Posts Tagged ‘Los Feliz’

History has shown us that certain food ingredients go very well together. For example, resources show that the idea of the sandwich originated in the 18th century. The simple notion of using bread to hold meat and other fillings in place led to a massive food revolution of using some solid ingredient to hold in various other ingredients that typically do not hold on its own. These fillers include meat, vegetables, sauces, and seasonings. Over time, the sandwich has evolved and branched out into various other means of holding food, such as hot dogs, wraps, tacos, burritos, (pita) pockets, filled pastries, and more. While historically these forms have mainly applied to savory foods, these forms can also apply in a dessert manner. The ice cream sandwich has appeared the most common, while we have also seen desserts like cannolis, ice cream tacos, cookie sandwiches, among others. If you want to know more about these “others,” look no further than Churro Borough.

Here to deliver something new to the millennials that crave unique finds, Churro Borough has the goods to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. As their name suggests, Churro Borough specializes in churros, that sweet cinnamon dough stick that many children across the country recognize as an awesome warm affordable treat. Churros exist almost anywhere, especially at Costco food courts where each one costs only a dollar and measures almost two feet long. Churro Borough makes their churros fresh to order, so customers know that they will receive a churro made just for them. Even better, Churro Borough does more than just make traditional churros – they can weave the churros into shapes, which lends well to their Churro Ice Cream Sandwiches. Since Churro Borough makes their churros fresh, they can tuile the churros into a circular spiral shape to create what looks like a churro cookie. From here, one can guess how they form the next step: a heaping scoop of your choice of hand-churned ice cream meets two of the aforementioned churro cookies. This creates a sweet, soft, messy treat sure to please anyone’s dessert cravings. Take note: fresh churros means heat, so these sandwiches cannot sit very long until the ice cream starts to melt, so enjoy these treats immediately!

Does your sweet tooth feel tempted by now? Head on over to Churro Borough in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles to see what everyone has raved about. You can score your own Churro Ice Cream Sandwich for just under $5. To see what else Churro Borough has concocting in their kitchen, check them on out Facebook and Twitter for further news and photos.

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. Stefano’s Golden Baked Hams‘ Bur-gini

When you make a product so good that everyone knows you for it, people start to recognize you for that one particular product. In some cases, you just have to go with it, such as with Stefano’s Golden Baked Hams. Located in Yorba Linda, the folks behind the counter churn out more than just sliced pork – they make sandwiches, salads, and drinks too. Often at full capacity during lunch hours, their menu has attracted countless hungry visitors to try their amazing eats, such as the Bur-gini. A burger meets a panini in this interesting twist with a beef patty consisting of a blend of chuck, short rib, and brisket. Bacon, avocado, tomatoes, cheddar, onions, and a roasted garlic & jalapeño cream cheese spread accompanies this unique spin on a patty melt, yielding a hearty bite with a kick. Unfortunately they will only cook the burger no less than well-done, so true burger enthusiasts may not appreciate the firmness of this patty. You can order this fulfilling burger at Stefano’s in Yorba Linda for just $9.50.

4. The Rookery Alehouse‘s The Gunslinger

The popularity of craft beer continues to exponentially rise annually. While more and more people prefer to drink craft beer, many other crafty craft beer fans have taken to cooking with it. The down-home folks at The Rookery Alehouse in Downtown Pomona love beer so much that they incorporate it into some of their menu items. From IPA battered appetizers to ale-braised pork, a customer can find beer in nearly all food that The Rookery has available. For what I can only refer to as a beer shock, try a burger named The Gunslinger. This burger gets the typical supporting cast of tomatoes, arugula, bacon, pepperjack cheese, and that sauce. That dark colored spread on the bun? The Rookery employs a dark ale reduction sauce that gives this burger a sweet flavor with a little bite. Something in the sauce adds the slightest spice, just enough to open up your tastebuds to absorb more flavor from everything present on this burger. All burgers come with your choice of fries or a side salad; personally, I recommend the salad, as the vinaigrette dressing that The Rookery uses provides a tart flavor to help balance the burger. To complete this meal, add some craft beer – an imperial IPA with its bitterness will serve as a palate reset, while a dark ale will sharpen the burger’s juices and sauce. Get this burger in you for just $11.

