Posts Tagged ‘Fall’

Corgi lovers and Corgi owners united this past Saturday afternoon for a dog day at the beach at the SoCal Corgi Nation’s Summer 2017 SoCal Corgi Beach Day. At this free and all-ages event, thousands of passionate Corgi owners gathered for a fun & fur-filled day on the sandy dunes of the Alamitos Beach in Long Beach. Over 700 Corgis appeared to play, mingle, and enjoy this special day for them. Activities primarily included an Instagram photo meet-up and a limbo contest. Other than that, the day consisted of mingling, chatting, and playing with all the cute pups.

Looking forward to the next Corgi Beach Day? Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 28th as they return to Huntington Beach. In the meantime, check out some of the photos from this past Saturday at the Summer 2017 SoCal Corgi Beach Day.

Corgi lovers and Corgi owners united this past Saturday afternoon for a dog day at the beach at the SoCal Corgi Nation’s Fall 2016 SoCal Corgi Beach Day. At this free and all-ages event, thousands of passionate Corgi owners gathered for a fun & fur-filled day on the sandy dunes of the Huntington Beach Dog Beach. Over 600 Corgis appeared to play, mingle, and enjoy this special day for them. Activities primarily included an Instagram photo meet-up and a limbo contest. Other than that, the day consisted of mingling, chatting, and playing with all the cute pups.

Looking forward to the next Corgi Beach Day? Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 3rd as they move to Belmont Shore in Long Beach. In the meantime, check out some of the photos from this past Saturday at the Fall 2016 SoCal Corgi Beach Day.

Corgi lovers and Corgi owners unite this Saturday for a dog day at the beach at the SoCal Corgi Nation’s Fall 2016 SoCal Corgi Beach Day. At this free and all-ages event, thousands of passionate Corgi owners gather for a fun & fur-filled day on the sandy dunes of the Huntington Beach Dog Beach in Orange County. Hundreds of Corgis will travel here to play, mingle, and enjoy this special day for them. Activities primarily include an Instagram photo meet-up, a costume contest, and a limbo contest. Other than that, the day consists of mingling, chatting, and playing with all of the cute pups.

Corgi lovers and Corgi owners united this past Saturday afternoon for a dog day at the beach at the SoCal Corgi Nation’s Fall 2015 SoCal Corgi Beach Day. At this free and all-ages event, thousands of passionate Corgi owners gathered for a fun & fur-filled day on the sandy dunes of the Huntington Beach Dog Beach. Over 600 Corgis appeared to play, mingle, and enjoy this special day for them. Activities primarily included an Instagram photo meet-up and a limbo contest. Other than that, the day consisted of mingling, chatting, and playing with all the cute pups.

Looking forward to the next Corgi Beach Day? Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 5th as they move to Belmont Shore in Long Beach. In the meantime, check out some of the photos from this past Saturday at the Fall 2015 SoCal Corgi Beach Day.

The age of the domestic beer monopoly in the United States shrinks with each passing day. The beer industry around the world dominates the alcoholic beverage industry, as consumers drink 3,500 bottles of beer for every one glass of wine – that makes 8,000 times more beer consumed by the liter. Annually, consumers worldwide drink 189 billion liters of beer, but only 24 million liters of wine. While drinking habits may peak during certain times of the year such as holidays, the consumption of beverages remains fairly consistent and rarely makes huge changes in consumption from one day to the next. An exception to this exists on Thanksgiving Eve, the day of the year when the most alcohol gets consumed throughout the world. With Thanksgiving approaching in less than two months from now, several beers have made their way to the shelves of your favorite local liquor store for this specific season. If you want to savor the coolest brews this season has to offer, check out these five brews certain to wet your whistle.

5. Coronado Brewing Company‘s Punk’in Drublic

Other than bearing the same name as a punk rock album, this pumpkin ale represents the pumpkin style quite well, but steps it up a notch with its west coast flair. San Diego County never shies away from strong bold brews, and Coronado Brewing displays that very well with Punk’in Drublic. This 8% abv imperial pumpkin ale contains brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and of course, lots of pumpkins. The resulting brew yields lots of sweet characteristics without the overbearing sweetness found in most soft drinks. The pumpkin itself provides its own finish, allowing the flavor to linger for a bit with each sip. People may criticize pumpkin beers, but perhaps adding some local flavor may mix things up.

