Posts Tagged ‘Los Alamitos’

When the seasons change, many more things change than just the weather. Looking at the weather alone, Southern California currently experiences a massive heat wave that may make you believe that the seasons had not turned yet. The pharmaceutical industry has come under heavy scrutiny. Scientists have discovered flowing water on Mars. A drought threatens the inhabitation of California. As a society, we cannot accurately predict what radical event will change the world next, but we can brace ourselves for anything, as we always have in the past as an enduring society. We can also fall back on what we typically associate with this time of the year. Fall, as we know it, indicates pumpkins, red wine, NFL, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the fall harvest, especially the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, giving us a reason to gorge on Mooncakes. Looking at all these opportunities to feast on favorable foods, we should not overlook outdoor grilling, nor the foods prepared that way. Though the winds will chill the air more so than in the summer, many folks will still utilize the grill up through Thanksgiving. In homage of the veritable fall feast, take a look at these five burgers in the Greater Los Angeles Area that I highly recommend seeking out this season.

5. The Federal‘s Smokehouse Burger

When it comes to barbecue, nothing can beat the meats. Southern barbecue boasts all types of meats, from the smoked chicken to the pulled pork to the spicy sausages to the various beef types and much more. Barbecue restaurants typically limit you to a two-meat or three-meat platter. However, The Federal would like to break that barrier by delivering four different types of meat to your face. As a gastropub, The Federal focuses on quality and taste above all else. Between the craft food, craft beer, and craft cocktails, The Federal carefully creates everything from scratch, such as their Smokehouse Burger. A grilled Angus beef patty gets topped with smoked turkey, pepper bacon, BBQ pulled pork, and smoked cheddar all on a milk bun. For $16, you can experience this mountain of meat that can hardly fit in your mouth.

4. Burger Boss‘ Double Grassfed Beef Burger

As a basic human truth, humans want to have control. When one has control, they feel more comfortable. You may ask,”Control over what?” This can apply to just about anything: control over life, control over work, control over a business, control over simple choices, and more. This paves the way for customization, as it gives customers complete control over what they can order. We have plenty of build-it type restaurants, especially when it comes to sandwiches or pizza. We have not seen many customizable burger places up until now, where we have Burger Boss. Burger Boss may feel like a corporate business what with their multiple locations. However, they only have locations in Orange County and Riverside for now, so you can enjoy this local flavor with their Grassfed Beef Burger. At $8.99 for a double, you get to choose the bun, cheese, sauce, and regular toppings. Go premium for $1.19 per topping by adding things like turkey bacon or avocado.

3. Mighty Kitchen‘s Sliders

Would you consider sliders as burgers? Sliders tend to have a greater bun-to-meat ratio than burgers, which explains why I tend to avoid sliders, not to mention that sliders cost as much or more than fast-food burgers. Few places get sliders right, but luckily I discovered that Mighty Kitchen in Los Alamitos actually does a decent job at delivering fun and tasty sliders. You cannot order sliders a la carte at Might Kitchen – you have to order two or three, and they come with fries. I go with three sliders for $15.50 for the better value, and Mighty Kitchen carries many varieties of sliders, such as (pictured from left to right):

  • HHG (Hella Hot Guac): Chorizo patty, pico de gallo, pepper jack cheese, cholula, spicy mayo, housemade jalapeño pepper jelly, guacamole
  • Western Slider: Cheddar cheeseburger, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, fried onion ring, pickle, BBQ sauce, special sauce
  • PBM Bacon Cheeseburger: Maple peanut butter, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, onion, special sauce

2. Humble Potato‘s Karê-bága

Many foods have a region that they typically derive from. For example, schnitzel derives from German cuisine, gyros derive from Greek cuisine, and sushi derives from Japanese cuisine. Some foods have regional differences, such as curry. You can have British curry, Indian curry, Thai curry, Japanese curry, and more, and each type tastes different than others. Speaking of curry, sure you can find curry bowls at just about any Japanese restaurant, but what if you want to enjoy curry as something else? Enter Humble Potato, a humble eatery bringing cuisine from the land of the rising sun to the wild west. Despite the name of the business, Humble Potato carries more than just potatoes – they sling out awesome Japanese-inspired burgers as well, such as the Karê-bága (curry burger, get it?). At $12, this messy burger contains an Angus beef patty, slow-cooked Japanese curry, tomato, yuzu-jalapeño slaw, and a fried egg. For the true burger experience, dig both your hands in and smother your face with this burger.

1. Abricott‘s Abricott Burger w/ Korean Pork Belly

Traditional hamburgers contain a ground beef patty accompanied by an assortment of toppings, usually vegetables as a means of including something somewhat healthy in the burger. The changing times have led to many others ingredients getting thrown into burgers, including other meats, something that Abricott does very well. Locals recognize the small yet humble Abricott in Pasadena for the fusion menu that combines French, Vietnamese, and Thai cuisines. With so many options on the menu, one may overlook the simply titled Abricott Burger. At first, this burger sounds simple with seasoned ground beef, tomato, onions, lettuce, and mayonnaise on a brioche bun, all for just $11.95. However, Abricott turns things up a notch by allowing you to add Korean Pork Belly to the burger for just $1. Suddenly you have a phenomenal taste of the east in your hands. Surprisingly, each mouthful allows you to savor both the beef patty and the pork belly. Abricott does food well, and you ought to taste how well they do food by seeking out this burger the next time you find yourself in or near Pasadena.

