Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles County’

Covina’s Alosta Brewing brings back their Pintwood Derby for its fourth year running this Saturday after. Now moving to the Glendora Public Library, this charity fundraiser will see numerous people enter their crafted (toy) cars to race for trophies. Participants will pay the entry fee to create a small car that would run down a track, purely powered by gravity and friction. Alosta Brewing sells a starter kit for $5 for those not familiar with designing the small car. Children will compete in their own division, while adults will compete in an adults division. This year’s event will operate slightly different than previous years, as Alosta Brewing will turn this event into a mini beer festival as well. It costs $30 to attend the beer festival, which will take place outside the building that the racing will take place in. Attendees will receive unlimited beer samples from 12pm to 4pm while supplies last. These attendees that want to enter the Pintwood Derby will simply have to pay $5 more. Alosta Brewing has not yet specified if it will cost anything for minors to enter the derby, though they did mention that they will have gourmet food trucks on the premises.

Torrance’s Mitsuwa Marketplace hosted their second annual Nagoya Fair this past weekend. Free to attend for all ages, this mini indoor fair represented the food and culture of Nagoya, Japan. While Nagoya has Japan’s third largest population, much of the world has less familiarity with Nagoya than other cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, or Hiroshima. Regardless, Nagoya has its fair share of unique culture that sets it apart from the rest of Japan, especially in their cuisine. At this Nagoya Fair, visitors could get to sample all sorts of Nagoya foods, such as Sekai no Yamachan (specialty rubbed chicken wings), Kawakyu Ice (Japanese fluffy shave ice), Nagoya miso oden (a type of egg dish), and hitsumabushi (eel, think unagi). Some of the food stands originated from real locations, such as the shave ice that comes from a real Nagoya shop called Koriya Kawakyu. As such, one cannot find these specific recipes and flavors anywhere else except for these actual shops. Throughout the weekend, the lines for all these foods never subsided, making for a long wait in order to taste every single item. A group of four could easily split into all the lines and order enough for everyone to share, as all of these foods together can represent a complete meal.

Mitsuwa Marketplace holds multiple events like this throughout the year, some big and some small. As far as Southern California goes, the Torrance location tends to host the most events since their location lends well to hosting larger events, but that should not deter you from visiting the other Mitsuwa Marketplace locations! For a full list of locations, check out their website for store hours and addresses. Check out Mitsuwa Marketplace on social media too – they have specific accounts based on location, so for this post, check out their main Facebook page and the Twitter page for Southern California.

This Sunday afternoon, the Long Beach Zine Fest returns for their third year running at the Museum of Latin American Art near Downtown Long Beach. Free to attend for all ages, this event features dozens of local writers and artists as they exhibit their literary and artistic works. Visitors can purchase much of the works, while some can partake in trading works and art instead. Extraneous vendors and live entertainment will mix things up throughout the day. Visitors should bring cash if they intend to purchase any of the work here, as well as any food or other items such as apparel and accessories. The venue has a very limited parking lot, so plan to spend time looking for parking in the surrounding neighborhoods. For additional information and updates, check on their website linked above, and follow their updates on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest on what happens and what to expect.

Summer has undoubtedly arrived, what with the heat wave and all. The weather does not appear to get any cooler in the next month or two, so cool off with a nice cool treat. The summer season has a great effect on the types of food and drinks that people consume, as more people start to prefer light and refreshing things to consume. Your body just craves it – when you feel hot, your body tells you to go find something cold to eat or drink. If you plan on powering through this heat wave, then Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern has got you covered.