3. Fusion Burgers‘ Noir Burger

Never judge a book by its cover. Even the scariest neighborhoods can hide diamonds in the rough. When a friend recommended to me to explore her neighborhood of Highland Park, at first I felt skeptical about visiting what I perceived as a desolate and dangerous city. Undaunted, I sought out those recommendations, and one of them landed me at Fusion Burgers. From the outside, this place looks like a hole-in-the-wall. From the inside, this place looks like a hole-in-the-wall. One look upon their burgers, and you will realize this place holds more value than just a hole-in-the-wall. The quality of their burgers rival that of Umami Burger, but cost way less than them. Spoil yourself with Fusion Burgers’ Noir Burger, a spitting image of the Port & Stilton Burger from Umami Burger. The Noir Burger comes with aioli, boschetto a la tartufo (cheese infused with truffles), and a pinot noir sauce. Prepare to get messy with this burger, a burger that takes an umami-coated bat and slams you in the face with it. The pinot noir sauce attempts to tone down the intense savoriness of the burger with its tartness, but simply adds sweetness, intensifying this psychedelic experience. Ask for this burger medium rare, because they will cook it a perfect medium rare. For something that makes top competitors look like child’s play, this burger only costs a mere $10! While the commute here may feel like a chore, the rewards will definitely please you.

2. The Factory Gastrobar‘s Glazed Donut Burger

In regards to when in the day people order the most burgers, the most burgers get served during lunchtime. Dinner often sees burgers getting ordered, just not as much as lunchtime. But burgers for breakfast? Does such a thing exist? Burgers for breakfast definitely exist, just not as prevalent as it should. Fortunately, The Factory Gastrobar in Long Beach has capitalized on the concept of a burger for breakfast. Gastropubs hastily and competitively get into the brunch business in hopes of tiding over the mimosa crowd over to the craft beer crowd, and thanks to the introduction of certain beer styles such as oatmeal stouts and citrus wheat ales, gastropubs can function just fine for brunch. The Factory now has undergone its full transfiguration of experiencing every angle of running a restaurant, resulting in versatility unmatched by competitors. Now open for brunch on weekends, The Factory can sling its locally-grown faire under a warm California sun, such as their Glazed Donut Burger. The patty consists of a pork sausage blend, reminiscent of the breakfast links found in supermarkets, but without preservatives or artificial ingredients. This patty sits on a bed of a cherry bourbon preserve and bacon. All this gets sandwiched between two glazed donut halves, then drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Each burger comes with a side of scrambled eggs, which I recommend you insert into the burger for an all-in-one meal. Even better, you can order craft beer during brunch hours! I cannot determine the perfect beer to pair with this, as I could recommend anything from an IPA to a wild/sour ale. Whatever you choose, I believe that you will believe in The Factory for what they can accomplish.

1. Messhall Kitchen‘s Mess Burger

If you ask anybody about the top three most important factors in what makes a business successful, you will hear “Location, Location, Location.” Sure that mainly applies to real estate, but honestly, this concept applies to virtually everything tangible in this world. Luckily for the burger connoisseurs, the Messhall Kitchen resides in an easily accessible location in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. This mess hall does not mess around with their menu – they carry a massive variety of bourbon, a rotating selection of craft beer, and a diverse menu sure to please anyone of any background. Any first-time visitor will definitely not want to miss the signature Mess Burger, a burger with so much going on that the mind cannot possibly comprehend its existence. This burger comes with “slow onions” (which I will deem as caramelized onions), Vermont cheddar, garlic-infused pickles, and “smokey sauce” (like a thousand island and aioli hybrid). Why bother going through the hassle of throwing on lettuce and tomatoes when you only need the few necessary ingredients to extract the true flavor behind the seared exterior of the beef? You have these slow onions which provide a slight sweetness, cheddar to provide the creaminess, pickles to provide the tartness with a kick of garlic, and this smokey sauce that just emulsifies it all together. If ordered medium rare, the patty comes out with a perfect warm pink center that extends all the way to the side with a nice sear on the exterior. If you find yourself lucky enough to make landfall at or around Los Feliz, head on over and score this beaut of a meal, which costs $16 during dinnertime or $11 during lunchtime. You can also order this burger as sliders during Happy Hour for just $8! Feed your appetite at any size, just the way you want it!