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Perception never falls into the simple categorization of black versus white. Perception falls anywhere within a boundless spectrum of antipodes. The problem lies with people’s ability to conceive perceptions beyond their scope. You can ask a person what type of music they love the most, while the next person may loathe that type of music. Most people claim to not like country music, yet the truth reveals that they simply have no preference for it; however, few people actually get adamant about the music. Going beyond preferences commonly exists in food and beverages. Where one person may call something “the best,” another will claim something else as better. For example, my father swears by the $2 wine from Trader Joe’s, unable to accept that pricier fine wines taste better. Some people say that no other burger can top a common burger from corporate fast food or corporate restaurants. People truly get attached to their fast food burgers and refuse to believe that better burgers exist out there. Whether or not you claim to know about the best burger in the world, I encourage you to seek out these five burgers in the greater Los Angeles area this season and give them a try. Who knows – maybe you will alter your opinions after one bite!

5. Village Idiot‘s Griddle Burger

With all these newfangled restaurants popping up everywhere, sometimes it helps to exhibit a little modesty. Young adults want to visit the trendiest, hippest restaurants and/or bars because of interaction and mingling with others of similar age and personality. With so many of these new places around, some restaurants or bars just want to resemble the go-to place away from all the hustle of noisy places. Enter the Village Idiot in West Hollywood as your go-to place to relax. The Village Idiot looks like your typical neighborhood restaurant with no frills or anything fancy inside. They have an old-fashioned bar with plenty of seating in the dining area, perfect for parties of all sizes. With a wide array of food and drink options, Village Idiot will have something for everyone. For something familiar yet scrumptious, go with their Griddle Burger. This simple yet effective $15 burger carries two patties along with dijon mustard and a heaping serving of caramelized onions, with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and fries on the side. Accessorize your burger with cheese or a fried egg at an additional cost. Available throughout the day, this burger will help you get away from the bustle of daily life momentarily while you savor this local flavor.

4. Brew Kitchen Ale House‘s Smokin’ Bacon Burger

When attributing food to a particular location, each region has its own designation on how people should perceive it. For example, we often hear about western, eastern, northern, and southern food. While in the United States this applies mainly to the contingent 48 states, the rest of the world sees things differently. The world does not have northern (New England) or southern (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, etc) cuisine. Instead, the world primarily splits up regions by either its exact name (Japanese, Italian, etc) or simply east versus west. We know that eastern tends to refer to Asian cuisine, while western refers to American barbecue. Why barbecue specifically, I do not have the precise answer, but I do know that Brew Kitchen Ale House has a killer western-influenced menu. Tucked away in a strip mall in Los Alamitos, Brew Kitchen Ale House aims to bring a craft beer presence to Los Alamitos, historically a conservative city. They employ a rotating tap system much like other prominent craft beer restaurants, which greatly accompanies their food menu. Brew Kitchen Ale House contains many gastropub staples, such as their Smokin’ Bacon Burger. This meaty burger comes with sharp cheddar cheese, cherry wood bacon, beer barrel onion strings, and Uncle Joe’s Memphis Brew-B-Que sauce, served with a side of bar fries. Why people associate this particular combination of ingredients with “western” I will never know. However, I do know that you can pound this burger for just $11 at Brew Kitchen Ale House in Los Alamitos.

3. Dory Deli‘s Dory Burger

How does a business generate buzz and hype? Marketing comes in many forms, and each method of marketing reaches out to a different audience. Does a business use word-of-mouth? Does a business use friends & family referrals? Does a business pay for ad space? Does a business rely on internet and social media? No matter how a business chooses to market, they still need to get their name out there, but how they get from point A to point B can differ based on the business owner’s preference. But what if you have products so good that the product markets itself? Enter Dory Deli, a local treat whose name speaks for itself. Located just a stone’s throw away from the sands of Newport Beach, Dory Deli opened their doors last year to the delight of many locals for their use of locally sourced ingredients prepared with fresh, unique flavors. Although they have “Deli” in their name, Dory Deli functions as more than just a deli – they represent a full-service restaurant, along with fresh coffee and juices. Along the menu, you can find hot items such as their Dory Burger. This thick burger patty gets paired with pastrami, horseradish-beet sauce, sliced pickles, caramelized onions, and Swiss cheese on a brioche bun. This burger comes a la carte for $11. Parking nearby requires coins for meters, so if you want to park for free, expect to have to park further and walk quite a bit.

2. 25 Degrees Huntington Beach‘s Number 4

Cheese: you either love it or you hate it. Cheese has existed long before anyone even thought to record the discovery of it. Since the beginning, cheese has made its way all over the culinary world, and has seen countless variations. The texture, flavor, shape, aroma, and other factors all vary based on where it started, how it started, and who made it. Certain cheeses fit certain foods better; for example, mozzarella goes well with pizza, while cheddar goes well with hamburgers. In more recent times, creative chefs have mixed up cheese types to attempt to draw out new flavor combinations. Some have worked, others have not. But when a combination does work, the chef will hastily add it to the menu, just like at 25 Degrees. While 25 Degrees has multiple locations including one in Los Angeles, each one has its own menu, so this will focus on its Huntington Beach location. 25 Degrees represents your typical gastropub and whisky bar, with a lineup full of different beverages and a menu full of goodies. At night, most people go here for the drinks. Throughout the rest of the day, people go here for both the food and drinks, where they might order something such as the Number 4. Unique to the Huntington Beach location, the fourth burger on their menu has bacon, barbecue sauce, mezzo secco cheese, jack cheese, chipotlé aioli, and a fried onion ring. After a few bites, you may just want a side of the cheese by itself due to its savory nature that does not overwhelm the taste senses. To experience this cheesy bliss, check out 25 Degrees in Downtown Huntington Beach order the Number 4 for $11.