We know and love Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern (JFAT) for their amazing food and great ambiance. Their menu always impresses with rotating and seasonal dishes, and they have plenty of weekly specials that you will want to come back for over and over, such as Happy Hour, Burger & Beer specials, and early dinner (supper) specials. The food menu contains many customer favorites, plus a lot of dishes that depend on the month or season. However, JFAT does not limit seasonal rotations to only their food menu – they apply a seasonal rotation to their drink menu too. Having just launched in early July, JFAT has added six new summer-inspired cocktails to their drink menu. JFAT already had a large list of drinks, and now you can enjoy any of the following to cool yourself off:

  • The Pearfectionist – Tito’s Vodka, Absolut Pear Vodka, Pear Nectar, Agave
  • SoCal Sour – Bulleit Rye, Lemon and Orange Juice, Diseño Malbec
  • Summer Sunrise – Ketel One, Blood Orange Juice, Blood Orange Liqueur, Sparkling Float
  • Blackberry Sangria – Troublemaker GSM, Sacred Bond Brandy, Schnapps, White Grape Juice
  • Peach Sangria – Simi Sauvignon Blanc, Sacred Bond Brandy, Peach Puree, Peach Schnapps
  • Classic Sangria – Simi Sauvignon Blanc, J-FAT Homemade Lemonade, Sacred Bond Brandy, Razzmatazz & Peach Schnapps

Treat yourself to a cool treat at any Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern location while the season lingers! Check out JFAT’s Facebook and Twitter pages to see what else they have that you may like your taste buds to tango with.

The 39th Annual Ho’olaule’a Hawaiian Festival returned to Alondra Park in Lawndale this past weekend. Always taking place on the third weekend of July, this free and 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 left side of the event space, 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.

The 2017 South Bay Greek Festival returned this past weekend to St. Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church in Redondo Beach. At this all-ages fair, visitors found a multitude of Greek foods & desserts, wine, beer, ouzo, vendors, music, and more to keep everyone entertained throughout the weekend. Complete with merchandise, food, dessert, drinks, music, dance, rides, exhibits, and more, this annual fair brings a wealth of things for you, your friends, and your family to enjoy and make a lasting memory out of. This festival normally contains a lot more to it, such as rides, another stage, and church tours. Due to construction on the property, the organizers could not have any of that this year, so we will have to wait until next year to check those out. However, we still got to enjoy lots of yummy Greek food as they always serve up. Support this local Greek Fair by following them on Facebook and liking them on Twitter. When the Greek have an occasion to celebrate, they will celebrate hard, as demonstrated whenever a Greek festival takes place.

The popularity of craft beer continues to remain ever strong. The current times feel like the peak of the trend, with third parties attempting to capitalize on the popularity. Take the gourmet food truck trend for example. In the first year or two, we saw lots of great food trucks with actual good food. Afterwards, event organizers started to try to take advantage of this by charging exorbitant amounts to get into to food truck festivals. As the trend started to fade away, we saw a lot of gimmicky food trucks with less than stellar food. All of that appears to happen right now to microbreweries, as lots of bad beer festivals exist to take advantage of the fact that people will pay lots of money for a few hours of drinking. Throughout all of this, local entrepreneurs still desire to enter the microbrewery business to deliver a quality experience, as opposed to the ones just looking to turn a quick profit. It takes some careful searching to discover hidden gems, such as a fresh young microbrewery in Los Angeles County, Angry Horse Brewing.

Located in Downtown Montebello, Angry Horse Brewing opened just a few months ago sometime in March. They have not even had an official grand opening yet. Regardless, Angry Horse Brewing has managed to gain quite a solid following in such a little time. Like most of Southern California’s breweries, Angry Horse Brewing does not specialize in a particular style of beer – they brew it all. I did not spot any fermenters in the back – only a handful of brite tanks. This allows them to carry a lot of different beers, from IPA’s to Belgian beers to stouts and more. All of the beers that I tried have an approachable feel to them – not too strong in any particular note, and with familiar flavors that anyone can enjoy.

Despite still operating in a “soft opening” phase, Angry Horse Brewing already has a lot of fans, evident by having a full house late on a Saturday afternoon. Support this local microbrewery and stay updated with what goes on here by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Summer has undoubtedly arrived, what with the heat wave and all. The weather does not seem that it will lose some degrees in the next month or two, so cool off with a nice cold treat. Some people may not have a sweet tooth like I do, but they have to treat themselves occasionally. Sometimes, your body just craves it – when you feel hot, your body tells you to go find something cold to eat or drink. If you plan on powering through this heat wave, I have some suggestions on how to cool yourself off in Southern California.

