Posts Tagged ‘Seattle’

With the 2015 International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) having already ended, I had one final day on my Seattle vacation before I had to return to Southern California. While many of the conference’s attendees returned home on Sunday, I opted to remain in town for an additional day to give myself extra time to explore the city. When I last visited Seattle two years ago, I barely had any time to explore the city because I planned my trip solely around the conference. This year, I made sure to give myself some extra days around the conference to visit all the places I had originally wanted to check out on my last journey to the north. It all paid off, as you can see from all the posts from the past week and a half. It also led up to one last day in Seattle that solidified a vacation that I will never forget.

I woke up early in Monday to start packing, when suddenly I received a text message from an old friend saying that she had woken up early and had free time to meet up with me. We decided to enjoy breakfast at Oddfellows Cafe & Bar, a neighborhood eatery noteworthy for a small brick courtyard in the back. The small back area certainly lacked space, but provided an intimate area for a few groups to enjoy a quiet meal and drinks. I got to reconnect with my friend who I had seen in years, as I did not get to meet with her the last time I visited Seattle. We reminisced for a while, divulging personal matters that got us both a little emotional.

Following breakfast, we took a walk up to Volunteer Park to check out all the touristy attractions they have there. Volunteer Park has a manmade reservoir plus a water tower that visitors can climb up for a view of the city. Next to the reservoir sits a round structure called the Black Sun, and people can see the Space Needle through it. The park also has an art museum and green house, but had an admission to enter, and at least the green house did not open on Mondays. We then walked into the adjacent cemetery and discovered the gravestones of Bruce Lee and Brandon Lee.

Following that little excursion, we rode down to check out more of Capitol Hill, starting with Elysian Brewing. I know a lot of beer fans give Elysian crap for what happened earlier this year, but I still like Elysian’s beers, and I can now obtain the beers in Southern California as a result. I enjoyed their GABF brew while my friend enjoyed a non-alcoholic beverage, then we set off. A place called Trove caught our eyes, a place with four different businesses rolled into one: noodles, parfaits, barbecue, and a bar. While the savory food looked tempting to order, I listened to my sweet tooth and ordered a parfait. Finally, we walked a block down and landed at Melrose Market, a series of shops like a food court or mall. After this visit, we parted ways as I had to get ready to travel to the airport while she had to go meet with another friend.

Alas, my Seattle vacation had come to an end. While I cherish every moment of this vacation, it did bring about some realizations in my life. The conference reminded me of why I started my blog: my passion to promote the local scene to dissuade people from frequenting chain or corporate businesses. Though I originally intended to make some profit from this blog, it remained a hobby the entire time, something fun that I like to do on the side. Lately though, I have stressed out over obtaining content for blogging, which goes against my mission of having a blog to have fun with it. Since it has gotten to a point where I stress over writing blog posts, perhaps the time has come to throw in the towel and retire from blogging. With the conference moving to Sacramento starting next year, my reasons for returning to Seattle in the future have greatly diminished, as have any reasons to return to the conference in the future. I still highly recommend any food bloggers to attend the conference at least once ever, but for me, I believe I have gotten as much as I could out of it. On the plus side, I made tons of new and awesome friends that I will stay in touch with for a long time. I view this trip more as visiting friends than attending a conference, so perhaps one day I will return to Seattle. Until then, I strive to deliver quality content without forgetting about the important people in my life.

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Tagging onto yesterday’s post, the 2015 International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) returned to Downtown Seattle this past weekend starting on Friday night with an opening reception and lasting until Sunday morning with additional content and activities. This conference contained a wealth of things to see and do for people in the food blogging community, from all the seminars to the interactive demos and all the yummy food and drinks that we could have the entire time. A handful of attendees had already left town by Sunday morning to fly back home, or otherwise could not stay the entire time in order to fly back later in the day. Because I would return home Monday night, I still had all of Sunday and most of Monday to explore the city and its bounty.

Sunday marked the last day of the conference, providing attendees with another breakfast and a set of educational sessions. Following breakfast, I attended the Food Trends session since I have written about food trends in the past. Throughout the seminar, the speakers mentioned food trends that I had accurately predicted earlier this year, so they basically covered what I already knew. They did provide insight on upcoming and emerging food trends, some of which I mentioned would emerge this year. Still, this will prove a great resource for predicting next year’s 2016 as well as my own individual research. As for the session afterwards, I had to attend Cooking with Cannabis just for the heck of it. I did not pick up much from the seminar since I do not cook, but I still learned a great deal about its medicinal use and witnessed some creative uses of cannabis in food, such as in butters, oils, and chocolates. Following one last session with all attendees, the conference came to a close with the announcement that the conference would move to Sacramento next year on the last weekend of July. While this excites many with the concept of farm-to-table and wine country so close, I feel that I may not return because I already have a standard writing style, as opposed to bloggers trying to establish themselves.

With the 2015 IFBC officially over, I said my goodbyes to many of the attendees and reminisced about the fun weekend. With the rest of my day open, I joined some old friends for a brief tour of Capitol Hill to check out some of the sights. Since the conference did not provide lunch, we first visited the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room, which also contained a Serious Pie. The roastery had the feeling of a microbrewery, as they roasted & brewed coffee, sold merchandise, and had lots of see there. As a bonus, I got to dine at Serious Pie, a restaurant that I wanted to visit the last time I traveled to Seattle two years ago. I can still taste the garlic and bacon from the pizza, a delightful combination that I do not encounter enough in Southern California.

Walking though Capitol Hill, we land at Chophouse Row, an alley with small shops and eateries including a meat shop, cheese shop, cupcakes, ice cream, and Italian food. The centerpiece shop, Chop Shop, offered a succulent Braised Pork Sandwich as a Happy Hour special. Afterwards, we visited Kurt Farm Shop for ice cream samples of some unique flavors, such as Bay Leaf, Rose, and their signature cheese. Cheese in an ice cream? Of course I had to try it, and it reminded me of a cake batter ice cream, but more creamy and not as sweet. At the far end, we discovered a neat little balcony with restaurant tables set up that looked like a movie set.

Feeling nice and full, we walked up Broadway for a bit before saying our goodbyes and parting ways.

I took a bus up to Ballard to explore more of the neighborhood since I ran out of time on Wednesday. The evening started with dinner at Bitterroot BBQ, a barbecue restaurant suggested to me earlier in the day. There, I got to enjoy some brisket and a fatty piece of pork belly, paired with cheddar grits and garlic green beans. #SmokedMeatEveryday

With solid food out of the way for the rest of the evening, I could finally embark on my self-guided brewery tour. I first stopped at Reuben’s Brews, a brewery recommended by many to me, including Southern Californians. With over 20 brews on tap, I can see why many recommended this brewery to me. With a food truck out front and a big screen showing the game, I felt right at home in Reuben’s Brews.

After downing my brews at Reuben’s, I turned the corner to discover Stoup Brewing. Many had also recommended this brewery to me, so I greatly looked forward to visiting them. Like the previous brewery, Stoup has a solid interior with plenty of outdoor seating, and can easily house a food truck outside. Stoup offered a significantly smaller selection of brews though, but since their brews pack bold taste, I took my time downing their beers.

Just around another corner, I discovered Lucky Envelope Brewing. Lucky Envelope feels more like the typical neighborhood bar – very quiet, and looks like someone’s living room. Their brew lineup looks like that of a standard brewery, plus a few unique brews such as their Peanut Butter Stout. Their staff exhibited solid beer knowledge, especially about breweries in Southern California.

It started raining by the time I finished at Lucky Envelope, so I made a dash to the next brewery, Populuxe Brewing. Unfortunately they had already closed for the day by the time I arrived, so I ran over to the next closest brewery, Maritime Pacific Brewing. Sadly they too had just closed their doors for the day. Not wanting to stay out in the rain for much longer, I decided to simply call it a night and return for the night to stay dry and not damage my camera.

With less than 24 hours left of my trip, I wanted to make sure that I made the most of it. I will go on record to say that I have the fondest memories of my final day for this vacation. Stay tuned tomorrow to see the adventures of my final day in Seattle.

