Posts Tagged ‘Tavern’

2013 International Surf Festival
9:00 am – 12:00 pm, July 31
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 1
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 2
6:45 am – 10:00 pm, August 3
7:30 am – 3:00 pm, August 4
Various beaches, Hermosa/Manhattan/Redondo Beach
http://www.surffestival.org/

Celebrate beach life with the 2013 International Surf Festival that spans five days starting Wednesday morning. The festival comes chock-full of events and activities – see the website for a complete schedule. Actual surfing competitions start Saturday morning, while visitors can catch other activities on all the other times, such as beach volleyball, lifeguard demos, beach runs, and more.

Hopscotch Inaugural Pairing Dinner
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 31
Hopscotch Tavern, Fullerton
http://www.facebook.com/events/187137448117796/

Indulge in a five-course dinner complete with drink pairings this Wednesday night at Hopscotch Tavern in Downtown Fullerton. Interested guests must RSVP by phone, and provided payment information for the $85 ticket fee, plus a 20% non-refundable deposit. Guests can find plenty of free parking options nearby, so avoid parking at street meters. No one under 21 may attend this dinner.

The Dirty Little Secrets – Girls On Film
9:00 pm – 10:30 pm, July 31
One-Eyed Gypsy, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/189536131208458/

Catch a sexy burlesque show this Wednesday night in Downtown Los Angeles, dedicated to women on film. Have cash available for parking and a potential cover charge. No one under 21 may attend.

X Games 2013 – Los Angeles
11:00 am – 10:30 pm, August 1
12:00 pm – 1:30 am, August 2
11:00 am – 10:30 pm, August 3
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, August 4
Los Angeles Convention Center, Downtown Los Angeles
http://xgames.espn.go.com/events/2013/los-angeles/schedule/

This year’s X Games marks the last Los Angeles games indefinitely, as X Games has gone global. Admission to X Games varies depending on the event, but all of the LA Convention Center, Staples Center, and LA Live will turn into a massive festival and expo for all things extreme sports. After the competitions end each day, stick around for live music from bands such as AWOLNATION and Pepper.

2013 International Quilt Festival – Long Beach
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 1
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 2-3
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, August 4
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.quilts.com/home/shows/viewer.php?page=SummerFestival

See all things quilts this weekend in Long Beach at the International Quilt Festival. This expo showcases anything connected to the quilting industry, and showcases everything for the quilting hobbyist. A full weekend pass costs $25, while a one-day admission costs $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. Children 10 and under get in free with paid adult or senior admission. Parking at the convention center ranges from $5 to $10, so have cash available for parking. Otherwise, attendees can park in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue.

Rx Bandits @ The Glass House
7:30 pm – 11:30 pm, August 1
The Glass House, Pomona
http://www.theglasshouse.us/event/269865-rx-bandits-pomona/

Ska band Rx Bandits ends their tour by returning to Southern California this week, stopping by the Glass House this Thursday night. This all-ages show has already sold out, but you may still find some after-market tickets available.

60th Annual Kids Fishing Rodeo
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, August 2
Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach
http://www.alfredosbeachclub.com/seafest-fishing.html

This FREE kids’ fishing contest will provide a safe environment for kids to learn how to fish, about fishing equipment, and about the environment. All participants must supply their own rod and reel – the event will provide bait and tackle.

Wilmore 9 Summer Festival
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 2
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, August 3-4
Pine Avenue b/t 6th & 8th, Long Beach
http://www.wilmore9.com/

The Wilmore 9 Festival debuts in Long Beach this weekend. This festival of music, film, and art will celebrate the best of the arts, from the local community all the way to international headliners. In addition to the arts, Wilmore 9 will throw everything imaginable to attendees, such as skateboarding, comedy, food trucks, a beer & wine garden, hands-on activities, dodge ball, kick ball, and more. Tickets to this all-ages festival range from $10 all the way to $70, depending on the method of attendance.

SGMHS Summer Family Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 2
San Gabriel Mission High School, San Gabriel
http://www.facebook.com/events/609186219099417/

Catch a family-fun street fair this Friday night in the San Gabriel Valley. Costing just $5 for adults and free for kids 12 and under, this street fair will bring vendors, arts, crafts, kids’ activities, food trucks, live entertainment, a beer garden, and more.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 2
Various locations
Long Beach: http://firstfridayslongbeach.com/
Venice: http://www.abbotkinney1stfridays.com/

This monthly artwalk occurs on the first Friday of every month. Each location offers different activities, but most will contain food & drink specials, art exhibits & displays, street performers, and more. Venice and Long Beach have the two largest gatherings of all First Fridays. Other locations include Westchester, Fullerton, and City of Industry. Most First Fridays locations cost nothing to attend, while the local businesses uphold their standard rules (e.g. bars 21+ only).