5. 21 Choices Frozen Yogurt‘s Peanut Butter Malt

One can find milkshakes at hundreds of places, as milkshakes represent one of the easiest cold treats to make, yet taste amazing nonetheless. While milkshakes exist just about anywhere, one may have a difficult time locating a good malt. Malted milk shakes may sound like a foreign concept to some since not everyone carries malt powder. When you finally find a place that has it, they may not necessarily make it the right way. I have previously covered a place that I believe makes the best malt ever, and I have recently found a new contender for that title in 21 Choices Frozen Yogurt. As its rather direct name suggests, 21 Choices carries 21 flavors of frozen yogurt in their shops. To no one’s surprise, they sell the typical frozen yogurt bowls with toppings here. However, I would like to talk about the other menu items that 21 Choices provides, namely their Peanut Butter Malt. Think peanut butter milkshake, but with a strong hit of malt. To understand the flavor of malt, one needs to understand malt as a primary ingredient in brewing beer. For the beer drinkers out there, a malted milk shake will slightly resemble the malt flavor of beer. Not all places put the right amount of malt in their shakes, but 21 Choices does not skimp on the malt.

4. Hula Girls Shave Ice‘s Pineapple Dole Whip Shave Ice

Southern Californians recognize Disneyland for not just the amusement aspects, but for their food as well. Disney kitchens have churned out some of the most unique foods the world has seen, so when other places can produce similar products they may even taste better, the locals flock to it. I used to swear by Disneyland’s corn dogs until I discovered The Viking Truck. Finally, locals can now find the beloved Pineapple Dole Whip at Hula Girls Shave Ice. Hula Girls serves Hawaiian shave ice and soft serve ice cream out of their little shop down in Huntington Beach. What makes them stand out relates to Disneyland, as Hula Girls serves Pineapple Dole Whip soft serve. Combining their products together, you get a Pineapple Dole Whip Shave Ice, where shave ice with the flavors of your choice sit on top of a swirl of Pineapple Dole Whip soft serve. Enjoy this classic that Disneyland fans rave about without having to pay the exorbitant price to enter the theme park by visiting Hula Girls Shave Ice.

3. Confetti Italian Ice‘s Pineapple Dole Whip + Cococnut Italian Ice Parfait

Everyone loves sweets, but no one can deny that teenagers represent the worst demographic for controlling dessert habits. Teenagers usually have money to buy whatever they want (as long as they can afford it), and they have not grown up enough to make sensible spending decisions. As such, lots of places take advantage of that by introducing desirable foods priced just within reach that young customers will want to come back to, especially cold treats. Starbucks does this well with their blended drinks, as do some Italian Ice places. Take a stroll over to Confetti Italian Ice and you will see that they value quality in their treats instead of simply catering to as many customers as possible. Tightly nestled in a strip mall in Costa Mesa near the Orange County Fairgrounds, Confetti Italian Ice may resemble another popular Southern Californian place that does something similar, but Confetti has vastly unique flavors such as their Pineapple Dole Whip + Cococnut Italian Ice Parfait. This basically resembles a Piña Colada with the smoothness of the coconut and the tanginess of the pineapple. You can get one of these parfaits for $3.75 for a small, $4.25 for a medium, or $5.25 for a large.