1. Rockfire Grill‘s Carnitas Burger

If something on the menu has the word (ham)burger in it, you can bet it will have ground beef in it. Traditional hamburgers have the ground beef patty inside a hamburger bun. However, the definition has expanded to allow more than just the bun to define the dish. For example, hamburger pasta means pasta that has ground beef in it, even if it contains just ground beef pieces instead of a solid patty. Because of this expansion of the definition of a hamburger, creative minds have come up with other ways to build upon the traditional dish. Aside from different toppings or different ways to build the patty, one can take a look at the bun. Everyone has surely seen lettuce-wrapped burgers know as “protein-style” burgers, but you can use more than just an ordinary bun to hold a burger, something that Rockfire Grill has grasped the concept of. Rockfire Grill’s primary draw revolves around their use of a wood-fire oven to bake and cook most of their ingredients. From pizzas to flatbreads to fresh focaccia bread, Rockfire Grill has a unique approach to fresh foods. They use this oven to cook not only their meats, but the breads they use for their menu items, including their burgers and sandwiches. Rockfire Grill wraps their burgers inside their fresh-baked focaccia bread, creating something similar to a pita wrap. Their Carnitas Burger contains two different meats stuffed inside a focaccia bread. After splitting open a fresh-baked focaccia bread, Rockfire Grill fills it with an angus beef patty, salsa verde, pulled pork, tender greens, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, grilled onions, and their house spread. You can taste this fresh-baked difference for $8.95 at the original Rockfire Grill in Mission Viejo, or check out their newer locations in Santa Ana and Newport Beach.

Coronado Brewing Tap Takeover
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, February 23
Far Bar, Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.farbarla.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/188212041546455/

Coronado Brewing will take over the taps at Far Bar in Little Tokyo in Downtown LA this Tuesday night. This event has no cover charge – simply show up, and enjoy a cold one or two.

Reagan Youth: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 23, The Garage, Ventura http://www.facebook.com/events/414284385431935/
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 24, Brick By Brick, San Diego http://www.facebook.com/events/1539697942988909/
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 25, Alex’s Bar, Long Beach http://www.alexsbar.com/event/1025429-reagan-youth-long-beach/
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 26, Yost Theater, Santa Ana http://www.yosttheater.com/calendar/2015/jfa-reagan-youth/
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, February 27, All Star Lanes, Eagle Rock http://www.facebook.com/events/199035447104357/
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 27, Viper Room, West Hollywood http://www.facebook.com/events/1642776489313206/
http://www.reagan-youth.com/

Legendary punk band Reagan Youth will headline a bunch of shows in Southern California this week. Check each show’s link for ticket prices and age limits.

Knee Deep Brewing Tap Takeover
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, February 25
Brew Kitchen Ale House, Los Alamitos
http://www.brewkitchenalehouse.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1736631856567601/

Knee Deep Brewing will take over the taps at Brew Kitchen Ale House in Los Alamitos this Thursday. This event has no cover charge – simply show up, and enjoy a cold one or two.

Celebrate Downtown 2016
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, February 25
The Pike, Long Beach
http://www.downtownlongbeach.org/Event-Detail-Page/Signature-Event-Celebrate-Downtown
http://www.facebook.com/events/1685468468367375/

Long Beach will honor esteemed individuals of the community this Thursday evening at The Pike in Downtown Long Beach. While free to attend, this event requires a reservation, so click on the Facebook event link above for reservation details.

Legends Craft Brewery Pint Nite
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 25
Meat Up BBQ, Placentia
http://www.meatupbbq.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/475200436006119/

One of Orange County’s newer breweries will stock their beers at Meat Up BBQ in Placentia this Thursday night as well as dozens of their pint glasses. Order a pint of Legends beer, and keep the glass to take home.

King Harbor Beer Dinner
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm, February 25
King Harbor Brewing, Redondo Beach
http://kingharborbrewing.com/event/beer-dinner-w-chef-jen-story/

Enjoy a four-course dinner complete with beer pairings this Thursday night at King Harbor Brewing in Redondo Beach. Admission for each person costs $55. No one under 21 may participate.

Punk Night in HB
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 25
The Standing Room, Huntington Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/727949463971356/

Jam out to some local punk rock this Thursday night in Huntington Beach.

Strung Out @ The Glass House
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 26
The Glass House, Pomona
http://www.strungout.com/
http://www.theglasshouse.us/event/1036037-strung-out-pomona/

Punk band Strung Out will headline an all-ages show at the Glass House in Downtown Pomona this Friday night. Tickets to this show cost $16 presale or $18 at the door.

Agression – Live in Los Angeles
8:30 pm – 12:30 am, February 26
Cafe NELA, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/1504475546524370/

Rock out to hardcore punk at this small show this Friday night in Los Angeles headlined by legendary nardcore band Agression. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

Tsunami Bomb: Live in Southern California
8:30 pm – 12:30 am, February 26, Brick By Brick, San Diego http://brickbybrick.ticketfly.com/event/1063063-sprung-monkey-tsunami-bomb-san-diego/
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 28, Alex’s Bar, Long Beach http://www.alexsbar.com/event/1082699-tsunami-bomb-long-beach/
http://www.tsunamibomblives.com/

Punk band Tsunami Bomb will headline shows this weekend in Southern California. Click on a show’s link for ticket prices. No one under 21 may enter any of these shows.