Upcoming Events: September 2-8, 2013

Posted: September 2, 2013 in Art, Beer, Cars, Drinks, Events, Food, Inland Empire, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Music, Orange County, Punk Rock, Restaurant, San Diego, Sports, Wine
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Fiesta Hermosa
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 2
Downtown Hermosa Beach
http://fiestahermosa.net/

Fiesta Hermosa returns to the streets of Downtown Hermosa Beach this weekend. Free to park and attend, this street fair will have food, drinks, music, arts & crafts, games, rides, vendors, and more. You cannot park AT the event – for those driving, you must park at the Northrop Grumman Building at Marine & Aviation in Redondo Beach, and a free shuttle will carry you to and from the fest and parking lot.

Long Beach Greek Festival
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 2
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, Long Beach
http://www.lbgreekfest.org/

At this Greek Festival, you will find Greek foods & desserts, drinks, dancers, music, games, rides, arts & crafts, vendors, exhibits, and more. CSULB provides free parking and shuttle rides. Print the voucher from the website to waive the admission fee.

Beachwood SourFest 2013
11:30 am – 11:30 pm, September 3-8
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach & Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/579793145404261/

Beachwood BBQ celebrates the wonders of sour beers with this week-long fest dedicated to the sour lovers out there. At both the Seal Beach and Long Beach locations, Beachwood BBQ will host sour beers every night, as well as have guest brewers in attendance to interact with the guests. Come check out some beers you may not have tried before, and chat with the guest brewers about the beers.

Saves The Day @ The Glass House
6:30 pm – 11:30 pm, September 4
The Glass House, Pomona
http://www.theglasshouse.us/event/293719-saves-day-pomona/

In anticipation for their upcoming album release, Saves The Day scheduled a tour across North America, and that tour starts in Southern California this week. Tickets to their all-ages show at The Glass House in Pomona this Wednesday night cost $16.50 presale and $19 at the door.

2nd Annual Reader Feast
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 6
Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier, San Diego
http://www.sandiegoreader.com/readerfeast/

The San Diego Reader hosts this food fest that collects the best of San Diego eats into one location for a night of feasting and drinking. General admission costs $30 presale and $55 at the door, starts at 6pm, and provides all-access to all food & drink samples. VIP admission costs $40 presale and $80 at the door, starts at 5pm, and in addition to unlimited food & drink samples, comes with two full-pour drinks and a goodie bag. No one under 21 may attend.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 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).

15th Annual Los Angeles Greek Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 6
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 7
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 8
Saint Sophia Cathedral, West Los Angeles
http://lagreekfest.com/

Just a week after the Long Beach Greek Fest, the LA Greek Fest will basically have the same things: food, drinks, desserts, music, dancers, games, rides, and more. Admission to this all-ages festival costs $5 per person per day.

The 16th Annual Original Long Beach Lobster Festival
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 6
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 7
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 8
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach
http://www.originallobsterfestival.com/

Dubbed as the FIRST Lobster Festival, the organizers from the Long Beach Crawfish Fest and OC BBQ Bonanza will bring tons of lobsters to Rainbow Lagoon Park this weekend. In addition to all the lobster, the fest’s additional variety will include local music bands, dancers, artists, and more. Prices vary, but pre-purchasing tickets online will save you $2 each. Active U.S. military personnel can enter for free! As with any event in this area, attendees will have to pay for parking. You can find free parking in the neighborhoods east of Alamitos Avenue.

2nd Annual Teen Creeps Art Exhibition
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm. September 6
The Vex, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/392624930859526/

See the best in rising teen artists in Los Angeles this Friday night at The Vex in East Los Angeles. The organizers have disclosed very little information, such as how much admission costs and whether someone will sell food & drinks, so have cash ready for those costs. Guests should park in the alley behind the building, but avoid parking too deep, or others may block your vehicle.

