Posts Tagged ‘Pancakes’

From the creative genius behind the Pancakes & Booze Art Show comes the Zombie Fashion Show & Creature Art Exhibit, an adult point of view on the traditional horror genre. This art & fashion show takes place this Saturday night at Lot 613 in Downtown Los Angeles, where dozens of Hollywood makeup artists will transform beautiful models into the undead to strut their stuff on the caution tape-lined runway for eager fans to view. In addition to the catwalk show, artists from across the country bring their deathly works of art to exhibit at this show, and many local designers bring their crafts and/or accessories to sell. While the majority of the guests tend to congregate around the catwalk in the middle of the venue, plenty of art and merchandise line the perimeter of the venue. Although the event already has models designated for the catwalk show, attendees may still get into the spirit and dress up on their own, a la cosplay style. Nothing will stop attendees from donning their own zombie makeup & fashion, and strolling amongst the other attendees.

The cover charge costs $10 and provides full access to the venue, which includes the main floor with the vendors & fashion walk, the stage where they will have live music and a DJ, the outdoor area with more art and vendors, and the makeup area where the models will receive their ghastly makeover. No one under 21 may attend. The organizer has combined the Zombie Fashion Show with the Pancakes & Booze Art Show this time instead of separating the events. As such, the Pancakes & Booze Art Show will take place on both Friday and Saturday nights this week, while the Zombie Fashion Show will take place along with the Pancakes & Booze Art Show on Saturday night only. Still, both nights will cost $10 to enter. This post focuses on the Zombie Fashion Show, and contains photos from a previous year’s catwalk show. Stay up to date with what to expect this Saturday night, by liking the Zombie Fashion Show on Facebook.

Dining out has changed drastically over the past few decades. In the early 1990’s, restaurants had a very homely feel to them, especially since social media and portable media devices did not exist back then. Most restaurants had “safe” menus that generally contained foods that people expected to see, and few chefs in the 90’s dared to serve anything out of the ordinary. Over time, the rise of portable media devices and social media, along with the progressive minds of the current generation of millennials, paved the way for chefs to start experimenting and devising new menu items. Industry news and food trends affected how chefs constructed their menus; for example, many restaurants started serving kale following the rising popularity of it in 2013. Food trends changed constantly, and just like technology, the general populace must keep up with these changes, or fall behind the times. Southern Californian locals never have to worry about falling behind the times when dining at Grill ‘Em All in Alhambra.

Now two years into their restaurant in Alhambra, Grill ‘Em All has cemented quite a legacy over time. Locals cannot stop talking about them, and travelers from across the world anticipate visiting this legendary heavy metal restaurant. In fact, many influential figures in music, metal or not, have appeared at Grill ‘Em All for meet & greets, or just to dine in. Grill ‘Em All has more than just the music theme going for them – their food deserves to sit on the top shelf, a testament to the high caliber set by all the other trendy hip restaurants in Southern California. Anyone can create a list of the best burgers in Southern California, but they bring shame to Southern Californian burgers if they do not list Grill ‘Em All. I can go on and on about this, but to prove my point, just take a look at their rotating burgers of the month. Grill ‘Em All has concocted some crazy inventions in the past, and after going a safe route in February with a classic take on a burger, Grill ‘Em All goes the extra distance with their March burger of the month, The Sadistic Magician A.K.A. The Papa Shango. Named after the song and the wrestler, this burger dips into the breakfast-for-dinner food trend with its creative use of blueberry pancakes for the buns. As for the rest of the burger, a half-pound all-beef patty gets cooked medium-rare and topped with a breakfast sausage patty, bacon, and cheddar cheese, all on a spread of apple butter. You read that right – you get meat three ways in here with the burger, the bacon, and the sausage. The apple butter really helps to accentuate the blueberries in the pancakes, which keeps its form rather well despite holding up a large weight. For best results, flip this burger upside-down the moment you receive it. That way, the bottom pancake will not get too soggy from absorbing the burger’s juices and the apple butter.

Food trends in the past few years dictate that society accepts the notion of breakfast for dinner. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind burger at Grill ‘Em All in Alhambra during the month of March 2015 for just $12. Savor what a heavy metal mind can deliver on a plate.

2013 came and went, and with it came dozens of new food trends that surfaced around the world. This year, people around the world saw a resurgence of traditional foods resurrected in another form, in one way or another. For example, the cronut fad (croissant doughnut) got everyone talking about this hybrid of a pastry, and soon social media networks like Instagram exploded with tons of posts featuring said pastry. This year, we also saw the revival of ramen, both traditionally and modernized. Ramen places like Shin-Sen-Gumi sees lines of people for hours, while any place daring enough to craft the infamous ramen burger will see lines for days. Some past food trends have managed to persist up until now, such as breakfast any time of the day, juice cleanses, food trucks, locally sourced ingredients, “housemade” foods, and especially kale. In any case, just like time itself, tastes and flavors constantly progress, leading to the progress of menus at many different restaurants. People go out to eat all the time, but sometimes certain foods really stick in their heads. Observe below five eats from Southern California that really stuck in my head this year.

