Posts Tagged ‘Uptown’

Belmont Shore Stroll & Savor
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, August 14-15
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.

Taste of Downtown Disney
5:30 pm – 10:00 pm, August 15
Downtown Disney, Anaheim

Relax in Downtown Disney as servers bring the food and drinks to you at this Taste of Downtown Disney. Also enjoy the best in local entertainment that only Downtown Disney can provide a venue for. Admission varies depending on the package, with general admission costing $75.

Costa Mesa Restaurant Week
August 16-23
Various locations, Costa Mesa

The annual Costa Mesa Restaurant Week returns! Numerous restaurants in Costa Mesa will feature special prix fixe meals or other discounted items during this time. Many of these restaurants have amazing food, so I encourage you to check out at least one of the restaurants during this week.

2nd Annual Ribs, Pigs, & Watermelons – Beer Festival & Pro BBQ Competition
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 16
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 17
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, August 18
Huntington Beach State Beach, Huntington Beach

Indulge in BBQ, pork, watermelons, and beer this weekend in Huntington Beach. Grill masters from across the country will fly in to compete for the grand prize of $10,000, and attendees will share the delight to sampling all the delicious meaty goodness. Attendees will also find all the watermelon they can eat, as well as watermelon-related activities such as carving, seed-spitting, eating contests, and more. Also catch live music all weekend on the stage. General admission valid for all three days cost $10, $5 for children ages 8-12, and free for younger children. General admission only grants entry to the festival – all attendees must pay for food separately.

52nd Annual Watermelon Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 16
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 17-18
Rose Bowl, Pasadena

This annual street fair has moved from the streets to the world famous Rose Bowl! Get all the watermelon you can eat this weekend at the Watermelon Festival in Pasadena. This fair will also have other food, drinks, live music, entertainment, a beer garden, rides, games, vendors, and anything else you may find at a fair. Admission to this festival costs $10, while children 12 and under can enter for $5. Check the website for a printable coupon to save 30% off admission!

2013 Long Beach BBQ Festival
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 16
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 17
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 18
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach

The Orange County BBQ Bonanza has relocated to Long Beach for the first annual Long Beach BBQ Festival. This all-ages weekend festival brings together the best of the nation’s grill masters to serve the masses and compete for the best BBQ of the west. Entry costs $15, which does not include food, which attendees must pay for separately. Admission with a pork ribs meal costs $28. This festival also boasts an all-you-can-eat package for $225 – check the website for more details about that package. You can also find a coupon on their website good for $2 off entry. This festival takes place entirely outdoors with limited shade, so apply sunscreen, and stay hydrated during the day. Nearby parking lots charge up to $10 for parking – consider parking in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue and walking from there.

The Angry Samoans in Malibu
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 16
The Malibu Inn, Malibu

Catch old school punk band Angry Samoans in Malibu this Friday night, along with five other bands including Bad Samaritans. Tickets to this 18+ show cost $10.

5k Foam Fest – Los Angeles
7:00 am – 1:00 pm, August 17
Fairplex, Pomona

In this installment of non-traditional 5k races, the Foam Fest now pits runners in a 5k obstacle course complete with lots of dirt and mud, followed by foam, water, suds, and soap. Actual obstacles may include wall climbs, army crawls, slides, balance platforms, and more. Registration for this wacky race costs $70 online and $80 on the day of the event, if any spots remain. Children ages 9 and under may not participate in the race. Wear old clothes that you do not mind getting dirty, yet comfortable enough to run in. Bring towels and spare clothes for the ride home following the race. Parking costs $10 per vehicle, so consider carpooling.

13th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, August 17
Greenleaf Avenue, Uptown Whittier

See hundreds of classic cars all for FREE at this all-ages car show on the streets of Uptown Whittier this Saturday. All of the businesses in Uptown Whittier will remain open under regular business hours. Interested visitors should park in the neighborhoods north of Hadley Street.

Stone Brewing’s 17th Anniversary Celebration
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 17
Cal State San Marcos, San Marcos

Nobody throws a beer festival quite like one of the nation’s largest breweries! Featuring two sessions of beer drinking for the thousands of fans out there, Stone Brewing will once again return to the beautiful campus of Cal State San Marcos for this mega gala of epic proportions. With multiple levels containing many different beers and food, a three-hour session may not provide enough time to check out everything! Admission costs $40 per session, which run from 11am-2pm or 3pm-6pm. All attendees receive a souvenir glass, fifteen 3oz beer tasters, free sodas, free beer cheese, and access to other great Stone goodies, such as beer desserts.