65th Annual La Habra Corn Festival
5:30 pm – 11:00 pm, August 2
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, August 3
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 4
El Centro Park, La Habra
http://lahabracornfestival.com/

This city fair celebrates corn with food, rides, games, drinks, vendors, merchandise, raffles, entertainment, and more. This fair will have a parade on Saturday afternoon too. Free to attend for all ages, visitors can also participate in a corn-eating contest, cutest baby contest, dog costume contest, apple pie contest, and more.

Agent Orange in Baldwin Park
6:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 2
American Legion Post 241, Baldwin Park
http://www.poortownshows.com/event/141661

Legendary punk band Agent Orange will headline a night of punk rock in Baldwin Park this Friday night along with eight other bands, including Whitekaps. Entry to this all-ages show costs $10. Guests can park for free in the venue’s parking lot.

The Secret Affair – 60’s Night
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 2
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/141364

Occurring on every month’s first Friday, this 60’s night at Alex’s Bar will play all vinyl music of motown, northern soul, boogaloo, 60’s pop, and more. Feel free to dress up too, as the bar staff will hold costume contests and dance contests.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque @ The Pike Bar
10:30 pm – 12:00 am, August 2
The Pike Bar & Grill, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/474048376023085/

The sexy ladies from the Dirty Little Secrets have a free treat for you this Friday night, and it involves a lot of debauchery and sensual music. Enjoy two free burlesque shows this Friday night at The Pike Bar in Long Beach. Guests can park for free in the surrounding neighborhoods. No one under 21 may enter.

Splash Dash 5K – Los Angeles
7:00 am – 12:00 pm, August 3
Fairplex, Pomona
http://splashdash5k.com/locations/ca-losangeles/

Most runners run outdoors on clear days. Few runners dare to run in the rain. Challenge yourself to run in invariably wet conditions this Saturday morning with the Splash Dash 5K, taking place at the Fairplex in Pomona. Unlike most other 5K runs of this nature, the Splash Dash does not fit into the category of a fun run, as this race actually grants awards to top finishers. Prepare to run a 5k course while getting pelted with water balloons, water guns, water slides, waterfalls, and more water-filled contraptions. Registration for the 5k costs $45 presale and $55 on the day of the race. Registration for the 1k costs $25 presale and $30 on the day of the race. All participants receive a t-shirt and access to the after-party, filled with music and treats. No one under the age of 5 may run in this race. As this race only features one start time, I suggest arriving at least an hour early to find parking and to prepare for the race. Bring cash for parking, which will range from $5 to $10. Wear whatever you feel comfortable running in, or wear a costume – you choose how to represent yourself. Bring a spare set of clothes and plenty of towels for the drive home.

24th Annual Clairemont Family Day
8:00 am – 4:00 pm, August 3
South Clairemont Park, San Diego
http://www.clairemontfamilyday.com/

Bring the entire family over to the park this Saturday for a FREE fair at the park. This fair will feature a pancake breakfast, arts & crafts, live entertainment, food, drinks, games, rides, a car show, and more. Visitors can swim for FREE in the park’s pool from 12pm until 3pm.

2013 Lucas Oil Long Beach Sprint Nationals
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, August 3-4
Marine Stadium, Long Beach
http://www.scscracing.com/

Powerboat racers from across the country will congregate in Long Beach this weekend for this annual competition. Admission costs $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

20th Annual Long Beach Crawfish Festival
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 3
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 4
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach
http://www.longbeachcrawfishfestival.com/

Indulge in crawfish, beignets, drinks, and other New Orleans eats this weekend in Long Beach. In addition to all the food, attendees will find a TV lounge, dance contests, live music, souvenir photos, and more. Entry to this all-ages festival cost $13 presale and $15 at the gate for adults, while kids 12 and under get in free with a paid adult admission. Adding a two-pound crawfish feast will cost $28 presale and $38 at the gate. Adding a three-pound crawfish feast will cost $35 presale and $48 at the gate. The parking lots across the street charge for use – park for free in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue.

