Posts Tagged ‘January 2016’

Since the dawn of mankind, all of nature has existed on a “survival of the fittest” modus operandi, A.K.A. the food chain. Stronger creatures prey on weaker creatures, and this ladder goes all the way up to the top to the creatures known as apex predators. Apex predators thrive on the meat of lesser creatures for sustenance, showing no signs of remorse for the prey for the sake of survival. For this reason, I wonder why humans opt to go vegetarian or vegan, as our ancestors surely had to eat meat to survive. I will never understand people’s need for alternative meats or proteins, as meat simply tastes too good. For example, people go nuts for bacon, despite its small stature. Eating meat exists within our natural instincts, so we should embrace it as much as Meat Up BBQ does.

A local institution, Meat Up BBQ delivers top-notch barbecue with their own unique spin and a slew of craft beers on tap. Based out of Placentia, this barbecue restaurant resulted as a joint force between two premier Orange County gourmet food trucks. These two forces combined last year to launch this epic barbecue restaurant that Orange County locals would rave about. Having had their grand opening a year ago, Meat Up BBQ celebrated their first anniversary last Thursday evening with food and drink specials. On the drinks side, Meat Up BBQ tapped a handful of select sour ales, as well as Bourbon County from 2015. Any customer who ordered any of these sour ales received a commemorative Meat Up BBQ anniversary glass that they could take home. The food side had not changed specifically for this day – Meat Up BBQ constantly refreshes their menu based on the season and market to keep things fresh and exciting. For example, they now have a Crispy Pork Belly entrée that looks like thick-cut bacon, but tastes much more savory without the excess salt that bacon normally comes with.

For the best combination of great meat and quality drinks, look no further than Meat Up BBQ. For those who swear by a vegetarian or vegan diet, yes they do offer items for that. But why would a vegetarian or vegan go to a barbecue restaurant in the first place? Anyways, support this local business by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter, and go enjoy some meat. Anyone will surely find something here to sate their appetite.

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 2016. Taking place at The Reef in Los Angeles this past Saturday, 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.

CoffeeCon drew a large crowd, as evident by the crowded halls of The Reef. CoffeeCon LA 2016 took place in The Reef’s basement, as opposed to the floor above ground with significantly more space. The tighter space coupled with over a thousand visitors made for tight quarters. Regardless, I still managed to see many of the vendors, especially Portola Coffee Roasters and their line that wrapped around the aisles. Of particular note, Bona Fide Craft Draft caught my eye 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.

If not for the really tight space, I would have thoroughly enjoyed CoffeeCon LA 2016. However, the difficulty of navigating plus vendors not having enough samples meant that visitors paid a good amount to enter, only to have to pay more to buy stuff here, kind of like paying for a car then having to pay for gas to drive it. For more information regarding future CoffeeCon events, check them out on Facebook and Twitter for further updates.

The So Cal Winter Brew Fest returned this past Saturday for their third go at a beer tasting event. Following up from two beer festivals in Anaheim last year in June and August, this beer fest returned to the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, the site of the first So Cal Brew Fest, and featured over 30 breweries all pouring a couple of their refreshing brews. In addition to just beer, this festival also featured a few cideries and wineries for those who prefer that sort of thing. Operating much like their beer fest at Phoenix Club last year, the flat admission allowed attendees unlimited beer samples while supplies lasted. Attendees could find breweries set up both outside and under the big top, but whoever handled the music perhaps turned the volume up way too loud inside, so most people opted to remain outside. Aside from all the beer and live music, attendees found plenty of food trucks serving up yummy goodies, as well as games such as Jenga and cornhole.

For a weekend with plenty other beer festivals taking place, this event saw some fierce competition in attracting craft beer fans. It did appear that many local craft beer fans chose this festival over others, as the other festivals did require a long drive. In fact, some would even say that the organizer underestimated how many people would attend. As one of the major flops of the festival, they handled the entrance line poorly. Volunteers and security did not start checking ID’s and tickets until right at 12pm, leaving hundreds furious waiting in line to get in. People that arrived right at 12pm would not get in until an hour later. With the setup of the beer festival, they could have easily established the check-in at the venue’s outer gate, then have security hold everyone at the inner gate until 12pm hit. This way, those that arrived early could simply wait for security to open the gate, while those arriving right on time could still check in without having to wait in a long line. As for one more flop, by halfway through the beer festival, at least three breweries had ran out of beer already. Perhaps the breweries underestimated how many people would attend this festival? Regardless, this did not daunt the attendees, as they still had plenty of fun at this event, and they look like they want more.

A small beer fest that faced low attendance has grown to turn into a local favorite. I do expect the So Cal Brew Fest to return again next year, hopefully rectifying any mistakes after three festivals by now. Who knows what else the organizers have in store for their upcoming festivals this year? Keep an eye out for things to come from So Cal Brew Fest by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter. If going by their plan from last year, they should have two more festivals. I do not work for the organizer, so I cannot say for certain what and when their next beer festivals will take place.

10th Annual Newport Beach Restaurant Week
January 18-31
Participating restaurants in Newport Beach
http://dinenb.com/restaurant-week/

This 14-day period of restaurant specials takes place at participating restaurants in Newport Beach. Many restaurants will serve special prix-fixe three-course meals ranging from as low as $10 to as high as $40, or more for a few select locations.

Los Angeles Restaurant Week
January 18-31
Various locations
http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/dinela-los-angeles-restaurant-week

This dining event showcases the best in food Los Angeles has to offer. All participating restaurants will feature prix-fixe menus for locals and visitors alike. Lunches range from $15-25, while dinners range from $25-45.