Narcoleptic Youth @ Aladdin Jr 2
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 6
Aladdin Jr 2, Downtown Pomona
http://www.facebook.com/events/388256297940672/

Pomona gets a night of hardcore punk this Friday night, with OC legends Narcoleptic Youth, and more. Admission to this all-ages show cost $10. Although many of the parking lots mention paying to park, Downtown Pomona has plenty of free parking, so search around for lots without any parking fees.

The Secret Affair – 60’s Night
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 6
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/148114

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.

Bubble Run – San Diego
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, September 7
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
http://www.bubblerun.com/events/san-diego/

Tired of the same 5k run everywhere? If you have had your fill of color runs and glow runs, try your hand at the Bubble Run. Participants wear all white and run through colored foam bogs in this 5k race around Qualcomm Stadium. Registration costs $50, and all levels of runners may participate. Space will fill up fast, so register early, and try to carpool to this event.

22nd Annual Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 7-8
Point Fermin Park, San Pedro
http://filamarts.org/

This Filipino festival will have food, drinks, arts & crafts, music, dance, merchandise, and more. Daily admission to this all-ages festival costs $9, while a weekend pass costs $15. Attendees can park for free in select parking lots.

2013 Long Beach Triathlon & Expo
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, September 7
4:00 am – 10:00 am, September 8
Marina Green, Downtown Long Beach
http://thelongbeachtriathlon.com/

Test your physical prowess with this triathlon as you swim, run, and bike your way around Downtown Long Beach. An expo where visitors can explore and learn about the triathlon will occur on Saturday at Marina Green, and participating athletes can pick up their race packets at this expo. The actual triathlon starts at 7am on Sunday morning. Registration varies in price, with individual registration costing $130. All participants receive a t-shirt, goodie bag, finisher medal, post-race food & entertainment, a swim cap, and exclusive access to online results & professional photos.

Grape Day Festival – Wine & Craft Beer Tasting Pavilion
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, September 7
Grape Day Park, Escondido
http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e7tll3jqe963750d&llr=eoyxpfjab

Sample wine from local wineries and beer from local breweries while enjoying live entertainment and other activities. Admission costs $20 presale and $25 at the door, and include a souvenir glass. No one under 21 may attend.

3rd Annual Treasure Chest Fest
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, September 7
Green Flash Brewing, San Diego
http://www.greenflashbrew.com/events-calendar.php?content=516

Raise a glass for breast cancer awareness at this beer fest & fundraiser this Saturday at Green Flash Brewing. Attendees will get to see the ins & outs of the brewery at this fest that takes place all around the brewery. The $25 admission gets you ten beer tasters, paired small bites from local restaurants, and a souvenir glass. Attendees may purchase additional beers from the tasting room, where $1 from each drink sold will go towards the charity. No one under 21 may attend.

The 4th Annual Orange County Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, September 7
Oak Canyon Park, Irvine
http://ocbrewfest.com/

The OC Brew Ha Ha returns for its fourth annual iteration this Saturday at Oak Canyon Park in the hills of Irvine. Benefiting the Local 3631 Firefighters Union, this craft beer festival will feature over 70 different breweries, over 150 different beers, many food trucks, seminars from beer experts, live entertainment, and more. General admission costs $45 presale, $55 at the door, and begins at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $60 presale, $70 at the door, and begins at 12pm. All beers will cease pouring at 4pm, leaving the final hour to sober up and find food. In addition, internationally-famous Reel Big Fish will perform at this fest!

Speaking of transportation, ensure that you look up the location prior. Cell phone signals do not reach Oak Canyon Park, so once you arrive, expect to turn off your phone to conserve battery. Oak Canyon Park only has two ways to exit, both of which always have police stationed to catch drunk drivers. The toll-free method to arriving involves taking the 55 freeway, exiting Chapman Avenue, and driving east until you reach the park.

Remember: if you have any questions, send me a tweet @OnePunkArmy – I have attended the Brew Ha Ha before, and driven to Oak Canyon Park numerous times.

