’s Facebook and Twitter pages to see what else they have that you may like your taste buds to tango with.

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.

The largest Irish festival in Southern California returns this weekend for its 42nd year running. The BIG Irish Fair returns to El Dorado Park in Long Beach this Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 7pm both days, delivering two days’ worth of Irish fun in the sun, filled with many activities, live entertainment, animals, merchandise, vehicles, food, drinks, kids’ activities, games, and much more. Just to name a few of the things guests will experience at the Irish Fair:

  • Spectate thousands of Irish dancers participating in numerous competitions at the various stages at the far end of the festival.
  • Listen and dance to dozens of live Celtic bands, including the Irish Ska Pirate band California Celts.
  • Watch marching bands compete for best in show, with plenty of bagpipes to go around.
  • Pet lots of animals from Ireland, such as sheep, border collies, and more.
  • Gasp in amazement at the athletic feats of the sports competitions in the far field across from the entrance.
  • Stroll through reenactments of older times in the countryside of Ireland.
  • Cheer for all the participating individuals in the grand parade, including the Rose of Tralee.
  • Peer at the Irish vehicles, including real DeLoreans like the one from Back To The Future.
  • Taste the Irish culture with authentic Irish food, such as bangers.
  • Peruse through the various merchandise vendors, selling lots of Irish souvenirs and memorabilia.

The BIG Irish Fair will contain plenty of fun and excitement for the entire family. The festivities run from 10am to 7pm on both Saturday and Sunday. General admission presale costs $15 per adult per day, while a 2-day adult admission costs $25. Seniors and students can enter for $13 each. Kids 12 and under enter for free with a paid adult admission. Admission will increase by $3 when purchasing at the gate. Parking will range from $5 to $10. This festival takes place entirely outdoors, so dress appropriately for hot weather, and apply sunscreen prior to leaving home. The venue does not allow attendees to bring chairs, coolers, canopies, or any other large camping item; however, the park will provide more than enough tables and benches in the shaded areas. If you plan to purchase anything, bring cash, as the vendors cannot accept cards.

Food and dining trends change very often, especially in larger metropolitan areas. Trends and fads have their phases where they have immense popularity but then fade away slowly after its peak. For example, take a look at the gourmet food truck trend. This trend started in 2008 with the introduction of Kogi BBQ. From there, many more aspiring chefs started their own gourmet food truck as a lower-cost method of jumping into the restaurant industry. It proved a success for many of them, with a lot of the more popular food trucks eventually making the jump over to a brick & mortar restaurant once the gourmet food truck fad started to die down. After this trend faded down, gastropubs claimed the spotlight for a time. However, while gastropubs catered to a few types of people, it did not do well to attract everyone, as everyone has different tastes and want more varieties. Nothing has more variety than a food court, and thus the idea of food halls started up. Food halls represent the modern contemporary version of food courts, kind of like what gourmet food trucks did for the traditional food truck. Today, food halls do a great job of attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to dine there daily, as these food halls provide culinary variety and a comfortable environment for visitors to relax in, such as at McFadden Public Market.

McFadden Public Market officially opened their doors to the public on Monday, May 15th, 2017. The latest food hall to join Orange County, McFadden Public Market represents the creative genius of Orange County entrepreneur Leonard Chan, the mastermind behind popular restaurants such as The Iron Press and Hatch. Unlike other food halls in Orange County, Leonard basically owns everything within McFadden Public Market. Every “business” here falls under the ownership of Leonard, while at other food halls, each business belongs to its respective owners. McFadden Public Market consists of two floors. The first floors contains all the food, plus a bar at the front. Currently, food offerings include Latin/Filipino, fried chicken, ice cream, and Vietnamese. The first floor still has a handful of openings, so one can expect more food variety here in the future, including a coffee bar. The second floor represents the fun or leisure side of McFadden Public Market. The second floor not only has a full bar, but also has an arcade, which features many pinball machines and old-school arcade games. Between the food, the drinks, the games, and the free WiFi, visitors can easily make a great afternoon or night here.

McFadden Public Market has lots of room to grow, as they will soon add more food, drinks, and games to their lineup. Stay updated with what happens here by liking them on Facebook.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Due to last year’s overwhelming attendance, CoffeeCon has made some changes this year to accommodate attendees. They have expanded CoffeeCon from one day to both Saturday and Sunday. Admission for one day costs $15 per person, while two-day admission costs $20. A $40 ticket exists that grants one-day admission plus access to a coffee tasting seminar at 2pm. This seminar can only take up to 100 people each day, so if this interests you, act fact before it sells out. Last year’s CoffeeCon took place in the basement of The Reef, a small, tight, and compact space. They have not yet specified where in The Reef that CoffeeCon will take place this year, so prepare for a tight space again if it comes back to the basement. Attendees should bring extra cash if they intend to buy anything here, since most of the vendors will sells things and not necessarily sample their goods. Parking at the venue costs $10 per vehicle, but visitors can find street parking in a residential neighborhood about a block away, and can avoid paying to park.

For more information regarding CoffeeCon events both in Southern California and the rest of the nation, check them out on Facebook and Twitter for other updates.

Southern California has such a diverse culture that appreciates many different things. Nowhere else does this diversity appear more in than within the cuisine here. Southern California houses so many different types of food that keeping track of them all turns into a job rather than a chore. Luckily, Southern California has food events, such as Foodie Con, that allow visitors to experience what Southern California has to offer to your curious taste buds. Foodie Con’s first annual event took place this past weekend at The Reef in South Central Los Angeles, bringing along with it a slew of local designer goods for our eyes and mouths. At Foodie Con, this two-day all-ages event allows visitors to stroll through the couple of aisles filled with local food and wellness vendors, where visitors can sample products, purchase products, or receive information about services for future business. Although this past weekend’s event did not carry as many vendors as other similar food events that have taken place at this same venue, many visitors showed up eventually, making for a great customer to vendor ratio. Around every corner, most products sold consisted of snacks, especially jerky, or dessert, such as cookies, cupcakes, candy, and more. I would anticipate that anyone arriving without a sweet tooth may feel left out of the many vendors present. Regardless, Foodie Con did a great job of stocking a diverse lineup of vendors.

Will Foodie con return again next year? It operates similarly to other events that take place here, yet costs significantly more. The admission fee did not provide unlimited food samples, since most of the vendors sold products and did not sample as much. Perhaps if Foodie Con costs less to attend and they add more vendors, they could represent an event that people will want to come back to over and over. See what else Foodie Con has in store by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The Los Angeles International Tea Festival returned for its sixth year running this past weekend at the Japanese American National Museum in the Little Tokyo area of Downtown Los Angeles. At this all-ages event, attendees can sample teas from all over the world, and they can also sample Japanese cuisine and small bites. Outside of the museum, the tea vendors set up, where a handful of them carried a variety of tea and tea accessories for sale to not only the attendees of the festival, but to the general public as well. Inside the museum, attendees could participate in Japanese tea ceremonies, tea sommelier classes, book signings, tea origins tours, educational seminars with guest speakers, tea pairings, presentations, exhibitors, and lots more. Many of these programs did not allow photography, so I could not easily get any photos. However, anyone with passion for tea would surely find an afternoon full of interests to remain occupied. Check out the Los Angeles International Tea Festival online on Facebook and Twitter, and also keep up with the Japanese American National Museum online on their Facebook and Twitter pages for information regarding future events.