San Luis Obispo Craft Beer Fest
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, February 26
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, February 27
Alex Madonna Expo Center, San Luis Obispo
http://www.slo-beer-fest.com/

Get sudsy in San Luis Obispo this weekend and enjoy dozens of beers from dozens of breweries. Friday night consists of a pre-party with beer and blues music. Saturday will contain the full brewery lineup. Saturday-only tickets have sold out, but Friday’s event costs $45 while a two-day pass costs $90.

Insane Inflatable 5K Los Angeles
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, February 27
Fairplex, Pomona
http://insaneinflatable5k.com/pomona-ca/

It appears that people will do anything to break the mundane cycle of 5k runs. Introducing the Insane Inflatable 5K, a 5k obstacle course that takes you through inflatable obstacles. You remember these things as a kid. Now endure them as you challenge yourself and others to get through over three miles of this stuff. Registration costs $64 online or $75 on the day of the event, and comes with an event t-shirt.

13th Annual Los Angeles Golf Show
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 27
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, February 28
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles
http://lagolfshow.com/

Check out all things golf at this golf expo this weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Admission costs $13 for adults, $11 for seniors, and children 12 and under enter free with a paid adult’s admission.

11th Annual Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 27-28
Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach
http://travelshows.com/losangeles

Interested in traveling and getting out to explore? Find all the information and resources you need and more this weekend at the Travel & Adventure Show. Presale admission costs $12 for one day, or $18 for both days.

39th Annual Orange County Home & Garden Show
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, February 27
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 28
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.thebesthomeshow.com/

This all-ages expo will showcase the latest in home improvement, remodeling, interior-design, decorating, landscaping, and more. Admission costs $6 for adults, while children 12 and under enter for free with a paid adult admission. Parking at the OC Fair costs $7 per vehicle.

Santa Anita Winners’ Circle Chili Cook Off
10:30 am – 6:00 pm, February 27
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://santaanitabbq.com/ics-chili-2016/

Enjoy chili tastings from local cooks as they enter their prized chili recipes in hopes of taking home the grand prize. General admission costs $31 and includes eight 2oz chili tastings, one 12oz craft beer or wine, an 8oz bowl of the Santa Anita Park chili, and access to the racetrack and betting.

Brouwerij West Grand Opening
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, February 27
Brouwerij West, San Pedro
http://www.brouwerijwest.com/

One of the most anticipated breweries to set foot in Southern California finally opens their doors to the public this Saturday in San Pedro. Free to attend, Brouwerij West will have at least eight beers on tap, plus gourmet food trucks all day and live music starting at 5pm.

Color Fun Fest 5K San Diego
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 27
Sleep Train Amphitheatre, Chula Vista
http://colorfunfest5k.com/san-diego/

Subject yourself to another color run at this color 5k this Saturday in Chula Vista. This event features two running events: one during the day, and one at night. Registration for this run costs $60 presale or $75 on the day of the event, if any tickets remain.

The Dickies: Live in Ventura
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 27
The Garage, Ventura
http://www.facebook.com/events/1079532798725720/

Legendary punk band The Dickies will headline a small show in Ventura this Saturday night. Tickets for this show cost $12. No one under 21 may enter.

Dine Out Long Beach Restaurant Week 2.0
February 28 – March 5
Participating restaurants, Long Beach
http://dineoutlongbeach.com/

The city of Long Beach has so many fine restaurants that they will have an entire week to celebrate the bounty. During this 7-day period, participating restaurants will have various food & drink specials. Check the website linked above for a list of participating restaurants and their specials.

Nuke the Fridge Con (Stan Lee Special Edition)
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 28
Frank & Son’s, Rowland Heights
http://nukethefridge.com/

While it normally occurs in November each year, Nuke the Fridge Con returns to Rowland Heights this weekend for a special event featuring Stan Lee of Marvel fame. This FREE event features dozens of pop culture vendors all selling various goods of video games, sports memorabilia, comics, and other collectibles. Anyone will surely find something here to satisfy their inner collector.

Pasadena Comic Con & Toy Show
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 28
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena
http://www.pasadenacomicandtoyshow.com/

Pasadena gets their own all-ages convention dedicated to comics and toys this Sunday. General admission costs $7 and starts at 10am, while early admission costs $12 and starts at 9am.

Los Angeles Comic Book & Science Fiction Convention
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 28
The Reef, Los Angeles
http://www.comicbookscifi.com/

Comic book and sci-fi fans will not want to miss this one-day expo taking place in Los Angeles this Sunday. This event will feature the original cast of Star Trek, many other celebrities, hundreds of merchandise vendors, and lots more. General admission costs $12 and starts at 10am, while early admission costs $14 and starts at 9am.

Newport Beach Brewing Company’s 21st Anniversary Brewfest 8
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, February 28
Newport Beach Brewing Company, Newport Beach
http://www.newportbeachbrewingcompany.com/
http://brewfest8.bpt.me/

Newport Beach Brewing Co. will host their annual Brewfest this Sunday at their brewery. $35 gets you unlimited beer tasters for the duration of the event. The brewery’s restaurant will remain open for anyone wanting to eat.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque – First Wednesdays @ The Copper Door
9:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 6
The Copper Door, Downtown Santa Ana
http://www.facebook.com/events/1477882672453686/

Get your fill of burlesque every first Wednesday of the month at The Copper Door in Downtown Santa Ana, for free! Guests can park on the street for free after 8pm. No one under 21 may enter.