2013 Los Angeles Taco Festival
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, August 17
Mariachi Plaza Station, Boyle Heights

Check out the best in local tacos and local mariachi music this Saturday in Boyle Heights. This festival bears no admission fee – visitors simply pay for tacos as they order them.

5th Annual BuskerFest
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 17
East Village Arts District, Long Beach

BuskerFest returns to Long Beach this Saturday. Like the Long Beach Funk Fest, various bands will perform on buskers in the East Village Arts Districts, with the headliners playing on the main stage. Free to attend for all ages, fans of music will surely want to come here. For long-term parking, search for street parking in neighborhoods to the east or north.

Chinatown Summer Nights
5:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 17
Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles

Have a fun time this summer at Chinatown in Downtown Los Angeles. Free to attend for all ages, this nighttime festival brings together food, music, art, and beer in a multicultural setting. Expect to see food trucks, merchandise, arts & crafts, live music, live DJ’s, a dance floor, a beer garden hosted by Eagle Rock Brewery, and more. Guests can find free street parking on Spring St and the side streets connected to Spring, including College St.

Screeching Weasel, The Dwarves, Angry Samoans, & The Bugs @ The Observatory
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 17
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Punk rock returns to The Observatory this Saturday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $25. Arrive early for free parking in their lot. Arrive late, and potentially pay a neighboring lot to park in.

Atomic Bombs in La Habra
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 17
La Habra 300 Bowl, La Habra

Check out some local punk rock bands playing for FREE at this all-ages show this Saturday night in La Habra.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque – Rock ‘N Roll Reunion
9:30 pm – 12:00 am, August 18
TRiP, Santa Monica

See some of the former member of the Dirty Little Secrets perform with the current lineup this Sunday night in Santa Monica. Bring cash for parking and a possible cover charge. No one under 21 may attend.

Summer has arrived, which means grilling season has landed upon us. As an American tradition, citizens officially start the grilling season on Memorial Day weekend, as that signifies many things. First off, on that weekend, Americans celebrate an important federal holiday to celebrate and honor the lives of those lost while serving for the United States Armed Forces. The weather starts to significantly heat up by this weekend, following the inconsistent weather of April and most of May. As a result of the warmer weather, Americans take advantage of a holiday weekend off of work until the next federal holiday, Independence Day, to gather some friends & family for a party involving grilling. When thinking about grilling for a group of people, what food exactly comes to mind? I guarantee that hot dogs and hamburgers top the list. The notion to purchase these items in bulk contributes to the misconception that these foods do not taste good. The phrase “You get what you pay for” has never applied as much as it does now, as most who purchase in bulk tend to pay low per individual unit. If you seek quality, you will have to drop extra money for it. Hot dogs tend to bear questionable ingredients, but true hamburgers still exist in this world. If you happen to find yourself in Southern California this summer, check out these five places to grab some of the best burgers you will ever have. One bite into these will change the way you look at hamburgers forever.

5. The Federal Bar‘s The Federal Burger

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

4. The Bottle Room‘s Uptown Bacon Cheese Burger

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

3. Grill ‘Em All‘s The Berzerker

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

2. The Morrison‘s Filet Burger

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

1. The Back Abbey‘s Back Abbey Burger

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

Pasadena Restaurant Week
Business hours, Now through April 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.

The Revival Tour: Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Tim McIlrath (Rise Against), Dave Hause (The Loved Ones), Jenny O.@ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 22
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Punk rock goes acoustic with this tour, which stops by The Observatory TONIGHT. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $18.

Tap Takeover: Old Orange Brewing
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 23
Beachfront Bar & Grill, Huntington Beach

Old Orange Brewing will take over the taps at Beachfront Bar & Grill this Tuesday night, courtesy of the Beer Punks. Come in any time at night and enjoy some brews from Old Orange. Also, catch Jason Cruz & The Howl performing live later in the night.

Build Your Own Mac ‘N Cheese Night
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 24
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach

Beachwood BBQ throws a special food night every month or two, each with a different type of food, such as chili or ribs. This time, they return to what started it all with their Build Your Own Mac ‘N Cheese Night. Pick the pasta, cheese, herbs, veggies, and meat, and pair it with a nice craft beer or two.

Dishcrawl Long Beach
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 24
Cambodia Town, Long Beach

Get a taste of Cambodian culture by celebrating Cambodian New Year at this installment of Dishcrawl Long Beach. For $45, attendees will feast on a four-course dinner across four different restaurants. Attendees will receive an e-mail on the day of the event detailing where to meet and when.

Tap Takeover: Iron Fist / Latitude 33
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 25
The Factory Gastrobar, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach

Two young breweries from Vista, CA will visit The Factory this Thursday night to stock the taps with their magnificent brews. Both breweries will take over the taps, and guests can meet the brewers from both breweries as well! Come drink some great beers, all at $4 per pint.