HARD Summer Music Festival
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 3-4
LA State Historic Park, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.hardsummer.com/

Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has always remained a popular genre in our recent history. Since the early 1990’s, people have jammed and danced to EDM through various forms, such as rave, techno, trance, dubstep, and more. Due to this genre’s lack of lyrics, EDM sounds the same to everyone around the world. This international appeal reaches every corner in the world, especially at Electric Daisy Carnival. This weekend, Los Angeles will see its own EDM concert with Hard Summer, a two-day outdoor concert taking place at LA State Historic Park in Downtown Los Angeles. Complete with some of the more recognizable EDM artists, such as Flux Pavilion, Justice, and Bassnectar, Hard Summer will also feature some rappers, like 2 Chainz. Hard Summer runs from 12pm to 12am on August 3rd and 4th. Tickets start at $85 for one-day general admission, and go up as high as $270 for a two-day VIP pass. No one under 18 may attend.

Downtown Riverside Summer Street Jam
2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 3
University Avenue b/t Orange & Lemon, Riverside
http://www.riversidedowntown.org/2013/07/23/summer-street-jam/

Check out this FREE all-ages outdoor music festival on the streets of Downtown Riverside this Saturday afternoon. The actual event does not serve food, but visitors can stop at any of the local businesses to dine at. The music lineup contains some punk, ska, and reggae bands, including The Aggrolites.

The All Stars Tour 2013 with Every Time I Die
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 2-3
August 2: House of Blues, West Hollywood http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=81169
August 3: The Observatory, Santa Ana http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/all-stars-tour

Rip your hair out to intense post-hardcore music this weekend with Every Time I Die and more. Tickets to these all-ages shows cost $22.50; tickets to the House of Blues show cost $25 if purchased on the day of the show.

BrewFest Encinitas 2013
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, August 3
MiraCosta College, Encinitas
http://www.brewfestencinitas.com/

San Diego loves their beer, and they keep rolling out beer fests to celebrate their love for beer! BrewFest Encinitas 2013 will feature 15 breweries, a few food trucks, free parking, live entertainment, and more. General admission costs $40 and comes with a souvenir glass and 10 beer tasters. VIP admission costs $75 and allows access to a VIP area, complete with exclusive beer and food. Always remember – when going to a beer fest, bring your ID! No one under 21 may attend.

626 Night Market
4:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 3
4:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 4
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.626nightmarket.com/

The largest Asian night market in America moves to Santa Anita Park this weekend. This flea market of sorts will host tons of vendors selling Asian wares, merchandise, apparel, appliances, food, drinks, and more. Admission costs $2 before 6pm, and $3 afterwards. Guests may now park here for free during the event.

The Gears @ The Vex LA
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 3
The Vex, Los Angeles
http://www.voiceplaces.com/los-angeles/the-stains-the-gears-symbol-six-hollywood-hate-the-screws-why-things-burn-2117337-e

Catch punk bands The Gears, The Stains, Hollywood Hate, Symbol Six, The Screws, and Why Things Burn this Saturday night at The Vex in Los Angeles, just a few miles east of Downtown. Entry to this all-ages show costs $10. Guests can find parking behind the building, but avoid parking too deep, as you may get blocked in by other cars.

Naked Aggression @ The Social Bar Lounge
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 3
The Social Bar Lounge, Hacienda Heights
http://www.facebook.com/events/1390125667866083/

Catch punk bands Naked Aggression, The Voids, Urban Decay, Corrupted Youth, and Baldwin Park Disasters this Saturday in Hacienda Heights. Entry to this show costs $10. No one under 21 may attend this show.

OC Fair Fun Run 5K
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, August 4
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.ocfair5k.com/

The OC Fair hosts a 5K at the fairgrounds this Sunday morning. Registration costs $40 presale and $45 on the day of the race, if any spots remain. Children ages 6-12 register for $25 presale and $30 on the day of the race, if any spots remain. Online registration closes this Thursday. All participants receive a goodie bag, which includes a T-shirt, a medal for participating, and one admission into the OC Fair.

Summer Cement Craft Block
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, August 4
Birch Theater, North Park, San Diego
http://www.sandiegonorthparkcraftmafia.com/SCS/SCS-summer.html

This free all-ages event will host over 50 local arts & crafts vendors for visitors to peruse through.

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Meat eaters around the world have this unexplainable fascination with bacon. This little strip of pork drives millions around the world crazy for that one special piece. If you ask random people why they like bacon, I assure you that the answers follow no sort of consistency. From portion size to the crisp texture to the salty goodness, everyone has a different reason for loving this thin strip of pork. Some producers and manufacturers have capitalized on this by selling bulk bacon with added ingredients. This results in cheap bacon circulating the markets, where the common package of bacon no longer only contains meat, but now contains other ingredients that 99% of bacon consumers cannot even pronounce. To alleviate this problem, consumers should purchase bacon not in bulk, since that comes pre-sliced and contains additives, but as a full slab of bacon. Many chefs and restaurant owners love slab bacon for the ability to control portion size, but many do not realize that pork belly also comes in this form. In America, nearly every form of bacon derives from pork belly, while in the rest of the world, people prepare pork belly as they would forms of pork, such as shredded, diced, or as one entire piece. Anyone who loves bacon should learn to also love pork belly, as you obtain more bacon goodness than just strips of it. Want to get into pork belly? Check out these five places in the Greater Los Angeles Area that serves pork belly in simple yet delicious forms.