20th Annual Los Feliz Village Street Fair
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 7
Hullhurst Blvd, Los Feliz Village, Los Angeles
http://losfelizvillagestreetfair.com/

At this free and all-ages street fair, visitors will find local food, merchandise, artists, musicians, beer & wine garden, live entertainment, local services, and more.

California Beer Festival
12:30 pm – 5:00 pm, September 7
Frank G. Bonelli Park, San Dimas
http://www.californiabeerfestival.com/

If for some reason you decide to go to this beer fest instead of OC Brew Ha Ha, I will not stop you. Tickets to this beer fest cost $45. No one under 21 may attend.

Mini C.Y. Fest 6
2:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 7
Location TBA
http://www.facebook.com/events/1382053828682956/

Crust punk goes rogue with this impromptu punk rock show that does not even have a venue yet. If all goes according to plan, this all-ages show will run this Saturday and cost $4 to enter before 5pm, $5 before 7pm, and $7 the rest of the night.

5th Annual Latin American Parade & Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 7
4th Street Promenade, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.downtownlongbeach.org/Latest-News-Detail/News-Latin-American-Parade-Festival-2012?id=3870

This festival happens this Saturday evening in the streets of Downtown Long Beach. The FREE festival goes on until 9pm, which will have arts & crafts, merchandise, food, drinks, entertainment, music, dancers, dance lessons, and more. As with any Downtown Long Beach event, you can park for free for up to two hours in one of the nearby parking structures.

The Weirdos, The Stitches, Shattered Faith, Love Canal, No More Saints @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 7
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/the-weirdos

Punkrockers.com celebrates their 6th anniversary this weekend with nothing short of a punk rock show. Catch The Weirdos headlining along with other great bands such as Shattered Faith at this all-ages show this Saturday night for just $20.

Luicidal in San Bernardino
7:00 pm – 2:00 am, September 7
Screaming Chicken Saloon, San Bernardino
http://www.facebook.com/events/610853192293146/

Venture all the way out to the mountains of San Bernardino this Saturday night for a hardcore punk rock show headlined by Luicidal, comprised of former members of Suicidal Tendencies. Admission to this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

Taste of My State
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 7
Four Points by Sheraton, Rancho Cucamonga
http://www.tasteofmystate.com/usa/index.php/featuresinside/california

Celebrate our armed forces by drinking lots of beer this Saturday night. Enjoy unlimited beer tastings, food for sale, and live entertainment all for just $55. No one under 21 may attend.

Aquarium of the Pacific 5k Run/Walk
7:30 am – 11:30 am, September 8
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/5k

Go on a nice 5k run down on the beach this Sunday morning starting at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. All participants who register prior to race day will receive a t-shirt, goodie bag, and a ticket to the aquarium with registration. Registration costs $44 for children, and $52 for adults. Aquarium members can save $12 on registration. Bring cash for parking in the aquarium parking structure.

The 24th Annual Belmont Shore Car Show
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, September 8
2nd Street, Belmont Shore, Long Beach
http://belmontshorecarshow.com/

This car show will completely take over 2nd Street and its side streets this Sunday. Come see over 700 cars on display while walking the streets of glorious Belmont Shore. Completely free to attend, your best bet at parking will reside somewhere in Belmont Heights i.e. north of 2nd Street.

Sideway Sundays
10:00 am – 6:30 pm, September 8
Storm Stadium, Lake Elsinore
http://sidewaysundays.eventbrite.com/

This annual event features drifting cars, cars on display, automotive accessories, model contests, food trucks, and plenty of punk rock bands, such as D.I. and Hemlock. General admission to this fest costs $15.

