Posts Tagged ‘food’

The night market trend continues to gain popularity, as it exponentially attracts more and more visitors with each passing event. Derivating from populated Asian countries, a night market represents a food & entertainment festival packed with many different types of food, vendors, and various forms of entertainment, including live performances and games. In the past few years, night markets have spread globally due to the increased desire for Asian food, one of which has landed in Koreatown just west of Downtown Los Angeles. This past weekend, the folks over at the Ktown Night Market hosted their annual event at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Koreatown. This weekend-long all-ages festival brought the nightlife of the east to the west, and showed the locals what goes on at night in populated Asian cities. Admission only cost $5 per person, while guests had to pay for everything else once inside. As an event with “Food Fest” in the name, visitors could expect to discover tons of authentic and interesting foods here. While most of the food found here derived from Korea, visitors could find cuisine from other regions of Asia, such as Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, and more. The organizers did not categorize any sections of the street – visitors could encounter food, merchandise, food trucks, games, and more all scattered throughout the area.

Miss out on this night market? Keep in mind that many other night markets take place, now that its popularity has risen substantially. In Southern California alone, in addition to Koreatown, night markets occur in Arcadia, Downtown LA, Costa Mesa, Monterey Park, Westminster, and San Diego. I believe that within a year from now, many more night markets will pop up – a quick search revealed at least two more in Northern California, so look up some night markets in your area, and experience how locals celebrate their culture in the far east.

The 39th Annual Taste Of Greece returns this upcoming weekend to St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church in Irvine. At this all-ages fair, visitors will find a multitude of Greek foods & desserts, wine, beer, ouzo, vendors, music, and more to keep everyone entertained throughout the weekend. Complete with merchandise, food, dessert, drinks, music, dance, rides, exhibits, and more, this annual fair brings a wealth of things for you, your friends, and your family to enjoy and make a lasting memory out of. Any visitor can participate in the dancing going on under the main tent, or just hang out and enjoy the sights. Some may choose to enjoy the eats of Greek culture with some Greek BBQ Pork, Loukanico, Saganaki, Galaktoboureko, and Baklava. Support this local Greek Fair by following them on Facebook. When the Greek have an occasion to celebrate, they will celebrate hard, as demonstrated whenever a Greek festival takes place.

The Long Beach edition of the Spring 2017 Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival wrapped up this past Sunday at Marine Stadium in the Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach. This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at three different locations: Santa Ana, Long Beach, and Oakland. Patchwork Fest emphasizes supporting the local community, and does so by not allowing anything corporate within the boundaries. To envision Patchwork Fest, imagine an arts & crafts fair, but catered to a modern trendy crowd that features local independent designers. Many locals set up their booths here, selling their wares, merchandise, apparel, accessories, foods, desserts, music, and so on. Twice a year, thousands of visitors descend upon Patchwork Fest to discover and revisit the hundreds of vendors present. No matter who shows up, all visitors will definitely find something that will please their interests.

Completely free to attend to the public, Patchwork Fest openly welcomes pets, and boasts a free bike valet for visitors. Each branch of the streets featured over a hundred different local vendors all selling their various goods and/or services. Visitors who get hungry could enjoy fresh hot eats from the various food vendors throughout the event area, or can browse through the various food booths in the fest for portable eats. Much like every iteration of the Patchwork Fest in Long Beach, the day saw plenty of sunshine and cool sea breezes, making it a comfortable day to spend some time here. Of particular note, a majority of the vendors here exhibited soaps and candles, adding a fresh scent to the event. Sun, sea, and soy collided as these scents waft through the air.

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.

If one thing has remained unchanged throughout history, ice cream has held on as one of the most popular desserts for people around the world. Many people love ice cream and the many forms of it. Ice cream can come to us a la carte, on a cone, or in something else. What does something else mean? In the past decade or so, thanks to the advent of the internet and social media, people share their food with the rest of the world, and that has led to other people trying to create something fancy to show off. The Instagram culture means that one place would try to one-up others by delivering something that looks different or unique. As such, we have seen ice cream served in almost every imaginable way possible, from churro ice cream sandwiches to ice cream donuts to ice cream burgers. This time, we can feast our eyes on ice cream inside croissants at Churned Creamery.

Churned Creamery aims to make their mark in the ice cream business in Orange County with their creative take on serving up everyone’s favorite dessert, ice cream. Churned Creamery opened their first location in Tustin but should have seven locations open in Southern California by the end of the year. So what makes Churned Creamery stand out among all the other ice cream places in Southern California? While other places may give you something like a donut or a churro with your ice cream, Churned Creamery will give you your ice cream inside a croissant. Has anyone else done this yet? Perhaps. However, this combination remains relatively unknown to the public, and Churned Creamery has taken a step forward in getting croissant ice cream sandwiches into the limelight. They will do so by opening up more locations, such as the Cypress location that had its grand opening this past Saturday. At the grand opening, the first 200 customers received a free CroCream (Churned Creamery’s name for the croissant ice cream sandwich), a Churned Creamery tote bag, and a raffle ticket to win an iPad.

At the time of this post, Churned Creamery has four locations open, with a fifth location opening this Saturday in Irvine. According to their website, two more locations should open up sometime afterwards. Keep up with what Churned Creamery has opening up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

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.

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.

The Santa Ana edition of the Spring 2017 Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival wrapped up this past Sunday in Downtown Santa Ana. This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at three different locations: Santa Ana, Long Beach, and Oakland. Patchwork Fest emphasizes supporting the local community, and does so by not allowing anything corporate within the boundaries. To envision Patchwork Fest, imagine an arts & crafts fair, but catered to a modern trendy crowd that features local independent designers. Many locals set up their booths here, selling their wares, merchandise, apparel, accessories, foods, desserts, music, and so on. Twice a year, thousands of visitors descend upon Patchwork Fest to discover and revisit the dozens of vendors present. No matter who shows up, all visitors will definitely find something that will please their interests.

Completely free to attend to the public, Patchwork Fest openly welcomes pets, and boasts a free bike valet for visitors. Each branch of the streets features over a dozen different local vendors all selling their various goods and/or services. Visitors who get hungry could enjoy fresh hot eats from the various food vendors throughout the event area, or can browse through the various food booths in the fest for portable eats. Unlike the previous year where it rained on the event, this year’s event saw plenty of sunshine, which did not stop the vendors from going strong, nor did the heat stop the hundreds of visitors from seeking out great gifts.

The series of Patchwork Festivals happens twice a year: in Spring and Fall. With each series, it runs weekend after weekend at different locations. The next Patchwork Fest will occur in Long Beach in a few weeks. In addition to new foods to try, the lineup of vendors changes, so you may find some great new gifts for your friends & family. Give a like to the Patchwork Festival on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to see what they have in store for you at future shows. For a free fest, what have you got to lose?

The 2017 Orange County Greek Festival returned this past weekend to St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Anaheim. At this all-ages fair, visitors found a multitude of Greek foods & desserts, wine, beer, ouzo, vendors, music, and more to keep everyone entertained throughout the weekend. Complete with merchandise, food, dessert, drinks, music, dance, rides, exhibits, and more, this annual fair brings a wealth of things for you, your friends, and your family to enjoy and make a lasting memory out of. While any visitor can participate in the dancing going on under the main tent, I opted to simply admire those who bravely stepped forth to display their Greek dancing abilities. For me, I chose to enjoy the eats of Greek culture with some Pastitsio, Dolmades, and Baklava. Support this local Greek Fair by following them on Facebook and liking them on Twitter. When the Greek have an occasion to celebrate, they will celebrate hard, as demonstrated whenever a Greek festival takes place.