5. Vizzi Truck‘s Pork Belly Taco

Since its inauguration in 2009, the gourmet food truck community has risen from one man’s ambition to the global empire as it stands now around the world. Thanks to numerous media outlets, especially Food Network, citizens worldwide now seek out these food trucks not only for novelty, but for the street food depicted in the media. As the hometown of gourmet food trucks, Los Angeles has provided a home to some of today’s top food trucks, and has proved a battleground for newer ones or others that simply could not keep up with the strenuous work of operating a food truck. Luckily, the bad ones fall out quick, while the good ones remain to serve. One can determine the quality of a food truck by its age – the longer a food truck has remained open, the more they know about the industry. Trust in Vizzi Truck, a gourmet food truck that opened back in 2009 as the first generation of gourmet food trucks. Their penchant for Coastal Cuisine appeals to a wide diversity of consumers by utilizing French cooking techniques and mixing different styles of cuisine. For example, take a look at their Pork Belly Taco. This taco takes a Vietnamese approach to pork belly and applies it to Mexican street food logic by grilling pork belly, inserting it in small street taco-size flour tortillas, then topping it off with cucumbers, pickled carrots & daikon, cilantro, and Gochujang sauce, a Korean sauce that tastes salty with a kick of spice. The veggies give the taco a tart taste to balance the savoriness of the pork belly, while the sauce helps to open up your palate to better absorb the pork belly’s flavor. Although it appears small, this taco can fill you up, not to mention that Vizzi Truck serves this taco on a bed of truck-made popcorn. If you track down Vizzi Truck, you can snag this taco for $4. Vizzi Truck employs a seasonal menu, so track them down quick before they remove the Pork Belly Taco!

4. Flying Pig Café‘s Pork Belly Buns

As a food truck owner, you would not want to stay in that realm for too long. For the most part, entrepreneurs and/or chefs enter the food truck industry as a means to get their feet wet, learn the ropes of the industry, invest some capital, and then apply the acquired knowledge towards opening a brick & mortar business. In some cases, the entrepreneur can continue to operate the food truck, but due to the uncertainty of profit on a food truck, at least it will operate under the safety bubble of the brick & mortar business. While a few of today’s food trucks derived from a brick & mortar business, a great number of food truck owners have made the step up into establishing a brick & mortar business. Flying Pig Café, one such business that started from a food truck and still operates that food truck, now calls Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles their home. Flying Pig Café still serves many of the items from the truck that many fans will recognize, but they now also serve plated entrées, such as fried rice or Loco Moco, and alcoholic drinks such as wine and craft beer. Luckily, the fan favorite Pork Belly Buns still remains on this menu. They braise pork belly and place it on a steamed bao bun with red onion escabeche (similar to pickled red onions), pickled sesamé cucumbers, and death sauce, their signature spicy sauce. These ingredients work well to bring out the flavor of the pork belly, as the death sauce opens up your palate, while the tart veggies provide balance to the meat to support the savoriness. If, for some reason, you still have doubts about this, check out their Happy Hour that runs from 5pm to closing Monday through Thursday, where all customers can not only receive $4 beers (including Allagash Curieux!), but also order 2-for-1 buns, meaning TWO Pork Belly Buns for just $4! Come here much? Park in the Arts District a few blocks away, where the street meters only run until either 4pm or 6pm, depending on the street.