5. The Griddle Café‘s Red Velvet PanCAKE

People truly cannot get enough of their breakfast foods. The world does not tote breakfast as the most important meal of the day for no reason. Breakfast provides the necessary jump-start of nutritional fuel humans need to tackle the day. The nutrients in a person’s breakfast dictate how that person may feel the rest of the day. Eat a protein & vitamin-packed breakfast, and go on with the energy of a race car. Sometimes, one just wants to indulge for breakfast. In that case, look no further than The Griddle Café in Hollywood. This iconic breakfast spot always has lines out their doors for hours, and not merely for breakfast. The Griddle Café looks at traditional breakfast items, and takes them to a brand new level. For example, their Red Velvet PanCAKE combines horizontal progression with vertical progression. Not only do you get the charm, visual appearance, and flavor of red velvet in a pancake, but it comes out thick like a cake. Just for the thrill of it, they top it off with swirls of cream cheese icing and powdered sugar. Not surprisingly, diners may not orders this for take-out. How could anyone attempt to carry this thing out? Freshness should mean something to anyone dining out, and Griddle Café does not skimp out on freshness. For the best breakfast in town, give yourself some time to wait for The Griddle Café.

4. Lazy Ox Canteen‘s Pig Ear Chicharrones

When reading a menu, the product description does more than paint a picture of the item. In some basic cases, the name of the item sufficiently states the nature of the item. For all other times, consumers require an accurate product description to understand the item. In rare cases, the name could potentially turn off some customers. In a classical “do not judge a book by its cover” moment, we take a look at a particular dish from Lazy Ox Canteen in Downtown Los Angeles. Not to knock on Lazy Ox – as one of my favorite restaurants in Downtown Los Angeles, they bring some of the most amazing dishes to the table that I have ever seen. One time, I brought my sister here, and the moment we saw Pig Ear Chicharrones on the menu, I immediately ordered it, while she turned away. No one should feel disgusted by seeing the word “ear” in the name, as the dish tastes like pork, not ears. These fried goodies come with tomatillo salsa and harissa sauce. For as thin as they appear, these chicharrones pack quite a bit of meat in every bite. Better yet, anyone can score these chicharrones for 50% off during Happy Hour. Do not let the name fool you – pork still tastes like pork, but the way Lazy Ox prepares it, your taste buds will thank you for this delicacy.

3. Scott’s Restaurant‘s Calamari

Ever come across something so butchered across America that people immediately draw a picture in their minds when they hear the word? For example, when people hear “burgers,” they usually picture the small dinky burgers from fast food chains, not the gourmet burgers from some restaurants. When people hear “pizza,” they picture large pepperoni pizzas, not the individual-size Neapolitan pizza found at Italian eateries. When people hear “calamari,” they picture small onion rings. We must teach ourselves to shed these preconceived notions and open up our minds to new visions while dropping our expectations. Now in 2013, we should expect to drop all of our expectations, and observe food the way it should taste, not how it appears. When you find yourself in Scott’s Restaurant, expect to receive a fantastic meal unlike what typical restaurants may serve you. The level of quality behind Scott’s exceeds that of conventional “steak & seafood” restaurants with their use of ingredients direct from local farms. As such, their prices match the effort they go to serve you such tasty meals. For a tasting that will not break your bank, check out their appetizer menu, which lists a handful of seafood appetizers like their Calamari. Whereas regular restaurants serve calamari plainly fried, Scott’s gives you a plate of calamari lightly fried, but dressed with lemon, garlic, shallots, and a spicy provencal sauce. This creates a combination of tastes that require no additional dipping sauces, as all the flavor you need comes right there on that plate. Feel free to have a seat on the bar/lounge side to order this and a drink, as you receive the same service there, but at a quicker response rate.

2. Spring Street Smoke House‘s Burnt Ends

Certain regional dishes often get imitated, but never successfully duplicated. For example, the Philly Cheesesteak does not gets its name simply from its origin – only the real thing comes from Philadelphia, and nowhere else in the world can anyone obtain an authentic cheesesteak other than Philadelphia. Many other types of food receive some attention from places far from its origin, but sadly cannot compete with the original. Many people believe they understand true southern-style BBQ, which, in the United States, originated on the east coast. Sadly, tons of “southern BBQ” restaurants exist in California that come nowhere close to the real thing found in the originating regions like Memphis, Carolina, or even the midwest. Once in a while, a true gem shines out of the pack, such as Spring Street Smoke House in Downtown Los Angeles. As one of the few BBQ restaurants in Southern California doing BBQ right, Spring Street Smoke House takes what we love about southern-style BBQ and applies it to a Southern California setting, complete with a fine selection of local craft beers on tap. Among the menu of smoked meats like pulled pork and brisket, Spring Street Smoke House features specials like their Burnt Ends plate. Diners may choose a 1/2 pound or full pound of these crispy trimmings from the ends of their smoked brisket, and these come smothered in BBQ sauce along with a pickle and a choice of two sides. In one dish alone, anyone ordering this will experience crispy, meaty, tangy, smokey, salty, crunchy, and lots of other words that can describe the perfect BBQ plate. Head on in to Spring Street Smoke House soon and order this baby up, along with a nice cold pint of your favorite local craft beer.