Alkaline Trio with Bayside @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 25
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Alkaline Trio currently tours with Bayside, and you can catch both of them this Thursday night at The Observatory in Santa Ana. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $25.

Nathan Maxwell (Flogging Molly), Jesse & Jeff (The Aggolites), and more @ Alex’s Bar
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, April 25
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach

Nathan Maxwell, bassist for Flogging Molly, conducts a respectable solo tour. Catch him, Jesse & Jeff from The Aggrolites, and more this Thursday night at Alex’s Bar. Tickets cost $8. No one under 21 may enter.

Japanese Sweets Fair
11:00 am – 9:00 pm, April 26-28
Mitsuwa Marketplace, Torrance

Browse through a plethora of sweet treats made in Japan all weekend at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Torrance. Open to all ages, every treat will vary in price, so have cash available with you.

Guttermouth, Destruction Made Simple, Whitekaps, Throne, The Grim @ Characters Sports Bar
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, April 26
Characters Sports Bar, Pomona

Catch Guttermouth, Destruction Made Simple, Whitekaps, Throne, and The Grim this Friday night at Characters Sports Bar in Pomona. Tickets to this punk rock show cost $13 presale and $15 at the door. No one under 21 may attend.

March for Babies Los Angeles Walk
8:30 am – 12:30 pm, April 27
Exposition Park, Los Angeles

Walk to raise money for Miller’s Children Hospital. Walk as an individual or as a team. Proceeds benefit the March of Dimes NICU Signature Program at Miller Children’s and will fund research to help prevent premature birth.

18th Annual Uptown Whittier Spring Antique Street Faire
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 27
Greenleaf Avenue, Uptown Whittier

Check out over 90 vendors selling collectibles, jewelry, art, furniture, glassware, and more at this street fair this Saturday. Free to attend for all ages, guests will find many rare merchandise from local businesses and home vendors. Guests can dine at any of the local establishments, which will remain open under their normal business hours. Guests can park for free on the street in adjacent neighborhoods.

2013 Cambodian New Year Celebration
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 27
El Dorado Park, Long Beach

Celebrate Cambodian New Year this Saturday in Long Beach with traditional & modern performances, live music, arts & crafts, games, food, vendors, and more. Tickets plus parking to this all-ages festival cost $30 presale and $40 at the gate.

30th Annual Encinitas Street Fair
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 27-28
South Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas

This FREE street fair takes place this weekend in Encinitas. Featuring 450 unique food, arts & crafts vendors, five music stages, rides & games, and a beer garden hosted by Stone Brewing and Port Brewing, people of all ages will enjoy this street fair. Due to the compact nature of this area, parking can get extremely difficult to locate. Arrive early, or take public transportation to arrive safely.

Norma Coombs Alternative School Spring Fair
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 27
Norma Coombs Alternative School, Pasadena

This local school will host local craft vendors, food trucks, live music, and more. Completely free to attend for all ages, this fair caters towards families, so bring the young ones and have a fun time.

Spring 2013 Brewery Art Walk
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 27-28
Brewery Art Association, Los Angeles

This FREE semiannual art walk features hundreds of residents artists showcasing their finest work. Guests may even purchase art they like from the artists. Free to park and enter for all ages, the facility even includes an in-house restaurant, so bring your friends and family to look at some great art.

29th Annual Mission Federal ArtWalk
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 27-28
Little Italy, San Diego

Free to the public, this art walk takes up 17 blocks of Little Italy filled with over 350 artists. All throughout the fest, guests can discover music and dance performances, and plenty of kids’ activities.

Taps 1st Annual Craft Brew Festival
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, April 27
Taps Fish House, Brea

Taps Fish House & Brewery will host their first annual craft beer festival this Saturday afternoon at their Orange County location. For $50, guests will receive 15 beer tickets and unlimited tastings of various foods catered by the restaurant. At least 16 breweries will make an appearance in addition to Taps’ own brews. Since the restaurant will remain open to the public, this fest will most likely take place in the parking lot behind the building. No one under 21 may enter.

Adams Avenue Unplugged
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 27
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 28
Adams Avenue, San Diego

Completely free to the public, guests will spectate 180 live music acts throughout the day all in the various local businesses and multiple stages. The city will also offer free trolley service to transport guests from one end to the other.

Bite Flite
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, April 27
Bar & Garden, Culver City

Sample burgers, beers, and desserts at this food pairing dinner this Saturday in Culver City. The $15 admission includes a 4-beer flight, cake truffles from Velvet Rope Bake Shop, a tote bag full of goodies, and sliders (additional cost). No one under 21 may attend.