3. Hopscotch Tavern‘s Pork Belly Rillettes

As time marches on, things cannot remain the same forever. Over time, everything has to change as part of human nature. Our way to living has provided us with the necessary means to adapt to change and fit in to new lifestyles quickly, while those who take longer to adapt tend to suffer setbacks or misfortunes in some areas. Many people may swear by old standards and traditions, but eventually these traditions will meld with the present. This explains the need for some restaurants to change their menu every so often. While some simply employ a seasonal menu based on product availability, few others may completely overhaul their menu. Hopscotch Tavern in Downtown Fullerton recently completely redesigned their menu after roughly 7-8 months in business. With a half year’s worth of experience under the table, the crew at Hopscotch decided to carefully examine the menu and revamp everything. They did away with the previous Low & Slow moniker, and now serve up gastropub faire, such as fried duck, chilaquiles, blue crab tots, pig ears, and their new Pork Belly Rillettes. The Hopscotch crew concocts the rillettes with pulled pork belly, fills a mason jar with it, and tops it off with an apple & lemon salad. On the side, you receive toasted baguette slices and a scoop of Bacon Onion Jam. If you have never had rillettes before, you eat this like a spread – spread some of the jam on a baguette slice, then lather the pork belly on the slice. Pro Tip: spread everything on every slice prior to eating – this allows you to control how much each slice receives as well as attempt to balance the jam and the rillettes. If sharing this plate, inform your party of allocating the spread if you intend to do so, so they know that each slice will have similar amounts of the jam and rillettes. Looking for a craft beer pairing? Go for an IPA to cut through the saltiness of the rillettes. Personally, I usually order whatever they have on nitro. Truthfully, you cannot go wrong with whatever you order here. Despite a completely brand new menu, Hopscotch remains a true gem nestled in a town of club-goers.

2. Red Table Restaurant‘s Grilled Pork Belly

Thinking about marketing and public relations, who honestly uses it the most? What levels of business utilize strong marketing versus free marketing? Everybody can benefit from free marketing media, such as Facebook and Twitter – those only require time for research and generating content. Who would you say utilizes paid marketing? I can tell you right now that those at the top do not pay for marketing. Entities at the top already possess the best position, and thus do not need to market. Those at the bottom do not pay for marketing, as they cannot yet afford it. Those in the middle, or the second-best, will pay for marketing, as they already have a decent position in the industry, but need that extra boost to usurp the leading individual, group, or company. When you have a product or service so great that consumers constantly crave it, your consumers turn into your free marketing material, as they will market for you via word of mouth. Red Table Restaurant has come a long way with their worldly gastropub cuisine. Since their inception in 2011, Red Table has traveled a long way to get to the status that they sit at right now. Masked by a Trader Joe’s and tucked away behind the respective shopping center, Red Table needed something to get the word out about their strange location out to the general public. Needless to say, Chef Louie Jocson’s international epicurean experience has received international media attention, using just his unbelievable food to garner a solid following with the associated word of mouth that slips around from ear to ear. Although Red Table displays daily/weekly specials, their regular menu contains plenty of unforgettable dishes, such as their Grilled Pork Belly appetizer. This $9 plate comes with four thick slices of grilled pork belly with crispy skin, drenched in soy vinegar, and topped with pickled onions & herbs. A perfect portion for parties of two to four, each bite seems to get better than the last with the soy vinegar sauce building in intensity, not to mention the tartness from the pickled onions resetting the salty flavor from the combination of the pork belly and the sauce. For a craft beer pairing, you definitely want to go with an Imperial IPA if Red Table carries it; otherwise, go for a regular IPA. Feel daring about the pork belly? Red Table offers an entrée with pork belly – the Pork & Beans, which I will cover in a future post. Until then, get over to Red Table in West Huntington Beach, located behind Trader Joe’s once you find it. With its proximity to the beach, how can you not want to go to Red Table this summer?

1. Fickle Restaurant‘s Molasses Pork Belly

Three cheers for fresh faces, who we always welcome into the industry for bringing on new challenges and new ideas. Whenever faced with a new person, such as a new kid in school or a new co-worker, we welcome them for bringing on a new face to break monotony, plus any of their ideas and intellect that they can bring to the table. Although far from the hivemind concept, pooling together knowledge generally leads to improved outcomes for the setting, from the classroom to the workplace and further than that. New people will also face challenges adapting to the new setting, and will require time to acclimate with everything going on around. Sometimes, the new people will have to pair up and work together to solve problems and make progress. Other times, a sole new person will come up with multiple ideas, and will need to somehow combine them to work out for the greater good. So when building space opened up in Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles, the genius behind Fickle Restaurant swooped in to claim the space. However, Fickle only came out as one of the many concepts for this space. In the end, travelers can now find two different businesses in the same space. By day, this place operates as The Sandwich Smith, of which I will review one of their sandwiches in a future post. At night, this space transforms into Fickle, a restaurant with a menu that can unpredictably change at any given time based on the chef’s whim. Whereas many other restaurants change their menu based on season and availability of ingredients, the folks at Fickle simply change the menu whenever they want, in addition to the available supply of ingredients. As such, customers can only truly find an accurate menu by visiting the restaurant to read a menu in person, as opposed to looking up their website, which they have not updated since late June. Luckily, Fickle does keep some of the fan favorites on the menu for a longer duration, such as their Molasses Pork Belly. They sear a giant slab of pork belly, and place it on top of charred savoy cabbage and pumpkin purée. They then sprinkle lime pepitas around the plate before drizzling a balsamic sauce around the plate. Pork belly lovers rejoice – you now can have your pork fat and eat it too! Very few places will serve a slab of pork belly this large, let alone for the reasonable price of $18. Good luck getting through this dish, as most ordinary people cannot get through half of this pork belly due to the overwhelming pork fat presence. If you can stomach it, you will taste this pork in your mouth for days, on a similar degree to foie gras. Got a hankering for craft beer? If you feel the need to tone down the intensity of this dish, order an IPA, which they usually carry on tap. If you want to intensify the pork flavor, order any Belgian beer, which Fickle currently carries in bottles. If you find yourself visiting often, note that you can likely park in the Arts District, located just a few blocks southeast from here, on the street for free, as the street parking meters stop running after 4pm or 6pm, depending on the street. Parking meters also do not go into effect on Sundays all day. Who knows when Fickle will decide to take this off their menu? Just like the definition of the word, this menu changes on a whim, so if you go in one time, do not expect to observe the same menu on your next visit.