1. Crazee Burger‘s Muddy Pig

Places with the craziest ideas often receive labels from the public. Depending on how unconventional things appear to the public, the public may embrace it or question it. As long as a strange concept gets marketed properly, the public generally will keep an open mind to it. When Slater’s 50/50 first described their concept of a burger made of half bacon and half beef, the public initially started skeptical, but soon came to embrace it. Other fads like cronuts and ramen burgers relied on the internet to virally market those concepts. The right marketing can quickly turn the tide for any business, regardless of how much effort the marketing receives. If the locals love it, the locals equate to free marketing, and locals love Crazee Burger. This small burger shack in North Park, San Diego has garnered quite a following of fans that has stretched across the nation with their penchant for exotic, unconventional burgers. They embrace their given name of Crazee with the odd quirks found only here, such as a Happy Hour that runs from 2:23 to 6:19, instead of the traditional “on the hour” start and end times. Even more crazy lies in their menu of over 20 burgers, which features odd combinations and exotic meats. So far, the craziest burger I have tried, the Muddy Pig, comes with Nutella, bacon, and caramelized plantains. Breakfast burgers definitely exist, but none have come close to this sweet deal of a meal. Unfortunately, Crazee Burger currently does not list the Muddy Pig on their menu anymore, so if you seek this burger, I suggest calling them to see if they can still create it. Even if they no longer make this burger, the rest of their menu contains plenty of other great choices, so pop on in soon, especially during Happy Hour, and order up a burger and beer, and experience Crazee for yourself.

From the creative genius behind the Pancakes & Booze Art Show comes the Zombie Fashion Show & Creature Art Exhibit, an adult point of view on the traditional horror genre. At this art & fashion show from this past Saturday night at Lot 613 in Downtown Los Angeles, dozens of Hollywood makeup artists transformed beautiful models into the undead to strut their stuff on the caution tape-lined runway for eager fans to view. Just like at the last Zombie Fashion Show back in May, artists from across the country brought their deathly works of art to exhibit at this show, and many local designers brought their crafts and/or accessories to sell. Now in October, the anticipation for Halloween grows, sparking an increased interest in a show like this, resulting in a significantly larger turnout than the May show.

While the majority of the guests congregated around the runway in the middle of the venue, plenty of art and merchandise lined the perimeter of the venue.

As mentioned above, the originator of the Pancakes & Booze Art Show has devised this alternative art show as well. As a result, guests could expect to munch on pancakes all night, free of charge, though they discreetly placed a tip jar on the counter.

This show has touched so many people that some of them decided to also get into the spirit by dressing up or applying Halloween cosmetics as well.

Prior to the model runway show, a local slow rock band played a few songs. Their set did not last long, for reasons unknown, but I would guess that they had sound issues throughout their set.

As all the guests waited in anticipation of the zombie models, some of the official camera crew set up this camera station at the end of the runway.

Enough with words – you all came here to see some flesh! Words cannot describe as much as photos can, so I will allow you to formulate your own captions for each photo. Without further adieu, observe these photos from the zombie model fashion walk.

Just for fun, go behind the scenes to the makeup area, where the artists worked to the bone gearing these ladies up for a ghoulish night.

Who needs words when pictures illustrate thousands of words at a time? Did you like what you saw? Check out the original Pancakes & Booze Art Show coming up NEXT weekend, right back at Lot 613 in Downtown Los Angeles. This show will only cost $5 to get in, and guests can find free street parking on surrounding streets, so why wait until the next opportunity? Sure it may not have revealing zombie models, but the live nude body painting should make up for the difference.

Go to a fashion show, view models strut down the runway in lingerie, and drool as they walk away. Most men expect this type of behavior to occur when attending or watching a fashion show, such as the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Today’s society places an emphasis on slim models with fair skin, light blue eyes, long flowing hair, and a perfect natural figure. The media strongly portrays women that fit this bill as beautiful and worthy of strutting as a runway model. However, the media refuses to portray anything else as beautiful, especially when it comes to looks and body. Thankfully, modern times and progression have allowed curvy women to take a stand and earn a spot as beautiful in a world consumed by a lust for slim & fit models. Beyond that, where else can models walk? The general public accepts these models because of the realization that they exist and can (sort of) relate to everyday life, that the average schmo can randomly run into a bombshell on the street. But why stop there? Where else can we find beauty? Sometimes, we have to take a step back to observe and identify the effort going into the beauty behind the makeup. In Hollywood, artists travel beyond the makeup kit to add bits & pieces to models, especially in movies when directors require inhuman characters, like zombies. Why portray zombies as scary abominations when we can observe zombies as sexy models?

The annual Zombie Fashion Show & Creature Art Exhibit took place this past Saturday night at the Mezz Bar in the Alexandria Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. At this art & fashion show that cost only $10 to enter, guests 21 and up could dive into a world of beauty and death, surrounded by art, booze, pancakes, dubstep, chocolate, and fashion models. Artists from all over the country submitted their art to display at this show, with some of the artists making an appearance to sell their work.

As the organizers had just recently hosted the Pancakes & Booze Art Show a few weeks ago, they naturally decided to supply pancakes and chocolate to all guests for free. Guests still had to pay for drinks, however.

Throughout the night, as the live DJ’s played their loud dubstep music, some of the zombie models walked among the crowd, doing zombies things while occasionally stopping for photo opportunities.

