Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles County’

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

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

The annual US Sumo Open returns to CSULB’s Walter Pyramid for its 17th year running this Saturday afternoon. This spectacle features dozens of professional sumo wrestlers from around the world competing for the prized trophy and bragging rights. This tournament features men’s and women’s lightweight, middleweight, and heavyweight competitors, all of which contain wrestlers from multiple different countries. Across all the competitors, Mongolia and Russia appear to have the most competitors. The day usually starts with individual divisions, and the day usually ends with the Open Weight tournament, where all competitors of a gender compete. This means that someone weighing 160 lbs may end up facing someone weighing over 500 lbs. Surprisingly for the women, the heavyweights do not always outperform the lighter competitors, as these competitors have appeared more brutal and vicious than the men. Throughout the day between sets, attendees got treated to a musical performance featuring dance and drums.

The US Sumo Open makes for an interesting event to attend and bring friends & family to. Southern California does not get sumo wrestling events like this often, so when one does come around, many people flock to it. General admission to this event costs $25 presale or $35 at the door for the upper bleachers, or $40 presale or $55 at the door for the lower bleachers. If you cannot make it to this event, they will have a live stream of the event available on their YouTube page, which they will link on their website once they start streaming. The US Sumo Open returns every year around this time, so if you cannot make it this year, bookmark your calendar for next year’s 18th Annual US Sumo Open. In the meantime, check out USA Sumo on Facebook for future updates and related events, such as the Sumo Sushi Show if they intend to bring it back this year.

Uptown Whittier’s Annual Car Show returned for its 17th year running this past Saturday. Like last year, it took place in June – prior to last year, the car show used to take place in August. A free outdoor event for all ages, hundreds of classic and custom cars filled the streets of Uptown Whittier covering much of Greenleaf Avenue and side streets from Hadley St down to Penn St. Thousands of visitors swarmed the streets to gaze upon all of the cars for photos or pure admiration throughout the day. All of the local businesses remained open during this time, so many visitors also got a chance to explore the local flavor of Uptown Whittier. In addition to all the cars on display, visitors also experienced live music, various vendors, a play area for children, and pinup models that apparently modeled for a calendar shoot at this car show. For a car show that has lasted 16 years, it has gained a strong following in the automotive industry, which paved the way for it to get its own calendar shoot.

The quaint community of Uptown Whittier holds events often throughout the year, such as a street beer festival and a Miss Uptown Whittier contest. If you appreciate small town charm, give Uptown Whittier a like on Facebook and a follow on Twitter. In the meantime, check out the photos I took at this year’s car show:

The 5th Annual Heritage of Aloha Festival returned to Heritage Park in Santa Fe Springs this past weekend. Free to attend for all ages, this Hawaiian/Polynesian cultural fair contained numerous cultural vendors, food, treats, games, music, dance, entertainment, and more. Most of the action revolved around the main stage, where they had the music, dance, speakers, occasional comedians, actors, and more. Spread throughout the park, visitors could stroll through the dozens of vendors selling things from accessories, apparel, house goods, food, treats, trinkets, souvenirs, and beyond. At the far end of the park, visitors found the food stalls plus the games for the children to win toys at. Due to the small size of the park, the organizers had to fit everything in to a tight space, meaning that visitors could stroll through the entire festival within ten minutes or so. Regardless, anyone who visited surely had a great time checking out all the different cultural goods around. Support this local festival by liking them on Facebook.

The Heritage of Aloha Festival returns to Heritage Park in Santa Fe Springs for its fifth year running this weekend. Free to attend for all ages, this Hawaiian/Polynesian cultural fair contains numerous cultural vendors, food, treats, games, music, dance, entertainment, and more. Most of the action revolves around the main stage, where they have the music, dance, speakers, occasional comedians, actors, and more. Spread throughout the park, visitors can stroll through the dozens of vendors selling things from accessories, apparel, house goods, food, treats, trinkets, souvenirs, and beyond. At the far end of the park, visitors may find the food stalls plus the games for the children to win toys at. Due to the small size of the park, the organizers tend to fit everything in to a tight space, meaning that visitors can stroll through the entire festival within ten minutes or so. Regardless, anyone who visits surely will have a great time checking out all the different cultural goods around. Support this local festival by liking them on Facebook.