3rd Annual LUCKYRICE Feast
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 7
Create Nightclub, Hollywood
http://luckyrice.com/upcoming-events

Join in on this night of Asian-style food tastings and cocktail sips this Thursday night in Hollywood. General admission costs $88 and starts at 8pm, while early admission costs $150 and starts at 7pm. All attendees receive unlimited food and cocktail tastings while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

“Pick It Up” Ska Show
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 7
The Airliner, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/872958562731712/

Skank with some local ska bands this Thursday night in Northeast Los Angeles. The cover for this show costs $3 before 9:30, or $5 afterwards. No one under 18 may attend.

Festival De eSKAndalo
3:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 8
Chavas Cafe, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/730867356975128/

Lots of local ska bands will play at this all-ages all-day show this Friday in Downtown Los Angeles. The cover for this show costs $7 before 6pm, or $10 afterwards. The venue will have food and drinks for sale.

3rd Annual Ribs, Pigs, & Watermelons – Beer Festival & Pro BBQ Competition
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 8
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, August 9
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 10
Huntington Beach State Beach, Huntington Beach
http://www.rpwbbq.com/

Indulge in BBQ, pork, watermelons, and beer this weekend in Huntington Beach. Grill masters from across the country will fly in to compete for the grand prize of $10,000, and attendees will share the delight to sampling all the delicious meaty goodness. Attendees will also find all the watermelon they can eat, as well as watermelon-related activities such as carving, seed-spitting, eating contests, and more. Also catch live music all weekend on the stage. General admission valid for all three days cost $10, $5 for children ages 8-12, and free for younger children. General admission only grants entry to the festival – all attendees must pay for food separately.

Brew at the Zoo
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 8
Los Angeles Zoo, Los Angeles
http://lazoo.org/brew/

This craft beer fest at the Los Angeles Zoo will allow you to drink while exhibiting the animals. Also expect to see comedians, DJs, bands, vendors, and more. Admission costs $45 presale, and includes fourteen 4.5oz beer tasters and entry into the park to look at the animals.

Hardcore Punk Night @ The Screaming Chicken
7:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 8
The Screaming Chicken Saloon, San Bernardino
http://www.facebook.com/events/396165370521239/

Get crazy at this hardcore punk show this Friday night out in Devore. The cover for this show costs $5 before 8pm, or $8 afterwards. No one under 21 may enter.

The Last Gang @ The World Famous Doll Hut
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 8
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/662029183889458/

Check out these great local bands at the Doll Hut this Friday night. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may attend.

Club Beat On The Brat
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 8
Los Angeles Brewing Company, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/684808591605567/

Enjoy some local rock bands this Friday night at Los Angeles Brewing Company in Downtown Los Angeles. The cover for this show costs $3 before 10pm, or $5 afterwards. No one under 21 may attend.

Nisei Week – Japanese Festival
August 9-17
Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.niseiweek.org/

Participate in any of a variety of events celebrating Japanese culture during this nine-day period based out of Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles. Numerous events will occur at Little Tokyo or the Japanese American National Museum on the north side of Little Tokyo. Check the website for a full list of events, which include some eating competitions, the free family festival, and a car show.

Wet N Wild 5K
6:00 am – 12:00 pm, August 9
La Mirada Regional Aquatic Center, La Mirada
http://wetnwild5k.com/

Put your running skills to the wet mettle at this soaked 5k run this Saturday morning in La Mirada. Unlike a normal 5k run, this fun run will subject runners to wading through a “river” that goes up to the runner’s waist. Registration for this run costs $40 per individual, or $35 per individual on a team of five or more participants. Registration on race day will cost $5 per individual regardless.

7th Annual Surf Guitar Convention & Festival
8:00 am – 8:00 pm, August 9
The Starting Gate, Los Alamitos
http://surfguitar101.com/convention/HOME.html

Come see lots of surf music bands perform at this benefit show. This all-day all-ages show costs $30 to attend.

9th Annual Cardiff Dog Days of Summer
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, August 9
Cardiff Town Center, Cardiff
http://www.cardiffdogdaysofsummer.com/

Want a little exercise, socialization, and bonding with your dog? Come enjoy dog contests, custom pet products and animal adoptions. Vendors will display the latest dog products and much more. San Diego County’s largest dog-centric event draws thousands attendees from all over San Diego to see over 200 vendors, dog contests, live music, food, an agility course, a doggie photo booth, doggie crafts and a large silent auction. Completely free to attend for all ages, attendees should park at or near Encinitas City Hall and take the free shuttle.

2014 Reptile Super Show
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 9
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, August 10
Fairplex, Pomona
http://reptilesupershow.com/

Check out all things reptiles and amphibians at this weekend expo at the Fairplex in Pomona. Open to all ages, attendees will find reptiles, amphibians, turtles, supplies, cages, lights, supplements, educational workshops, and more. Admission costs $14 for adults and $9 for children 12 and under – check the website for a printable coupon good for $1 off admission. Parking costs $10 per vehicle – guests must enter through blue gate 9, located on White Avenue south of Arrow Hwy.

Summer Sun & Art Fest
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, August 9
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 10
The Pike, Downtown Long Beach
http://laydbackproductions.com/?page_id=26

This weekend, guests of all ages can find fine arts, contemporary crafts, handcrafted items, entertainment, delectable edibles, unique offerings, and more all at The Pike in Downtown Long Beach, completely free to attend.

