Posts Tagged ‘The Camp’

Many businesses tend to open during the first quarter of the year, meaning that many businesses also throw anniversary celebrations or specials around this time. This past weekend, Blackmarket Bakery celebrated their first anniversary at their current home in The Camp in Costa Mesa. Having moved from their old location in an industrial building across the 405 freeway from John Wayne Airport, Blackmarket Bakery has substantially grown as a business and in popularity ever since moving to The Camp. Now in an easily-accessible area, customers visit Blackmarket Bakery and find delicious baked goods using a short list of all-natural ingredients without anything fancy. You will not find fancy words or complex ingredients here – you will only find ingredients that we all grew up to love, such as flour, eggs, milk, sugar, and more.

For this first anniversary celebration, Blackmarket Bakery rolled out a handful of specials. As customers walked in, High Tide Derby greeted and passed out various samples or both old and new products.

Once inside, customers could purchase t-shirts on sale for $10. For all other breads, pastries, and other baked goods, customers would receive 15% off.

As a special treat for attending customers, Blackmarket Bakery hosted a cakewalk. This event combines musical chairs with a lottery, where participants would walk a path with numbered papers on the ground to the music. When the music stops, each participant occupies a number, and awaits a Blackmarket Bakery staff to call out a number they randomly drew prior to the walk. The participant occupying the corresponding drawn number then receives a free small cake from the bakery.

Although appearing minor, this celebration follows the model that Blackmarket Bakery adheres by – do a lot with a little. They follow simple ingredient lists with their products, using just all-natural ingredients without the need to continually add more ingredients. As a result, you get tasty items with a familiar taste presented in a contemporary fashion. This event did not require bells and whistles to proclaim their excitement over their anniversary, and all the attendees appreciated the simple things put forth on this day. Experience for yourself how delicious that simple can taste by visiting Blackmarket Bakery soon, and do not forget a loyalty card! Buy 12 items, and receive one free!

I always love to support local businesses, and I love it more when local businesses operate humanely with the locals’ well-beings in mind. One such local business, Blackmarket Bakery, serves up delectable delights using local sustainable all-natural ingredients. Their plethora of sweet treats and savory eats has garnered them a huge fan base of people from all around the world, with some people traveling from out of the country just to taste the creations of Blackmarket Bakery. Their selection of goodies changes over time based on the season’s available ingredients, and Blackmarket Bakery has turned these changes into an interactive experience.

Last Friday night, Blackmarket Bakery held a Cookie Throwdown. Four of the bakers each made a different cookie to submit to this contest, where the crowd favorite would make a new home on the menu. Free to the public to attend, each visitor could sample as many cookies as they wanted, but each person received one vote to decide on their favorite cookie. Clockwise from top left:

  • Aldo’s Chocolate Coffee Hazelnut
  • Vicky’s Pistachio Orange Gingersnap
  • Maryla’s Chocolate Chipotlé
  • Elisha’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Sea Salt

Of all these flavors, I voted for the Gingersnap cookie since it tasted the most unique, as I have tasted similar cookies to the other three before. Lo and behold, Vicky’s Oh-Snap cookie won the throwdown! Head over to Blackmarket Bakery soon if you want to try this unique cookie, as they will start serving it sometime this week. Check out everything else they have to offer too, as you cannot go wrong with anything that comes off their shelves.


2013 Cerritos Taste of the Region & Business Expo
4:30 pm – 7:30 pm, September 10
Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, Cerritos

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 $5, 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.

Free Bread & Jam Tasting
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, September 10
Blackmarket Bakery, Costa Mesa

Sample all-natural breads with artisanal jams this Tuesday evening at Blackmarket Bakery at The Camp in Costa Mesa, all for free.

Heart of Pacific Beach Restaurant Walk
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 11
Downtown Pacific Beach, San Diego

Experience the variety Pacific Beach has to offer at this all-inclusive restaurant walk this Wednesday night! For $20, all attendees will get to sample food from 19 local restaurants, as well as craft beer sampling. Anyone can come and join in on the feasting, but only those 21 and over may receive beer tasters.

Spanish Punk Night w/ Destruction Made Simple
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 11
The Stardust Club, Downey

Check out this FREE punk rock show this Wednesday night in Downey. Two punk bands from Spain will join the show that already consists of great local bands like Destruction Made Simple. No one under 21 may attend.

Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk (Second Thursdays)
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 12
Downtown Los Angeles

This free monthly event takes place over many blocks in Downtown Los Angeles. Many galleries will open late, and some parking lots will contain more art, vendors, food trucks, entertainment, and more. Unless you know business owners, free parking barely exists in Downtown LA, although some meters only operate until 8pm. First-time visitors should attend with someone who has gone here prior.