People love to go out to eat all the time. More often than not, time plays an important limitation on the ability to seek out a place to go eat. Time also plays an important role when eating at home, as that involves prep, cooking, and cleaning time. As an element not to squander, everyone should consider time an intangible measure of money. When considering food, do you also consider the time necessary to cook the food? While fast food takes little time to make, the quality comes nowhere close to restaurant quality. Even at restaurants, people act impatient when food takes longer than 15 minutes to arrive at the table. They do not realize that great quality food requires time to prepare and cook. If plausible, food should cook slowly over a period of a handful of hours. Crock pots exist for the home cook, but what do you do if you go out to a restaurant? Most servers bear a commitment to serve guests in a timely manner, meaning food cannot take too long to cook. Slow-cooked foods absorb the most flavor and end up at the perfect texture, and the folks at Hopscotch Tavern have honed in on that concept and delivered it in individual plates.

Nestled in historic Downtown Fullerton, Hopscotch Tavern recently opened as a craft beer & whisky bar emphasizing slow-cooked foods. With a wide selection of craft beers and whiskys from around the world, Hopscotch caters not only to the after-dark crowd, but those seeking a wonderful meal as if cooked in a crock pot at home. The food menu includes appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, entrées, and desserts, but their BBQ takes the place as the centerpiece of the menu. BBQ items consist of St. Louis Ribs, Pulled Pork, and Brisket. Ordered as 1/2 rack/pound or full rack/one pound, these BBQ meats come served a la carte, simply with house pickles, crispy onions, and house BBQ sauce. The nature of these slow-cooked meats gives it an incredibly tender texture and juicy meaty flavor. If you order the Brisket, eat it immediately to preserve the tenderness of the meat. Allowing it to sit a few minutes allows the outer pieces to cool down, losing its tenderness, while the deeper pieces remain tender. Because they come a la carte, I suggest ordering an appetizer or side to go along with the Brisket, of which I recommend trying the White Hominy Cheesy Grits. Really though, you cannot go wrong with anything you order from Hopscotch. Their slow-cooked foods will remind you of home-cooked food, like mom made it. Come on in and taste what comfort feels like.

The annual Belmont Shore Stroll & Savor of Long Beach concluded just last night. This “Taste of Belmont Shore” occurs every year from May through August on the third Wednesday, and the Thursday immediately following. Guests may purchase booklets containing 12 tickets that get redeemed at participating businesses along 2nd Street in Belmont Shore. The products offered by participating businesses range from appetizers to drinks to desserts to even full plates of food. Ticket prices vary based on the location, with some offering more than the value of the tickets, and many offering less than the value of the tickets. The chance to sample what Belmont Shore has to offer makes the value of the tickets negligible, seeing that Belmont Shore does have amazing eats.

If you missed out on Stroll & Savor, prepared your eyes for what you completely did not get to savor.

Shrimp Ceviche Tostada, Tilapia Taco, and Cod Po’Boy from Roe Fish Market:

Kurobuta Pork Sausage, Scallions, Chow Chow Onions, and Ground Mustard from Simmzy’s

Chicken Tortilla Soup and Pork Chili Verde Mac & Cheese, also from Simmzy’s

Carbonara Brochette and Apple Pain Perdu from La Crêperie Café

Short Rib Sliders and BBQ Pulled Chicken Slider from Tavern On 2*


* = Tavern once offered a smaller version of their Mac & Cheese.