30th Annual Philippine Cultural Arts Festival
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, August 9-10
Balboa Park, San Diego
http://www.samahanphilippinedance.com/

At this FREE and all-ages festival, enjoy cultural entertainment in the form of food, drinks, desserts, music, dance, art, live entertainment, demos, and more.

2nd Annual ScareLA
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 9-10
LA Mart, Los Angeles
http://scarela.com/

Welcome to Southern California’s premier Halloween convention. At this weekend event, get a glimpse at all things Halloween, preview this year’s top costumes, and get info on the world’s scariest haunted houses or mazes. Check out over a hundred Halloween vendors, makeup artists, scare demos, costume demos, and more. Visitors may also want to wear their costume to this expo to “practice” for Halloween! The price of admission varies based on the day of attendance, and any of the extras included with admission. General admission (no extra goodies) costs $30 on Saturday and $25 on Sunday. See the website for a full breakdown of prices.

Mitsuwa Summer Festival
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, August 9-10
Mitsuwa Marketplace, Torrance
http://www.mitsuwa.com/ai1ec_event/mitsuwa-summer-events/

Come experience Japanese culture over the weekend! Completely FREE to attend for all ages, visitors will find games, arts, crafts, food, music, dance, karaoke, and more. Mitsuwa Marketplace will remain open for regular business during this time as well.

27th Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival
11:00 am – 10:30 pm, August 9-10
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach
http://www.longbeachjazzfestival.com/

Soak in the sun with classy R&B and jazz music this weekend in Long Beach. Discover the best in local music under the sun in the park by the beach, and check out the local food and art also available at this all-ages fest. Admission varies based on attendance method, with rates starting at $50. Parking in nearby lots and structures cost $10 per vehicle – consider parking in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue to circumvent parking fees.

5th Annual Los Angeles Craft Beer Crawl
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm, August 9
Casey’s Irish Pub, Downtown Los Angeles
http://213nightlife.com/lacraftbeercrawl

All attendees of this pub crawl through Downtown Los Angeles will see over 100 different craft beers across seven different locations. General admission costs $59 and starts at 3pm, while early admission begins at 1pm, but has already sold out. The pub crawl has no set route – you may visit the locations in any order you like, and spend as much time at any particular venue as you like. All locations will open to the public at 7pm that day, but you can still stay at any of the locations as long as you like.

The Full Pint 7th Anniversary Celebration
1:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 9
Toronado, North Park, San Diego
http://thefullpint.com/events/the-full-pint-7th-anniversary-august-9-2014/

This beer fest will bring out the big guns, as The Full Pint brings out all the rare beers that attendees can handle. A VIP session starts at 1pm, but has already sold out. General admission starts at 4pm and costs $10 to enter – from there, attendees will pay for beer as they go, and each beer will vary in price.

Chinatown Summer Nights
5:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 9
Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles
http://chinatownsummernights.com/

Have a fun time this summer at Chinatown in Downtown Los Angeles. Free to attend for all ages, this nighttime festival brings together food, music, art, and beer in a multicultural setting. Expect to see food trucks, merchandise, arts & crafts, live music, live DJ’s, a dance floor, a beer garden hosted by Eagle Rock Brewery, and more. Guests can find free street parking on Spring St and the side streets connected to Spring, including College St.

Art Crawl Experience
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 9
Center Street Promenade, Downtown Anaheim
http://www.downtownanaheim.com/artcrawlexperience

Downtown Anahiem will see a variety of activities and exhibits this Saturday night. Visitors can expect to find tons of art exhibits, live music, food, food trucks, drinks, yoga, dance, and more. Visitors may park for free in the parking structure located at S Clementine Street and W Oak Street.

Moon Crisis: Masquerade
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 9
Rothick Art Haus, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/494238860706200/

As part of their ongoing celebration of the 2014 reboot of the Sailor Moon franchise, Moon Crisis will host another FREE all-ages art show this Saturday night in Anaheim. This time, the showing will have a masquerade theme, encouraging visitors to dress for the occasion.

Radioactive Chicken Heads @ Comic Book Hideout
7:00 pm – 12:00 am August 9
Comic Book Hideout, Fullerton
http://www.facebook.com/events/690168837718172/

The Radioactive Chicken Heads will headline an all-ages show this Saturday night in Fullerton. The cover for this show costs only $2!

Suburban Legends @ M15 Corona
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 9
M15 Concert Bar & Grill, Corona
http://www.m15concerts.com/events/suburban-legends-2/

SoCal ska bands invade Corona this Saturday night, as Suburban Legends embark on their tour through the Southwest. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $15.

Narcoleptic Youth @ 13th Frame Lounge
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 9
13th Frame Lounge, La Habra
http://www.facebook.com/events/1451511035088519/

Enjoy true OC punk this Saturday night in La Habra. The cover for this all-ages show costs $10.

Free Punk Rock Show in La Crescenta
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 9
The Crest, La Crescenta
http://www.facebook.com/events/1494090130824553/

Enjoy a FREE punk rock show this Saturday night out in La Crescenta. No one under 21 may enter.

Pomona Swap Meet & Classic Car Show
5:00 am – 2:00 pm, August 10
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.

Taste of Ecuador Food Festival
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 10
Olvera Street, Los Angeles
http://www.lafoodfestivals.com/

Dozens of food vendors will serve up delicious Ecuadorian eats along Olvera Street this Sunday afternoon. Free to attend for all ages, visitors can simply pay for the food that they want without the worry of paying to enter.