Mustard Plug: Live in Southern California
8:30 pm – 11:30 pm, January 26, Slide Bar, Fullerton http://www.facebook.com/events/431978123674922/
8:30 pm – 12:30 am, January 27, Casbah, San Diego http://www.casbahmusic.com/event/5774
http://www.mustardplug.com/

Famous ska band Mustard Plug currently tours across the west coast, and that tour will swing through Southern California this week. Each of these shows have a different ticket price, so click on a show’s link for details. No one under 21 may enter any of these shows.

13th Annual STARS of Santa Barbara
6:00 pm – 9:30 pm, January 27
The Peninsula, Beverly Hills
http://www.winela.com/starsofsantabarbara

Enjoy some wines and a silent auction in Beverly Hills this Wednesday night. General admission costs $125, starts at 7pm, and includes unlimited wine and appetizer tastings while supplies last. VIP admission costs $200, starts at 6pm, and also includes a private dinner and wine tasting. No one under 21 may attend.

LA Art Show 2016
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, January 28-31
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles
http://www.laartshow.com/

See thousands of different works of art this week at the LA Convention Center. One-day general admission costs $15 presale or $20 at the door. Four-day general admission costs $35 presale or $40 at the door.

Animé Los Angeles 12
2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, January 28
9:00 am – 9:00 pm, January 29-30
9:00 am – 2:00 pm, January 31
Ontario Convention Center, Ontario
http://www.animelosangeles.org/

Anime & manga fans will not want to miss Animé LA this weekend, an expo with almost everything imaginable related to anime. From workshops to panels to demos to contests to live music to dances to adult content and more, Animé LA will surely contain something to sate your anime needs. A full weekend pass costs $60, while single-day passes cost $35.

2016 Dark Scotch Ale Release
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, January 28
Anaheim Brewery, Anaheim
http://www.anaheimbrew.com/

Anaheim Brewery releases this year’s version of their Dark Scotch Ale this Thursday evening. Stop on by and give it a taste.

Stout Thing!
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 28
Phantom Carriage Brewery, Carson
http://www.phantomcarriage.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1682747101974697/

Phantom Carriage will have a lot of different stouts available this Thursday evening, along with horror movies, metal music, and some desserts. This event has no admission fee.

Meat Up BBQ’s 1st Year Anniversary
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 28
Meat Up BBQ, Placentia
http://www.meatupbbq.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1685775588344206/

Meat Up BBQ turns a year old this week, and to celebrate, they will have sour beers on tap, food specials, as well as an anniversary glass available to patrons this Thursday night. This event has no admission fee.

Hangar 24 Tap Takeover
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 29
Blue Palms Brewhouse, Hollywood
http://www.bluepalmsbrewhouse.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/994443380628190/

Hangar 24 Brewery will take over the taps at Hollywood’s Blue Palms Brewhouse this Friday evening. Stop on by and enjoy a cold one or two.

2016 Golden State Tattoo Expo
4:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 29
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 30
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, January 31
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena
http://www.goldenstatetattooexpo.com/

Check out hundreds of tattoo artists from around the globe at this tattoo convention this weekend in Pasadena. Admission costs $25 per day or $60 for the entire weekend.

Lunar New Year Tết Festival 2016
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 29
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, January 30-31
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
http://littlesaigonsandiego.org/

Celebrate Lunar New Year at this festival at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego this weekend. Visitors of all ages will find cultural food, vendors, rides, games, arts & crafts, music, entertainment, merchandise, and more. Admission costs $5 for adults and $4 for children.

The Dwarves: Live in Southern California
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 29, The Yost Theater, Santa Ana http://www.selloutevents.com/event/1020861-guttermouth-pulley-dwarves-santa-ana/
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 30, The Garage, Ventura http://www.badsampresents.com/event/230072
http://www.thedwarves.com/

Famous punk band The Dwarves will headline two shows in Southern California this week. Each show has its own age limit and ticket price, so click on a show’s link for additional details.

Riot LA: Alternative Comedy Festival
7:30 pm – 12:00 am, January 29
1:00 pm – 12:30 am, January 30
3:00 pm – 10:30 pm, January 31
Various locations, Los Angeles
http://riotla.com/

A series of comedy shows will take place across Los Angeles this weekend. Each individual show has its own ticket prices, while a superfan pass costs $110 good for all Saturday and Sunday shows.

Viernes 13 @ The Vibe Riverside
7:30 pm – 1:30 am, January 29
The Vibe Bar & Grill, Riverside
http://viernes13.net/

Get your skanking on in Riverside this Friday night. The cover for this all-ages show costs $10.

Death By Stereo @ The World Famous Doll Hut
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 29
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://deathbystereo.com/

Death By Stereo will headline a small show at the Doll Hut in Anaheim this Friday night. The cover for this show costs $15. No one under 21 may enter.

Agression: Live in Tarzana
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 29
Petie’s Place, Tarzana
http://www.facebook.com/events/984867244926853/

Legendary nardcore band Agression will headline a show in Tarzana this Friday night. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

Tartar Control: Live in Laguna Niguel
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 29
Karman Bar, Laguna Niguel
http://www.facebook.com/events/1678117142406622/

Get your weekly dose of punk rock in Laguna Niguel this Friday night. The cover for this show costs $8. No one under 21 may enter.

Alex’s Bar Sweet 16 Anniversary Show
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 29-30
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/1047479-off-long-beach/
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/1047487-off-long-beach/

Long Beach’s Alex’s Bar turns sixteen years old this week, and to celebrate, they will have two nights of punk rock this weekend. Tickets to each of these show cost $20 presale or $22 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

Museums Free-For-All
January 30
Participating Museums, Southern California
http://www.socalmuseums.org/

This Saturday, participating Southern Californian museums will allows visitors in free of charge. Check the website linked above for a full list of participating locations.