4. Uinta Brewing Company‘s Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin

Mainstream media has done quite a job over the past few decades of giving beer a negative connotation. Television shows like Married With Children or King Of The Hill depict men lazily drinking beer and performing other manly activities, like gambling or standing around doing nothing. However, the media fails to show the artistic side of beer. The art of brewing requires intense studying and inherent knowledge of the industry or ingredients necessary to brew beer. In addition to the brewing, micro brewery owners need artists to give life and a face to their brand. Consumers will either see a bottle or tap handle first before trying the beer, so a good first impression can influence opinions of the beer. If you seek fancy beer art, take a look at some of the beers from Uinta Brewing. This Salt Lake City brewpub has had a foot in Southern California for at least a few years by now, but most people tend to overlook them for other prominent breweries like Deschutes, Great Divide, or Avery. Although Uinta’s distribution reaches California, they have yet to cement an image of their company in the minds of Californians. This all changed with the improvisation of their themed lines of beers. Each series of brews contains its own themes, but Californians may best recognize beers from Uinta’s Crooked Line, which houses Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin. Clocking in at 10.31% abv, this amber-colored beer yields an aroma of pumpkins, brown sugar, oak, and Fall spices, while tasting like pumpkin pie, cinnamon, nutmeg, and oaked whisky. The Crooked Line consists of Uinta’s odd or strong brews that do not fit in the other categories. Uinta strongly supports the local art community, and looks to them for inspiration for naming beers in the Crooked Line. Explore all of Uinta’s beers, and see for yourself how they give back to the community more than just refreshing beers.

3. The Lost Abbey‘s Witch’s Wit

If something does not fit in with the others, do you call it a black sheep or a wolf in sheep’s clothing? You probably answered black sheep… but what if the black sheep holds power over the herd? Standing out from the crowd, The Lost Abbey does their own thing down there in San Diego County and pays no attention to all the other breweries around that all compete for the top West Coast IPA of San Diego. While the hundreds of breweries in San Diego County all attempt to produce the best West Coast IPA, Lost Abbey simply wants to make the boldest, strongest brews, regardless of style. Lost Abbey has personified this so well that any other brewery that also only focuses on strong brews, such as The Bruery, Valiant Brewing, and Four Sons Brewing, may colloquially receive the unofficial nickname as the “Lost Abbey” of fill-in-the-city/county/region. How can you tell that Lost Abbey does their own thing independent of the rest? Take a look at last season’s seasonal brew: Witch’s Wit. For a 750ml bottle, it only sits at a measly 4.8% abv, classifying it as a session ale. Although originally released as a summer seasonal, the combination of coriander, wheat citrus, honey, and oats give it a filling presence, perfect for the Fall season when things start to cool down. Many will disagree with drinking a seasonal beer during the wrong season. That means that the beer has had some time to age. Consumers may age certain beers nicely, while consumers should avoid aging certain other beers. Witch’s Wit definitely can age, but I would cut off the aging of this at 12 months.

2. Speakeasy Ales & Lagers‘ Blind Tiger

When people thinks about Fall beers, they tend to envision pumpkins, squashes, bocks, and Oktoberfest beers. Something about the Fall harvest plus the merry celebrations of the Germans cause people to crave a beer representative of those thoughts. Not everyone thinks along those lines, however. While the hive minds will tend to shift towards what the majority believes, the outliers will scuttle in a different direction, and Speakeasy Ales & Lagers will await those who walk off of the beaten path. Brewing for almost two decades by now, Speakeasy has carved out a solid name for themselves to the locals in San Francisco. From their vivacious brews to their speakeasy-style tasting room, craft beer fans cannot get enough of Speakeasy! Speakeasy does not develop traditional seasonal beers; rather, they have set yearly releases of certain styles, none of which match the current trend of the industry. As such, now in the Fall season, you may encounter Blind Tiger, a complete turn from what many perceive as traditional Fall beers. While Speakeasy released Blind Tiger in mid-summer, Southern Californians recently discovered Blind Tiger on store shelves as of last month. This 9.5% abv imperial IPA represents Speakeasy’s hoppiest beer, with the aroma and taste dominated with four different hops, followed by subtle malts. The aftertaste yields signs of piney, citrusy hops that you must enjoy fresh. If you stumble upon the dumb luck of witnessing this magnificent bottle on a store shelf, do not hesitate to purchase it immediately!