Unique to this fashion show, guests could actually enter the dressing room while the models got ready for the fashion show. In this room, guests received a first-hand look at the makeup artists giving the models their deathly makeover, as the models remained still to turn into the living dead. As all the models had already changed into their outfits, no nudity occurred at all in here.

Before the zombie models could strut down the runway, a local band delighted the crowd with a set of songs lasting half an hour.

Prior to the Zombie Fashion Show, I located and chatted with Tom Kirlin, the curator behind not only this annual show, but the recurring Pancakes & Booze Art Show, of which the last show occurred two weekends ago in Los Angeles. Having spoken about his events in the past yet never attending one, I relinquished that I broke the ice at this show. His idea behind this show involved combining everything he loved into one venue: pancakes, booze, zombies, and models. Clearly, this man lives the American dream if he can successfully bring all of his interests together and profit off of it.

Once the band had wrapped up their set, the DJ cleared the runway in preparation for a zombie model invasion. One by one, each model slowly dragged themselves onto the runway from the dressing room. Each model remained in character the entire time, moving and acting like how they appeared. A handful of the models did not appear like traditional zombies – some appeared like ghouls, while others appeared like monsters or abominations. A few of the models still looked alive despite the makeup and skimpy outfit. But hey – who dares judge when these ladies boldly showed a lot of skin in front of hundreds of gawkers?

Once all the models completed their first walk down the runway, each of them returned for a second walk, but in a continuous line instead of one at a time. This also gave the crowd a second chance to cheer for their favorite model, a determinant in selecting the finalists for best zombie of the night.

The emcee selected seven of the models as finalists, based on crowd noise. Using that same method, the emcee chose a winner based on which model received the loudest ovation.

By unanimous decision from the audience, the model that punctured her stomach and ate the contents won the zombie pageant. Following her moment in the lights, all models remained in character the rest of the night, with the exception of the few that removed their makeup to resume human life. All other aspects of the show ran on until the end of the night: the dubstep music, the pancakes, the booze, etc. If you wondered if Tom Kirlin appeared in any of my photos, you can see him in the green shirt here:

With an art show like this, any art fan would feel sad to have missed this show. Luckily, the Pancakes & Booze Art Show occurs nationally year-round, with the next show taking place in Philadelphia at the end of the month. One man’s vision has evolved into this epic sexy art show that attracts thousands annually. Follow your dreams, because it can turn into something legendary like this show.

Free Bread & Jam Tasting
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 30
Blackmarket Bakery, Costa Mesa

Love bread and jam? Come to this free food tasting hosted by Blackmarket Bakery at The Camp in Costa Mesa this Tuesday evening, where guests may sample any of their various artisan breads and gourmet jams. As always, guests may park for free at The Camp, and guests of all ages may attend.

Face to Face and Teenage Bottlerocket – On Tour
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, May 1 & 4
May 1: House of Blues, San Diego
May 4: Glass House, Pomona

Punk band Face To Face just released a new album, and currently headlines a tour with Teenage Bottlerocket. That tour will sweep through Southern California this week. Blacklist Royals will open Wednesday’s show, while Death on Wednesday will open Saturday’s show. Tickets to both shows cost $25. For Wednesday only, no one under 21 may enter.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 3
Various locations
Long Beach:

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).

2nd Annual Chocolate Festival
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 3
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, May 4-5
Maritime Museum, San Diego

A 2-in-1 event! On Friday, attend a seminar learning about the origin of chocolate, and receive wine and chocolate pairings all for $12. On Saturday and Sunday, guests of all ages can enjoy plenty of chocolate to eat, demos, arts & crafts, and more. Museum admission includes access to the chocolate area, which costs $16 for adults, with discounts applicable to seniors, military, and children.

Pancakes & Booze Art Show
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, May 3-4
Lot 613, Los Angeles

For just a $5 cover, guests get treated to unlimited pancakes and many artists from across the country showcasing their works. Guests can also witness body painting, stencil art, art battles, sculptures, graffiti, and more. Guests can park on the street for free, or park in the adjacent parking lot for $5. No one under 21 may enter.

Community Arts Fair & Flea Market
8:00 am – 3:00 pm, May 4
Long Beach Playhouse, Long Beach

Free to attend, this all-ages fair will feature local artists, antiques, arts & crafts, vendors, and more. Guests can park for free in the adjacent neighborhoods.

Cario Blast Fit Camp Kickoff Party
9:00 am – 11:00 am, May 4
Oceanview High School Gymnasium, Huntington Beach

Want to get fit in time for summer? Check out the grand opening kickoff party for Cardio Blast Fit Camp this Saturday morning at the gym of Oceanview High School in Huntington Beach. Open to all ages, guests can receive free wellness evaluations, body statistics measurements, nutrition Q&A, goodies, and more. Guests may also purchase raffle tickets to win prizes such as gift cards, health & beauty services, nutrition supplements, and more. The fitness class starts at 10am and costs $10 at the door, or $5 with RSVP via Facebook or phone. Guests may park for free at the high school parking lot off Warner.

Santa Monica Spring Jubilee
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, May 4-5
3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica

At this free weekend festival, guests of all ages can celebrate British culture with food, drinks, flowers, vendors, merchandise, apparel, arts & crafts, activities, games, music, and more. Landscape professionals can show off their skills at the landscaping competition. Keep in mind that some freeway exits will get congested, and this area has few free parking, if none, so plan arrival accordingly.