Los Angeles Lobster Fest
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 13
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, September 14
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, September 15
Ports O’Call Village, San Pedro

This lobster festival at Port of Los Angeles will have lots of fresh lobster for guests to eat. In addition, guests can enjoy dancing, games, rides, pirate shows, music, arts & crafts, and more. The $10 admission includes parking and entry into the fest, while all food comes separate, so anyone wanting to eat will have to bring extra cash. A printable coupon on the website allows guests to save $1 off entry.

OC Weekly’s 10th Annual Decadence
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 13
Rancho Las Lomas Wildlife Reserve, Silverado

Come enjoy a night of food, drinks, music, dancing, and more. This festival for the senses will feature over 30 local restaurants, live music & DJ’s, local dance performers, signature cocktails, wild animal exhibits, and more. All-inclusive admission costs $30, or click here to pay only $15 for admission. Guests should look to park at Saddleback Church and take the free shuttle from there, as the venue has limited valet parking only. No one under 21 may attend.

Blackmarket Bakery’s Fall Open House
10:00 am – 1:00 pm, September 14
Blackmarket Bakery, Costa Mesa

Come to Blackmarket Bakery at The Camp in Costa Mesa this Saturday morning and sample seasonal tarts, chocolate bark, toffee, pastries, buns, and breads, all for free. Every eighth customer that makes a purchase will receive a free t-shirt!

Cantillon Zwanze Day 2013
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, September 14
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach

“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.

1st Annual Ramen Yokocho Fest
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, September 14-15
Torrance Cultural Arts Center, Torrance

At this free and all-ages festival, guests can explore and eat ramen from some of LA’s top Japanese chefs. Guests park and enter the fest for free, while each bowl of ramen will cost $8.

Long Beach Fleadh – Irish Music & Oyster Festival
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, September 14-15
The Pike, Downtown Long Beach

Revel in Irish culture all this weekend in Downtown Long Beach, with Irish music, oysters, food, whisky tastings, film screenings, live entertainment, and more. This all-ages festival will bring Irish culture to town, ensuring an enjoyable experience for all. Guests will find fresh oysters, champagne, Guinness, whisky, and other delicious Irish foods to consume, all while enjoying the Irish music all weekend. General admission costs $20 per day, or $30 for a two-day pass. Click here to purchase a one-day admission that comes with two free drinks. All attendees must cover their own transportation expenses. As an outdoors event, guests should stay hydrated, apply sunscreen, and take any other precaution for lasting long in hot weather.

Immelmann Release & End of Summer Bash
11:00 am – 12:00 am, September 14
Hangar 24 Brewery, Redlands

Immelmann makes its long-anticipated return this Saturday at Hangar 24. Get your bottle from the tasting room for $20 this Saturday, where the tasting room will also have other special beer releases, food from The Big Easy, and three local bands.

Wet Electric SoCal
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 14
Huntington Beach State Beach, Huntington Beach

I cannot understand the website’s description of this event. To me, this looks like an all-day dance party at the beach, complete with live DJ’s and lots of people dancing at the beach in their swimsuits. General admission starts at $75, while VIP admission starts at $140 and comes with perks such as exclusive entry and VIP areas.

Drink Good Beer Mash-Up & Homebrew Competition
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, September 22
The Factory Gastropub, Long Beach

The Factory Gastropub will host a beer fest and homebrewers competition in their parking lot this Saturday afternoon. Presale tickets sell for $35, while tickets will sell for $40 at the door. Over 30 local breweries will serve their beers to attendees, while homebrewers will sample their beers as well. Registration to enter you homebrews ended already, so if you want to enter your brew(s), you will have to wait until the next competition. All attendees must bring valid ID to show at the gate. Attendees may park for free in the surrounding neighborhoods. No one under 21 may attend.

3rd Annual Great Wine Festival
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm, September 14
Orange County Great Park, Irvine

Over 50 wineries will gather to sample their tasty wines at this wine festival this Saturday afternoon at OC Great Park. For $75, attendees will receive unlimited wine tastings & food, while getting treated to live music, a silent auction, and an opportunity drawing. No one under 21 may attend.

SoCal Zombie Walk
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, September 14
Pasadena Central Park, Pasadena

Practice your zombie walk this Saturday evening in Pasadena. Meet up in Central Park in Pasadena, congregate with the other zombies there, and show Pasadena the collective force of a zombie invasion. This FREE and all-ages zombie walk will start early on in the night – guests not in zombie outfits or makeup will have to walk behind the main peloton of zombie walkers.