The 2015 International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) returned to Downtown Seattle this past weekend, inviting food bloggers from around the world to travel to Seattle to meet fellow food fans, discover new foods & food knowledge, and take home lots of neat food products. This conference contained a good variety of things to see, do, and eat, from the complimentary eats to the informational seminars to the hands-on demonstrations and the diversity of everyone indulging in the vibrant setting. Compared to when I last attended the conference two years ago, this year’s conference felt substantially shorter because 2013’s conference started on Friday morning while this year’s conference started on Friday night. It also costed $100 more to attend this year. Regardless, I treated this as a vacation to explore the city and meet new people, not as a business trip of sorts.

Following some liquid escapades from the previous night, my body did not feel prepared to wake up early for a long day of a conference. Determined, I rolled myself out of bed to hike it up to the conference, not wanting to miss a second, as well as the complimentary breakfast. After breakfast and the introductory speaker, the conference sessions started. Out of the first set of three sessions, I chose to go with Anolon because I had heard that they would give out free kitchen gear to whoever attended that session. While I could have chosen to go with Teavana or Krusteaz, they eventually brought some of their goods out to the foyer for everyone else to enjoy. After the Anolon session, I sipped on some Teavana cider and snagged a big bag of Krusteaz cookies that I ended up enjoying daily until the last day. After the Anolon session, I ended up at a Stop Motion Photography session. I got nothing out of that because they kept talking about pinning iPhones to a rack to take photos, while I had hoped to accomplish something like this instead.

Lunchtime soon arrived, and I connected with my group from the previous night to take a trip down to SoDo neighborhood. After passing by the Old Rainier Brewery facility, which has since converted to artist studios and lofts similar to Brewery Art Walk, we touched down at Jack’s BBQ. Perhaps the closest thing to authentic Texas BBQ in Seattle, we got a chance to tour the back area of the restaurant where they stored their giant smokers. In addition to smoking meats, Jack’s BBQ also uses their smokers to smoke oranges for their drinks, and smoke sugar to make a smoked simple syrup that they use to sweeten their cocktails and sweet tea. Following the tour, we walked back to our table to discover a mountain of smoked meat waiting for us to devour and conquer it all. To top it off, despite still feeling hungover, a courteous server brought out a small beer flight for me to sip on as I stuffed my face with smoky meaty goodness. We spent more time here than expected, so we ended up returning late to the Sheraton; however, this lunch more than made up for it. #SmokedMeatEveryday

Deciding between a wine, sparkling wine, or lamb session, I found myself at a crossroads trying to figure out which session I wanted to attend. I first visited the sparkling wine session, but ended up leaving halfway through because I do not have a palate for wine. I moved over to the lamb session, and while I did not get any useful information out of it, I did end up receiving a leg of lamb that they would ship to me later.

Following a short break, we reached the main event of the night, basically a Taste of Seattle. Numerous food vendors set up around the ballroom all serving delicious food samples, such as short ribs, chicken & waffles, catfish & kale, pork sisig, molten chocolate, and much more. I underestimated the richness of the foods here, as I should have expected for a food fair such as this. I got full within half an hour simply by returning to the short rib, chicken & waffles, and molten chocolate over and over. I also got to indulge in s’mores ice cream sandwiches and the SOLE beer vendor.

For a Saturday night, I had plenty of opportunities to go out and experience the nightlife of Seattle. However, since I had a hangover for most of the day, would have to return the next morning again, and that it started to rain, I decided to call it a night early on. I had to make sure I could preserve my energy for the next few days!

Waking up on the morning of the first day of the 2015 International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) provided me with a huge surge of energy and excitement to look forward to a great day of meeting so many awesome people and seeing a bunch of amazing food products. From the start of Friday, I already had full plans going into the next three days with virtually no free time other than sleep. Though I had a few drinks the previous night, nothing would stop me from tackling the day headstrong.

Starting in the morning, a handful of conference attendees had met for breakfast at Loulay, the resident restaurant inside the Sheraton Hotel where the IFBC would take place. This gave me a headstart to meet some of the conference attendees while planning out the rest of the day.

Following breakfast, I followed a few of the conference attendees down to Seattle Coffee Works to indulge in a Vacuum Pot experience.

Once back at the Sheraton, the IFBC attendees split up into their respective excursions. These optional excursions allowed attendees to visit a particular company, view products, experience demos, and take home some products from the company. I chose to attend the Chef’n Corporation excursion, a company that specializes in kitchen gadgets. They make mainly small trinkets or tools for the kitchen, such as a palm peeler, ergonomic salt & pepper shakers, and other specialized tools. Located very close to CenturyLink Field, Chef’n has access to the penthouse suite, providing an astounding view of the surrounding area. At the end of it all, we got to view live demos of multiple kitchen gadgets, enjoy some eats, and take home a handful of kitchen gadgets ourselves.

Once returned to the Sheraton, everyone congregated outside of the main ballroom that hosted the start of the 2015 IFBC. Kicking off this year’s conference, the reception featured the infamous gift suite plus a handful of food vendors serving small bites to whet our appetites. The gift suite basically represents a plethora of food-related items that attendees can take home, ranging from snacks to ingredients to tools to books and more. This year’s gift suite appeared significantly smaller than the one from two years ago when I last attended the IFBC – I managed to grab every item (besides the items that ran out fast) with plenty of room left in my bag.

With the gift suite ending early, that signaled the end of the first night of the 2015 IFBC, allowing attendees free time to go out to dinner on their own. I joined a group that traveled up to Capitol Hill to dine at Poppy. First off, I have to say that I have never experienced anything like Poppy. Imagine tapas meeting family-style dinner, where you can order a tray of various items for $20 to $30 each that you share with your table. After stuffing ourselves full, I remained in the area with a few of the others to go bar-hopping. Inevitably, I ended up drinking more than I intended to, which led to my massive hangover the following day.

Following up on yesterday’s post, I had a blast on my day of arrival in Seattle a few days prior to the 2015 International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC), and I continued my excursions going into my second day in Seattle, yesterday. While I still had over a day until this year’s IFBC could officially kick off, I decided to make the most of my time by exploring even more that the city has to offer. This time, I arranged to meet with another conference attendee for a full day of adventures starting in Fremont. I had visited Fremont the last time I visited Seattle two years ago, but could not spend as much time there as I had hoped back then. Now with a set plan in motion, we set forth into Fremont and Downtown to fill our stomachs and spirits.

I disembarked up in Fremont a little before noon, before I had arranged to meet up. I took this time to stroll up to Uneeda Burger to gaze upon the astounding burger shack that I had left a lot of drool in the last time I had visited Seattle. After that, I entered Caffe Vita nearby for my (late) morning coffee. Finally, I strolled down to Paseo to meet up for lunch. I had received many recommendations to dine at Paseo, but could not do so last time because they did not open on Sundays back then, the one day of the week that I explored Fremont. I discovered that they now open on Sundays, but that mattered not, as I could finally sink my teeth into their succulent Caribbean roast pork. Following this breakfast/lunch meal, I introduced my friend to Book Larder across the street, a small cookbook shop that occasionally holds cooking demos and tastings.

To burn off our hearty lunch, we strolled down to lower Fremont, where we ended up at Schilling Cider House to sip on some fruity refreshments. Coincidentally, Southern California now has Schilling Cider distributed down there by none other than Hangar 24… the brewery I used to work for.

Up next, the moment that we both awaited for, we scuttled over to Theo Chocolate. Once there, we took a tour of their factory to learn about their chocolate, see the process of producing chocolates, and of course get absolutely chocolate-wasted the entire time.

Right around the corner from Theo Chocolate, we discovered a quaint little house called Outlander Brewery & Pub. This ambitious brewery operates out of what appears as a converted house. They not only serve food out of their tiny kitchen, but brew all their beer downstairs in the basement out of the smallest brewing system I have ever laid my eyes on.

With some time left before dinner, we made one final stop in Fremont at Fremont Brewing. One of the larger breweries in the area that many others recommended to me, this large brewery can easily accommodate a sizable amount of people. From their ample beer selection to all the beers they have available to take to-go, I can see why people made a huge fuss that I must visit Fremont Brewing before leaving Seattle in a few days.

For the last stop of the night, we traveled back to Downtown Seattle for dinner at FareStart. A unique dining experience, FareStart allows homeless or disadvantaged people to train in culinary arts to get their lives back on track and start a career that they can wholeheartedly call their own. For this dinner, we joined a group of over a dozen other IFBC attendees for good eating and good spirits. This night also represented a graduation ceremony for three of the students, and we arrived just to time to see the celebrations before receiving our meals.