CoffeeCon LA 2016
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, January 30
The Reef, Los Angeles
http://www.coffee-con.com/

This Saturday at CoffeeCon LA 2016 in Los Angeles, indulge in all things coffee, from the classic beverage to coffee candy to coffee desserts to coffee foods and more. Sessions last three and a half hours, starting at 9am or 12:30pm. General admission costs $23 for one session, or $30 for the entire day.

APCA Asian Pacific Lunar New Year Festival
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, January 30
Mission Inn Courtyard, Downtown Riverside
http://lunarfestriverside.com/event-101/

At this free and all-ages festival this Saturday in Downtown Riverside, celebrate Lunar Yew Year with food, entertainment, vendors, merchanidse, entertainment, arts & crafts, games, music, exhibits, fireworks, and more.

Laughs By Volume: A Craft Beer & Comedy Show
1:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 30
LA Mother, Hollywood
http://laughsbyvolume.com/

A beer fest and comedy show merge into one this Saturday afternoon in Hollywood, featuring over 20 different beers and six comedians. Three three-hour sessions will take place: 1pm, 5pm, and 9pm. Admission per session costs $27.50 presale or $30 at the door. No one under 21 may attend.

Punktanza
1:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 30
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/728234213947677/

Over a dozen local punk rock bands will perform at this all-day show this Saturday at the Doll Hut in Anaheim, free of charge. No one under 21 may enter.

New Beer Release: Cerveza Hermosa
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 30
King Harbor Brewing, Redondo Beach
http://kingharborbrewing.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1512123185755659/

Redondo Beach’s King Harbor Brewing will release a new Mexican amber lager this Saturday. Stop on by and give it a try. They will also have free carne asada tacos for customers starting at 2pm while supplies last.

Night On Broadway
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, January 30
Globe Theater, Downtown Los Angeles
http://nightonbroadway.la/

An evening of arts, culture and, entertainment arrives in Downtown LA this Saturday night, featuring a wealth of activities including the Southern California return of Rebel Bingo. Check the website linked above for a full list of events, which details any admission fees or age limits.

Naked Aggression: Live in Bell Gardens
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 30
American Legion, Bell Gardens
http://www.facebook.com/events/1731631133732368/

Release some inner aggression at this hardcore punk show in Bell Gardens this Saturday night. The cover for this show costs $7. No one under 18 may enter.

JFA @ The Viper Room
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 30
The Viper Room, West Hollywood
http://www.jfamusic.com/
http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?eventId=6332945&pl=alaviper2

Legendary punk rock band JFA will headline a show in West Hollywood this Saturday night. Tickets to this show cost $12 presale or $15 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

Slaughter & The Dogs: Live in Laguna Niguel
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 30
Karman Bar, Laguna Niguel
http://www.slaughterandthedogs.info/
http://www.selloutevents.com/event/1010537-slaughter-dogs-laguna-niguel/

Enjoy a local punk rock show this Saturday night in Laguna Niguel. The cover for this show costs $15. No one under 21 may enter.

2nd Annual San Diego Fermentation Festival
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, January 31
Coastal Roots Farm, Encinitas
http://sandiegofermentationfestival.com/

For $20 admission, gain access to this all-ages festival showcasing Southern California’s bounty of artisanal foodmakers and brewers. This event will feature seminars, workshops, arts & crafts, activities, vendors, food & beverages, live music, and more.

The Downton Abbey Tea
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, January 31
Whimsic Alley, Burbank
http://www.whimsicalley.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/924438757645547/

Fans of Downton Abbey will not want to miss this formal tea supper this Sunday evening in Burbank. The $40 admission includes tea, sandwiches, dessert, entertainment, and themed activities.

Thousands of adults got to relive their childhood this past weekend at Arcade Expo 2.0 that returned in Banning. This three-day expo contained hundreds of different arcade machines, games, and pinball machines that visitors of all ages could come to play to their heart’s content for the duration of their visit. In addition to all the free games available, various movies, seminars, vendors, live music, tournaments, and more kept visitors occupied.

The building that housed the Arcade Expo had various rooms all with different types of arcades in them. The two main rooms represented the main halves of the expo: one half held all the pinball machines, while the other half held all the arcade games. The arcade half had hundreds of nostalgic video games, most of which resembled 8-bit games such as those found on the original Nintendo system. While most of the arcade games fell under the category of 8-bit to 16-bit, visitors could find a few modern games, such as Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Outside the pinball hall, visitors could walk outside to find the main stage, where live bands and DJ’s set up. This outer area also housed all the food vendors, the beer garden, the shooting gallery, and a pinball exhibit.

The bulk of the expo’s action took place in the pinball half of the building. This side contained hundreds of pinball machines, ranging from the traditional classic 2D machines to the modern machines with ramps and lighting effects. A pinball machines exists for virtually any theme in the world, and this expo had a pinball machine for it all. They even had some adult-themed pinball machines, one of which had actual nudity in it.

Anyone who grew up with these sorts of traditional games would not want to miss the Arcade Expo. Adults especially would get a kick out of replaying some of these classic games that they may not have seen in decades. My eyes gleamed with delight when I discovered some classic games I grew up with, such as the Simpsons arcade game and the Surfer pinball machine. The Arcade Expo will return to Banning again next year, so make a note to look out for this in January next year. Having already attended and experienced this, I do not believe that I may return. However, I urge everyone to attend this annual event at least once in their life. Check out Arcade Expo on Facebook and Twitter for additional coverage.