6th Annual Pasadena Mumbo Gumbo Fest
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 14
T. Boyles Tavern, Pasadena

All the gumbo you can eat returns to Pasadena this Saturday evening. This festival celebrates gumbo at its finest, and also includes live music, dancing, $5 beers & glasses of wines, and more. Presale tickets cost $40, while tickets at the door cost $60.

The Detours in Baldwin Park
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 14
American Legion Post 241, Baldwin Park

Before legendary punk bands like The Adolescents and D.I. started their thing, The Detours helped to pioneer today’s punk rock. You can see them perform all of their original hits this Saturday night in Baldwin Park, along with plenty of other local bands. This all-ages show costs $10, and has a full bar inside. Guests can park here for free.

Free Punk Show @ Blacklight District Lounge
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 14
Blacklight District Lounge, Long Beach

Check out some local punk bands at this free show this Saturday night. No one under 21 may enter.

Guttermouth @ The Juke Joint
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, September 14
The Juke Joint, Anaheim

Catch Guttermouth and other great local bands this Saturday night at The Juke Joint in Anaheim. Presale costs $12, and will likely sell out, so act fast! If any tickets remain, you can purchase admission at the door for $15. If the venue’s parking lot fills up, guests can park on North St. No one under 21 may attend.

San Diego Restaurant Week
September 15-20
Various Restaurants, San Diego County

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!

Los Angeles Fried Chicken Fest
4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, September 15
The Coop Pop-Up, Beverly Hills

The LA Fried Chicken Fest returns with the best fried chicken you will ever have, plus craft beers and cocktails to keep your thirst quenched. All tickets to this event have officially sold out, but you can still find after-market tickets on sites like StubHub or Craigslist.

Rock Comp Finals
5:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 15
Tropics Lounge, Fullerton

Say farewell to the old Tropics Lounge as they close the doors after one final show this Sunday night until they move to a new location. Check out this 11-band show for only $2! No one under 18 may attend.

8 Kalacas @ Los Globos
6:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 15
Los Globos, Silverlake, Los Angeles

Spanish punk and ska come to LA this Sunday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $10. Guests should park in the neighborhood down Vendome St.

The Adicts, Agent Orange, Narcoleptic Youth @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 15
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Punk rock giants hit the stage this Sunday night at The Observatory, as The Adicts headline a show along with Agent Orange and Narcoleptic Youth, two more extremely popular punk bands in their own right. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $25. Arrive early to park in the venue’s parking lot – arrive too late and end up paying for parking in neighboring lots.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque – Summer Strip Down
9:30 pm – 11:00 pm, September 15
TRiP, Santa Monica

Enjoy a fun burlesque show courtesy of the Dirty Little Secrets this Sunday night in Santa Monica. Bring cash for parking and a possible cover charge. No one under 21 may attend.

Free Chocolate Tasting
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 18
Blackmarket Bakery, Costa Mesa

Love chocolate? Sample some artisanal chocolate treats this Tuesday night at the Blackmarket Bakery at The Camp in Costa Mesa, free of charge.

Summer Cocktail Preview
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 19
Hopscotch Tavern, Fullerton

Hopscotch Tavern’s new summer cocktail menu debuts Friday, but you can order any of these at happy hour prices this Wednesday evening. RSVP using the provided link, where each RSVP works for the registrant plus one.

Taste of Little Italy
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 19
Little Italy, Downtown San Diego

Sample the local flavor of Little Italy this Wednesday night, as attendees stroll through Little Italy and sample food directly in each participating business. Attendees pay for a stamp card with boxes representing each participating business. After receiving a sample, that business will stamp their corresponding box. Two different stamp cards exist for a north route and a south route, and each route’s stamp card costs $28 each, while purchasing both costs $42.

Belmont Shore Stroll & Savor
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, June 19-20
Along 2nd Street, Belmont Shore

This “Taste of Belmont Shore” occurs during the summer months annually from May through August 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.

Dom’s Favorite Burgers
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 19
West Elm South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa

Snag some free burgers, and take pictures with pin-up models on the red carpet at this blogger’s summer kickoff party.

Take Your Dog To Work Day
All day, June 21

As the name suggests, this holiday celebrates man’s best friend by granting a day where pet lovers can bring their darling dog(s) to work. Please consult with your boss/manager/supervisor if you can bring a dog to work!

Jack Bradshaw Dog Show
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, June 21-23
Queen Mary, Long Beach

Watch multiple dog shows and competitions this and next weekend in Long Beach. Free to attend for all ages, breeds will compete in show and athletic contests throughout the weekend. Expect parking to cost $15. Take public transportation (free on the Passport bus) or ride a bike to circumvent the hefty parking fee.