The next few days will have tons of IFBC content for me to participate in. While I look forward to every minute of the conference, I sincerely hope that I will have a chance to return to Ballard to resume my brewery tour that ended earlier than expected on Wednesday. If that cannot happen, then I will simply go with the flow, and explore whatever else I can stumble upon.

Yesterday afternoon, I arrived in Seattle a few days prior to the 2015 International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC). When I attended the IFBC two years ago, I had the time of my life, I made tons of new friends, my blog got a lot of exposure, I learned so many new things, and I acquired the fondest memories of my life. Naturally, I wanted to keep returning year after year. Last year, I could not return due to a new job and not having enough vacation hours accumulated. This year, I finally saved up enough vacation hours to allow myself to return to Seattle not only for the conference, but extra days to allow myself time to explore the city and its outskirts in search of the best of the local flavor, in terms of eats and sips. So while in town and awaiting the IFBC, I planned to have a ball and experience as much as I can of the local life.

After dropping off my belongings at my “home for the next few days,” I contacted a friend from the last IFBC for food and drinks. She suggested Von’s 1000SPIRITS, a restaurant that coins itself as a GustoBistro. While their food menu looks terrific, they do not have a great craft beer offering, since they focus on their spirits for mixed drinks, martinis, etc. Most importantly, Von’s produces their own fresh sourdough pasta right at the front of their restaurant. Considering that they place this front & center, everyone should try the pasta. I went during Happy Hour, and the Happy Hour menu contains no pasta, so I opted to get the Happy Hour burger (just a burger, no toppings) and some Pulled Pork Poutine. My friend ordered a Salmon Cake.

Following our late lunch, I took a stroll through the Pike Place Market, visiting businesses such as Pike Brewing Company, the first Starbucks, Rachel’s Ginger Beer, and Cupcake Royale.

Following this mini excursion, I took a bus over to Ballard to start exploring the local breweries. My first stop brought me through a bunch of motorcycles to land me at NW Peaks Brewery, a tasting room that gets their beer from an off-site brewing facility.

As mentioned above, I wandered through a slew of motorcycles to arrive at NW Peaks. I had absolutely no clue what I walked through, but eventually discovered that every third Wednesday, an event called Backfire Motorcycle Night took place, inviting local motorcycle owners and enthusiasts to come out and share interests.

Continuing on with my self-guided beer tour, I landed at Hilliard’s Beer right around the corner from NW Peaks. As one of the breweries recommended to me to visit, I walked in with increased expectations. They sure have the space to accommodate a large crowd. However, Hilliard’s does not offer beer flights – you either order pints or a 10oz goblet of beer. Thankfully, the gal working at the time kindly offered me samples of their beers at no charge. Talk about customer service! I ended up ordering a full beer plus ample gratuity to show my appreciation instead of just walking away after the samples.

Right across the street from Hilliard’s, we have Peddler Brewing Company. Like Hilliard’s, they have a great amount of space to accommodate a large amount of people. However, on this night, they did not see the same volume as Hilliard’s, despite a better location on a larger street. I like their theme of placing bikes inside, as it reminds me of the concept behind Peddler’s Creamery in Los Angeles.

By the time I finished at Peddler’s, 9pm had already passed, meaning that most of the other breweries in the area had closed. Alas, I shall return later today! However, I do have all of Fremont to hit, and a handful of IFBC attendees have some other plans that I want to participate in. Will I get a chance to get to all these other breweries? Only time will tell. Hopefully I have the time to do so before I head back home on Monday!

Mitsuwa Hokkaido Fair
9:00 am – 8:00 pm, September 11-21
Mitsuwa Marketplace, Torrance
http://www.mitsuwa.com/ai1ec_event/hokkaido-torrance-2/

Much like the Mitsuwa Summer Fest, this FREE festival at all Mitsuwa Marketplaces now celebrates North Japan culture. Experience food, drinks, desserts, dance, music, games, and more from Northern Japanese culture.

2015 Cerritos Taste of the Region & Business Expo
4:30 pm – 7:30 pm, September 15
Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, Cerritos
http://www.cerritostaste.com/

This “Taste of Cerritos” makes its annual return this Tuesday to the same location, the Cerritos Performing Arts Center. Unlike other food fests in LA & OC, this event does not cost as much – attendees pay $10, then receive unlimited tastes once they enter. Over 30 restaurants will serve food samples, meaning attendees will certainly get a bang for their buck. Also, guests do not have to pay for parking here.

24th Annual Taste of Old Pasadena
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, September 15
Old Town Pasadena
http://www.pfarcf.org/tasteofoldpasadena/

The Taste of Old Pasadena returns tomorrow to Old Town Pasadena. Over 30 diverse restaurants will sample their food & drinks for just $30 per person. Maps and signs will guide all attendees to find the food.

Pub Science Night
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 15
Bottle Logic Brewing, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/1660198844224908/

Astronomy and craft beer collide in this unique and ubiquitous seminar this Tuesday night at Bottle Logic Brewing’s tasting room in Anaheim. Free to attend for all ages, real scientists will make a special visit to talk science, space, and brewing. No reservation or admission required – simply show up, grab a cold one, enjoy some food from the Porko Rico BBQ food truck, and indulge your mind with science.

2nd Annual Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo
8:00 am – 9:00 pm, September 16
8:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 17
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 18
Los Angeles Convention Center, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.cwcbexpo.com/

Explore the business of the cannabis industry during this expo this week at the LA Convention Center. Intended only for those in the industry, attendees will connect and network with other professionals in the industry to obtain information about starting a cannabis business, running a cannabis business, providing equity/investment resources, or providing professional/business services. Registration for the expo starts at $125.

Belmont Shore Stroll & Savor
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, September 16-17
Along 2nd Street, Belmont Shore
http://www.belmontshore.org/events.html

This “Taste of Belmont Shore” occurs during the summer months annually from May through September on the third Wednesday and the Thursday immediately after. Attendees may purchase booklets of 12 tickets for $10, and redeem these tickets for food & drink samples from various restaurants along 2nd Street. Buy tickets presale now at Olives Gourmet, La Strada, We Olive, Mail Boxes etc. & Sweet Jill’s, or purchase tickets in front of CHASE BANK during the event.

Long Beach Coin, Stamp, & Sports Collectible Expo
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, September 17-19
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.longbeachexpo.com/

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

2015 International Food Blogger Conference
9:00 am – 7:00 pm, September 18
7:30 am – 9:00 pm, September 19
7:30 am – 1:00 pm, September 20
Sheraton, Downtown Seattle
http://www.foodista.com/ifbc

The world’s top conference for food bloggers returns to Seattle this year! This conference covers a broad diversity of topics, and each attendee may choose their own program of sessions to attend. I will return to Seattle for a week, so keep an eye out for all my posts from the Northwest~

Power Plant TIPA Bottle Release
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 18
El Segundo Brewing, El Segundo
http://www.facebook.com/events/1605249279735012/

El Segundo Brewing will release a Triple IPA this week both in bottles and on draft in their tasting room. Swing on by and grab a bottle or two or a case, and enjoy a fresh cold one while at the tasting room. If you cannot make it to the tasting room, find bottles on store shelves across Southern California.

17th Annual Sand Sports Super Show
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 18
9:00 am – 7:00 pm, September 19
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, September 20
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.sandsportssupershow.com/

Satiate your adrenaline with the Sand Sports Super Show this weekend at the OC Fairgrounds. See hundreds of ATVs, monster trucks, and many other vehicles all in one space. Admission to this all-ages expo costs $15, while children 12 and under enter free with paid adult admission. Bring extra cash for parking which ranges from $5 to $10.

Get Shamrocked Irish Festival 2015
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 18
11:00 am – 9:00 pm, September 19
11:00 am – 6:30 pm, September 20
Town Square Park, Murrieta
http://www.getshamrocked.com/

Revel in Irish culture all this weekend in Murrieta, with Irish music, food, live entertainment, and more. This all-ages festival will bring Irish culture to town, ensuring an enjoyable experience for all. General admission costs $10 for Friday, $20 for Saturday, $15 for Sunday, or $35 for a weekend pass. No one under 21 may attend on Friday or Saturday, but they may attend on Sunday only. As an outdoors event, guests should stay hydrated, apply sunscreen, and take any other precaution for lasting long in hot weather.