2. Shave It‘s Mini B

Have you ever heard of the classic song (These Are A Few Of) My Favorite Things? This song lists a handful of things, tangible or not, that fill a person with joy despite bad times. Though the singer lists individual things in the song, why not skip the hassle and combine some of those things? Whenever I can have one of my favorite things, I eagerly look forward to it. Whenever I can have more than one of my favorite things at the same time, my heart fills with glee. Enter Shave It, the brilliant business capturing the hearts of many with their approach to combining two individual items together to form something even better. As their name suggests, Shave It does the shave ice thing, and yes – pronunciation makes a huge difference. Shaved ice with a D typically refers to ground ice, like that of a snow cone. Shave ice without the D refers to how native Hawaiians see it – finely sliced ice so smooth that it feels like ice cream. Upon hearing that comparison, the folks behind Shave It decided to mash the two up by serving up cups of shave ice WITH ice cream – a match made in heaven I tell you! The list of combinations stretches all the way around their store, since any customer can mix and match ice cream and shave ice flavors, such as with the Mini B. This tropical cup not only features tangy ice flavors as well as the vanilla ice cream, but it includes a caramel drizzle to mix things up. The fruitiness of the shave ice combined with the creaminess of the ice cream almost gives it a strawberry milk effect while the caramel adds a zing of sweetness to the mix, something that any kid can enjoy. For less than $5, you too can experience the childhood joys of combining two of your favorite things into one cup.

1. The Bleu House‘s Potted Plant Milk Tea

We live in an age of technology, the internet, social media, and smartphones. The days of face-to-face interaction have died with the past, as most people spend their time in public with their faces buried in their smartphones. People use this as their means of interacting with others, and social media provides an outlet for that. Especially today, we have Instagram food – basic foods made to look pretty so that customers will share it online. If you want the perfect example of Instagram food, take a look at what The Bleu House has to offer. I never expected something so trendy to exist in an otherwise quiet city, but alas The Bleu House represents a haven for teenagers and young adults to hang out at and enjoy some bites and sips. The Bleu House does a great job at serving up fusion style foods that mix eastern flavors with western foods, but perhaps their cold treats have made The Bleu House so popular, such as their Potted Plant Milk Tea. The Bleu House provides seven types of milk teas: Jasmine, Thai, Rose, Almond, Taro, Honey, and Matcha. For $4.25, you can order this served Potted Plant style, where they top it with sweet cream, chocolate cookie crumbles, and a micro sprout. Boba comes optionally, and I would actually suggest no boba so that you can enjoy the cream and cookie crumbs.

The hot summer days lends perfectly to grilling weather. As an American tradition, citizens officially start the grilling season on Memorial Day weekend, as that signifies many things. First off, on that weekend, Americans celebrate an important federal holiday to celebrate and honor the lives of those lost while serving for the United States Armed Forces. The weather starts to significantly heat up by this weekend, following the inconsistent weather of April and much of May. As a result of the warmer weather, Americans take advantage of a holiday weekend off of work until the next federal holiday, Independence Day, to gather some friends & family for a party involving grilling. When thinking about grilling for a group of people, what food exactly comes to mind? I guarantee that hot dogs and hamburgers top the list. The notion to purchase these items in bulk contributes to the misconception that these foods do not taste good. The phrase “You get what you pay for” has never applied as much as it does now, as most who purchase in bulk tend to pay low per individual unit. If you seek quality, you will have to drop extra money for it. Hot dogs tend to bear questionable ingredients, but true hamburgers still exist in this world. If you happen to find yourself in Southern California this summer, check out these five places to grab some of the best burgers you will ever have. One bite into these will change the way you look at hamburgers forever.

5. Grill Em All‘s Suicidal A.K.A. Rey Fenix

When someone comes to Los Angeles from out of town, they may feel inundated by all the wonderful food that Southern California has to offer. When travelers want the most unique and ridiculous food, I send them to a select few places known for insane, wacky foods. If a traveler asks to eat the best burger ever, I will not send them to In-N-Out like most Californians would – I would send them to Grill ’em All in Alhambra. When it comes to insane burgers, no one comes close to Grill ’em All. When death metal and professional wrestling influence the ideas behind burgers, you know they will have something crazy going on, such as the Suicidal A.K.A. Rey Fenix, the July 2017 burger-of-the-month. Grill ’em All’s signature burger, The Behemoth, uses two grilled cheese sandwiches as buns. In the Suicidal, two double-decker quesadillas filled with refried beans and cheese replace the burger buns. The half-pound burger comes with shredded lettuce, queso fresco, chipotlé hot sauce, and diced tomatoes, making this slightly resemble a taco or burrito. The world has seen burgers in a quesadilla, but the world has never seen quesadillas used as burger buns quite like this before. But hurry – as the burger of the month, you only have a limited time to go try it out!