Chicken Schwarma from Magic Lamp

Combo Plate from Open Sesame

Tri-Tip Sandwich from Shannon’s Bayshore

Crispy Honey Walnut Shrimp and Orange Chicken from Me Soo Hungry

Full Plate from George’s Greek Café
Hummus, Tzatziki, Pita Bread, Greek Salad, Spanakopita, Gyro Meat

Ground Pepperoni Pizza from Domenico’s

Carne Asada and Al Pastor Tacos from Super Mex

Fried Chicken Leg from Olives Gourmet Grocer

Caramel Sea Salt Hi-Top and Mini Red Velvet Cupcake from Frosted Cupcakery

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream from Paradis

Mini Ice Cream Cones: Raspberry White Chocolate and Chocolate Chip from Powell’s Sweet Shoppe

LBC Tweet Up Brunch

The first event of my weekend was the #LBCTweetUp brunch at Tavern On 2 on Saturday morning. I did not get an official head count, but it was nice to see Long Beach tweeps again, especially since it had been about a year since I attended one of these tweet ups.

USC Alumni Club of Long Beach’s Baywatch Brunch at Panama Joe’s

This occurred at the same time as the Tweet Up and was next door, so I decided to visit following the brunch. I did not stay too long, only long enough to say Hi to those I knew. Eventually, a random woman unrelated to the group passed out in the corner near us, and paramedics and a firetruck had to stop in front of the venue. At that point, I made a hasty exit.

Manhattan Beach Beer Fest

This beer fest was my next destination. I have already reviewed this event – please click the above link to view it.

Bixby Knolls Dragster Expo & Car Show and The Factory’s Beer Garden

Immediately after the last beer fest, I hightailed it to this car show and beer fest. You can view my pictures and review by clicking the above link.

Revisiting Tavern On 2

My original plan was to go see Avenue Q, as highlighted in last week’s Upcoming Events post. However, I finished my business at The Factory too late, so I decided to return to Tavern On 2 to cap off my night.

Las Vegas: One-Night Stay

On Sunday morning, I drove out to Las Vegas to stay a night, as I had business to take care of Monday morning there. Las Vegas was going through some funky thunderstorms and cloudiness that day, so that limited my time at the pool at Rio. However, I still had time to lay out by the pool for a bit.

Afterwards, we decided to walk through Chinatown for a bit, just to see how different it is from Southern California.

Next, we went to some Asian Buffet restaurant that was way far away from The Strip. If not for the long line to get in, the buffet itself was only $15 per person, quite a steal.

Needing to go on a walk after that buffet, we drove to Downtown Las Vegas to check out the Fremont Street Experience.

I did not remember the flightlines being there last time I came to Las Vegas, so that was something neat to see. At $20 per ride, I felt that my money was better off at the casino. Speaking of which, after a good half-hour walk, we drove down to The Strip to see the sights before heading back to the hotel to crash for the night.

Monday morning, we took care of our work, and left Vegas around 1pm. Driving back after the state line, I was slightly surprised to see water on both sides of the freeway following the storms of the previous days.

So that is the extent of this weekend. I hope to make next weekend crazier than this one, since the only direction to go from here is up.

You have to hand it to the pig. While other animals have common by-products (chickens yield eggs, cows yield milk, etc), a pig’s by-product is more meat. There are so many parts of the pig that can be used as meat that, to this day, no one can prove whether pork is white or red meat. All we know is that pork is delicious and can be used in so many different preparations of food and dessert. You can have pork accent the dish, or you could have pork be the star of the dish. Tavern On 2 has taken the latter approach and introduced a new pork sandwich to their menu. In fact, it is so new, just having launched this past Thursday, that there is no official name for it yet.

This pork sandwich, for as good as it already is, is in its trial phase, and will be subject to modifications before it becomes finalized on their menu. The star of the sandwich is the shredded pork, which Tavern On 2 calls Pulled Pork. My personal qualm with this description is that to most folks, pulled pork typically refers to shredded pork in a barbeque setting. I rarely ever see pulled pork on a menu that does not come with BBQ sauce, which this sandwich does not; thus, the better wording for this sandwich is that it uses shredded pork. I have no issues with the pork itself – this pork is extremely juicy, and by the time you get to the end, all of the pork’s drippings will have congregated on that final bite. The pork does not tango alone – onions & cilantro accompany the shredded pork. although with everything else going on in the sandwich, you may barely notice their presence. The pork lies on a bed of apple-pear butter, a house-made condiment that gives this sandwich its main tart essence. That piece above the pork that looks like a fried patty is actually fried plantain chips. Its purpose is to serve as crunchy texture, but the problem is that because the pork is so juicy, the chips end up absorbing lots of the pork drippings, meaning that the pork in the center of the sandwich is not as juicy as the edges, and the chips begin to get soggy. Also because it is so thin, you can barely get the flavor of the plantain. Finally, the top bun is layered with chimichurri, that yummy herb spread from Argentina.