Soka University’s 12th Annual International Festival
10:30 am – 5:30 pm, May 4
Soka University, Aliso Viejo

At this free festival, guests of all ages can enjoy music, dance, arts & crafts, artists, and more. Parking costs $10 per vehicle, so consider carpooling if attending.

1st Annual Heritage, Music & Arts Festival
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, May 4
Angel City Brewery, Downtown Los Angeles

Celebrate the culture and spirit of the Downtown LA Arts District at this festival, taking place at Angel City Brewery this Saturday. Local bands will play music all day, food trucks will serve food, brewers will lead brewery tours, and more activities will keep guests occupied. Guests pay no fee to enter, just the cost to purchase anything or participate in some activities. Parking for this event costs $4.

GURLSociety Arts & Crafts Fair
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm, May 4
Long Beach Opera, Long Beach

This free arts & crafts fair will have plenty of activities for guests of all ages. Expect live entertainment, workshops, crafts, giveaways, food, and more, all from local crafters.

4th Annual Los Angeles Vegan Beer Festival
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, May 4
The Roxy, West Hollywood

Taste the best of Southern California’s vegan foods and craft beers at the 4th annual LA Vegan Beer Fest this Saturday afternoon at The Roxy in West Hollywood. For $40 presale and $50 at the door, attendees will receive unlimited beer pours for the duration of the festival. All food comes at additional costs, so bring cash. No one under 21 may attend. Arrive early, and plan to pay for parking. The fest takes place outdoors, so prepare accordingly with sunscreen and clothes for hot weather.

13th Annual Junior League of San Diego Food & Wine Festival
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, May 4
La Jolla Cove, La Jolla

Taste food from many of San Diego’s finest restaurants, and sip on California’s great wines and craft beers at this festival. Guests can participate in a silent auction, while live music and painting will keep guests occupied. General admission costs $75 or two for $140. No one under 21 may attend.

3rd Annual Session Fest
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 4
Eagle Rock Brewery, Eagle Rock

On the opposite side of strong ales lie session beers – beers lower in alcohol content while maximizing flavor. Brewers created session ales so that craft beer lovers can drink more in a session without going overboard, especially with strong ales or hoppy beers. Eagle Rock Brewery started Session Fest two years ago to encourage new craft beer drinkers to enjoy what breweries can offer, and they will repeat the fest again this Saturday evening. For just $15, guests will receive three pints of any session beer featured at the tasting room, in addition to keeping the glass they receive to drink out of. Guests may purchase additional drink tickets if desired. No one under 21 may participate.

Voodoo Glow Skulls + more @ DiPiazzas
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 4
DiPiazzas, Long Beach

Catch the Voodoo Glow Skulls, Left Alone, Profesor Galactico, South Central Skankers, Shoplifters, Isolated Victims, Schizm, and more this Saturday night at DiPiazzas in Long Beach. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $13 presale and $15 at the door.

3rd Annual Artisan Food & Craft Beer Festival
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, May 5
Stone Brewing Co., Escondido

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo responsibly at Stone Brewing’s 3rd annual Artisan Food & Craft Beer Fest at their facility. For $55, guests will enjoy 14 tapas-style dishes paired with up to 23 different craft beers. Admission covers tax and tip. As always, guests may park for free at Stone. No one under 21 may attend.

Chencha Berrinches + more @ DiPiazzas
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, May 5
DiPiazzas, Long Beach

Get your ska on for Cinco de Mayo with Chencha Berrinches, Matamoska, La Infinita, ONK, Rompe Cabezas, Rebelion 68, Destruction Made Simple, Damn I Forgot, and Los Brigands at DiPiazzas in Long Beach. Tickets to this all-ages show only cost $10.

Manic Hispanic, CJ Ramone, CH3, The Henchman @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 5
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Manic Hispanic and more this Sunday night at The Observatory in Santa Ana. Tickets to this all-ages punk rock show cost $17.

When people think about dessert, they often imagine sweet treats. Where does this conception of sweet dessert derive from? Upon searching for definitions of dessert, the word usually appears quite often. One dictionary defines dessert as a usually sweet dish usually served at the end of a meal. Why do you suppose civilization has come to the acceptance of sweet desserts? Sources say that humans wanted to balance meals that almost always contained salt or savory flavors, so they added something sweet to follow up. Any respectable health and/or fitness person will tell you not to balance salt with sweet, but instead to chug water to balance the pH levels in the body. Basic science experiments in school teach us that salt absorbs water, which dehydrates humans, while sugar inflates water, which bloats humans. Conclusively, if humans consume a savory meal without drinking adequate water, a sweet dessert would attempt to inflate the water in our bodies, but since the salt absorbed the water, the sugar will inflate other fluids, leading to fat gain. Lesson learned: always drink water with every meal. However, I now digress – you probably now crave something sweet after taking all that in. Continue reading to discover five bacon desserts in the Greater Los Angeles Area that you ought to seek out this season.