Summer has arrived, which means grilling season has landed upon us. 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 most 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. The Federal Bar‘s The Federal Burger

When a brand grows large in popularity and demand, one should expect that brand to expand the reach to a larger scope or audience. For example, Southern California’s own Slater’s 50/50 has recently opened their sixth overall location in the Inland Empire, while Eureka Burger has FINALLY concocted plans to expand into Los Angeles and Orange County. Not too long ago, when The Federal Bar in North Hollywood grew beyond their walls, they first opened up another restaurant right around the corner under the name Bow & Truss. Eventually the demand for Fed Bar grew so much that they had to expand past their little bubble in North Hollywood. As a result, they opened their second location in Downtown Long Beach this past April. Boasting nearly the same menu, The Federal Bar maintains the theme of a prohibition-era federal reserve bank while operating as a full-fledged gastropub. Along with a menu stocked with terrific craft beers, fine wines, and artisanal spirits, The Federal Bar serves up classic gastropub faire with a gourmet spin, which you can fully grasp in their namesake, The Federal Burger. Cooked to order, this burger comes with garlic chips, smoked cheddar, bibb lettuce, black peppercorn aioli, and balsamic onions on a brioche bun. For a manly meal, add some Maple-Glazed Sweet Potato Tots, and order a Pale Ale. The combination of the garlic chips plus the balsamic onions creates a potent yet pleasing taste that unites tart with savory for a contrasting yet balanced finish. Remember that you can order this at both the North Hollywood and Downtown Long Beach locations, so you have no worries about distance, since one of them lies within your reach always!

4. The Bottle Room‘s Uptown Bacon Cheese Burger

More often than not, a hole-in-the-wall joint carries some of the best of the best. These places may not advertise much, but they focus on product quality and great service so that they get more business via repeat customers, but especially word of mouth. Other times, some great places lie way out away from urban sprawl in cities and/or neighborhoods no one would expect. Given today’s stereotype of the common hipster, one would expect trendy places to dine and shop at in cities like Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and a lot of other beaches. How often would someone tell you about a trendy place more inland, but not quite to the hills yet? Out in Uptown Whittier, many small-town business owners call Greenleaf Avenue their “Home Away From Home” because of how much the community strives to make it pedestrian-friendly to both locals and travelers. Regardless of the questionable level of safety of the outlying neighborhoods, one cannot deny the small-town charm of Uptown Whittier, especially in a little restaurant & pub known as The Bottle Room. This small and dark restaurant caters to a wide audience with their televisions behind the bar, their drink selection, and their food that they cook out of the smallest kitchen proportional to the dining area. In fact, the bartenders here have more space to move around in than the kitchen staff, which has to share their tiny space with the stewards. Do not allow the small stature of the kitchen fool you, as they can craft some unexpectedly delicious eats with their limited resources. Of particular note, they grill up an Uptown Bacon Cheese Burger with bacon marmalade, cheddar cheese, one big fried onion ring, and barbeque sauce. For best meal results, upgrade your side to their Sweet Potato Fries, which comes with a fried ginger seasoning and garlic aioli dipping sauce. Craft beer enthusiasts will want to pair this meal with an IPA. Skeptical about this place? They have all-day Happy Hour on Sundays, so head on in on Sundays, and bring friends and/or family and treat them to great eats with small-town charm.

3. Grill ‘Em All‘s The Berzerker

What happens when you unleash the fury of heavy metal guitarist & icon Zakk Wylde on the smash & grab heavy metal burgers of Grill ‘Em All? You get a face-smashing off-the-menu special that nobody can consume like any old burger, and this burger has nothing “any old” about it. As this year’s April 20th (4/20) special, the legendary guitarist teamed up with the boys from Grill ‘Em All to create the monsterpiece known as The Berzerker. This mammoth meal contains a half-pound burger over chipotlé ketchup and white truffle pomme frites, which gets topped with thick-cut bacon, cheddar cheese, a giant fried onion ring battered with Eagle Rock Brewery‘s Solidarity, and Hellfire Chili. If Grill ‘Em All carries it, pair this brute with a red ale. On April 20th, 2013, any bloke brave enough to order The Berzerker received their burger with TWO beef patties. Grill ‘Em All still carries The Berzerker as a secret menu item, but only for a limited time, so act fast on it! If you feel bold enough to attempt to conquer The Berzerker in its original form, request it that way when you order. Do not forget to take pictures or video tape it to cement your heavy metal legacy.