The 13th Annual Fit Expo Los Angeles returns this weekend to the Los Angeles Convention Center. Taking place over the course of two days in the South Hall, this massive expo showcases all forms of fitness and athletics with live competitions, demos, workshops, seminars, and more. Single day admission costs $30, while the weekend combo only costs $45. All attendees receive access the entire exhibit floor, competitions, seminars, demos, autograph sessions, free samples, and more. At The Fit Expo, visitors can view various forms of fitness and non-arena sports, such as CrossFit, weightlifting, Zumba, Parkour, wrestling, (mixed) martial arts, and more. The massive expo hall contains enough vendors to fill multiple swap meets, but once visitors get past all the vendors, they will discover the various demo areas strewn about the expo hall. Examples include a CrossFit competition, a Zumba fitness demo, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu competition, an MMA Pavilion with a variety of demos such as the “adult jungle gym,” a power-lifting competition, and more. The multitude of vendors vary in their goods or services offered. Some offer some sort of service, such as training or consulting. Most others offer merchandise, which includes apparel, accessories, equipment, supplements, and more. This expo also exhibits a handful of food & beverage vendors. None of these vendors offer stereotypical health foods – they focus on what matters, such as all-natural, non-GMO, gluten-free, low-carb, and full of nutrients, especially protein.

12th Annual San Diego Restaurant Week
January 17-24
Participating restaurants in San Diego
http://sandiegorestaurantweek.com/

Select restaurants throughout San Diego County will offer prix-fixe meal deals during this 7-day period. Lunches range from $10 to $20, while dinners range from $25 to $45.

10th Annual Newport Beach Restaurant Week
January 18-31
Participating restaurants in Newport Beach
http://dinenb.com/restaurant-week/

This 14-day period of restaurant specials takes place at participating restaurants in Newport Beach. Many restaurants will serve special prix-fixe three-course meals ranging from as low as $10 to as high as $40, or more for a few select locations.

Los Angeles Restaurant Week
January 18-31
Various locations
http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/dinela-los-angeles-restaurant-week

This dining event showcases the best in food Los Angeles has to offer. All participating restaurants will feature prix-fixe menus for locals and visitors alike. Lunches range from $15-25, while dinners range from $25-45.

Bottle Flight Night – Logsdon Farmhouse Ales
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 19
Select Beer Store, Redondo Beach
http://www.selectbeerstore.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/155375524833448/

Logsdon Ales will make a rare Southern California appearance at Select Beer Store in Redondo Beach this Tuesday night. Stop on by and enjoy a cold one or two.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, January 19
10:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 23
Harvelle’s Downtown Long Beach
http://www.dirtylittlesecretsburlesque.com/

The ladies of the Dirty Little Secrets will perform two burlesque shows this week at Harvelle’s in Downtown Long Beach. Check their website for the prices of each show. No one under 21 may attend.

Build Your Own Mac & Cheese Night
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 21
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach
http://beachwoodbbq.com/events.html

Build Your Own Mac & Cheese Night returns to Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach this Thursday night! No reservations required – simply show up, get a table or seat at the bar, then customize your mac & cheese. Pick the toppings, herbs, cheese, sauce, meats, and pasta, and order a nice cold glass of craft beer.

Sriracha & Wine Tasting Event
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, January 21
Vintage Enoteca, Hollywood
http://vintageenoteca.com/

For $40 per person, receive a three-course meal complete with wine pairings. You may arrive at any time during the night, but they highly recommend reservations. No one under 21 may participate.

The Adicts: On Tour in Southern California
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 21, House of Blues, San Diego http://www.houseofblues.com/sandiego/events/eventdetail/?viewNav=/event-detail&eventId=0A004F69B77B1E0E
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 22, House of Blues, Anaheim http://www.houseofblues.com/anaheim/events/eventdetail/?viewNav=/event-detail&eventId=09004F6BAC7A1856
http://adicts.us/

Legendary punk band The Adicts will headline two shows in Southern California this week. The ticket prices for these all-ages show vary, so click on a venue’s link for pricing details.

3rd Annual San Diego Caffeine Crawl
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm, January 22
9:00 am – 6:00 pm, January 23
11:00 am – 2:30 pm, January 24
Various locations, San Diego County
http://www.caffeinecrawl.com/san-diego-2016.html

Coffee lovers meet up this week at various locations in San Diego County. Like a pub crawl, attendees will select one of four routes, and explore a handful of coffee shops in select neighborhoods based on the route. Some routes may even include coffee beer!

Ballast Point Beer Pairing Dinner
5:30 pm – 10:30 pm, January 22
Grits, Fullerton
http://gritsfullerton.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/219069401762617/

For $100 per person, receive a six-course dinner at Grits in Fullerton complete with beer pairings courtesy of Ballast Point. No one under 21 may participate.

The Gears: Don’t Be Afraid To Pogo
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, January 22
The Frida Cinema, Santa Ana
http://thefridacinema.org/event/dont-be-afraid-to-pogo/

Check out this documentary about the rise of punk rock in the early years, as well as a Q&A with the film’s director. Admission to this all-ages viewing costs $10.

T.S.O.L. @ The Observatory
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 22
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/event/tsol

Legendary punk band T.S.O.L. will headline a show at The Observatory in Santa Ana this Friday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $10.

2016 Golden State of Cocktails Los Angeles
January 23-26
Majestic Hall, Downtown Los Angeles
http://goldenstateofcocktails.com/about/los-angeles/

A plethora of seminars, tastings, and other events about cocktails will take place in Los Angeles this weekend going on to next week. All events cost under $40 to attend – see the website for a full schedule of events and links to purchase tickets. No one under 21 may attend.