1. Hangar 24 Craft Brewery‘s Gourdgeous

Having officially lived through the Fall season for over two weeks, we can already enjoy the perks of Fall. For example, the weather has changed from excessively hot to the kind of weather where you wear a jacket in the morning and a tank top in the afternoon. Also in the Fall, coffee lovers rejoice over the return of Pumpkin Spice Lattés from Starbucks. Fall in general reminds us all of pumpkins, yams, squashes, and other similar produce. At this time, I would like to thank Beer Advocate for their integral role in this year’s popularization of pumpkin beers with a simple innocent retweet that managed to infuriate their followers to the level of a headless horseman. With the rising desire for pumpkin beers, breweries have to stay a step ahead of the competition to capitalize on what the market demands, and Hangar 24 Craft Brewery took that go-ahead step last year. With as big as a local reputation as Stone Brewing, Hangar 24 stands toe-to-toe with the big guys of Southern California, never relenting in the face of pressure. Their massive popularity stems from their incredibly diverse selective of brews, from the light & approachable Orange Wheat to the bold & assertive Double IPA. In addition to their year-round lineup, Hangar 24 releases a handful of seasonal releases, and will usually have up to three series of beers available at a time. For example, during the Fall season, Hangar 24 will have Oktoberfest, Gourdgeous, and a surprise brew available in addition to the year-round offerings. For now, we focus on Gourdgeous, perhaps the true personification of a pumpkin beer. Unlike most pumpkin ales, Gourdgeous falls under the classification of an imperial porter brewed with pumpkins, molasses, and spices. Standing tall at 8.5% abv, this American porter combines the rich, roasted flavors of a porter with pumpkins, dark chocolate, caramel, and spices. Imagine a peanut butter cup, but with pumpkin butter instead of peanuts, and in the form of beer. I believe Trader Joe’s has Pumpkin Butter Cups, and if they do not carry it yet, they will very soon. Oh sweet joy, seasonal candy you can drink that has alcohol in it? Count me in!

San Diego Restaurant Week
September 15-20
Various Restaurants, San Diego County

For six full days, various restaurants all over San Diego County will participate in this special week, where they will offer special prix-fixe meals that highlight their unique cuisine. Use this chance to explore and discover new restaurants in the area!

22nd Annual Taste of Old Pasadena
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, September 17
Old Town Pasadena

The Taste of Old Pasadena returns tomorrow to Old Town Pasadena. Over 30 diverse restaurants will sample their food & drinks for just $30 per person. Maps and signs will guide all attendees to find the food.

Fall Cocktail Preview
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, September 18
Hopscotch Tavern, Fullerton

Hopscotch Tavern’s new fall cocktail menu debuts on Sunday, but you can order any of these at happy hour prices this Wednesday evening. RSVP using the provided link, where each RSVP works for the registrant plus one.

Belmont Shore Stroll & Savor
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, September 18-19
Along 2nd Street, Belmont Shore

This “Taste of Belmont Shore” occurs during the summer months annually from May through August on the third Wednesday and the Thursday immediately after. Attendees may purchase booklets of 12 tickets for $10, and redeem these tickets for food & drink samples from various restaurants along 2nd Street. Buy tickets presale now at Olives Gourmet, La Strada, We Olive, Mail Boxes etc. & Sweet Jill’s, or purchase tickets in front of CHASE BANK during the event.

Rubber City Rebels, Dime Runner, White Murder, Bombon @ Alex’s Bar
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 18
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach

Catch this indie/punk show this Wednesday night at Alex’s Bar for just $5. No one under 21 may enter.

International Talk Like A Pirate Day
September 19

As the name suggests, feel free to talk like a pirate this Wednesday all day. Just do not get in trouble for it. Yarr~

Mitsuwa Hokkaido Fair
9:00 am – 8:00 pm, September 19-22
Mitsuwa Marketplace, all SoCal locations

Much like the Mitsuwa Summer Fest, this FREE festival at all Mitsuwa Marketplaces now celebrates North Japan culture. Experience food, drinks, desserts, dance, music, games, and more from Northern Japanese culture.

LA Beer Week
September 19-29
Greater Los Angeles Area

This 11-day beer celebration covers Los Angeles through Orange County, culminating in a beer fest on the last day in Downtown Los Angeles. During this period, virtually every restaurant, bar, gastropub, and any other craft beer establishment will host some sort of beer event. Literally hundreds of beer events will take place over 11 days in the Greater Los Angeles Area, so for an abridged list, visit the website linked above. Even the website cannot contain every single event! Check with your local favorite brewpub to find out how they will participate. For the purposes of condensing this list, I will not include any event that directly relates to LA Beer Week, as their website will list them all.