San Diego International Beer Festival
Various times, June 21-23
Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar

The San Diego County Fair will import over 400 beers from around the world for a weekend of beer at the fairgrounds. Over the weekend, the fairgrounds will host five different four-hour sessions of unlimited tastings, and each session will feature different seminars and presentations. General admission costs $55, and includes admission to the rest of the fair plus the souvenir cup. Parking on-site costs $10, while off-site parking with shuttles costs nothing. Although the beer fest takes place in the arena under a roof, the rest of the fair takes place outdoors, so prepare for sunny weather if you choose to venture outside. I highly recommend arriving as early as possible, as each session tends to run out of beer an hour before a session ends.

To Kristen With Love
6:00 pm – 2:00 am, June 21
Old Towne Pub, Pasadena

A punk show, art show, and film premiere take over this small pub this Friday night in Pasadena. For just $10 entry, guests will see lots of local punk rock bands, art, and a film premiere by Seraph Films. The bar will serve drink specials all night, as well as free nachos. You will find the entrance to Old Towne Pub at the end of an alley on Holly St right next to Cafe Linda. Although free parking almost does not exist in this area, a few spots on Corson St have no meters. No one under 21 may enter.

A Wilhelm Scream & The Flatliners @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, June 21
The Observatory, Santa Ana

A Wilhelm Scream and The Flatliners will start a tour soon, and that tour sweeps through California this week. Catch these two bands plus local openers at this all-ages show for only $13. The venue contains a free parking lot, but late arrivals may need to park in neighboring lots, which require a parking fee.

Steampunk Los Angeles
8:00 pm – 12:30 am, June 21
The Vex, Los Angeles

Art, merchandise, food, music, gadgets, live tattooing, body painting, and more will grace The Vex with their presence this Friday night. For just $20 admission, guests can explore a night of steampunk music and art. Guests under 18 must attend with an adult. Guests can park behind the building, but should take care not to park too deep or risk getting blocked by other cars.

2013 Rental Car Rally – Los Angeles
9:00 pm – 3:00 pm, June 21
Location TBA, Los Angeles

What do you get when you mix Halloween with Mario Kart? You get the Rental Car Rally! This race abandons all conventional means by pitting themed teams against each other as they drive from point A to point B overnight. Instead of which team arrives first, winners reach the destination with the fewest miles traveled while hitting every single checkpoint along the way. Along the way, teams may attempt to interfere with other teams, using methods such as water balloons, water guns, powdered balloons, and other wacky ways that you would normally see in a video game. Words cannot accurately describe the mayhem behind a Rental Car Rally. To understand this, one must commit to competing in this wacky ride.

2nd Annual Long Beach Art in the Park
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, June 22
Bixby Park, Long Beach

Enjoy an afternoon of plenty of family activities, arts & crafts, live music, food trucks, and more, free for all ages.

34th Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-off
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, June 22
Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach, San Diego

Have some fun in the sun in Ocean Beach this Saturday at their annual street fair and chili cookoff. At this free and all-ages street fair, tens of thousands of people will stroll through Ocean Beach to check out all the art, live entertainment, vendors, and of course, the chili. Attendees may purchase chili tastings on the day of the event. This area gets extremely crowded with traffic, so plan alternate routes on arriving, and prepare to walk long distances to reach the street fair.

27th Annual Long Beach Bayou & Blues Festival
11:00 am – 9:30 pm, June 22
11:00 am – 8:00 pm, June 23
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach

Enjoy a weekend of Blues & Jazz music, specialty Cajun & Creole food, a Mardi Gras parade, dancing, kids’ activities, and more. Ticket prices vary, with general admission costing $25 presale, and discounts available for seniors and students. This fest takes place outdoors with very little shade, so dress for the warm weather, and prepare sunscreen.

2013 Tomato Assault – Los Angeles
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, June 22
Fairplex, Pomona

Time to get down and dirty! Tens of thousands of pounds of tomatoes will fly through the air at this glorified tomato fight. Tomato Assault brings together live music, inflatable objects, a beer garden, food trucks, costume contests, and more all for the love of smacking other people with tomatoes. Registration costs $60, and no one under 21 may attend. Attendees must print, sign, and bring a waiver, found on the website, to the event in order to participate.

Balls For Balls 2013
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, June 22
Nirvana Bar & Grill, Los Angeles

In a nutshell, gather a team to competitively eat meatballs for charity. The winning team does take a cash prize home. A team of four enters for $60, while individuals enter for $20 and get placed in a random team as a filler. Spectators may enter and watch for free.