The Robo Toy Fest returned for its annual event this past Sunday. Taking place at the Pasadena Convention Center, this all-ages expo features dozens of artists and vendors all showcasing any media involving robots or mechs. From Transformers to Power Rangers and more, any fan of robot toys would love to see everything here. Visitors would find more than enough toys around to keep their interests piqued for hours. Admission only costs $10 and allows in-and-out privileges the entire day. Robo Toy Fest normally operates along with Brick Boutique, but for some reason that event did not return this year, so Robo Toy Fest operated on its own. For a small event though, one could see everything present within half an hour. However, the event organizers provided some extra content to entice visitors to stay, such as complimentary snacks and special guest celebrities doing autograph signings and photographs with visitors. I specifically saw one of the Red Rangers from one of the Power Rangers seasons, as well as the actor that portrayed Liu Kang in a Mortal Kombat movie. For those with expanded interests, plenty of vendors present provided merchandise from video games, comics, anime, manga, and more, giving fans more to see than just robots.

Robo Toy Fest returns at different times of the year. Last year, Robo Toy Fest took place in October, way off from this year in May. The organizers of Robo Toy Fest also put on a lot of other similar events at the Pasadena Convention Center, which I will list below. Make sure you like Robo Toy Fest on Facebook to see what else they have coming up. To better understand what transpires here, check out these other similar events held at the Pasadena Convention Center:

In every city lies hidden gems of all types. These hidden gems can range from local businesses to landmarks and more. Some hidden gems remain largely undiscovered by the masses for quite some time, while some hidden gems get talked about a lot. When a hidden gem gets talked about enough times, it soon grows in popularity and eventually no longer fits the “hidden gem” category. For some hidden gems, they lie in a good balance of having the locals know about it versus spreading the word out about it. However, a problem soon arises of knowing when to talk about the hidden gem and who to tell about it. Should that hidden gem remain hidden or not? In some cases, it helps to spread the word out to get others to discover something new, such as Uncle Henry’s Deli in Downey.

Downey’s Uncle Henry’s Deli represents a rare craft beer haven in an area otherwise lacking in local beer. For many years, the region from Lakewood to Monterey Park enclosed by the 605 and 710 freeways represented the middle grounds between Downtown Los Angeles and Orange County. This area did not have any significant craft beer locations, mainly due to lack of spots for locals to hang out. However, Uncle Henry’s Deli wants to change that by acting as the spot for locals to enjoy a nice cold one. Family owned and operated since 1959, Uncle Henry’s Deli humbly boasts traditional yet delicious deli sandwiches along with a massive selection of rotating craft beers. On the deli side, they have all the typical deli meats and cheeses that they utilize in their hot and cold sandwiches. Most sandwiches come in three sizes based on how much meat you get: 5oz, 7oz, and 10oz, the latter costing almost twice as much as a 5oz sandwich. On the bar side, the craft beer mecca awaits. Uncle Henry’s Deli proudly offers over a hundred rotating beer taps, as well as over 90 different bottle varieties at any given time. One cannot go wrong with choice here at Uncle Henry’s Deli, as they have a style suitable for just about anyone.

If you find yourself equidistant from Downtown LA and Orange County, make a pit stop at Uncle Henry’s Deli up in the northern side of Downey. Check out Uncle Henry’s Deli’s food specials and beer offerings by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

In today’s busy & bustling society, time equals money. It means a lot to have extra time to get things done. Typically, the less time you consume to get something accomplished, the more productivity you have to dedicate toward the next task. Saving time means a lot to not just individuals, but businesses who aim to maximize profit while under operating hours. If a person can save time by accomplishing multiple tasks at once, most likely they will undertake that. For example, brunch combines breakfast and lunch into one meal. While this may not always come off as the healthiest choice, if a person needs to conserve time, combining meals can work out once in a while. If you want to enjoy breakfast or brunch any time of the day, you can do so at Wähfles Café in La Verne.