29th Annual Children’s Festival of the Arts
12:00 pm – 4:30 pm, August 10
Paramount Studios, Hollywood
http://www.hollywoodartscouncil.org/

Bring out the family to this FREE art day in Hollywood this Sunday afternoon. Children will enjoy all the activities involving art, dance, music, face painting, characters, and more.

Blue Palms Brewhouse 6th Anniversary Celebration
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, August 10
Blue Palms Brewhouse, Los Angeles
http://bluepalmsbrewhouse.com/6.html

Blue Palms Brewhouse turns six this week, and would like to invite you to join in on the festivities! Admission costs $65, and comes with twenty 3oz beer tasters, a souvenir glass, and food while it lasts.

30th Annual Hillcrest CityFest
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 10
5th & University, Hillcrest, San Diego
http://fabuloushillcrest.com/events/hillcrest-cityfest/

Have fun at this street fair in Hillcrest this Sunday with games, activities, vendors, live music, food, a beer garden, and more. Free to attend for all ages, visitors should park at the San Diego School District Building on the east side of Hillcrest.

CMRCC Craft Beer Fest
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, August 10
Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club, Carmel Mountain Ranch, San Diego
http://clubcmr.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/craft-beer-fest-tickets/

This quaint little country/golf club will hold a beer festival this Sunday that currently only features five breweries. Admission costs $40 and provides 15 4oz beer tasters, plus full access to five different food stations. For an additional $30, gain access to an all-inclusive round of golf. When purchasing tickets, use the promo code beerme to take $5 off the ticket price.

Cruise the Pike Classic Car Show
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, August 10
The Pike, Downtown Long Beach
http://laydbackproductions.com/?page_id=4234

Come on down to The Pike this Sunday afternoon and enjoy art and cars on the grassy knoll! Spectators of all ages can attend for free. Anyone interested in showcasing their classic car in this show must register their vehicle for $15 prior to the event or $20 on the day of.

System of a Stout & Still Life Stout Re-release Event
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, June 3
Beachwood Brewing, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/426032534206558/

Beachwood Brewing will bring back two of their popular limited release stouts from the past to serve to guests starting this Tuesday night. Take home bottles of these beers, or enjoy them at Beachwood Brewing along with dinner from a special menu curated just for this night. Guests of all ages can enjoy the special dinner menu, but no one under 21 can drink any beer. Guests can park for free for up to three hours in the parking structure behind Beachwood Brewing with validation from the restaurant.

California Brewmasters Book Release Party
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 3
Noble Ale Works, Anahiem
http://www.facebook.com/events/611761892252585/

Join brewers from local breweries at Noble Ale this Tuesday evening as they celebrate the release of the book California Brewmasters. Perhaps you may even receive autographs from the brewers themselves! Guests may park and attend for free. Books and beer come at cost. Guests of all ages may purchase a book as well as receive autographs, but minors cannot have any beer.

Taste of Downtown Long Beach
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 4-5
Pine & Broadway, Downtown Long Beach
https://www.downtownlongbeach.org/Latest-News-Detail/Taste-of-Downtown-Pine-Avenue?id=66951

Sample food from local restaurants in Downtown Long Beach at this two-night tasting, or enjoy some brews at the beer garden sponsored by Beachwood BBQ. Each sample costs varying amounts of tickets, which cost $1 each. Purchase tickets online to receive two free tickets for every $10 spent. Guests can park for free for up to two hours in the parking structure between 3rd, 4th, and Pine.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque – First Wednesdays @ The Copper Door
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, June 4
The Copper Door, Downtown Santa Ana
http://www.facebook.com/events/581880085258517/

Get your fill of burlesque every first Wednesday of the month at The Copper Door in Downtown Santa Ana, for free! Guests can park on the street for free after 8pm. No one under 21 may enter.

Long Beach Coin, Stamp, & Sports Collectible Expo
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, June 5-7
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.longbeachexpo.com/

This show brings tens of thousands of collectors worldwide to share, buy, sell, and trade their collectibles. Complete with seminars, workshops, press conferences, vendor booths, auctions, and more, this all-ages expo will delight anyone interested in collecting valuable goods. Admission costs $8, with discounts available for seniors and children. Parking at the convention center costs $10.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, June 6
Various locations
Long Beach: http://firstfridayslongbeach.com/
Venice: http://www.abbotkinney1stfridays.com/

This monthly artwalk occurs on the first Friday of every month. Each location offers different activities, but most will contain food & drink specials, art exhibits & displays, street performers, and more. Venice and Long Beach have the two largest gatherings of all First Fridays. Other locations include Westchester, Fullerton, and City of Industry. Most First Fridays locations cost nothing to attend, while the local businesses uphold their standard rules (e.g. bars 21+ only).

Rikk Agnew Band @ The World Famous Doll Hut
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, June 6
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/1436676179921806/

Get your weekly Friday night fill of punk rock at the Doll Hut with the Rikk Agnew Band, The Decline, Carpit, and SxRx. The cover for this show costs $7. No one under 21 may enter.

The Secret Affair – 60’s Night
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, June 6
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/172289

Occurring on every month’s first Friday, this 60’s night at Alex’s Bar will play all vinyl music of motown, northern soul, boogaloo, 60’s pop, and more. Feel free to dress up too, as the bar staff will hold costume contests and dance contests. No one under 21 may enter.