International Tiki Market Place
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, January 23
Don The Beachcomber, Sunset Beach
http://www.donthebeachcomber.com/

For $10 admission gain access to a plethora of tiki-themed vendors in Sunset Beach this Saturday afternoon. Admission comes with a $10 voucher for food & drink, so technically you get in for free!

13th Annual Los Angeles Fit Expo
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, January 23-24
Los Angeles Convention Center, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.thefitexpo.com/la.asp

Experience everything related to fitness at this expo coming this weekend. Single day admission costs $30, while the weekend combo only costs $45. All attendees receive access the entire exhibit floor, competitions, seminars, demos, autograph sessions, free samples, and more.

Saint Archer Beer Pairing Brunch @ Restauration
11:00 am – 2:00 pm, January 23
Restauration, Long Beach
http://restaurationlb.com/events/st-archer-brew-brunch-2/

Enjoy a three-course brunch paired with four different Saint Archer beers this Saturday late morning. Reservations cost $30 per person.

Taco Asylum’s Fifth Birthday Party
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, January 23
Taco Asylum, Costa Mesa
http://www.tacoasylum.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/509962152506074/

Taco Asylum turns five years old this week, and to celebrate, they will have some specials available this Saturday. Expect to find some exclusive tacos this Saturday, as well as an exclusive beer brewed for them by the nearby Barley Forge.

Phat Con 2016
11:30 am – 5:00 pm, January 23
Dave & Buster’s, Orange
http://www.facebook.com/events/858552947527793/

Release your inner nerd at this FREE event this Saturday at Dave & Buster’s at The Outlets At Orange. Meet dozens of artists, writers, vendors, and more, as you gaze upon all of the wondrous works of art and collectibles. Bring some cash if you intend to purchase any toys, comic books, or other collectibles.

So Cal Winter Brew Fest
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, January 23
Phoenix Club, Anaheim
http://www.socalwinterbrewfest.com/

Anaheim has turned into quite a craft beer mecca, and you get to sample its local flavor and more this Saturday afternoon. Check out this beer tasting event taking place at Phoenix Club in Anaheim, complete with over 30 breweries and local food trucks. Admission costs $40 presale or $50 at the gate, and includes unlimited 3oz beer samples while supplies last.

Brews & Bros Craft Beer Festival 2016
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, January 23
Cable Airport, Upland
http://brewsandbrosfest.org/

Celebrate Dale Bros Brewery’s 13th anniversary with lots of beer this Saturday. This beer festival will have over 80 beers to sample, plus cider, wine, craft soda, gourmet food, live music, games, and more. General admission costs $45, starts at 1pm, and comes with a souvenir glass and unlimited beer pours while supplies last. VIP admission costs $60, starts at 12pm, and also includes a bottle opener, preferred parking, and access to rare beers.

VRLA Winter Expo
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, January 23
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles
http://www.virtualrealityla.com/

See the latest in virtual reality gadgets at this VR expo at the LA Convention Center this Saturday afternoon. General admission to this all-ages expo costs $40.

Founders/Green Flash/Ballast Point/Deschutes Tap Takeover
3:00 pm – 11:00 pm, January 23
Amazing Grapes, Rancho Santa Margarita
http://www.amazinggrapes.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1548192168836874/

Amazing Grapes will feature beers from four select breweries this Saturday. Stop on by and enjoy a cold one or two.

2016 Los Angeles Uncorked Wine Festival
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, January 23
Union Station, Los Angeles
http://uncorkedwinefestivals.com/losangeles/

Enjoy a wine festival with over 60 different wines, food trucks, live music, and more. General admission costs $55 and starts at 6pm, while VIP admission costs $65 and starts at 5pm. All attendees receive unlimited wine tastings while supplies last. Food comes at a separate cost, so bring cash for food. No one under 21 may attend.

Iron Triangle Brewing’s Grand Opening
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 23
Iron Triangle Brewing, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.irontrianglebrewing.com/

A new brewery opens its doors to the public this Saturday evening. Check them out in Downtown LA, along with food trucks and live music, free to attend.

OC Roller Girls – Heroes vs. Villains
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 23
The Rinks, Huntington Beach
http://ocrollergirls.com/

Watch intense & brutal girl-on-girl action at this roller derby bout this Saturday night in Huntington Beach. Tickets to this roller derby bout cost $13.

Be Like Max @ Out Of The Park Pizza
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 23
Out Of The Park Pizza, Anaheim
http://belikemax.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1005045649537468/

Enjoy a FREE all-ages ska show in Anaheim this Saturday night.

American Jihad: Live in Long Beach
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 23
Blacklight District Lounge, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/1528635920781756/

Rock out to some local punk rock music this Saturday night in Long Beach. No one under 21 may enter.

Destruction Made Simple @ Characters Sports Bar
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 23
Characters Sports Bar, Pomona
http://www.destructionmadesimple.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/939604906138728/

Rock out to some local hardcore punk bands this Saturday night in Pomona. The cover for this show costs $5 if arriving after 9pm, or free if arriving before. Guests can park for free on nearby streets and can avoid paying to park in the adjacent lot.

A Pretty Mess – 10th Anniversary Show
9:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 23
The Redwood Bar, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/1118733061479559/

Rock out with local punk bands this Saturday night in Downtown LA. The cover for this show costs $8. No one under 21 may enter.

Kites Festival 2016
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, January 24
Bayshore Park, Long Beach
http://la-oc.netip.org/
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/netip-la-oc-presents-kites-festival-2016-tickets-20321321620

Come fly kites with a bunch of other people this Sunday afternoon in Long Beach near Belmont Shore. Admission starts at $10 for admission, with rates going up based on how many will attend and how many kites to purchase.