Nestled in an easily accessible location, Wähfles Café churns out artisanal coffees and gourmet waffles out of their quaint, quiet shop. One can reach Wähfles Café immediately off a freeway, and people from the Fairplex or University of La Verne can quickly reach Wähfles Café. As their name suggests, Wähfles Café specializes in gourmet waffle dishes, which includes both the savory and sweet varieties. They serve waffles as traditional dishes or pressed for sandwiches, which includes their Ricki Ricardo waffle sandwich. Representing Wähfles Café’s interpretation of a Cuban sandwich, Wähfles Café places premium slow-roasted pork shoulder, thick-sliced ham, Swiss cheese, pickled onions & cucumbers, and signature Cuban aioli between two grill-pressed rosemary waffles. At $10.95, this comes with a side of sweet banana chips as well. While this sounds like any old Cuban sandwich, the waffles give it a unique spin with both its texture and flavor that includes the rosemary along with its trademark rosemary aroma.

Wähfles Café makes a great place to hang out, enjoy some food and drinks, and/or get some studying done thanks to its quiet and calm atmosphere. See what else Wähfles Café has brewing up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

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. Eat Chow‘s Chow BBQ Burger

Portion size means a lot to the typical person who goes out to eat. Fine-dining restaurants focus on quality over quantity, so while fine-dining entrées appear small, it makes up for it with outstanding flavor. Generally, people want that happy medium between fine-dining and fast food, a restaurant that serves high-quality yet affordable food, something that Eat Chow specializes in. Now with three locations in Orange County, Eat Chow does not boast too much, perhaps because their foods speaks for itself. Eat Chow takes common foods and makes them well, from their burgers to the sandwiches to the entrées and more. Clearly a lot of care has gone into the dishes, evident by how much of the food’s natural flavor one can taste. In addition to the heightened food quality, Eat Chow doles up generous portion sizes too, such as in their Chow BBQ Burger. This grass-fed chuck patty comes topped with housemade barbecue sauce, smoked gouda cheese, crispy onion strings, bacon, mayonnaise, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes on a brioche bun. You can take on this huge burger for just $13.

4. Ocean Diner‘s Kiss Me Kate Burger

Different ingredients yield different flavors to the palate. Some ingredients have mild flavors, while some ingredients have extreme flavors. Some of the extreme-flavored ingredients may come with inauspicious side effects, such as spicy foods attacking the taste buds or foods invoking halitosis, or bad breath. Some of the latter ingredients taste so good that people often endure the side effects, such as garlic. For a calamity of ingredients that can cause bad breath, Ocean Diner has found just the combination. From the outside, Ocean Diner looks like your typical small-town American diner. However, Ocean Diner truly has some amazing things going on in here, such as their Kiss Me Kate Burger. This specialty burger comes with bacon-roasted garlic puree, grilled onions, and goat cheese. This $11.95 comes served with French fries, mashed potatoes, brown rice, coleslaw, or cottage cheese. As a special menu item, it will not last forever, so head over to Ocean Diner fast before this burger leaves their menu!

3. green2Go‘s Grass-Fed Bison Burger

A simple human truth states that people desire control in their lives. When someone lacks control over a situation, they may start to feel stress or panic. Give someone control, and they feel a lot more comfortable over their situation. This applies to all walks of life, including food, and green2Go gives you that control over your food. green2Go uses only the freshest all-natural ingredients to ensure pure flavor and nutrition. While you may certainly order any of their items as the menu describes, green2Go proudly offers a Build-Your-Own section where you get to dress up your favorite menu items, such as their Grass-Fed Bison Burger. This bison patty comes on your choice of brioche or squaw bread, or a lettuce-wrap, organic lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a dill pickle. From there, you can select up to four add-ons to accompany your plate, which you can pick by walking up to the BYO bar to the left of the front counter. For $16, this burger comes to you with your choice of a side salad or roasted mini potatoes.