Special C @ The Volcano Room
8:30 pm – 1:00 am, September 19
Friendly Hills Bowling Alley, Whittier

This ska/reggae show only costs $3 to attend. No one under 21 may enter.

2013 International Food Blogger Conference
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 20
7:00 am – 10:00 pm, September 21
6:00 am – 12:00 pm, September 22
W Hotel, Downtown Seattle

The nation’s top conference for food bloggers moves from Portland to Seattle this year. This highly-acclaimed conference fills up fast every year, and this year, I have the privilege of attending for the first time! This conference covers a broad diversity of topics, and each attendee may choose their own program of sessions to attend. During any downtime I can freely roam the city, so if you have any suggestions of places to visit, please do send me your suggestions! I plan to do some writing while there, so keep an eye out for my post this weekend.

Redondo Beach Lobster Fest
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 20
12:00 am – 11:00 pm, September 21
12:00 am – 8:00 pm, September 22
Seaside Lagoon, Redondo Beach

Three weekend lobster fests in a row! Following Long Beach and Los Angeles, Redondo Beach now has a Lobster Fest going on this weekend, which will have lots of fresh lobster for guests to eat. In addition, guests can enjoy dancing, games, rides, music, arts & crafts, and more. The $10 admission includes parking and entry into the fest, while all food comes separate, so anyone wanting to eat will have to bring extra cash. Purchase presale tickets online to save $2, or search their website for additional meal packages, such as surf & turf and more.

Pasadena Greek Fest
5:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 20
12:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 21
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 22
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia

$5 admission gets you into this all-ages Greek festival, which includes food, drinks, desserts, music, dancers, games, rides, and more. The race track charges $4 for parking per vehicle.

No Edge Night
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, September 20
The Airliner, East Los Angeles

This all-night party will have local punk bands, live DJ’s between bands, full bars, vendors, and more. Guests get in free before 9:30, $3 by 11pm, and $4 afterwards. No one under 21 may enter.

The Slackers – Pan-Pacific Tour
8:00 pm – 1:30 am, September 20, El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 21, The Observatory, Santa Ana

Get your ska on this weekend with The Slackers at these all-ages shows! Tickets cost $20 for the El Rey show and $16 for the Observatory show.

OC Fest of Ales & Beer Run 5K
9:00 am – 3:30 pm, September 22
Center Street Promenade, Downtown Anaheim

This two-in-one fest combines a 5K run/walk with a beer fest immediately following. The 5K begins at 9am, while the main beer fest begins at 11:30am. Situated on the streets of Downtown Anaheim, the beer fest will feature over 100 different beers, a food truck food challenge, food & beer pairings, live music & entertainment, and more. As with any beer fest, no one under 21 can enter. Plenty of street parking surround Downtown Anaheim; otherwise, you can pay to park in one of the nearby structures.

Red Bull Flugtag
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, September 21
Rainbow Harbor, Long Beach

Everyone’s favorite annual day of construction destruction returns to Long Beach this Saturday. This FREE and all-ages gala will see thousands of travelers gathering to see who can create the greatest spectacle while gracefully diving into the drink and simultaneously destroying their crafted vessel. Come see what the entire world talks about every year, then stick around for a beer fest just a block away later that night!

2013 Asian Pacific Festival
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, September 21-22
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina, Newport Beach

This festival celebrates the culture of various Asian countries, from India up to Japan, to the islands of the Pacific. Attendees will find cultural exhibits, art, folk dances, fashion shows, music, entertainment, martial arts, cooking challenges, alcohol garden, and plenty of authentic food. General admission costs $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

Homeless One: Punk Rock Fest 2013
10:00 am – 11:30 pm, September 21
Norwalk Moose Lodge, Whittier

A full day of punk rock hits Whittier this Saturday, complete with two stages, food & drinks, and plenty of parking. This all-ages show costs $15 to attend.

6th Annual Orange County Pacific Islander Festival
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 21-22
Central Library Park, Huntington Beach

Immerse yourself in Pacific Islander culture at this FREE and all-ages festival this weekend in Huntington Beach. Visitors will find food, live music, entertainment, merchandise, activities, and more.