4. Pizza Port‘s BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza

A burger by any other name would still taste just as savory. A burger can look like anything, even if it takes on the form of an entirely different food. When a restaurant specializes in one food but still wants to make something else, they get creative, which Pizza Port has done well. As the name suggests, Pizza Port specializes in pizzas and other foods that one would expect to find at a pizzeria, such as chicken and salads. For the traditional folks out there, Pizza Port carries a handful of traditional pizzas. For the adventurous, Pizza Port has crafted some gourmet pizzas, such as their BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza. This pizza pit comes topped with tangy barbecue sauce, beef meatballs, bacon, mozzarella & cheddar cheese, and red onions. It basically tastes like a western-style cheeseburger, just in a different shape. For best results, ask for this pizza on Pizza Port’s signature whole-grain beer crust. Like all their pizzas, this pizza comes in three sizes: small for $9.50, medium for $18.25, or large for $22.

3. Melt’s Bulgogi Burger

When it comes to Melt, word-of-mouth has never applied so much before. Tiny does not describe Melt, as they simply exist as a food counter in a supermarket, kind of like a mall’s food court. In Diamond Bar, a local H Mart houses its own food court with a plethora of unique food counters, ranging from unique desserts to traditional Korean food to all the fusion, which leads us to Melt. From a distance, glancing over at the Melt counter makes them appear like some ordinary burger counter, with hamburgers and fries shown on their menu. However, upon closer inspection, you will discover that Melt does the fusion thing here, and they do it well. They cross Korean cuisine over to the world of burgers and fries, such as with their Bulgogi Burger. Though it appears small, this makes for the perfect lunch portioned perfectly, as Melt tops their regular 4oz Angus beef patty with green lettuce, grilled onions, mayonnaise, and bulgogi aioli. At just $4.50, this makes for the perfect lunch that will break the monotony of bland lunches out there.

2. Working Class Kitchen‘s Chianina Beef Burger w/ Foie Gras

Five years ago, a ban on the sale of Foie Gras in California went into effect. However, that ban mysteriously went away in early 2015. While California restaurants may now legally sell Foie Gras once again, many restaurants have felt the aftermath of the ban, and most avoid serving it for fear of the ban returning. As such, it takes some dedicated hunters & searchers to locate where to obtain Foie Gras, such as at Working Class Kitchen in Long Beach. Although located in the middle of a bustling city, Working Class Kitchen resides off the beaten path, so in order to discover it, one must actively look for it as opposed to passing by it. But if you do decide to visit Working Class Kitchen, you will discover some fresh, natural food that you can feel proud to consume, such as their Chianina Beef Burger with Foie Gras. The base burger costs $7 and comes with simply caramelized onions and remoulade spread on a potato bun. For $4 extra, Working Class Kitchen will throw an ounce of Hudson Valley Foie Gras onto the burger. As if the beef burger did not already have enough juices oozing out, the Foie Gras will add even more meaty goodness to the burger. Consider this a cheat meal, because if you eat this, you ought to eat clean the rest of the day.

1. VaKA Burger Express‘ The Vaka

In a condensed city such as Los Angeles, hidden gems and hole-in-the-wall places exist in every nook & cranny. If you discover or someone tells you about VaKA Burger Express and you decide to go look for them, you may require more than one try to actually locate them. If you simply drive to the address, you may completely pass by them, as they have virtually no signage visible from the street. You have to actually enter Whittier’s The Real McCoy and make your way to the bar to find the counter for VaKA Burger Express. Once there, you will discover a mini burger paradise with some of the best hidden burgers this side of Los Angeles, such as The Vaka. Blitz your taste buds with this burger that features a beer-battered tempura ring, muenster cheese, bacon jam, and VaKA’s signature smoked barbecue sauce. Do note that they store their barbecue sauce cold, so the first few bites may feel like a blend of hot and cold. For $11.50 for this burger, you will never taste another burger like this again.

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

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