Bite Flite
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 22
Bar & Garden, Culver City

Sample burgers, beers, and desserts at this food pairing dinner this Saturday in Culver City. The $22 admission includes a 4-beer flight, a choice of one of four sliders ($3.50 for each additional), and desserts from Mwokaji Cakery. Guests can find free street parking on nearby streets. No one under 21 may attend.

Nekromantix @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, June 22
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Catch a psychobilly show this Saturday night in Santa Ana, as Nekromantix headlines a show with Graveyard Johnny’s, Dragstrip Demons, Black Rose Phantoms, Crash Cadillacs, and Butchery Boys. The first band starts at 8pm. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $18. The venue contains a free parking lot, but late arrivals may need to park in neighboring lots, which require a parking fee.

CicLAvia – Iconic Wilshire Boulevard
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, June 23
Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles

Wilshire Blvd from Downtown LA to Miracle Mile will close to bikers this Sunday. Cars may not enter the designated areas during this time – only bikers and pedestrians may roam the streets.

4th Annual Summer Solstice Festival & International Taco Festival
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, June 23
Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton

Sample worldly cuisine in a tortilla at this taco fest this Sunday afternoon at The Muck in Fullerton. The Summer Solstice Festival, which contains live music, arts & crafts, merchandise, and more, occurs the entire time, and costs nothing to attend for all ages. The Taco Fest starts at 1pm, lasts two hours, and requires an entry fee, which guests pay for at the gate. No one under 21 may attend the Taco Fest, as it also comes with complimentary beer tastings from Bootlegger’s Brewery. Guests may park for free at the venue.

1st Annual Tacolandia
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, June 23
Hollywood Palladium Parking Lot, Los Angeles

Gorge out on tacos from over 30 chefs from around Southern California and some from Baja at this taco fest in a parking lot. General admission costs $20 and includes unlimited food until it runs out, while VIP admission costs $40 and also includes a hosted bar. Guests of all ages may attend, but adults must have ID to drink.

Santa Monica Wine Festival
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, June 23
Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica

Sample wines from over 50 wineries on the pier this Sunday evening. General admission costs $50 and starts at 6pm, while VIP admission costs $60 and starts at 5pm. Food comes at a separate cost here. Both admissions include access to Pacific Park, the mini amusement park on the pier. Bring extra cash for parking. Dress for chilly weather, as this takes place at night near the ocean.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free Cake Tasting
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 16
Blackmarket Bakery, Costa Mesa

Have your cake and eat it too! On Tuesday evening, the crew at Blackmarket Bakery at The Camp in Costa Mesa will sample various cake flavors, so head down there to check it out, eat cake, and provide feedback.

2013 Taste of Point Loma
5:30 pm – 9:30 pm, April 16
The Brigantine, Point Loma, San Diego

Sample specialties from local Point Loma restaurants this Tuesday night. For $20, guests gain access to free shuttles that will take them from various places around Point Loma so that guests can reach all the restaurants in time.

Roar in The Shore
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 17
Legends, Belmont Shore, Long Beach

Completely free to attend, guests can view race cars on displays, and receive racer autographs.

Bottle Share @ The Factory
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, April 17
The Factory Gastrobar, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach

Share your favorite beer, and taste some other great beers at this monthly bottle share at The Factory Gastrobar in the Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach. No purchase necessary – simply bring in a bottle of craft beer of your choice, and share it with other craft beer enthusiasts. The restaurant will still serve the full menu for anyone hungry, and all burgers costs only $8 each after 8pm.

Jello Biafra And The Guantanamo School Of Medicine, Spindrift, Death Hymn Number 9, White Murder @ Alex’s Bar
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, April 17
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach

Catch Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedys fame with his latest band, as they headline this punk rock show this Wednesday night. Tickets cost $13 presale and $15 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

2013 Spring Citrus Fair
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 18
5:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 19
2:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 20
2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, April 21
La Habra Chamber of Commerce, La Habra

This little city fair takes place all weekend starting Thursday evening. Open to all ages, guests can experience rides, games, food, merchandise, stage shows, and more. The fair requires no admission, though any sort of participation will require a cost.

LA Chinatown Dim Sum Crawl
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm, April 18
Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles

For those who have never tried dim sum or want to experience dim sum in a new light, check out this fascinating experience this Thursday night in Chinatown. Attendees will sample various dim sum eats from around Chinatown, while enjoying beer pairings courtesy of Eagle Rock Brewery. Attendees will also enjoy other foods provided by local vendors and businesses. Each attendee also receives a souvenir beer glass to take home after the night. Tickets to this event cost $60. No one under 21 may attend. Attendees can find free street parking on Spring Street, or the streets east of it.