Venice Beach Music Fest 8
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, September 21
Windward Plaza, Venice

Experience local music, art, and dance at this free and all-ages music festival this Saturday.

2013 Auto Gallery Car Show
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, September 21
Huntington State Beach, Huntington Beach

Check out this car show on the beach, showcasing the nation’s best builds and models. Admission costs $15 per person, but use a coupon code from your favorite participating model to save $5 off admission.

11th Annual Tarfest Music & Art Festival
2:00 pm – 8:00 pm, September 21
La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles

This music & art festival returns this Saturday to the La Brea Tar Pits in West LA. Free to attend and open to all ages, guests will experience live music, live painting, beer & wine garden, food trucks, and more.

Feed Your Eyes
4:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 21
RiT Gallery, La Puente

This free and all-ages art show takes food art to the next level. Come to see art based on food, and art made with food, as your feed your hunger with your eyes.

Promenade Beer & Wine Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 21
The Promenade, Downtown Long Beach

Downtown Long Beach hosts their first official beer & wine festival this weekend, complete with lots of drinks, local food, and live music. For $25 presale or $30 at the gate, guests will receive unlimited 3oz beer or wine tastings, 10 food tastings, and a souvenir glass. No one under 21 may enter.

75th Annual LA Chinatown Moon Festival
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 21
Chinatown, Los Angeles

Chinese Thanksgiving celebrations continue this Saturday in Chinatown with their annual Moon (Cake) Festival. Free to attend for all ages, participants celebrate by eating mooncakes, mini pastries that may contain up to 2,000 calories each. In addition, guests can see kung fu demos, lion dancers, live music, food trucks, ping pong tournaments, and more. Guests can find free street parking beyond Spring St. or close to LA State Historic Park.

LivingSocial’s Glow-in-the-Dark 5K Dance Party
7:15 pm – 1:45 am, September 21
LA State Historic Park, Downtown Los Angeles

When you combine raves with 5k runs, you get glow runs, and LivingSocial will host one this Saturday night in Downtown Los Angeles. Participants must wear all black and run through this 5k course complete with glow sticks that anyone can use as bracelets, necklaces, crowns/circlets, anklets, and more. Registration costs $45 online and $55 at the gate. Following the run, all participants may stay for the after-party, full of live DJ’s, drinks, food, and more. Anyone may skip the run and attend this after-party for just $19.

LA Beer Week 5th Anniversary Opening Gala
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, September 22
Union Station, Los Angeles

LA Beer Week kicks off its 2013 run with its annual beer fest this Sunday, unlike previous years where they close the week with the fest. In addition to the over 70 breweries present to serve beer, multiple food trucks will pair their foods (sold separately) with the beers. The $70 admission comes with UNLIMITED pours, so prepare your body to handle this!

Dr. Know & Decry @ Los Globos
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 22
Los Globos, Silverlake, Los Angeles

Old school punk rock returns to Los Globos this Sunday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $12.

Voodoo Glow Skulls, Union 13, The Pegs, Sick Sense, Soto St @ The Juke Joint
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, October 25
The Juke Joint, Anaheim

$10 cover, ages 21 and up only – amazing show for all punk rock fans. Trust me.

Punk Rock Picnic Battle of the Bands
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, October 26-27
Subcult Productions, Irvine – October 26 – October 27

$7 cover charge for all ages – see many punk rock bands play for a spot for next year’s Punk Rock Picnic.

Blackmarket Bakery’s Fall Open House
11:00 am – 2:00 pm, October 27
Blackmarket Bakery, Irvine

This Saturday, Blackmarket Bakery in Irvine will sample numerous new concoctions from their kitchen for food lovers to try. The first 30 guests receive a free gift, so go check it out!

2nd Annual Los Angeles International Tea Festival
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, October 27-28
Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles

For $20, guests get treated to an educational and entertaining festival showcasing the many worldly wonders of tea. Sample various teas, speak with retailers, listen to seminars, and take home some goodies from this Tea Festival.