California Beer Festival – Ventura
5:30 pm – 9:30 pm, September 18
11:30 am – 5:00 pm, September 19
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 20
Mission Park, Downtown Ventura
http://www.californiabeerfestival.com/

The California Beer Festival invades Ventura this weekend with three separate events. On Friday, attend a food & beer pairing competition for $60 where five chefs and five brewers compete for the best beer & food pairing in show. Saturday represents their beer tasting event with unlimited beer tastings while supplies last. General admission to this costs $55 and starts at 12:30pm, while VIP admission costs $80 and starts at 11:30am. No one under 21 may attend on Saturday. On Sunday, admission costs $30 and provides access to a plethora of food and beer vendors along with live blues music all day. All attendees will have to pay for food and drinks separately on Sunday.

8th Annual Citrus Classic Balloon Festival
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 18
Mountain View Golf Course, Santa Paula
http://citrusclassicballoons.com/

Basically, an art show at night. Head up to Santa Paula past Ventura this Friday night to see dozens of hot-air balloons illuminated under the starry sky for your eyes to gaze upon. Admission costs $10 for adults or $5 for children. The balloons will remain grounded, and no visitor may ascend in any of the balloons.

21st Annual San Diego Festival of Beer
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 18
Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier, San Diego
http://www.sdbeerfest.org/

Get beer wasted with thousands of other people at this beer festival this Friday night in San Diego. The $50 admission grants you unlimited beer tasters from over 60 breweries pouring a total of over 120 different beers. The first 1,500 guests through the gate receive a souvenir cup to take home. No one under 21 may attend.

Atreyu – Long Live Album Release Tour
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 18, Glass House, Pomona http://www.theglasshouse.us/event/906999-atreyu-pomona/
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 20, The Troubadour, West Hollywood http://www.troubadour.com/event/906991-atreyu-los-angeles/

Atreyu has a new album coming out, and they will headline a bunch of shows across the country to celebrate the release. Each of these all-ages shows has a different ticket price, so click on a show’s link for pricing details.

Teenage Mutant Pizza Party 2
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 18
The Frida Cinema, Santa Ana
http://cinemattack.ticketleap.com/tmnt2

Come watch the 90’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 movie, and enjoy pizza too! Admission costs $15.

Cheap Sex: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 18, The Vibe Bar & Grill, Riverside http://www.facebook.com/events/1167936436556323/
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, September 19, The Observatory, Santa Ana http://www.observatoryoc.com/event/cheap-sex
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, September 20, The Black Castle, Vermont Knolls, Los Angeles http://www.eventbrite.com/e/concrete-jungle-ent-presents-cheap-sex-monster-squad-the-bad-engrish-tickets-17537713774

Revolutionary hardcore punk band Cheap Sex will return from their hiatus to headline some all-ages shows this weekend. Do not miss out on this rare opportunity to catch Cheap Sex, as they rarely perform nowadays. Tickets to these shows vary in price from $10 to $15.

International Talk Like A Pirate Day
September 19
Everywhere
http://www.talklikeapirate.com/

As the name suggests, feel free to talk like a pirate this Wednesday all day. Just avoid getting in trouble for it. Yarr~

15th Annual Bike Walk & Roll
6:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 19
New Harvest Educational Facility, Norwalk
http://www.bikewalkandroll.com/

Join in on this community bike fest going on all day this Saturday starting in Norwalk. This celebration features a multitude of events, from bike rides to a 10k walk to a family fun day to a BBQ competition. All active events start early in the morning, and the website features the full schedule of when every single event starts. From 10am to 6pm, check out a FREE all-ages fair in Norwalk, complete with food, music, games, rides, vendors, arts & crafts, and more.

Long Beach Fitness Festival
8:00 am – 7:00 pm, September 19
Marina Green, Long Beach
http://thelongbeachfitnessfestival.com/

All aspects of fitness will congregate at this all-day all-ages event this Saturday near Downtown Long Beach. This event features a 5k/10k run, weightlifting/powerlifting, yoga, Tai Chi, multiple forms of dance, Zumba, health & fitness speakers, and more activities. In addition, attendees will find plenty of merchandise vendors, live music, food, a beer garden, and more. Admission costs $10, while children 10 and under enter for free with paid adult admission. Nearby parking costs $10 per vehicle, so check in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Ave for free street parking.

18th Annual Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 19-20
Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado
http://www.fleetweeksandiego.org/events/fleet-week-coronado-speed-festival/

This all-ages event features fast-paced, thrilling auto racing and exhibitions for car enthusiasts at one of the most distinctive race track locations, Naval Air Station North Island, the birthplace of Naval Aviation. Nowhere else can you see a variety of cars racing on a live runway used by the U.S. Navy! The two-day festival includes a military pit crew challenge, car show, garage tours, test drives, a vendor village, a stunt show, a special appearance by Red Bull’s Geoff Aaron, and more. General admission presale costs $25 for one day or $35 for the weekend, while tickets at the door will cost $10 more.

3rd Annual Car & Motorcycle Show
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, September 19
Alamitos Bay Landing, Long Beach
http://lbrmhcarshow.rmhcsc.org/

Fans of the original Long Beach Motorama will not want to miss this classic car show this Saturday. This year, see over 250 different automobiles & motorcycles on display at this FREE and all-ages car show at Alamitos Bay Landing between Long Beach and Seal Beach. Visitors will also find a skateboard & BMX demo, skateboarding lessons, kids’ zone, live DJ, and more.

11th Annual Moompetam: Native American Festival
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 19-20
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/moompetam/

This weekend celebration will feature traditional cultural crafts, storytelling, educational programs, live demonstrations, music, and dance celebrating the indigenous California maritime cultures, including Tongva, Chumash, Acjachemen, Costanoan, Luiseno, and Kumeyaay. All aquarium visitors gain access to this festival, so anyone with regular aquarium admission can check this event out.

Cantillon Zwanze Day 2015
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, September 19
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach
http://cantillon.be/br/3_21

“Zwanze Day is an international, simultaneous tapping of a one-off Cantillon abbey-style beer that visits 46 special locations around the United Stated, Canada, Europe, and Asia. One of Belgium’s finest breweries, these highly sought-after beers have become increasingly hard to find. Zwanze 2013 bears the name of its illustrious place of origin, Abbaye de Cureghem (Cureghem Abbey). In Dutch, “zwanze” refers to a type of semi-sarcastic humor typical of Brussels that one often encounters at Cantillon Brewery.”

As quoted by Beachwood BBQ, they will carry this extremely rare beer this Saturday, pouring samples and providing a brunch/lunch buffet to attendees. All reservations for this tapping have SOLD OUT already. If you would like to attend, search after-market sites for anyone selling tickets.

4th Annual Doggie Street Festival
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, September 19
Westwood Recreation Center, Westwood, Los Angeles
http://doggiestreetfestival.org/

This event focuses on dog & cat adoptions, providing people an opportunity to add a pet to their lives. Free to attend for all ages, this event comes with food vendors, live music from local bands, speakers, pet merchandise & accessories, pet services, and more.

Huntington Beach Surf City Days
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, September 19-20
Downtown Huntington Beach
http://www.hbdowntown.com/surf-city-days.html

A handful of events will occur in Downtown Huntington Beach this weekend, including a surfing competition, volleyball tournament, CrossFit competition, classic car show, skating demo, and more. These events cost nothing to attend and spectate, while participation requires registration, of which the deadline has already passed.

8th Annual Orange County Pacific Islander Festival
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 19-20
Central Library Park, Huntington Beach
http://www.pacifichealthpartners.org/

Immerse yourself in Pacific Islander culture at this FREE and all-ages festival this weekend in Huntington Beach. Visitors will find food, live music, entertainment, merchandise, activities, and more.

Reforged Release Party & Farewell to Cabot Kickoff
11:00 am – 9:00 pm, September 19
AleSmith Brewing (old location), San Diego
http://www.facebook.com/events/1041783252512839/

This Saturday, AleSmith will release a new beer while saying goodbye to their old location on Cabot Drive. Stop on by the old location one last time to catch some rare brews that you may not have another chance to try for a long time.