2. Abricott‘s Lemongrass Chicken Burger

Who says that a burger must contain a ground beef patty? Not all burgers must contain beef.  We have seen multiple different types of burgers, such as turkey burgers, salmon burgers, and even vegetarian patty burgers. We rarely ever see a chicken burger, much less a chicken burger done right. Abricott would like to turn that perception around. Known for their French-Asian cuisine, Abricott remains a staple in local Pasadena food, and has attracted the attention of locals and travelers alike. Pasadena brings in huge amounts of travelers between the convention center and the Rose Bowl, and travelers often want to savor the local flavor. Abricott’s menu covers multiple forms of food, including their Lemongrass Chicken Burger. Not just any old burger, this burger contains a ground chicken patty seasoned with lemongrass, topped with tomato, onions, lettuce, and mayonnaise served on a bun with coconut tamarind sauce. At $10.95, you can taste this unique burger that few other places can match in flavor.

1. Gus’s Barbecue‘s Brisket Burnt End Burger

When one orders a burger, one can typically expect a ground beef patty supported by various toppings, correct? The beef patty usually stars as the protagonist in the story known as the burger, but once in a while a burger may feature more than one co-protagonist. For a story featuring more than one star, we turn to Gus’s Barbecue in South Pasadena. A local barbecue legend, Gus’s Barbecue has done barbecue right for such a long time that they know exactly how to apply their prized meats to other forms of food. For example, take their Brisket Burnt End Burger. This beef burger comes topped with beef brisket burnt ends, cheese sauce, pickled jalapeños, and mustard on a toasted pretzel bun. All burgers come with your choice of French fries, sweet potato fries, potato salad, cole slaw, or BBQ baked beans. You can pound this mound of meat at Gus’s Barbecue for $13.95.

Craft beer has certainly evolved a lot over the past few years. It appears that simply five years ago, many of today’s top microbreweries had either just started to emerge, or began their planning phases to open their doors to the public. Who would have expected to now see as many breweries around as we had originally thought years ago? Like the gourmet food truck fad that rose to fame in 2010, many entrepreneurs wanted to get in on the craft beer fad, which led to the saturation of breweries that large metropolitan areas now face. Many of the less popular breweries have since closed up shop, and some of the very popular breweries got bought out by corporate big beer. These days, one must do much more than simply open up a microbrewery, as they would face stiff competition. How does one accomplish that? Well it appears that Dutch’s Brewhouse has already done just that.

Nestled in the quaint Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach, Dutch’s Brewhouse brings a local craft beer presence to North Long Beach. As part of the 2017 influx of craft beer into Long Beach, Dutch’s Brewhouse hopes to deliver a different kind of craft beer experience to their area, especially since Bixby Knolls’ last major gastropub closed at the end of 2015. At the moment, Dutch’s Brewhouse actually does not have any house beers – if you walk in to Dutch’s Brewhouse today, you walk into a place that serves pizza and other breweries’ beers. In the near future, this will change once they get everything set up – not only will they start to serve their own house beers, but they will have a guest pilot system that allows customers to come in and brew their own beer. At the front of their shop lies a small pilot system, and once Dutch’s Brewhouse gets everything put into place, customers can book appointments and come in to brew. Very few places offer this service, so this marks a triumphant entry into the local craft beer market, especially for Long Beach since they have lacked local breweries for quite some time.

If you have interest in brewing your own beer but do not want to acquire all the equipment necessary to do so, check out Dutch’s Brewhouse in Long Beach when they can finally start going. Make sure you follow up with Dutch’s Brewhouse on Facebook and Twitter for updates on when they will start allowing brewing.