5. Chunk N Chip‘s The Elvis

Desserts date back to ancient civilizations, when humans consumed raw products like fruit, honey, and nuts. Over time, as foods evolve, taste evolves too. Time gets to a point where we finally get to do and try things we always wanted to as children, but could not due to age restrictions. When Elvis Presley grew up, he finally could eat peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwiches to his heart’s content. Those who have not heard of The Elvis may not immediately find this type of sandwich appetizing, but the folks at Chunk N Chip have discovered a fun way of delivering the legacy. Their version of The Elvis consists of bananas foster ice cream and candied bacon sandwiched between two warm peanut butter cookies. The bacon carries a texture similar to candied pecans, or pralines, but with its trademark salty meaty flavor. In this ice cream sandwich, the bacon adds a crunchy texture to an otherwise soft and gooey treat. Chunk N Chip changes their daily selection, so if you crave The Elvis, contact them on Facebook or Twitter and ask when they plan to carry this. Who says no to bacon for dessert?

4. Suite 106 Cupcakery‘s Pancakes N’ Bacon Cupcake

Shown on right

Some time after the frozen yogurt fad took off around 2004-2005, the cupcake trend emerged thanks to the opening of Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills. After their success, hundreds of pastry chefs across the nation followed that trend and soon opened up their own cupcakery. Many have tried, yet many have failed due to bad cupcakes. However, some cupcake stores have proven that they deserve to remain in the business. While Suite 106 Cupcakery lacks their own independent storefront, they make up for it with their moist and delicious cupcakes. Located inside the Victoria Gardens food court in Rancho Cucamonga, Suite 106 utilizes organic and all-natural ingredients to give their cupcakes the texture, moisture, and sweetness that makes a cupcake worth it. Prominently, their frosting does not taste overwhelmingly of butter, which many other cupcakeries seem to not pay any attention to. This allows their cupcakes to portray more of the true flavors of the cupcakes rather than the richness found in most other frostings elsewhere. On weekends, their cupcake rotation includes the popular Pancakes N’ Bacon Cupcakes, a buttermilk spice cake topped with spiced bacon buttercream, real bacon bits, and maple syrup. The concept of bacon cupcakes started just a few years ago, yet many of those so-called bacon cupcakes fail to accurately balance the saltiness of the bacon with the sweetness of the cupcake, not to mention all the terrible frostings I have attempted to taste. Suite 106 understands the art of baking, as evident in their little packages of goodness. Make a road trip to Suite 106, and you will not regret it.

3. Chapter One: The Modern Local‘s Bourbon Bacon Banana Donut

I blame the saturation of generic donut shops across the nation for the poor conception of donuts. In a similar vein to old food trucks, generic donut shops cause most people to view donuts as cheap sugar foods that police like to eat out of convenience. No one ever took donuts seriously until Krispy Kreme expanded in the late 1990’s. Their significant improvements on donuts paved the way for chefs and restaurant owners to attempt their skills at further improving the donut. If you seek one of these superior donuts, look no further than Chapter One: The Modern Local. This little restaurant in Downtown Santa Ana pushes the limits of quality in food, drinks, and service. With an amazing selection of eats & drinks, they constantly hold a full house on weekends. Perhaps everyone crowds around the bar because of their infamous Bourbon Bacon Banana Donut. Take a banana donut, layer it with bourbon maple frosting, marmalade, and cocoa nibs, then brûlée a banana with candied bacon bits, and sit it on top of the donut. This treat attracts eyes everywhere, which will envy anyone ordering this epic donut. The rich donut carries more density than standard donuts, so I suggest splitting the donut if possible. Once you do finally get to dig in to this donut, remember to scoop a little of every ingredient in each bite. All ingredients contribute to the dish, so you do not want to miss any feature of it.

2. The Factory Gastropub‘s Breakfast For Dessert

The media does an evil job of portraying sweets for breakfast. When kids watch commercials saying “Trix are for kids,” they program into their minds that they should eat that sugary cereal for breakfast. Sadly, many cereals oriented towards kids carry more sugar than a candy bar. I mean, how can anyone consider Lucky Charms an acceptable breakfast? Marshmallows have no place at the breakfast table. Real people eat bacon for breakfast! But what if you want to enjoy your bacon breakfast later in the day? If you so please, you can have your bacon breakfast and eat it later in the day too at The Factory Gastropub in the Bixby Knolls community of Long Beach. In this quaint neighborhood, The Factory attracts gourmet food and craft beer lovers from all over to soak in the smooth atmosphere in a quiet setting. The taps pour local brews, while the kitchen cooks up local organic and sustainable ingredients. They love to experiment with food often, and will host special dinner nights every now and then as test plates for customers to try. When an experiment works, it earns a spot on their menu. In the case of Breakfast For Dessert, this genius idea easily won hearts and a permanent spot on the dessert menu. This plate receives a scoop of peanut butter ice cream, sea salt focaccia French toast, stout-chocolate-covered bacon, and maple syrup. With as much butter as they use in the French toast, you would swear Paula Deen made this dish. The stout they use for the bacon depends on the current stout on tap. Fast food has capitalized on the idea of breakfast any time of the day, so when a local restaurant seizes this idea, one can expect great things to churn out of the kitchen. To get your bacon, breakfast, and dessert all on the same plate, head to The Factory and order the Breakfast For Dessert.