4th Annual La Mirada Olive Festival
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, September 19
La Mirada Regional Park, La Mirada
http://www.lamiradaolivefest.com/

Bring your friends and family out to this free and all-ages city fair this Saturday in La Mirada. This fair will have games, rides, food, drinks, treats, vendors, merchandise, arts & crafts, live entertainment, and more.

3rd Annual Long Beach Folk Revival Festival
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, September 19
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach
http://www.folkrevivalfestival.com/

This all-ages event will showcase over 20 folk and roots music acts. Other highlights include the Port of Long Beach Kids Pumpkin Patch, Polly’s Pies pie-eating contest, and the LB Beard Advocates mustache/beard contest. Local craft breweries and a variety of food trucks will serve food & drinks to attendees. Tickets cost $15 presale or $20 at the door.

3rd Annual OC Fest of Ales
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, September 19
Center Street Promenade, Anaheim
http://www.festofales.com/

After taking 2014 off, the OC Fest of Ales has returned under new management and under a brand new redesign. They have ditched the 5k beer run in favor of just a straight-up beer festival. The $60 admission grants you access to unlimited food AND beer while supplies last, plus a souvenir cup and bottle opener. Guests will also find all the usual beer festival festivities, such as games, live music, a homebrew competition, vendors, and more. No one under 21 may attend. Use promo code KUCI to save 20% off admission.

Art of the TARDIS Craft Faire
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, September 19
Clockwork Couture, Burbank
http://www.facebook.com/events/988491457869105/

Dr. Who fans will not want to miss this free all-ages event in Burbank this Saturday. Check out local artists and designers, and mingle with other fans that may dress up for the occasion too.

2nd Annual Montebello Art Walk
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, September 19
Montebello City Park, Montebello
http://www.keepingtheculturealive.com/

At this FREE and all-ages event, find artist, vendors, food trucks, live art demos, raffles, music, and more.

10th Annual Shoreline Village Pirate Festival
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm, September 19
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, September 20
Shoreline Village, Long Beach
http://www.shorelinevillage.com/

Come mingle with pirates and enjoy sword fighting, pirate bands, treasure (scavenger) hunt, bullwhip tricks, costume contests, kids activities, and more all for free! Please adhere to the parking rules here.

Pasadena Greek Fest
1:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 19-20
St. Anthony Greek Church, Pasadena
http://pasadenagreekfest.org/

$4 admission gets you into this all-ages Greek festival, which includes food, drinks, desserts, music, dancers, games, rides, and more.

7th Annual Malibu Beer Festival
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, September 19
Malibu Lumberyard, Malibu
http://www.malibubeerfestival.com/

Taste beers, local food, wines, and spirits from around the world all for just $65 per person. Guests may only purchase tickets online, not at the door.

Local Brews & Local Grooves
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 19
House of Blues, Anaheim
http://www.houseofblues.com/anaheim/events/eventdetail/?viewNav=/event-detail&eventId=09004EEFF6CD74C1

Sample beers from 20 breweries while enjoying the sounds of local musicians at this food & beer event this Saturday evening at House of Blues in Downtown Disney in Anaheim. Admission costs $12, while the tasting wristband costs an additional $15 and come with five taste tickets, good towards food or beer.

OC Roller Girls – OC vs. OC Showdown
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 19
The Rinks, Huntington Beach
http://ocrollergirls.com/

Watch intense & brutal girl-on-girl action at this roller derby bout this Saturday night in Huntington Beach. Tickets to this roller derby bout cost $15.

Long Beach Beer Fest
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 19
Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach
http://www.longbeachbeerfestival.com/

If you want to spend a lot of money to get drunk on cheap beer, then this beer fest fits your bill. Trek down to Belmont Pier in Long Beach this Saturday night for beer and lots of other mischief. General admission costs $30 and starts at 7pm, while VIP admission costs $45 and starts at 6pm. All attendees receive unlimited beer tasters from over 20 breweries present. No one under 21 may attend.

Punk Rock Night @ Blacklight District Lounge
7:30 pm – 1:30 am, September 19
Blacklight District Lounge, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/849397978475653/

Release some inner aggression at this local punk rock show this Saturday night in Long Beach. The cover for this show costs $6. No one under 21 may enter.

CH3 @ Alex’s Bar
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, September 19
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/930339-channel-3-long-beach/

Local punk band CH3 will headline a show at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach this Saturday night. The cover for this show costs $8. No one under 21 may enter.

San Diego Restaurant Week
September 20-27
Various Restaurants, San Diego County
http://www.sandiegorestaurantweek.com/

For six full days, various restaurants all over San Diego County will participate in this special week, where they will offer special prix-fixe meals that highlight their unique cuisine. Use this chance to explore and discover new restaurants in the area!

20th Annual Encinitas Oktoberfest
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 20
Mountain Vista Drive, Encinitas
http://encinitasoktoberfest.com/

At this FREE and all-ages event this Sunday, the six-block marketplace on Mountain Vista Drive in Encinitas will feature Bavarian dancers, bands, hundreds of vendors, authentic German food & beverages, a family fun zone, and a ceremonial parade at 12pm.

Fresh Hop Harvest Sunday
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 20
Phantom Carriage Brewery, Carson
http://www.facebook.com/events/1602627079999747/

Phantom Carriage will tap a slew of fresh wet-hopped beer this Sunday at their tasting room in Carson. Stop on by and experience what true fresh beer should taste like.

2nd Annual Taps & Tapas Craft Beer & Food Festival
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, September 20
Fiesta Hall, Uptown Whittier
http://www.tapsandtapaswhittier.com/

Savor the local flavor of Uptown Whittier at this food & beer tasting event this Sunday afternoon in Uptown Whittier. At this event, attendees will get treated to eats from over 20 local restaurants and sips from over 30 different craft beers from over 20 different breweries. General admission costs $60 and starts at 2:30pm, while VIP admission costs $80 and starts at 1pm. All attendees receive unlimited food and beer samples while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

The B Sharps: CD Release Party
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 20
Mission Tobacco Lounge, Riverside
http://www.facebook.com/events/897206717033148/

Spend this Sunday night with some local bands in Riverside. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may enter.

The nation’s top conference for food bloggers returns to Seattle this year, as the 7th Annual International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) returns this September, starting Friday morning. This highly-acclaimed conference focuses on prime aspects to any writer that creates content related to food, beverages, cooking, and anything else in the culinary field. Covering a broad diversity of educational topics to choose from, each attendee may devise their own program of sessions to attend. Sessions/workshops will cover anything from food & cooking to writing skills to technology. I still have yet to formulate my full itinerary, but I get to pick one from each of these groups:

Saturday, 10:10am:

  • Anolon – Hands-on with cookware & bakeware
  • Krusteaz – Hands-on with baking goods
  • Teavana – Hands-on with teas

Saturday, 11:30am:

  • What Do You Do After You Hit Publish? – How to market your blog after you have written it
  • Honing the Craft – How to improve and diversify writing styles
  • Stop Motion Food Photography – How to take stunning photos

Saturday, 3:30pm:

  • Bubbles and Bites: Why Sparkling Wine is the Best Food Wine Presented by Italy’s Best Bubbles – Learn about food pairings
  • Curriculamb 101: From Pasture to Plate – Learn about the wonders of lamb cuisine
  • Wine education seminar presented by Concannon Vineyard & Winery – Learn all about wine

Sunday, 9:00am:

  • Supercharging Your WordPress Site – Making the most out of WordPress blogs
  • The Plan and The Pitch – Making your blog more professional and business-like
  • Food Trends: How to Identify and Use Them To Your Blog’s Advantage – Learning about the latest and hippest food trends

Sunday, 10:15am:

  • Cooking With Cannabis – Incorporating marijuana in cooking
  • Hungry for Words: Journalism 101 for Food Bloggers – Writing in a journalistic style, from researching to reporting and more

All weekend, attendees will get treated to many other exciting tastings and activities, such as the Taste of Seattle, a photography demo, an expo to discovery new products & ingredients, and more! Want me to cover/write about a particular session? Post a comment here or on my Facebook page, or tweet me. I will post something Saturday morning detailing my first day at the IFBC.