Eagle Rock Brewery 6th Anniversary Party
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, January 24
Eagle Rock Brewery, Eagle Rock
http://eaglerockbrewery.com/events/cheers-to-6-years

Eagle Rock Brewery turns five this weekend, and to celebrate, the brewery will celebrate in style right at home at the tasting room. Guests pay $20 to receive three drinks and a souvenir glass for this occasion. In addition, a handful of food trucks will stop by to serve the masses.

Blatoidea: Live in Long Beach
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 24
Blacklight District Lounge, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/876519199070040/

A UK punk band comes to the United States this weekend to tour, starting with a show in Long Beach. The cover for this show costs $7. No one under 21 may enter.

Legos – we all grew up with it, and while it has largely remained a toy for children, it has captivated our hearts so much that we can still enjoy it as adults. Thankfully, the world has Lego expos and conventions for those still young at heart, such as at Bricks LA 2016, a Lego exhibit. Taking place at the Pasadena Conference Center this past weekend, this exhibit for all things Legos contained multiple aisles of carefully curated works of art constructed with Lego pieces. Visitors paid a simple admission of $5 and gained access to the floor full of Lego sculptures, landscapes, artwork, Lego machines, and more. While visitors could interact with the master builders behind some of these works, most of the tables simply had the Lego artworks with no one else around to inquire about the work. The center of the floor primarily contained Lego art on display, while the outer areas had more. The back wall had all of the vendors, most of which sold Lego sets and other paraphernalia. The front area had some of the interactive demos, such as train tracks and the conveyor system that resembled a Rube Goldberg machine.

If you love Legos and/or art in general, you owe it to yourself to check out Bricks LA when it next returns. When will it return? To find out, give Bricks LA a like on Facebook and a follow on Twitter. I attended Bricks LA on Saturday afternoon, prime time for most people to attend. Still, it did not have as many crazy kids running amok as I had expected. Sure you could see everything in less than an hour, but at that low admission price, Bricks LA makes for a fun activity that anyone can enjoy.

Arcade Expo 2.0 returns to Banning this upcoming weekend. Taking place at their exclusive facility across from the Banning Municipal Airport, this hall of arcade machines houses hundreds of classic and modern video games for thousands of visitors of all ages to come and relive their childhood. Entertainment types vary from arcades to video game consoles to pinball machines and more. Admission grants all visitors full access to the expo hall for unlimited free play for the duration of the visit. In addition to all the free games available, visitors will find various movies, seminars, vendors, live music, tournaments, and more to keep them occupied. The building that houses the Arcade Expo has various rooms all with different types of arcades in them. The two main rooms represent the main halves of the expo: one half holds all the pinball machines, while the other half holds all the arcade games. The arcade half has hundreds of nostalgic video games, most of which resemble 8-bit games such as those found on the original Nintendo system. While most of the arcade games fall under the category of 8-bit to 16-bit, visitors can find a few modern games, such as Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Beyond the arcade room, visitors can walk outside to find the main stage, where live bands, DJ’s, and speakers set up.

Visitors can find Arcade Expo 2.0 at 700 South Hathaway St across the street from the Banning Municipal Airport. Early arrivals can park for free in the venue’s parking lot; otherwise, visitors should look for street parking nearby. The expo runs from 2pm to 12am on Friday, 10am to 2am on Saturday, and 10am to 8pm on Sunday. General admission for Friday and Sunday costs $35 for adults or $12.50 for children. On Saturday, adult admission costs $55 while children admission costs $17.50. A three-day pass costs $100 for adults and $35 for children. The venue has vending machines and a snack bar, plus they usually invite mobile food vendors and food trucks to keep visitors fed, so bring extra cash for food and drinks. The venue only has one set of restrooms, which almost always has a line. As such, I highly suggest eating and using the restroom prior to traveling to Arcade Expo – visitors can find food throughout Banning, or in Beaumont or Cabazon nearby. If traveling via 10 freeway eastbound, consider passing through Riverside or Redlands as they have lots of food options. For more info direct from the source, check out Arcade Expo on Facebook and Twitter.

Last year, the bulk of the expo’s action took place in the pinball half of the building. This side contains hundreds of pinball machines, ranging from the traditional classic 2D machines to the modern machines with ramps and lighting effects. A pinball machines exists for virtually any theme in the world, and this expo has a pinball machine for it all. They even have some adult-themed pinball machines, one of which has actual nudity in it.

5th Annual Pasadena Cheeseburger Week
January 10-15
40 Participating Restaurants, Pasadena
http://www.pasadenarestaurantweek.com/

During this six-day period, 40 different restaurants, bars, pubs, and lounges in Pasadena will offer specials on their signature cheeseburgers, or will craft special items just for this week.

Founders Brewing Comes to SoCal
January 12-16
Various locations, Southern California
http://foundersbrewing.com/

One of the nation’s most coveted breweries makes its way to Southern California in force this week to take over the taps of multiple beer places. Check with your favorite local beer bar to see if they will have any specials regarding Founders Brewing – some examples include Far Bar and Select Beer Store. These events have no cover charge – simply show up, and pay for beers as you go.

Udder Love Sky Bar
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 12
Beachwood Brewing, Long Beach
http://beachwoodbbq.com/
http://www.facebook.com/BeachwoodBBQ/photos/pb.116567235035259.-2207520000.1452482979./1219494571409181/

Beachwood Brewing will have four variations of their Udder Love milk stout on cask this Tuesday evening. If you love their Udder Love, make sure you stop on by this Tuesday evening.