1. Animal Restaurant‘s Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar

If it moos, oinks, baas, clucks, coos, or swims, you can eat it. Only the brave can stomach what the public does not accept as “normal” food. But when has conformity stopped anyone from doing what they want to do? The media explains the acceptance of eating chicken, pork, and beef, but at the same time, the media loves to display groups like PETA, providing a contradictory stance of survival of the fittest. As such, most people find it unacceptable to eat meats like lamb, venison, wild boar, and more. In addition, most people do not consider all parts of an animal as food, and thanks to the media, the general public shuns the notion of eating animal parts like offals, guts, and other appendages. When cooked right, people have nothing to fear, and the lads at Animal Restaurant boldly go where no chef has gone before – into the hearts of the animals. A legendary institution of Fairfax, the folks at Animal treat every party of an animal’s body with utmost care and equality. They do not discriminate against which part of the animal goes into a dish, believing in reducing waste by consuming everything. The main menu changes monthly depending on the market’s offerings, but the dessert menu remains fairly consistent. When you carry something famous like the Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar, you would think twice about modifying that section of the menu. This dense bar of chocolate and bacon gets served with salt & pepper ice cream and vanilla bean powder. Take a moment to understand the constituents of the plate. First off, look at that Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar. They carefully layer the bar to appear like a glorified bacon strip after slicing it. No term can accurately describe the bar, since its high density makes it beyond a cake. Now look at that ball of ice cream… Salt & Pepper ice cream. They took it a step beyond vanilla bean ice cream and made their own unique ice cream flavor, tasting like a cold creamy treat of salt and pepper. I dare you to find salt and pepper ice cream like this anywhere else in the world. Just to bring things back into perspective, the plate gets topped off with vanilla bean powder. Do not underestimate the small stature of this plate – this dense bar will easily fill up one person, so take care of yourself and whoever else you bring here by splitting the bar and ice cream. Everybody wins in this case.

Eat dessert first.

Taste of West Orange County
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, December 5
Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel, Buena Park

The first annual Taste of West Orange County will take place this Wednesday night. This food fest costs $30 per ticket, or $50 for two tickets. All attendees receive 30 taster coupons to try food from the 40 restaurants serving at the fest.

2012 Annual West 3rd Street Holiday Street Party
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, December 6
W 3rd St between La Cienaga & Fairfax, Los Angeles

This free street party will have entertainment, refreshments, merchandise, food, and other specials going on. Think of this as First Friday, since you can easily see comparisons between this and Venice First Friday.

Voodoo Glow Skulls @ Alpine Village
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, December 6
Alpine Village, Torrance

Back at it again, Voodoo Glow Skulls headline an all-ages show at Alpine Village this Thursday night. Tickets cost $10 presale and $13 at the door, and comes with free parking, free tamales, piñatas to destroy, and more holiday treats.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, December 7
Various locations
Long Beach:

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).

Piecemakers Christmas “Under the Stars” Crafts Fair
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, December 7
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, December 8
Piecemakers Country Store, Costa Mesa

Hundreds of local vendors will sell their merchandise and creations at this free outdoor fair this weekend. Kids can enjoy hay rides and other activities, while food trucks will serve food to guests.

Uptown Village Market
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, December 7
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, December 8
Expo Arts Center, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach

Local artists and vendors will display and sell their wares at this FREE art fest. Guests can look at some interesting works of art, while browsing through all the merchandise available to purchase. The organizers will provide free refreshments, while live bands and singers will keep guests entertained.

The Adolescents and T.S.O.L. @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, December 7
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Legendary punk bands The Adolescents and T.S.O.L. play a show at The Observatory this Friday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $20 each.

Pancakes & Booze Art Show
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, December 7-9
Lot 613, Los Angeles

For just a $5 cover, guests get treated to unlimited pancakes and many artists from across the country showcasing their works. Guests can also witness body painting, stencil art, art battles, sculptures, graffiti, and more. Guests can park on the street for free, or park in the adjacent parking lot for $5. No one under 21 may enter.

Color Mob 5k
9:00 am – 2:00 pm, December 8
Irvine Lake, Irvine

What happens when you mix a 5k run, live music, beer, and lots of colors? You get the inaugural Color Mob 5k of course! This all-ages fun run will have participants running through clouds of color, music, dissonance, and more. Strangely, this fest also has a beer garden and food trucks, things that do not necessarily go hand-in-hand with a 5k. Alas, entry into the run costs $50, or $80 for two. Parking costs $5 cash, so have that ready as well.

2012 Downtown Pomona Christmas Parade
10:00 am – 12:00 pm, December 8
2nd Street, Downtown Pomona

Looking for a Christmas parade to bring your friends & family to? Check out Downtown Pomona this Saturday morning for a free parade. Parking meters shut off for that day, so guests can park for free.

3rd Annual Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, December 8-9
LA State Historic Park, Los Angeles

Renegade LA returns for the second time this year at LA State Historic Park. This completely FREE (parking & entry) event featured numerous independent artists and vendors not just from California, but out of state, and some out of the country. For the holiday show, expect hands-on workshops and a beer garden, in addition to the food trucks and hundreds of crafters available.