For a new sandwich, there is no telling what will happen to the final product once it is officially on the menu. The most dominant flavors of this sandwich come from the shredded pork, apple-pear butter, and chimichurri. The onions & cilantro in the pork are barely noticeable, and the plantain chips are supposed to be there for crisp instead of flavor, but instead ends up absorbing too much of the pork’s drippings and loses its crispiness. With all that being said, I hope to see improvements in this sandwich. The lovely folks at Tavern On 2 know how much I love pig meat, so they know I will be back for this sandwich. I suggest you come here for this sandwich very soon too.

Kitchen Nightmares @ Nino’s Italian Restaurant
Now through July 12
Nino’s Italian Restaurant, Long Beach
http://fb.me/1RhaI3Mzn

Chef Gordon Ramsey is filming his show Kitchen Nightmares at Nino’s Italian Restaurant in the Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach now through July 12th. The restaurant is closed to walk-ins during this period – you must make reservations using the provided link above if you want to dine there during filming.

 

2012 Orange County Fair Opening
12:00 pm, July 13
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://ocfair.com/

The OC Fair this years runs Wednesday through Sunday each week starting July 13 with the final day on August 12. The fairgrounds are open from 12:00 pm – 12:00 am on weekdays, and 10:00 am – 12:00 am on weekends. Click this link for special promotions for tickets. Click this link for info on the Super Pass.

Every year, a new fried food gets introduced. Last year, it was deep-fried Kool Aid. The year prior, deep-fried butter. This year, they are mixing it up by allowing YOU to decide what gets friend next. All the info is on the OC Fair website, but I can tell you now that of whatever you bring, if it can be fried, it will get fried.

Avenue Q by 3D Theatricals
July 13 – July 29
Plummer Auditorium, Fullerton and Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center
http://www.3dtshows.com/

This award-winning Broadway musical has finally returned to Southern California! Avenue Q can be thought of as Sesame Street for adults, as they sing about unemployment, homosexuality, and internet porn addiction. The play will run on weekends at both locations starting July 13 and ending on July 29.

This is a must-see for everyone. I have seen it twice already, and it never gets old, especially with all the ad-libbing.

LBC Tweet Up Brunch
11:00 am – 2:00 pm, July 14
Tavern On 2, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/153109228157524/

Join us for bottomless mimosa brunch in Belmont Shore at Tavern On 2. RSVP required by Friday so we can book the correct amount of seats. Free parking is available in the adjacent neighborhoods.

Fluff Ice Grand Opening in Monrovia
12:30 pm, July 14
Fluff Ice, Monrovia
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fluff-Ice-Monrovia/470792702934789

The first 200 customers receive a FREE Fluff Ice! Also, Milk Tea with Blue Honey Boba will be given out to customers all day. Fluff Ice is a cross between shave ice and ice cream. The ice is very fine that it feels creamy. On top of that, you get a wide variety of toppings to accent your Fluff Ice.

MBYP’s 2nd Annual Beer & Music Festival
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, July 14
Raleigh Studios’ New York Street, Manhattan Beach
http://mbyp.memberlodge.org/events?eventId=500210&EventViewMode=EventDetails

This massive festival will feature live music, over 30 craft beer breweries, a home brewers competition, numerous food trucks, samples from local restaurants, charity raffles, and much more. During the first hour, you can sample small bites from local restaurants for free. The first 400 attendees receive a souvenir glass. Tickets are just $35 each, $25 if you are a Manhattan Beach Chamber member.

This fest will be mostly outdoors, and the weather is expected to be HOT. Be prepared with sunscreen, summer clothes, etc.

Bixby Knolls Dragster & Car Expo
3:00 pm – 9:00 pm, July 14
Atlantic Blvd between San Antonio Dr & Roosevelt Rd, Long Beach
http://bixbyknollscarshow.com/

Come check out numerous show cars, special dragsters, live music, BMX demos, vendors, celebrity appearances, The Factory‘s beer garden, and more! This expo is free to attend and open to all ages. Free parking is available in the neighborhoods around the area. The expo is mainly outdoors, so be prepared for the weather and sun.

For those 21 or over, there will be an exclusive beer garden/tent on Atlantic & Carson starting at 3pm and ending promptly at 8pm. The cost is $15 to enter, and comes with a souvenir glass and four taster coupons for the craft beers being served. For more information, see: http://www.facebook.com/events/473199192709475/