Long Beach Zombie Walk Music & Arts Festival
2:00 pm – 11:00 pm, October 27
Marina Green Park, Long Beach

This all-day zombie festival takes place over the spacious greens of Marina Green Park in Long Beach this Saturday. This fest breaks all norms of standard fests and opts to follow “zombie rules” in operations. Unlike last year, the zombie walk now requires a $15 entry fee, but now includes so much more to see and do. The many activities this year include a Shaun of the Dead viewing, beer gardens, costume contests, Thriller flash mob, live music, food trucks, artists, games, the zombie walk, Halloween mazes, and more. Arrive early, as parking will fill quickly – have patience when searching the neighborhoods east of Alamitos Ave.

15th Annual Trick or Treat Festival & Halloween Hearse Show
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, October 28
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa

This festival combines Halloween with Dia De Los Muertos for an all-inclusive celebration at OC Fair. As a part of the weekly OC Fair Marketplace, admission costs $2, and allows guests access to the entire marketplace plus the festival. Activities include dancers, live music, costume contests, an ice cream eating contest, face painting, and more.

12th Annual Haute Dog Howl’oween Parade
12:30 pm – 4:30 pm, October 28
Livingston Park, Long Beach

Expect to see over 500 costumed dogs at this annual parade through Belmont Shore, as featured on the Kevin & Bean Show last year! Kids and adults may also enter a costume contest to win cash prizes. Presale entries cost $10 per dog, with prices rising on the day of the event.

The food truck fad may have died a while ago, but that should not stop you from seeking these delectable meals on wheels. Food trucks may prosper more during the summer, but the with the heat wave continuing onwards through fall, they remain a popular visit for locals and travelers alike. If you have not yet tried all five food trucks that I recommended at the beginning of summer, shame on you for not doing so already, and go find them while the weather still suits it. For now, I have selected five food trucks that I recommend trying food from at least once this fall. I pick these based on the quality of their food and their relative popularity, which I measure as their number of Twitter followers divided by how many trucks they operate. I feel that I should not have to recommend a popular truck, as most people will have already tried food from that truck, or heard of them.

5. No Jodas Kitchen

Pan Con Lechon Preparada

An old saying goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Thinking about food now, sometimes when a type of food works, you want to stick with that, and keep improving it. No Jodas Kitchen follows this concept by serving traditional Cuban food with minor tweaks that greatly enhance the taste experience. No Jodas serves Cuban hot-pressed sandwiches with different meats and combinations, such as roasted pork, ham, and steak. The No Jodas twist comes with their No Jodas Sauce, a bold yellow garlic spread. Personally, I love garlic, so that strong of a spread on the sandwich flies well with me. For others, too much garlic may not fit the bill – in that case, No Jodas also carries terrific sides, such as Papas Rellenas and Croquetas. The food truck culture may favor new creations and thinking outside the box, but sometimes you have to fall back to basics, and No Jodas does that well.

4. Taco Maria

Left to Right: Mole de Pollo, Carnitas a la Naranja, Arrachera

To the typical bloke, you can only order tacos from a food truck, nothing else. A food truck can have BURGER in the name, yet common blokes still will ask for tacos. Drunks will not even pay attention to the menu, and simply walk up and ask for tacos. To all those blokes who still bear a bad perception of food trucks, Taco Maria has your solution. Taco Maria cooks fine-dining restaurant quality meats right on their truck, and serves it in a taco or burrito. After one bite, you may wonder why they choose to operate out of a truck rather than a brick & mortar, because honestly, I would love to order just a plate of the meat and consume it a la carte. Taco Maria has boldly carried foie gras on their truck before, and served it a week prior to the ban. Besides this, they also featured limited-time specials, so checking that list usually yields something else favorable. If you have not sought Taco Maria after finding out that they served foie gras, go find them this fall!

3. Truck Norris

Kickin’ Chicken

It can stop a bullet with its grill. It does not drive – the road pushes it forward. Thousands of other food trucks currently operate because it allows them to do so. It helped jump-start another vehicle, and that other vehicle later became Optimus Prime.
Meet Truck Norris. No kidding, this food truck truly exists. However, shatter all your expectations right there, because Truck Norris serves fine Hawaiian and Filipino food. Yeah, that confuses me too – I mean, Chuck Norris represents an American icon from Texas, yet a food truck clearly named after him serves food that has nothing to do with him. But hey, all around the world, people know Chuck Norris. Luckily, Truck Norris can live up to the expectations of bearing that name with their mighty fine fusion cuisine. As far as islander street food goes, Truck Norris perfects it. With a menu of traditional and fusion foods, some customers may not find the focus immediately. In fact, the menu even carries Shepherd’s Pie, a traditionally English food. In the end, no one can complain about the quality present in both the food and the people behind the food.