Pugachev’s Cobra Release & Barrel-Aged Beers Party
11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Hangar 24 Brewery, Redlands

Like Santa Claus, Hangar 24’s bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout, Pugachev’s Cobra, makes its annual return this month. Starting this Saturday at their tasting room at the brewery in Redlands, beer lovers can obtain Pugachev’s Cobra on draft and/or in bottles to take home. In addition, Hangar 24 will serve plenty of other barrel-aged beers on this day to commemorate the release of this year’s Pugachev’s Cobra. Tickets to this tasting event cost $25 and comes with 6 coupons good for a 4 oz. pour each. The first 250 guests receive a souvenir glass to take home as well.

Orange County Brew Ho Ho
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, December 8
Phoenix Club, Anaheim

From the creators of OC Brew Ha Ha comes the OC Brew Ho Ho Holiday Ale Festival! Join me this Saturday for an afternoon of UNLIMITED beer tastings, food, music, holiday shopping, and more. As one of the year’s final beer fests, expect to ring in 2013 with some rare and unreleased beers, including Hangar 24’s Pugachev’s Cobra. In addition to the beer and food, OC Brew Ho Ho will also feature a merchandise expo, allowing attendees to do some holiday shopping while drinking beer. Tickets cost $45 and comes with free parking, a souvenir glass, and all access to all areas of the fest. As with any beer fest, all attendees must show ID, and nobody under 21 may enter.

Pico Holiday Art Walk
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, December 8
Pico Blvd between 28th & 34th, Santa Monica

Many stores on Pico Blvd will have special promotions, artwork, and more.

4th Street Annual Holiday Open House
2:00 pm – 8:00 pm, December 8
Retro Row, Long Beach

During this time, many shops on Retro Row will have special deals on vintage wares, trinkets, toys, beauty supplies, music, books, and more. Food trucks will also make an appearance on 4th Street. Certain locations will provide free gift wrapping, photos with Santa, and custom pin-striping.

50th Annual Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, December 8
Burton Chace Park, Marina Del Rey

Rain or shine, this boat parade will go on! The night begins with fireworks scheduled for 5:55 pm, immediately followed by the boat parade at 6pm.

The Dirty Little Secrets: Twisted Christmas
8:30 pm – 11:30 pm, December 8
Malones Bar & Grill, Santa Ana

The sexy vixens from the Dirty Little Secrets return this Saturday night with a burlesque twist on a Christmas show. Catch them performing at 8:30 and 11:00 this night. No one under 21 may enter. This bar requires a variable cover charge. When entering, mention that you want to see the Dirty Little Secrets.

DieN’Isis XI: A Zombie Apocalypse Survival Beer Paired Dinner Workshop
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, December 9
Beachwood Brewing, Long Beach

Even I feel confused at the name… This zombie-themed beer-pairing dinner will feature offals as the main constituent of each course. Throughout the night, speakers and experts will talk about zombies, how to counter them and possible escape plans. Tickets to this one-in-a-lifetime dinner cost $80 per person.

Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, December 9
Manhattan Beach Pier

This Sunday night, many streets near the Manhattan Beach Pier will close, as thousands of spectators gather to watch fireworks (which start at 7pm), dance, drink, mingle, and more. Completely free to attend, expect chaos with this many people. Arrive early to snag a good parking spot.

You know it is good if people are willing to wait in a line outside for half an hour in a highly urban neighborhood. You know it is good if other restaurant owners & staff say it is the best they have ever had. You know it is good if people walk up, see the line, walk away, and then a server tells them that they would not enjoy it anyways.

This is all for Griddle Cafe, a breakfast restaurant on Sunset & Fairfax in Hollywood. The folks here at Griddle Cafe take traditional breakfast foods and make them more advanced. From the Red Velvet PanCAKE to the Blueberry Pancakes to the French Toast to the Egg dishes, everything here has a unique spin to it. As I say, to make something successful, you have to do one of two things: Invent, or Reinvent. In the case of Griddle Cafe, I believe they have effectively done both. I cannot quite describe it, but perhaps these pictures will do the explaining for me.

“Peanut Bubba” Crunchy French Toast – Egg-dipped bread griddle dipped in a peanut butter crunch, topped with powdered sugar and whipped butter

“Poached y Papas” Benedict – A thick slice of tender baked ham and two poached eggs served atop seasoned potato skins, covered in Hollandaise sauce

Who would think of this? First off, the Benedict is served not over English muffins, but potato skins! This actually is quite genius because the skins perfectly catch the Hollandaise sauce and the drippings from the ham and eggs. In addition to already being seasoned, once you get to eating the potato skins, they will be loaded with the flavors of everything else, creating the guiltiest bites of the dish. Speaking of guilty, just look at that French Toast. Not only was the bread coated in an egg batter, but it gets further dipped in a peanut butter coating before frying and adding sugar and cream. I fail to see much nutritional value in it, but boy did I savor every bite. After all, I do have a weakness for peanut butter 🙂

If you plan to visit Griddle Cafe, try to come with one other person – with Griddle Cafe’s demand, waiting for a table for two is quicker than waiting for a table for more. If you do not mind walking, the neighborhoods east of Fairfax have 2-hour parking for free. Griddle Cafe has been recommended by many locals & tourists for a reason – if not for their Red Velvet PanCAKE, then… well who am I kidding, you want the Red Velvet PanCAKE. Go to Griddle Cafe and start off your day RIGHT.

Griddle Cafe
7916 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 874-0377
Like Griddle Cafe on Facebook
Follow Griddle Cafe on Twitter