2. The Morrison‘s Filet Burger

I curse Panera Bread for a cashier once asking me if I wanted more bread with my bread. How often do you get asked if you want to add more of almost the same thing? For example, what if you ordered a baked potato, then your server asked if you wanted to add some fries to that? Well everyone should limit their bread and carb intake, but that kind of talk belongs to fitness instructors. Needless to say, depending on the situation, sometimes adding more comes with greater benefits. In these cases, they call it an ‘upgrade’ of sorts. To make things different enough so that it does not feel like simply an upgrade, use two different lines of thoughts or products.  North of Los Angeles up near Atwater Village, The Morrison has taken traditional Scottish cuisine and added a dash of American insight to create a menu more appealing than just upgrades to the standard American gastropub faire. In addition to Happy Hour seven days a week, The Morrison employs a featured Burger Of The Month. However, they retain the more popular burgers on their standard menu, including their famous Filet Burger. Sitting between a sliced English muffin, port salut cheese gets sandwiched between filet mignon and a thick burger patty seared with marrow butter, which then sits on a bed of coleslaw and remoulade sauce. The menu says the burger comes with fries; however, I did not ever receive fries with my burger. Regardless, I did not come here just for some fries, and neither should you. You should come here for this epic burger with an explosion of meatiness and meat flavor. Words cannot accurately describe how the marrow butter affects the burger patty, but expect a sort of crisp texture from the outside of the patty full of meaty fatty flavor that holds the juice all inside the patty. To cut through all that savoriness, order an Imperial IPA to pair with this burger – if the Morrison does not carry an Imperial IPA, a standard IPA will suffice. The Morrison’s assertive servers will ensure you receive the best food & drinks they can offer. If you can get past the male servers’ Scottish gruffness, you will grow to love this place.

1. The Back Abbey‘s Back Abbey Burger

Any new business owner can dump a lot of money on marketing and public relations. Entrepreneurs need to discover all possible means of getting the brand out to the public, whether free or paid. Using the internet for social networking comes with no monetary cost other than time and research. Using other media may require a cost, such as a local publication, or through the use of a coupon, such as with Groupon or Living Social. However, the marketing and public relations will never matter if the brand does not deliver a product or service that the public crave. The public has to want what the brand has to offer – the marketing simply drives new customers to the brand. In the long run, a great product and/or service will get customers coming back for more, and eventually more customers will come in thanks to word of mouth. Despite a location off on the side of the beaten path, The Back Abbey has long established their legacy as the go-to gastropub for worldly drinks and worldly cuisine that employs international cooking techniques to deliver an unexpected spin on expected dishes. With an old English themed interior, The Back Abbey appeals to all ages with its quaint design, the dimly-lit dining area, the close interpersonal tables, and the unbelievable menu that everyone will want to share. Of course, you want to have your plate to yourself, especially after you take one bite into the Back Abbey Burger. Before I explain what sits on this burger, I have three words: double caramelized onions. Look at that bed of onions beneath the burger. Imagine how juicy, how soft, how sweet and how meaty those onions must feel and taste to hold that burger up. Aged gouda cheese, Niman Ranch bacon, mustard aioli, and micro greens top off this burger, all sandwiched between a sliced brioche bun. I have no idea who came up with this combination of ingredients, but I praise an upper deity for gifting a chef with the knowledge to produce one of the best burgers of all time. No set of words can describe how this all tastes other than the right balance. Each ingredient works harmoniously to contribute towards the big picture of constructing this gold standard of burgers. All burgers come with a side salad, which I suggest eating first since the burger may overwhelm your palate if you have not prepared your palate. As The Back Abbey serves mainly Belgian or European beers, you may not always find an IPA to pair with this burger. Instead, inquire from your server if they carry a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, or anything close to that. You may go as light as a Belgian Golden Ale, but I advise against any beer lighter than that. If you find yourself in the Claremont area, you may feel tempted to visit Eureka Burger or even Beer Belly Deli. Opt to try out The Back Abbey if you have not already gone there. Your friends will feel jealous that you ate from there first.

Radioactive Chicken Heads: Free Show @ Gamestop Manhattan Beach
10:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 12
Gamestop, Manhattan Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/170809876392292/

Free show for the midnight launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2!