2. Alebrije’s Grill

Taco Acorazado

One can dispute the validity of this entry on my list. Does a stationary food truck still count as a food truck? Although it parks and serves in the exact same spot everyday, Alebrije’s Grill has operated out of the same food truck (with renovations over the years) in the exact same spot since 2000. Why they do this remains a mystery to many, but customers find no mysteries behind their food. Alebrije’s Grill crafts some of the best Mexican food ever for what many consider a hole-in-the-wall… that happens to have wheels. If you think you know carne asada, you will think twice after trying their carne asada. Perhaps the food pictured above makes Alebrije’s Grill popular all this time – the Taco Acorazado, or “Battleship Taco.” Alebrije’s Grill irons out their stand on quality by hand-pressing the mountainous torilla per order ON THE SPOT. Next they add tomato-infused rice, milanesa (beef dipped in egg, breaded, then fried), cactus, onions, tomatoes, avocado, and cotija cheese. Do not bother starting this like a normal taco – pick away at it with a knife and fork before finally picking it up to eat. Nothing shouts Mexican comfort food louder than a Battleship Taco. Go find Alebrije’s Grill (not hard since they always park at the same spot), order the Battleship Taco, and do battle. Whose battleship will sink first?

1. Frysmith

Sous Vide Pork Chops, Stone Brewery’s Smoked Porter Gravy, Dubliner Cheese, Diced Granny Smith Apples, Natural Fries

Frysmith does not joke around when it comes to raising the bar then breaking it. Crafting plates of fries that eat like a meal, these monstrous plates feature their twice-fried fries, or “frites” colloquially, topped with various meats and other goodies. In addition to natural-cut fries, Frysmith also utilizes sweet potato fries, as in their Sweet Po Fries – free-range chicken in tomatillo-tamarind sauce over sweet potato fries topped with cashews. For $1, customers may substitute sweet potato fries to any plate that does not originally come with it. Just like the nature of food trucks of never staying in the same place for long, Frysmith creates daily specials as well, such as the plate pictured above. That way, you should never get tired of trying the same food, as they will just keep coming up with more! Would you share your plate with someone else though, or eat it all yourself?

St. Pius V Fall Festival

The St. Pius V Fall Festival mainly caters towards kids and families. As a result, I have seen this all before – carnival rides, games, food, etc. Think of this as a localized state fair, but with less overall people, and more local populace.

Irvine Global Village Festival

Starting off Saturday, I headed down to the Global Village Festival. Much larger than I had anticipated, this festival covered the entire span of Bill Barber Park in Irvine. The festival contained five distinct areas, each representing the different offerings the fest had to offer: restaurants, entertainment, vendors, cultural area, and kid’s area. Although free to attend, participation favored those who planned to visit for a long time. Guests needed to purchase tickets in order to eat, drink, or participate in rides, games, events, etc. Since guests could not purchase individual tickets, this system catered more towards families spending the day there.

Taste of Brews – Dana Point

Taste of Brews returned to Dana Point for the second time. Abandoning the typical Taste of Brews setup, this beer fest took a detour from the typical beer fest we all know and love in order to accommodate for the partnership with the Dana Point BBQ Championship. Taste of Brews made up for the lack of venue area and beer variety with a lower admission of $30, the full four-hour duration, and unlimited beer pours. Sadly, all guests had to pay for food separately.

Dana Point BBQ Championship

The umbrella that Taste of Brews sailed under, the Dana Point BBQ Championship occurred at the same time as Taste of Brews. Mainly a private competition, guests could enter for free after the judging had completed, but each sample costed $2 each. $2 per sample seems extremely pricey, but all proceeds went towards the VFW charity. This event served as the food provider for Taste of Brews guests.

Shoutout to the Smokin’ It Up BBQ Crew from Eastvale for whipping out their reserve batch of brisket for me to try.

LA Chinatown Moon Festival

After the madness of Punk Rock Pillow Fight a few months ago, I had high expectation for the Chinatown Moon Festival. Sadly, I arrived to clustered chaos. Nothing stood out in all of Chinatown, save for the masses of people trying to push their way through the crowds. The scene perfectly reminded me of Punk Rock Pillow Fight, but without the actual pillow fight. Disappointed and tired after driving through Carmageddon, I left before dark.