During any downtime this weekend, I can freely roam the city, so if you have any suggestions of places to visit, please do send me your suggestions! I appreciate all of the suggestions so far, and the following places have caught my eye. When I last visited Seattle in 2013, I got to visit Uneeda Burger, Elysian Brewing, Quinn’s Pub, 9 Million in Unmarked Bills, and more. For this year’s visit, I have crafted myself a list:

  • Matt’s in the Market – I got this suggestion back then, but wrote no notes, so I do not know what to look forward to. However, their food looks scrumptious, so I hope to visit.
  • Blind Pig Bistro – I received this suggestion when I inquired about gastropubs. I hope they have a nice craft beer list!
  • Tom Douglas restaurants – These restaurants look too pricey for me, but if I find the right company, I would not oppose to dining at any of these fine establishments.
  • Serious Pie – I heard they make some of Seattle’s finest pizzas. We will not know until we try it!
  • Theo Chocolate – So last time I actually visited Fremont but ran out of time to visit Theo Chocolate. This time, I hope to finally try their fair-trade chocolate!
  • Cowgirls Espresso – A bikini coffee shop… How could I not visit this place?

Finally, the breweries. Washington has their fair share of craft beer establishments, comparable to San Diego County.

  • Ballard: Hilliard’s, Stoup, Reuben’s, Urban Family Public House, Northwest Peaks, Peddler, Maritime Pacific, Populuxe, Bad Jimmy’s, and Hale’s.
  • Fremont: Fremont Brewing, Outlander, Odin, Rooftop
  • Greenwood: Lantern, Naked City, Bluebird
  • Queen Anne: Holy Mountain, McMenamins
  • Georgetown: Machine House, Elysian, Georgetown, Two Beers, Counterbalance
  • South Park: Lowercase, Burdick, Tin Dog, Odin, Valhalla, Big Al

I will have a lot more time in Seattle this time, basically staying in the area for an additional 36 hours than last time. The conference also does not last as long, starting later on Friday than last time. With all this free time, I hope to make the most out of my trip and visit as many unique places as possible. Let me know what I should check out, and I will try to formulate a plan to visit all these places.

September marks the new beginning of many things in life. From the start of Autumn to students returning to class to new television show seasons, one could say that life begins anew in Autumn just as much as Spring. Liven up this transition with some awesome events to look forward to in September.


 

International Food Blogger Conference

This does not take place in California – it takes place in Seattle, WA. However, I want to bring this up because I last attended in 2013 and skipped 2014, but will return once again this year. A food fan’s ultimate dream, attendees receive far more out of this conference than the cost of this conference. From all the friends gained to the extra exposure of your blog to all the food & drinks you get, food bloggers would not want to miss out on this annual conference for all things food in the 21st century.


 

Orange International Street Fair

Orange County locals recognize this annual event as one of the biggest to occur and with so much to do. Taking place on Labor Day weekend every year, this FREE and all-ages fair covers the streets of Old Towne Orange with live music, lots of food, beer, vendors, and more. The content remains fairly consistent year after year, so if you have attended this fair for a few years, you probably have seen it all. Regardless, the Orange International Street Fair always makes for a fun excursion with friends and family.


 

San Diego Bacon Festival

I have not attended the San Diego Bacon Festival since 2013 because it sucked so much back then that I decided not to return in 2014. However, the organizers promised to make things better, and if Big Bite Events can drastically improve their bacon festival, perhaps the organizers behind the San Diego Bacon Festival can improve their event. If you love bacon and/or beer, do not miss out on this bacon frenzy.


 

Long Beach Comic Con

What started as a local indie comic con has evolved into one of Southern California’s bigger comic cons. Attracting thousands of visitors annually, the Long Beach Comic Con returns on different weekends to throw some variety into the mix. While this may not attract the biggest names in the industry like the San Diego one can, attendees will surely find enough to see and do to fill up an entire weekend. Of course, we cannot forget the unbelievable cosplay that goes on here, and the Long Beach Comic Con boasts some of the finest handcrafted costumes that the industry has ever seen.


 

Orange County Brew Ha Ha

Undisputedly Orange County’s best beer festival, craft beer fans would kick themselves in the rear if they missed the annual Orange County Brew Ha Ha. No other beer festival can come close to what the Brew Ha Ha accomplishes. From the massive beer selection available to the variety of things to do to all the fun vendors to the amazing live music, the Brew Ha Ha represents what a true beer festival should operate like.

Upcoming Events: September 15-21, 2014

Posted: September 15, 2014 in Animals, Art, Beer, Burlesque, Cars, Drinks, Events, Food, Inland Empire, Irish, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Music, Orange County, Punk Rock, Restaurant, San Diego, Ska, Sports, Wine
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23rd Annual Taste of Old Pasadena
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, September 16
Old Town Pasadena
http://www.pfarcf.org/tasteofoldpasadena/

The Taste of Old Pasadena returns tomorrow to Old Town Pasadena. Over 30 diverse restaurants will sample their food & drinks for just $30 per person. Maps and signs will guide all attendees to find the food.

Sunset Strip Music Festival Pre-Party Bash
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 16
The Viper Room, West Hollywood
http://www.facebook.com/events/1469030910045438/

Warm up for this weekend’s Sunset Strip Music Festival with this weeknight party in West Hollywood. For a $10 cover charge, check out some local rock bands, plus a burlesque show. No one under 21 may enter.

Belmont Shore Stroll & Savor
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, September 17-18
Along 2nd Street, Belmont Shore
http://www.belmontshore.org/events.html

This “Taste of Belmont Shore” occurs during the summer months annually from May through September on the third Wednesday and the Thursday immediately after. Attendees may purchase booklets of 12 tickets for $10, and redeem these tickets for food & drink samples from various restaurants along 2nd Street. Buy tickets presale now at Olives Gourmet, La Strada, We Olive, Mail Boxes etc. & Sweet Jill’s, or purchase tickets in front of CHASE BANK during the event.

Taste of Downtown Long Beach
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 17-18
Pine Avenue Pier, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.downtownlongbeach.org/Latest-News-Detail/Taste-of-Downtown-Waterfront?id=67350

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

Mitsuwa Hokkaido Fair
9:00 am – 8:00 pm, September 18-21
Mitsuwa Marketplace, all SoCal locations
http://www.mitsuwa.com/ai1ec_event/hokkaido-torrance-2/

Much like the Mitsuwa Summer Fest, this FREE festival at all Mitsuwa Marketplaces now celebrates North Japan culture. Experience food, drinks, desserts, dance, music, games, and more from Northern Japanese culture.

2014 Cerritos Taste of the Region & Business Expo
4:30 pm – 7:30 pm, September 18
Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, Cerritos
http://www.cerritostaste.com/

This “Taste of Cerritos” makes its annual return this Thursday to the same location, the Cerritos Performing Arts Center. Unlike other food fests in LA & OC, this event does not cost as much – attendees pay $10, then receive unlimited tastes once they enter. Over 30 restaurants will serve food samples, meaning attendees will certainly get a bang for their buck. Also, guests do not have to pay for parking here.

California Brewmasters Book Signing & Drake’s IPA Collab Tapping
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 18
Beachwood Brewing, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/689783837768725/

Join brewers from local breweries at Beachwood Brewing this Thursday evening as they congregate for a signing of the book California Brewmasters. Books and beer come at cost. Guests of all ages may purchase a book as well as receive autographs, but minors cannot have any beer. In addition to the signing, Beachwood Brewing will tap a new IPA that they collaborated with Drake’s Brewing to brew called Vulcanizer, so ensure you grab a pint of that as well.

Savor Summer: Umami Burger Music & Art Series
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 18
Space 15 Twenty, Hollywood
http://www.facebook.com/events/272174519638418/

Enjoy a night of art, a live DJ, cash bar, and food from Umami Burger this Thursday night in Hollywood. Please have cash available for any food and/or drinks you desire to consume.

Generate LA Showcase
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, September 18
The Airliner Nightclub, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/337479513083180/

This event will feature an art exhibit, two stages of bass music, a fashion run, dance performances, and more. The cover to enter this event costs $5 if entering before 9pm, or $10 after 9pm. The venue sells their own food and alcohol. No one under 21 may attend. Guests should park in the neighborhood across the street from the venue.