Stone Brewing Pint Nite @ Wild Goose Tavern
6:30 pm – 10:30 pm, January 13
Wild Goose Tavern, Costa Mesa
http://www.goosebar.com/

This Wednesday night at Wild Goose Tavern, the first 50 people to order a Stone Brewing beer will get to keep the pint glass to take home!

Reel Big Fish: US Winter Tour + Suburban Legends FINAL TOUR
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 13, House of Blues, San Diego http://www.houseofblues.com/sandiego/events/eventdetail/?viewNav=/event-detail&eventId=0A004F87C7081AA9
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 14, The Observatory, Santa Ana http://www.observatoryoc.com/event/reelbigfish
http://www.reel-big-fish.com/
http://www.suburbanlegends.com/

Reel Big Fish embarks on their annual winter tour starting this week, and they will bring along their good friends Suburban Legends, who have announced that they will throw in the towel after this tour. Do not miss this final chance to see Suburban Legends perform at either of these Southern California shows this week. Tickets to these all-ages show vary in price, so check the venue’s link for details.

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend
January 14-17
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim
http://www.rundisney.com/star-wars-half-marathon/

This entire weekend, the Star Wars universe takes over the Disneyland Resort with this running extravaganza. Choose your distance (5k, 10k, or half marathon) and course (run or obstacle), and each run will have a different theme, from Jedi Knights to Rebels and more. Throughout the weekend, Star Wars festivities will take place all over the Disneyland Resort, as well as a health & fitness expo in the Disneyland Hotel.

Business & Beer @ HopSaint Brewing
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, January 14
HopSaint Brewing, Torrance
http://www.businessnbeer.com/

This monthly networking event for small business owners visits a South Bay brewery every second Thursday of the month. This week, they will hit up HopSaint Brewing in Torrance. If you have involvement with a small business, love craft beer, or both, then stop by this Thursday night.

Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk (Second Thursdays)
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 14
Downtown Los Angeles
http://downtownartwalk.org/

This free monthly event takes place over many blocks in Downtown Los Angeles. Many galleries will open late, and some parking lots will contain more art, vendors, food trucks, entertainment, and more. Unless you know business owners, free parking barely exists in Downtown LA, although some meters only operate until 8pm. First-time visitors should attend with someone who has gone here prior.

The Rookery 3rd Anniversary Beer Fest
11:00 am – 8:00 pm, January 15-17
The Rookery, Pomona
http://rookeryalehouse.com/Events.html

The Rookery in Downtown Pomona turns three this weekend, and to celebrate, they will have dozens of rare brews on tap throughout the weekend. Unlike last year’s anniversary which operated like a beer tasting festival, this weekend will not require any admission fees. Simply show up, enjoy the rare brews, and pay as you go. The Rookery will offer 4oz pours of these brews as well for those who want to treat this like a beer tasting event. Expect mostly heavy and strong beers at this one – The Rookery does not slouch when it comes to beer selection. The Rookery has a full-service kitchen with their full menu available all day. Guests can find free parking around Downtown Pomona, and can avoid paying to park in metered lots.

Arcade Expo 2016
2:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 15
10:00 am – 2:00 am, January 16
10:00 pm – 8:00 pm, January 17
Arcade Expo, Banning
http://www.arcadeexpo.com/

Come see all things arcades at this weekend-long expo out in Banning. At this all-ages expo, see hundreds of different arcade machines, games, pinball machines, movies, seminars, vendors, food trucks, and much more. Admission varies depending on the date attending and age, but all visitors get unlimited free play for all arcade games for the duration of the visit.

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut – Sing-Along
7:30 pm – 11:30 pm, January 15
The Frida Cinema, Santa Ana
http://thefridacinema.org/event/south-park-bigger-longer-uncut-sing-along-10pm/

The Frida Cinema will air the South Park movie twice this Friday night, and they will also give lyrics sheets to all attendees to encourage them to sing along with the movie. General admission to a viewing costs $10.

Smut Peddlers: Live in Orange County
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 15
The Yost Theater, Santa Ana
http://www.smutpeddlers.net/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1675291006079537/

Legendary punk band Smut Peddlers will headline a show in Santa Ana this Friday night along with a handful of other local bands. The cover for this all-ages punk show costs $15.

Crossroads of the West Gun Shows
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, January 16
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, January 17
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.crossroadsgunshows.com/purchase/event.php?eid=100170

Find hundreds of gun vendors at this two-day gun show this weekend. Admission to this all-ages event costs $16. Check the website for a printable coupon to take $1 off admission.

Easyriders 2016 Bike Show Tour
10:00 am – 7:00 am, January 16
Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach
http://easyridersevents.com/bikeshow-2016-long-beach.php

See all things motorcycles at this one-day expo in Long Beach this Saturday. See hundreds of models bikes, meet celebrities, take photos with models, browse various vendors, and more at this show. General admission costs $20, while kids cost $10. The convention center parking lots charge $10 for parking, while other parking lots in the area have varying rates.

35th Annual Asian American Expo
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, January 16
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, January 17
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.asianamericanexpo.com/

Celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year at this festival celebrating Asian American culture. Open to all ages, the $11 admission grants access to all vendor booths, merchandise, accessories, food courts, entertainment, live music, dance performances, a parade, petting zoo, and more.

Anime Impulse 2016
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, January 16
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, January 17
Fairplex, Pomona
http://animeimpulse.com/

See all things anime and manga at this two-day expo at the Fairplex in Pomona this weekend. Visitors will find cosplay, designers, collects, celebrity appearances, panels, vendors, artists, cars, food, treats, fashion, and more. General admission costs $11 for one day or $20 for both days. VIP admission costs $150 and comes with a handful of VIP perks and access to exclusive panels and areas.