Tecate Light Thunder Thursday
6:30 pm – 10:30 pm, April 18
Pine & Broadway, Downtown Long Beach

Completely free to attend for all ages, guests can catch motorcycle shows, race cars on display, racer autographs, a rock wall, live music, and more. Guests can find free parking for up to two hours in the structures east of Pine and north of 3rd.

One Way System, The Briggs, D.I., Mass Terror, Bad Samaritans @ The Vex Arts Center
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, April 18
The Vex Arts Center, Los Angeles

Many great punk rock bands will play at The Vex this Thursday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $13.

39th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
7:00 am – 9:00 pm, April 19-20
7:00 am – 5:30 pm, April 21
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach

Catch all the excitement of the races all weekend in beautiful Downtown Long Beach, as the streets transform into a speed zone. Open to all ages, racing events take place throughout the day, so attendees can catch a race at most times of the day. Consult the website to further read about the race schedule, but know that the celebrity race takes place in the early afternoon on Saturday, and the grand prix takes place Sunday afternoon. Ticket prices vary by type, but a general admission weekend pass costs $70. The massive area that the grand prix covers features multiple entrances, so visitors do not need to seek out any particular entrance – just the entrance most convenient to them. All visitors must mind the increased traffic in & around Long Beach during this weekend, plus the multiple street closures. Preferably, public transportation remains the same price, so visitors should look into that option. As the races take place entirely outdoors, attendees should prepare for the excess heat with sunblock and plenty of hydration. Most if not all of the vendors accept cash only, but attendees can still access businesses in Shoreline Village, which will accept cards.

America’s Family Pet Expo
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 19-21
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa

Pet lovers will want to check out this pet expo at the OC Fair & Event Center this weekend. Open to all ages, attendees will find lots of pet resources, including food, merchandise, demos, exhibits, shows, pet adoptions, and more. General admission costs $13, but guests may NOT bring pets.

2013 Green Prix of Long Beach
11:00 am – 8:00 pm, April 20
Anderson’s Lot, Long Beach

This FREE family-friendly event takes place across multiple city blocks this Saturday in Long Beach. Guests can enjoy local retail vendors, children’s workshops, food trucks, live music, art shows, and more. Guests may also participate in a farm-to-table dinner for $90 per person.

2013 Taste of Hillcrest
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, April 20
5th & Robinson, Hillcrest, San Diego

Savor the flavors of all the amazing eateries in Hillcrest this Saturday afternoon. Over 40 restaurants will offer delicious samples to guests, while a handful of local breweries will provide beer tasters for guests. Admission costs $30 presale and $35 on the day of the event. Admission includes 50 taster tickets, and each location accepts different amounts of tickets. Guests can move at their own pace, and select which locations to spend their tickets at.

Echo Park Art Walk
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, April 20
Echo Park Ave & Sunset Blvd, Echo Park

Completely free to attend for all ages, guests can view & create sidewalk art, chain link fence galleries, an art scavenger hunt, and lots more. The neighborhood features many businesses and shops to check out, plus a slew of great places to eat & drink at.

Taco Madness
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 20
Grand Park, Downtown Los Angeles

At this free event for all ages, guests can check out some of LA’s best tacos from both trucks and booths, live DJ’s all day, real-time artists creating murals, a cerveza garden for those 21 and up, and more. No admission required – simply walk up to your favorite vendor and buy some tacos.

6th Annual CityBeat Festival of Beers
2:00 pm – 5:30 pm, April 20
Lafayette Hotel, San Diego

Looking to get your beer on this weekend? Head to the San Diego CityBeat Festival of Beers, where guests receive UNLIMITED pours from over 50 breweries plus the souvenir taster cup. Guests may purchase food at an additional cost. General admission costs $40. No one under 21 may enter.

Kress Market Green Beer Tasting
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 20
Kress Market, Downtown Long Beach

Enjoy $2 tastings of eco-friendly craft beers this Saturday evening at Kress Market in Downtown Long Beach. Guests may also purchase bottles for $3 each.

Sip. Savor. STOP CANCER Wine Tasting Fundraiser
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 20
Tiato Kitchen Bar Garden, Santa Monica

For $130 (partially tax-deductible), guests can sip on wines from Californian wineries and enjoy small bites from House of An. If any guest purchases bottles of wine to-go, a portion of the sales gets donated towards the fundraiser. Guests may also enjoy a silent auction, a live DJ, dancing, and merchandise sales.