International Talk Like A Pirate Day
September 19
Everywhere
http://www.talklikeapirate.com/

As the name suggests, feel free to talk like a pirate this Wednesday all day. Just avoid getting in trouble for it. Yarr~

Stair Climb for Los Angeles
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, September 19
YMCA, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.ymcastairclimb.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1070058

On this day, the city will shut down Hope Street as thousands attempt to race up the stairs of the US Bank tower in Downtown Los Angeles. This all-day fest also includes food trucks, live music, a beer garden, rock-climbing walls, and more. Even if you cannot participate in the climb, the actual festival requires no fee to enter.

2014 International Food Blogger Conference
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 19
7:00 am – 10:00 pm, September 20
6:00 am – 12:00 pm, September 21
The Westin, Downtown Seattle
http://www.foodista.com/ifbc2014

The world’s top conference for food bloggers returns to Seattle this year! This conference covers a broad diversity of topics, and each attendee may choose their own program of sessions to attend. Unfortunately I cannot attend this year, but look forward to it next year for sure!

16th Annual Sand Sports Super Show
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 19
9:00 am – 7:00 pm, September 20
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, September 21
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.sandsportssupershow.com/

Satiate your adrenaline with the Sand Sports Super Show this weekend at the OC Fairgrounds. See hundreds of ATVs, monster trucks, and many other vehicles all in one space. Admission to this all-ages expo costs $15, while children 12 and under enter free with paid adult admission. Bring extra cash for parking which ranges from $5 to $10.

Get Shamrocked Irish Festival 2014
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 19
11:00 am – 9:00 pm, September 20
11:00 am – 6:30 pm, September 21
Town Square Park, Murrieta
http://www.getshamrocked.com/

Revel in Irish culture all this weekend in Murrieta, with Irish music, food, live entertainment, and more. This all-ages festival will bring Irish culture to town, ensuring an enjoyable experience for all. General admission costs $10 for Friday, $20 for Saturday, $15 for Sunday, or $35 for a weekend pass. No one under 21 may attend on Friday or Saturday, but they may attend on Sunday only. As an outdoors event, guests should stay hydrated, apply sunscreen, and take any other precaution for lasting long in hot weather.

Pasadena Greek Fest
5:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 19
12:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 20
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 21
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://pasadenagreekfest.org/

$5 admission gets you into this all-ages Greek festival, which includes food, drinks, desserts, music, dancers, games, rides, and more. The race track charges $4 for parking per vehicle.

Monterey Park Night Market
5:30 pm – 10:30 pm, September 19
Barnes Park, Monterey Park
http://mpknightmarket.com/

The popularity of night markets has surged within the past year. This Friday, Monterey Park gets their very own night market, complete with free admission. Come to this all-ages outdoor fair this Friday night, and check out all the food, drinks, desserts, merchandise, live entertainment, and more. Expect heavy traffic approaching this area, especially for a Friday night, so plan your commute accordingly.

The Aquabats: 20th Anniversary Tour
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 19
The Glass House, Pomona
http://www.theglasshouse.us/event/623861-aquabats-pomona/

The Aquabats continue their 20th Anniversary Tour, which sweeps through Pomona this week. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $22.

1st Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival
6:30 pm – 11:00 pm, September 19
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 20-21
Newport Beach Civic Center, Newport Beach
http://newportwineandfood.com/

Lots of activity will take place in the culinary world this weekend in Newport Beach. On Friday night, a VIP party will take place with a cocktail reception and a three-course food & wine pairing dinner. On Saturday and Sunday, attendees of the festival gain access to unlimited food tastings, cooking demos, cocktail mixing demos, live music, a silent auction, and more. Admission prices significantly vary based on the mode of attendance, with single-day admission costing $195 and a weekend pass costing $350.

Get Lit In North Pine
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 19
Pine Avenue, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.downtownlongbeach.org/Event-Detail-Page/Get-Lit-in-North-Pine?id=67456

This Friday night, North Pine will host a FREE and all-ages twilight walk on Pine Avenue between 3rd & 8th streets in Downtown Long Beach. This nighttime event will contain glow zones, bubble soccer, roller disco, live music, food, and more activities for the entire family.

H.R. of Bad Brains @ Whisky A Go Go
7:00 pm – 12:30 am, September 19
Whisky A Go Go, West Hollywood
http://www.whiskyagogo.com/site/event/h-r-of-bad-brains-the-wyldz/

Check out this show going on this Friday night as part of the Sunset Strip Music Festival. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $20.

6th Annual Los Angeles Beer Week
September 20-28
Greater Los Angeles Area
http://www.labeerweek.com/

This 9-day beer celebration covers Los Angeles through Orange County, culminating in a beer fest on the last day in Downtown Los Angeles. During this period, virtually every restaurant, bar, gastropub, and any other craft beer establishment will host some sort of beer event. Literally hundreds of beer events will take place over 11 days in the Greater Los Angeles Area, so for an abridged list, visit the website linked above. Even the website cannot contain every single event! Check with your local favorite brewpub to find out how they will participate. For the purposes of condensing this list, I will not include any event that directly relates to LA Beer Week, as their website will list them all.

14th Annual Bike Walk & Roll
6:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 20
New Harvest Educational Facility, Norwalk
http://www.bikewalkandroll.com/

Join in on this community bike fest going on all day this Saturday starting in Norwalk. This celebration features a multitude of events, from bike rides to a 10k walk to a family fun day to a BBQ competition. All active events start early in the morning, and the website features the full schedule of when every single event starts. From 10am to 6pm, check out a FREE all-ages fair in Norwalk, complete with food, music, games, rides, vendors, arts & crafts, and more.

20th Annual Pacific Islander Festival of San Diego
8:00 am – 4:00 pm, September 20-21
Ski Beach, Mission Bay Park, San Diego
http://www.pifasandiego.com/

Check out this free and all-ages Pacific Islander festival this weekend in San Diego. Visitors will find food, treats, arts & crafts, games, merchandise, music, dancing, and more. Please have cash available for either parking or the shuttle service.

17th Annual Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 20-21
Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado
http://www.fleetweeksandiego.org/events/fleet-week-coronado-speed-festival/

This all-ages event features fast-paced, thrilling auto racing and exhibitions for car enthusiasts at one of the most distinctive race track locations, Naval Air Station North Island, the birthplace of Naval Aviation. Nowhere else can you see a variety of cars racing on a live runway used by the U.S. Navy! The two-day festival includes a military pit crew challenge, car show, garage tours, test drives, a vendor village, a stunt show by Aaron Colton, a special appearance by the Robby Gordon SUPER Trucks, and more. General admission presale costs $25 for one day or $35 for the weekend, while tickets at the door will cost $10 more.

10th Annual Moompetam: Native American Festival
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 20-21
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/moompetam/

This weekend celebration will feature traditional cultural crafts, storytelling, educational programs, live demonstrations, music, and dance celebrating the indigenous California maritime cultures, including Tongva, Chumash, Acjachemen, Costanoan, Luiseno, and Kumeyaay. All aquarium visitors gain access to this festival, so anyone with regular aquarium admission can check this event out.

Cantillon Zwanze Day 2014
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, September 20
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach
http://cantillon.be/br/3_21

“Zwanze Day is an international, simultaneous tapping of a one-off Cantillon abbey-style beer that visits 46 special locations around the United Stated, Canada, Europe, and Asia. One of Belgium’s finest breweries, these highly sought-after beers have become increasingly hard to find. Zwanze 2013 bears the name of its illustrious place of origin, Abbaye de Cureghem (Cureghem Abbey). In Dutch, “zwanze” refers to a type of semi-sarcastic humor typical of Brussels that one often encounters at Cantillon Brewery.”

As quoted by Beachwood BBQ, they will carry this extremely rare beer this Saturday, pouring samples and providing a brunch/lunch buffet to attendees. All reservations for this tapping have SOLD OUT already. If you would like to attend, search after-market sites for anyone selling tickets.

7th Annual Orange County Pacific Islander Festival
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 20-21
Central Library Park, Huntington Beach
http://pacificislanderfestivaloc.com/

Immerse yourself in Pacific Islander culture at this FREE and all-ages festival this weekend in Huntington Beach. Visitors will find food, live music, entertainment, merchandise, activities, and more.

L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade 2014
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, September 20
Wilson Plaza, UCLA, West Los Angeles
http://www.lalovesalexslemonade.org/

Chefs and mixologists from around the world converge to UCLA this Saturday afternoon to serve their unique creations to all attendees. For $195 regular admission, enjoy all the food and drinks you can handle, and mingle with the curators of whatever you consume too.