Grill ‘Em All 3rd Anniversary Rager
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, January 16
Grill ‘Em All, Alhambra
http://grillemallburgs.com/

Grill ‘Em All’s Alhambra location turns three years old this weekend, and to celebrate, Grill ‘Em All will have specials and events going on all day. All day, visitors will find the return of the Blue Cheer burger, beer specials, free birthday cake with any purchase, and a free 3rd anniversary pin. In the evening, catch a live DJ playing metal hits, and free black metal face painting. This event has no cover charge – simply show up, and enjoy the metal festivities.

2016 San Diego Beer Festival
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, January 16
NTC Liberty Station, San Diego
http://sandiegobeerfest.com/

From the people who brought us LA Beer Fest and OC Beer Fest comes SD Beer Fest, another event to get your drunk on. General admission costs $40 and starts at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $50 and starts at 12pm. All visitors receive unlimited beer tasters while supplies last. Bring cash for food from food trucks, and dress appropriately for hot weather, including sunscreen. No one under 21 may attend.

Bottle Share
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, January 16
38 Degrees Ale House, Alhambra
http://38degreesalhambra.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1154546497930891/

Brew your own beer? Got an interesting craft beer to share? Bring it to 38 Degrees’ monthly bottle share event, taking place this Saturday afternoon, and discover other great beers too. Free to attend, guests should bring approximately 40-50 ounce’s worth of beer. The restaurant has its own free parking lot.

Shoreline Village 2nd Annual Buckaroo Days
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm, January 16
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, January 17
Shoreline Village, Long Beach
http://www.shorelinevillage.com/buckaroo-days-are-back/

Free for all ages, head to Shoreline Village this weekend for games, bluegrass music, arts & crafts, live entertainment, dancing, magic, and much more.

Public Beer & Wine Shop’s 2nd Anniversary
3:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 16
Public Beer & Wine Shop, Long Beach
http://www.publicbeerwineshop.com/

Long Beach’s Public Beer & Wine Shop turns two years old this weekend, and to celebrate, they will have a bunch of rare beers on tap as well as free samples. From 6pm to 9pm, visitors can receive free beer samples. From 7pm to 10pm, visitors can receive free food samples.

Bitter Brothers Brewing Grand Opening
3:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 16
Bitter Brothers Brewing, Clairemont, San Diego
http://bitterbrothers.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1174752345888057/

A new brewery has opened their doors to the public, and they will celebrate properly this Saturday at their tasting room in Clairemont. Stop on by and check out the new beers that Bitter Brothers Brewing has. They will have a food truck outside for the day as well.

Eikon Los Angeles
4:30 pm – 7:30 pm, January 16
Austere’s Parking Structure, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/eikon-los-angeles-fireflies-tickets-20249702405

For $10, light up the skies of Downtown LA with lanterns commemorating the new year.

Warfest 2016 w/ Agent Orange & D.I.
5:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 16
Gaslamp, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/1629786643949973/

A bunch of local punk rock bands will perform at the Gaslamp in Long Beach this Saturday night, headlined by Agent Orange and D.I. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $15 presale or $20 at the door. Guests park for free if arriving before 6pm; otherwise, parking at the venue costs $10.

Out Of The Park Pizza 5th Anniversary Party
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, January 16
Out Of The Park Pizza, Anaheim
http://www.outoftheparkpizza.co/
http://www.facebook.com/OutOfParkPizza/photos/pb.121953811165619.-2207520000.1452491590./1192791397415183/

Out Of The Park Pizza will celebrate their fourth year in business this weekend and they want you to join in on the festivities. For $40 general admission, gain access to unlimited food and beer while supplies last. Pay $10 extra for VIP admission to gain access to ten VIP exclusive beers.

Punk Rock Night in Long Beach
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 16
The Prospector, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/726560810779046/

Catch a night of wild punk rock this Saturday in Long Beach. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may enter.

The Dickies: Live in Laguna Niguel
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, January 16
The Karman Bar, Laguna Niguel
http://www.facebook.com/events/1652982184946352/

Legendary punk band The Dickies will headline a show in Laguna Niguel this Saturday night. The cover for this show costs $15. No one under 21 may enter.

A Saturday of Ska at Morgan’s Tavern
9:00 pm – 12:00 am, January 16
Morgan’s Tavern, Riverside
http://www.facebook.com/events/214890778844075/

Catch a FREE ska show at Morgan’s Tavern in Riverside this Saturday night. No one under 21 may enter.

Slaughter & The Dogs at Alex’s Bar
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, January 16
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/1025431-slaughter-dogs-long-beach/

Enjoy a local punk rock show this Saturday night at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach. Tickets to this show cost $10 presale or $12 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

12th Annual San Diego Restaurant Week
January 17-24
Participating restaurants in San Diego
http://sandiegorestaurantweek.com/

Select restaurants throughout San Diego County will offer prix-fixe meal deals during this 7-day period. Lunches range from $10 to $20, while dinners range from $25 to $45.

Pomona Swap Meet & Classic Car Show
5:00 am – 2:00 pm, January 17
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.pomonaswapmeet.com/

See thousands of original and restored classic cars at the Fairplex this Sunday morning. Many of the vendors will also sell automotive accessories, parts, and more as well. This all-ages show cost $10 to enter, while children 10 and under get in free with a paid adult admission. Parking costs $10 per vehicle – guests must enter via gate 17 on Fairplex Drive, directly off the 10 freeway.