Pasadena Restaurant Week
Business hours, April 21-26
Various restaurants, Pasadena

Between April 21 and April 26, 45 different restaurants in Pasadena will offer prix-fixe lunches and/or dinners. In addition, some locations will offer other discounts, prizes, and more. See the full list of participating restaurants by clicking the link to the website above.

CicLAvia – To The Sea
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 21
Downtown Los Angeles to Venice Beach

Venice Blvd and some streets of Downtown Los Angeles through to Venice Beach will close to bikers this Sunday afternoon. Cars may not enter the designated areas during this time – only bikers and pedestrians may roam the streets.

Chef Karl’s Country Boil
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, April 21
Handlery Hotel, San Diego

Enjoy a southern feast complete with crawfish, shrimp, baby potatoes, andouille sausage, corn on the cob, and more this Sunday afternoon in San Diego. Societe Brewing will provide beer pairings for all guests at this feast. Tickets cost $25 per person. No one under 21 may attend.

Wine & Chocolate Tasting & Auction
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, April 21
Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club, San Diego

At this 21 & over event, attendees will receive unlimited tastings of wine, beer, and chocolate. Tickets cost $60 per person.

Blackmarket Bakery’s Bean-To-Bar Chocolate Tasting
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 2
Blackmarket Bakery, Costa Mesa

Sample dozens of chocolates and chocolate treats this Tuesday night at Blackmarket Bakery at The Camp in Costa Mesa. The tasting requires no admission fee, and all ages can attend.

Lindsey Stirling w/ The Vibrant Sound – SOLD OUT
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 2
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 4
April 2: House of Blues, Anaheim
April 4: The Fonda Theatre, Los Angeles

Witness true musical talent as Lindsey Stirling wraps her tour this week, as the tour sweeps through Southern California. Tickets have officially sold out, and after-market tickets currently sell for more than double the face value. If you did not obtain tickets, you will have to shell out a pretty penny to get into this show.

Friends of the Old Doll Hut – Reunion Show
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 3
Dipiazzas, Long Beach

In honor of the recently closed Doll Hut in Anaheim, Argyle Street, The Blob, Not A Chance, Rodents Of Unusual Size, and more will perform this Wednesday night at Dipiazzas in Long Beach. Tickets to this all-ages show cost just $5.

The Casualties, Dr. Know, Goatwhore, Havok @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 3
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Soak in multiple music genres at this show on Wednesday night, from punk rock to metal to thrash to possibly more. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $15.

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

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

Comadre, No Sir, End On End + more @ Aladdin Jr
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 5
Aladdin Jr, Pomona

Post-hardcore band Comadre has announced their FINAL tour, which wraps this weekend. Do not miss this last chance to see Comadre perform. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $10.

RVCA Warehouse Sale
8:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 5-6
RVCA Warehouse, Costa Mesa

If you like RVCA, check out their warehouse sale this weekend. Not only do you get to visit their warehouse, but you can score some great deals on apparel, accessories, and more. Visitors may purchase speed passes online for $25 to bypass the long lines; otherwise, guests can enter for free after waiting in an absurdly long line. No one under 13 may enter.

Run or Dye – San Diego
9:00 am – 12:00 pm, April 6
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego

Color runs have surged in popularity recently. Following the Color Run of last month, this all-ages run takes place this Saturday morning at Qualcomm Stadium. As with any color run, runners should wear all white to absorb the most color by the end of the run. Registration costs $50, and the race starts at 9am. Take warning: thousands of runners all start at one time. Do not get caught in traffic & parking nightmare – arrive at least an hour early.

Guitar Center Musician’s Expo
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 6
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach

Check out tons of the latest music equipment, meet & greet with industry reps, and browse through many music vendors at this one-day music expo. Guitar Centers sell tickets to this all-ages expo for $5, or you may purchase tickets at the door for $10. Parking at the convention center costs $10, so you may opt to take public transportation, or park in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Ave.

5th Annual Los Angeles Beer Fest – SOLD OUT
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 6
Paramount Studios, Los Angeles

The LA Beer Festival has grown to such intense popularity that they hold TWO sessions. This festival allows attendees to drink unlimited beers while enjoying live music from local bands. Food trucks will sell their delicious foods to hungry guests. Tickets cost $40, but does not include parking. Since tickets have officially sold out, those wanting to attend need to search for after-market sales. Alternatively, check out another beer fest going on this same day…

Slater’s 50/50 Backyard Brew Fest
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, April 6
Slater’s 50/50, Lake Forest

Enjoy an afternoon of unlimited beer pours from over 15 local breweries and free samples of Slater’s 50/50’s epic eats. Tickets to this 21 & up only event cost $30, while designated driver tickets (food only) cost $10. Admission includes free parking, and typically little to no traffic thanks to this area’s geography.