Make The Music Go BANG! Fest
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 20
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/bang-fest

See, X, The Buzzcocks, and more at this all-day all-ages music festival at The Observatory in Orange County. Tickets to this show cost $35.

1st Annual Montebello Art Walk
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, September 20
Montebello City Park, Montebello
http://www.artwalkmtb.com/

At this FREE and all-ages event, find artist, vendors, food trucks, live art demos, raffles, music, and more.

Gourmetzia 2014
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, September 20-21
South Hall K, Los Angeles Convention Center, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.gourmetzia.com/

Described as “the international food lovers ultimate sampling event,” this two-day expo at the LA Convention Center showcases the finest in trending foods, gourmet, and artisan delicacies. Between all of the food sampling and browsing, check out all the culinary demos, performances, and high-energy activities. General admission costs $40 per day and starts at 4pm. Early entry admission costs $50 per day and starts at 2pm. VIP admission costs $85, starts at 12pm, provides access to BOTH days, and provides access to a special VIP section.

Beauty And The Creep – Costume Faire
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, September 20
Halloween Club, La Mirada
http://www.halloweenclub.com/beautyandthecreep

Halloween Club right off the 5 freeway will host a FREE all-ages costume contest and party this Saturday afternoon. This event will feature a costume fashion show, makeup artists, costume designers, contests, food, drinks, music, giveaways, and more.

Shoreline Village Pirate Festival 2014
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm, September 20
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, September 21
Shoreline Village, Long Beach
http://www.shorelinevillage.com/pirate-festival-september-20th/

Come mingle with pirates and enjoy sword fighting, pirate bands, treasure (scavenger) hunt, bullwhip tricks, costume contests, kids activities, and more all for free! Please adhere to the parking rules here.

12th Annual Tarfest Music & Art Festival
1:00 pm – 8:00 pm, September 20
La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles
http://www.tarfest.com/

This music & art festival returns this Saturday to the La Brea Tar Pits in West LA. Free to attend and open to all ages, guests will experience live music, live painting, beer & wine garden, food trucks, and more.

1st Annual San Diego Sriracha Festival
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, September 20
Liberty Station, San Diego
http://nightout.com/events/1st-annual-san-diego-sriracha-festival-food-gps

Last year, the LA Sriracha Fest made us appreciate the beauty behind Sriracha. This year, the fest moves down to San Diego to spread the love for Sriracha. Test your spice tolerance at this food festival dedicated to sriracha this Saturday afternoon at Liberty Station in San Diego. General admission costs $59, starts at 3pm, and include all tastings, including craft beer and cocktail samples. VIP admission costs $90, starts at 2pm, and includes reserved seating.

1st Annual Apollos Bash Car Show
2:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 20
Rio Vista Inn, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/271052923104771/

As the event name suggests, dozens of classic cars will arrive for display this Saturday in Anaheim. This event has no cost or age limit to attend.

LA Beer Week 6th Anniversary Opening Gala
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, September 20
Chinatown, Los Angeles
http://labeerweek.com/2014/event/la-beer-week-kickoff/

LA Beer Week kicks off its 2014 run with its annual beer fest this Saturday at its new location of Chinatown. In addition to the over 70 breweries present to serve beer, multiple food trucks will pair their foods (sold separately) with the beers.

Downey International Food Festival 2014
4:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 20
Downey Ave & 3rd St, Downey
http://www.downeyca.org/discover/international_food_festival_2014.asp

Downtown Downey will bustle with activity this Saturday evening. On Downey Avenue in downtown, visitors of all ages can walk the street for free to check out local restaurants serving food here, plus a beer & wine garden, kids’ zone, live music, and an outdoor movie at night.

World Foodie Fair
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 20
LA Spice Café, Culver City
http://www.worldfoodiefair.com/

Ten hopeful restauranteurs will serve their cuisine at this mini food fest this Saturday in Culver City. Each $6 ticket provides $7 worth of food, and attendees can vote for their favorite foods throughout the event. Four one-hour sessions will take place starting at 5pm in order to spread out the flow of attendees, and interested attendees can purchase tickets for this event ONLY online so that the organizers can cap each session due to capacity limits. Buy at least one ticket to secure your spot in a session – you can buy more tickets once you arrive there if you still feel hungry for more food.

CrossFit Intersect Downtown Grand Opening
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 20
CrossFit Intersect, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/711383145566355/

A new CrossFit gym will open up in Downtown Long Beach this Saturday evening. Doors open at 6pm with tasty hors d’oeuvres and drinks from local brewers. Ribbon-cutting ceremony happens at 7pm followed by a short workout at 7:30. Attendees will continue the celebration throughout Downtown afterwards.

Idle Worship – The Photography of Edward Colver
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 20
Lethal Amounts, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/296784110473924/

Check out this unveiling of never-before-seen images of old punk bands like Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Youth Brigade, and more this Saturday night in Los Angeles. The event page makes no mention of a cover charge or age minimum or parking info or any other piece of event detail, so bear that all in mind if you plan to attend this event.

Thrash Show @ Five Star Bar
8:30 pm – 1:30 am, September 20
Five Star Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/1464835617097357/

Get your thrash on at this show in Downtown Los Angeles this Saturday night. The cover for this show costs $8. No one under 21 may enter. Guests can park at the street meters for free after 8pm.

San Diego Restaurant Week
September 21-26
Various Restaurants, San Diego County
http://www.sandiegorestaurantweek.com/

For six full days, various restaurants all over San Diego County will participate in this special week, where they will offer special prix-fixe meals that highlight their unique cuisine. Use this chance to explore and discover new restaurants in the area!

Run For Love – Yoga & 5k
8:00 am – 11:00 am, September 21
Granada Launch Ramp, Long Beach
http://runforlove.info/

Hundreds will gather on the beach this Sunday morning for a communal yoga session plus a 5k run/walk. Registration costs $35 and includes an event t-shirt.

19th Annual Encinitas Oktoberfest
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, September 21
Mountain Vista Drive, Encinitas
http://encinitasoktoberfest.com/

At this FREE and all-ages event this Sunday, the six-block marketplace on Mountain Vista Drive in Encinitas will feature Bavarian dancers, bands, hundreds of vendors, authentic German food & beverages, a family fun zone, and a ceremonial parade at 12pm.

Tony Hawk’s 11th Annual Stand Up For Skateparks
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, September 21
Green Acres Estate, Beverly Hills
http://www.standupforskateparks.org/

Come to Green Acres Estate in Beverly Hills this Sunday for an afternoon of action sports thrills. Visitors will find action sports demos, music from live DJ’s, games, food, arts & crafts, vendors, a silent auction, and more. Individual tickets cost $550 each, while a family package costs $2750 and includes an autographed skateboard by Tony Hawk.

4th Annual Ska Day at Disneyland – It’s A Ska World After All
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 21
Disneyland, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/692882780775823/

Rendezvous and mingle with ska fans at Disneyland this Sunday. Participate in multiple activities, such as a scavenger hunt, a ska outfit contest, a group picture, meet & greet lunch, and more. Please note that no ska show will actually take place.

Los Angeles Feline Film Festival & Internet Cat Video Festival
1:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 21
Exposition Park, Los Angeles
http://lafelinefilmfestival.com/

As if cats do not already dominate our lives and the internet, a feline film festival will take place in Los Angeles this Sunday that celebrates out furry friends. See real cats, dozens of cat videos, meet famous cats, and more. Ticket prices vary to this event, with general admission costing $15, and additional prices for add-ons.

I ♥ Bois Hardcore
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 21
Blood Orange Infoshop, Riverside
http://www.facebook.com/events/1406591726293435/

An all-day all-ages punk show invades Riverside this Sunday. The cover for this show costs $10.

Caskforce
3:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 21
Beachwood Brewing, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/338837772907451/

As part of LA Beer Week, Beachwood Brewing will unveil FIVE cask ales for this Sunday only. If you love craft beer, you owe it to yourself to visit Beachwood Brewing in Downtown Long Beach this Sunday.

Whitekaps & The Maxies @ Slidebar
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 21
Slidebar, Fullerton
http://www.facebook.com/events/1497574080482934/

Head over to Slidebar in Fullerton this Sunday night to see both Whitekaps and The Maxies play a FREE show. No one under 21 may enter.