13th Annual Dog Walk – A Paws for Health
7:30 am – 12:00 pm, June 7
Frank G Bonelli Regional Park, San Dimas
http://ivhs.convio.net/site/TR/SampleTR/General?fr_id=1050&pg=entry

Go on a 1.5 mile walk with your canine friend for charity this Saturday morning in San Dimas. Before or after the walk, check out all the games, vendors, arts & crafts, pancake breakfast, services, and more.

2nd Annual 5k-ish Sugartown Challenge
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, June 7
The Shops at Rossmoor, Seal Beach
http://www.sugarbeetfestival.com/

Run an obstacle course through old-town Los Alamitos this Saturday morning for charity! Starting at The Shops at Rossmoor, participants will run through a course spanning approximately five kilometers, and face challenges along the way such as archery, gymnastics, soccer kicks, crossfit, and more. Registration for this all-ages obstacle course costs $42.75.

Pacific Islander Festival
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, June 7-8
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/pacific_islander_festival/

Explore the cultures of the Pacific Islands all weekend at the Aquarium of the Pacific. For just the price of the aquarium’s general admission, guests of all ages will experience music, dancing, arts & crafts, ethnic cuisines, educational programming, storytelling, artisans, and more. Parking at the adjacent parking structure ranges from $5 to $10. The local Passport bus operates for free, so guests may ride public transportation to save money.

2014 Scuba Show
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, June 7-8
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://scubashow.com/

Come to this diving expo and check out hundreds of diving companies and resorts from around the world. Dozens of seminars will highlight equipment, destinations, training, photography, ecology, and more. Attendees will also find a seafood cooking demo, plus other goodies, such as door prizes. Admission varies based on the mode of attendance, with general admission starting at $12. Children under 13 get in free with a paid adult admission.

Ninja-Con Anime Convention
10:00 pm – 10:00 pm, June 7
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.ninja-conla.org/

Fans of anime, manga, video games, comics, cosplay, Asian culture, and anything else with ninjas in it will not want to miss Ninja-Con, happening this Saturday at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Discuss and share hobbies with other attendees during the convention, and introduce others to new things. Admission to this all-ages convention costs $20.

27th Annual Palos Verdes Street Fair
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, June 7-8
Peninsula Center, Palos Verdes
http://www.pvstreetfair.com/

Located all the way out in the hills of Palos Verdes, this annual street fair contains numerous vendors, merchandise, arts & crafts, rides, food, live entertainment, and more. Free for all ages, guests from out of town can enjoy the scenery as they drive up the hills to arrive in Palos Verdes. Guests can park for free in the high school parking lots across the street from the shopping center.

Make Music Pasadena
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, June 7
Old Town Pasadena, Downtown Pasadena
http://www.makemusicpasadena.org/

This FREE and all-ages music festival completely covers the streets of Downtown Pasadena. All day long, guests can catch over 150 free concerts from dozens of local bands and other bands that have traveled from afar to play here. Local long-term parking may cost quite a bit, so opt to park further and take public transportation to cut down on costs.

TAFF Expo
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, June 7
Public Auditorium, Long Beach
http://taffexpo.com/

Standing for Tech-Art-Fashion-Food, this one-day event exhibits current & future trends in emerging technologies, contemporary art, wearable fashion,  and sustainable agriculture. Admission to this all-ages event costs $10.

Hangar 24 Local Fields: Essence Release
11:00 pm – 12:00 am, June 7
Hangar 24 Brewery, Redlands
http://www.facebook.com/events/1452469354998053/

Hangar 24 releases the next brew of their seasonal series this Saturday. Come to the tasting room in Redlands to enjoy Essence, a double IPA brewed with navel oranges, blood oranges, and grapefruit, and also catch some local music as well as local food.

Spark Run 5k – Los Angeles
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, June 7
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.thesparkrun.com/locations/los-angeles

The original color run has started a strong 5k fad that stretches to include nearly every variant of turning a grueling task into a somewhat fun one. This Saturday night at the Fairplex in Pomona, join in on the Spark Run, a nighttime 5k fun run filled with glow sticks, LED lights, black light, costumes, and more. Registration currently costs $60 per individual or $55 per individual in a team of four or more, and comes with a t-shirt, race bib, LED bracelet, and glow necklace. Children eight and under can participate for free, but will only receive the glow necklace. The doors open at 6pm and the race starts at 7:45pm, but I highly suggest arriving as early as possible to avoid traffic delays. Bring extra cash for parking, food, and drinks.

D.I. @ 13th Frame Lounge
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, June 7
13th Frame Lounge, La Habra
http://www.facebook.com/events/715466715143509/

Catch Orange County punk pioneers D.I. as they headline a small show in La Habra this Saturday night. The cover for this all-ages show costs $10.

Prima Donna @ Loaded Hollywood
8:00 pm – 1:30 am, June 7
Loaded Hollywood, Hollywood
http://www.facebook.com/events/644505822310696/

Enjoy a night of rock in Hollywood this Saturday night. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

Anacon 2014
8:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 8
Embassy Suites, Garden Grove
http://www.warehousefiftyone.com/

Welcome to the Anaheim Collectible Convention. At this one-day convention, visitors of all ages will find comics, toys, cards, video game competitions, prizes, and more. Admission to this convention costs only $5 and comes with free parking.

Taste of the Nation – Laguna Beach
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 8
Montage Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach
http://ce.nokidhungry.org/events/taste-nation-laguna-beach

Sample culinary creations from some of Orange County’s greatest chefs and restaurants, while quenching your thirst from various wineries, breweries, and other non-alcoholic drink producers. General admission costs $200 and runs from 4pm to 7pm, while VIP costs $275 and goes until 9pm.