4th Annual Edge of LA International Wine Festival
2:30 pm – 5:30 pm, April 6
The Warner Grand Theatre, San Pedro

Sample from over a hundred different wines from around the world at this wine festival in San Pedro this Saturday. If you like any of the wines you sample, you may purchase bottles of wine to-go! Residents of San Pedro, Harbor City, Wilmington, Palos Verdes, Rancho Palos Verdes, and Long Beach may purchase tickets to this wine fest for $45. For everyone else, general admission costs $55.

2013 World Pillow Fight Day
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, April 6

Ever participate in a flash mob? No, not the kind of flash mob where everyone breaks out in dance. I speak of the infamous pillow fight flash mob. On April 6th, communities around the world will gather to unleash a fray feather-fueled frenzy on unsuspecting combatants. Due to the unorganized nature of a flash mob, no one can control what occurs, so anyone can join in, yet anything goes. Note that most locations take place in dense areas, so prepare to pay for parking. At the time, nobody has announced any Southern Californian events. Check the website for confirmed locations throughout the world.

VinDiego – San Diego Wine & Food Festival
4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 6
Broadway Pier Pavilion, San Diego

Enjoy tastings of over 75 different wines from California’s top wineries, and delicious eats from many of San Diego’s top restaurants and chefs. General admission presale costs $85 and allows entry at 5pm, while VIP admission costs $95 and allows entry at 4pm. I highly recommend carpooling to the fest – also consider that groups of 10 or more may receive discounted tickets!

A Taste of America in the OC
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm, April 6
Heritage Museum of Orange County, Santa Ana

For $50, guests get treated to a multi-course dinner from local restaurants, wineries, and breweries in Orange County. Guests may also browse and bid on items  in a silent auction available at the dinner. Guests may park for free on the street. The venue will not sell tickets at the door. No one under 21 may attend.

Comadre, Ghostlimb, No Sir, Holy Fever, & Malon @ Ché Café Collective
6:30 pm – 12:00 am, April 6
Ché Café Collective, La Jolla

Post-hardcore band Comadre has announced their FINAL tour, which wraps this weekend. Do not miss this last chance to see Comadre perform. Tickets to this show cost $10.

Pig Out Pig Roast @ SummerSalt
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, April 7
Saltbox, San Diego

Enjoy a pig roast as a BBQ plate, sliders, or tacos – all you can eat! Admission costs $20 presale and $30 at the door, and includes one beer, courtest of Mission Brewery.

Many people do not realize the full potential of pork. As a grey area between white and red meat, chefs and cooks can apply pork to various applications of meat traditionally associated with a particular type. Without pork, man would not have discovered bacon pork belly. Sadly, many swear by bacon as the end-all of all food on this planet, and to them I accuse them of insanity because they miss the finer foods of the world. Speaking of insanity, one particular bar & restaurant caters to the insane people out there… insane about modern twists to classic foods, and insane about the clash of flavors present in the food. The insane gather at The Camp in Costa Mesa to eat at Taco Asylum.

Taco Asylum, a punk rock taco bar located deep in The Camp in Costa Mesa, showcases non-traditional gourmet tacos in a very hipster environment. The writings on the wall tell the story of how hooked the insane get attached to these tacos. An original menu of nine tacos has since expanded to carry ten tacos, with a few that rotate seasonally. However, Taco Asylum maintains their standard lineup of gourmet tacos, which includes the delicious Pork Belly Taco. This large taco comes with shredded pork belly, onions, julienned carrots & daikon, and garnished with cilantro. With each order, the server graciously presents you with three house-made sauces: mild, medium, and hot. However, once you bite into the taco, you realize how unnecessary those sauces feel right in front of you. Do you want to distract your taste buds from the savory pork juices seeping through the taco? Hot sauce will do just that, and while I lack sufficient evidence that hot sauce opens up your palate to allow better absorption of all the flavors, I speak from experience when I say that the taco tastes amazing without hot sauce. At $5 per taco, this large taco can act as a full meal by itself. After your first bite, question yourself if you should order another. All the tacos here taste fantastic, but another Pork Belly Taco would hit just the right spot. Get on down to Taco Asylum soon and order the Pork Belly Taco. Order two or more if you feel up for it, and satisfy your hunger with Taco Asylum’s juicy pork belly.