Dishcrawl Los Angeles
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, November 13
Los Feliz, Los Angeles
http://dishcrawl.com/LA/

Imagine a pub crawl, but with food instead of drinks. This idea will pan out this Tuesday night in Los Feliz, as attendees will visit restaurants to try the food. Attendance costs $39 per person, and will sell out fast, so anyone interested should buy tickets immediately, as the crawl cannot accommodate such a large group.

Meatloaf Wednesday
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, November 14
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/383305551746398/

Following the success of their ribs, mac & cheese, and poutine special events, Beachwood BBQ will now hold a Meatloaf night this Wednesday. Choose from six different meat types, and enjoy it as a meal or as a flight paired with craft beers.

Still Life Stout Release Party
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, November 16
Beachwood Brewing, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/244120412383695/

Beachwood Brewing will celebrate the release of their latest smoked double oat stout, as well as the 1 year anniversary of Still Life Tattoo in Seal Beach. Guest will find special appetizers on the menu, and enjoy music from DJ Dravidian, and an art show curated by Still Life Tattoo owner/artist Tim Shelton.

Beaujolais Nouveau Passions
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, November 16
Mercedes-Benz, Beverly Hills
http://www.beaujolaispassions.com/

Celebrate a night of French foods, wines, and entertainment in beautiful Beverly Hills. At this one-night fest, guests get treated to French food samples, merchandise, live music, silent auction, caberet dancers, and more. Presale tickets cost $20, while tickets at the door cost $25. VIP presale costs $50, and $75 at the door, and comes with preferred seating, a 4-course meal, complimentary wine & other drinks, and covers tax & tip. Guests may find free street parking surrounding the venue, while the venue will provide valet parking as well.

43rd Annual Holiday Arts & Craft Faire
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, November 17-18
Torrance Cultural Arts Center, Torrance
http://www.facebook.com/events/156184074505655/

Over 75 local artists will sell their handmade items at this FREE fair running all weekend in Torrance. Find accessories, merchandise, apparel, trinkets, toys, jewelry, and more gifts for the holidays while supporting independent artists.

The Artisan Faire
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, November 17
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, November 18
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.theartisanfaire.com/

More than just your typical art fair, The Artisan Faire provides two days’ worth of books, beauty, art, gifts, toys, and more with an emphasis on high quality. Guests may enter the fair for free, while parking costs $4 per vehicle.

Greater LA Artisan Chocolate Festival & Wine Tasting Expo
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, November 17
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, November 18
Aviation Park Gymnasium, Redondo Beach
http://www.chocolatefestivalsamerica.com/
http://redondobeach.patch.com/events/greater-la-artisan-chocolate-festival-wine-tasting-expo

You may have eaten chocolate before, but probably not as sophisticated as the artisanal chocolates you may find at the Greater LA Artisan Chocolate Festival. Featuring the highest quality chocolates from around the world, this festival costs only $30 per person and provides all-access to chocolate and wine tastings (21+ for wine). The industry’s foremost experts will speak and perform demos throughout the fest.

Getting Our Just Desserts
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, November 17
International Culinary School @ Art Institute of California, Santa Monica
http://www.ccapinc.org/locations/los-angeles/2008/08/news-4/

Like desserts? Check out this dessert fest this Saturday, which will feature pastries, chocolates, candy, baked goods, coffee, tea, and other specialties. VIP tickets cost $100 and enter at 1pm, while general admission enters at 2pm and costs $50 presale and $75 at the door. All guests receive all-access to tastings, demos, and a goodie bag.

Downtown Santa Ana Art & Music Festival
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, November 17
Blue Lot, Santa Ana
http://www.downtown-santaana.com/

This all-ages festival costs $5 per person to enter, and features live music, art, foodtrucks, local restaurants, and other local businesses. Nearby parking structures charge for parking, so guests looking for street parking may need to park a few blocks away.

Manic Hispanic, Swingin’ Utters, Union 13, Anarchy Taco @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 17
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/manic-hispanic

This all-ages punk rock show costs $15. The surrounding area contains plenty of free parking.