The Adolescents, The Dickies, Shattered Faith, The Crowd @ House of Blues Anaheim
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 27
House of Blues, Anaheim

Legendary punk band The Adolescents headline a show with The Dickies, Shattered Faith, and The Crowd this Saturday night at House of Blues at Downtown Disney in Anaheim. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $19 presale and $22 on the day of the show.

2013 Taste of Huntington Beach
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 28
Huntington Beach Sports Complex, Huntington Beach

Sample the flavors of Huntington Beach’s local restaurants this Sunday at their food fest. Admission includes unlimited food samples and wine & beer tasters. General admission costs $65 and starts at 12pm, while VIP costs $85 and starts at 11am. VIP comes with complimentary champagne, extra hors d-oeuvres, free raffle entries, and free goodies. For both admissions, designated drivers will save $5, which only means they cannot receive any wine or beer.

Bootlegger’s Brewery 5th Anniversary Music & Beer Fest
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, April 28
Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton

Celebrate Bootlegger’s Brewery’s 5th anniversary at their music & beer fest this Sunday in Fullerton. The $30 admission includes 10 beer tasters, a souvenir glass, over 30 brews including rares and limited brews, food trucks, live music, access to the venue’s art gallery, a bull ride, bocce ball, dunk tank, and more. No one under 21 may attend.

Atwater Village Beer, Wine, & Food Festival
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, April 28
Atwater Village

Check out local breweries, local vendors, food & drinks, live music, and more this Sunday at Atwater Village. VIP tickets cost $40 presale and $50 at the fest, starts at 12pm, receives 24 beer tasters and a free goodie bag. General admission costs $30 presale and $40 at the fest, and comes with 12 tasters. Designated driver tickets cost $15 presale and $20 at the fest.

8th Annual Taste of Orange
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 28
Orange Circle, Old Town Orange

Sample the local flavors of Old Town Orange this Sunday at their annual Taste of Orange event. For $40, guests receive unlimited food samples, beer & wine tastings (additional cost), access to silent auctions, opportunity drawings, photo booth, and more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5th Annual Los Angeles International Tamale Festival
3:00 pm – 8:00 pm, October 19
8:00 am – 8:00 pm, October 20
9:00 am – 6:00 pm, October 21
Exposition Park, Los Angeles

If you love tamales, you cannot miss this fest! For just $4 ($6 at door), guests will enjoy tamale-making demos, a tamale cook-off, arts & crafts, vendors, a kids’ zone, live music, and various contests such as best commercial tamale, best homemade tamale, tamale-eating, and more.

56th Annual Silverado Days
5:00 pm – 12:00 am, October 19
10:00 am – 12:00 am, October 20
8:00 am – 10:00 pm, October 21
William Peak Park, Buena Park

This annual local fair takes place at Peak Park in Buena Park every year on the third weekend of October. Free to park and enter, guests of all ages will enjoy rides, games, vendors, a food court, live entertainment, and more. Numerous contests that guests can participate in include arm wrestling, horseshoe-throwing, pie-eating, hog calling, baby, dogs, chili cook-off, and more. If arriving at night, know that Halloween Haunt traffic envelopes the park, so turning into the street from Knott Ave will take a long time. Once you turn into the neighborhood, the park’s parking lot has more than enough spots available.

Belmont Shore Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, October 20
Chase Bank, Belmont Shore, Long Beach

Attracting seasoned and emergent visual artists, as well as participants from local high schools and universities, the 9th annual Belmont Shore Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest, presented by Justin Rudd and his nonprofit Community Action Team (C.A.T.), will showcase the works of diverse artists who will use chalk as their medium, and the sidewalks of Belmont Shore as their canvas. The contest costs nothing for amateurs to enter, so check the website for the registration link.

Fall 2012 Brewery Art Walk
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, October 20-21
Brewery Art Association, Los Angeles

This FREE semiannual art walk features hundreds of residents artists showcasing their finest work. Guests may even purchase art they like from the artists. Free to park and enter for all ages, the facility even includes an in-house restaurant, so bring your friends and family to look at some great art.

Hollywood On Tap
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, October 20
Paramount Studios, Los Angeles

Beer, food trucks, and live music join together to create the Hollywood On Tap beer fest this Saturday at Paramount Pictures Studios. For $40, attendees enter at 2pm and receive a souvenir glass and UNLIMITED beer pours. For just $10 more, guests may enter an hour early. At least seven food trucks will keep guests fed, but you have to pay separately for food. The event still provides free sodas and water to guests. As with all beer fests, anyone under 21 may not enter.

LA Oktoberfest
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, October 20-21
Vanguard Hollywood, Los Angeles

For the full coverage, see this blog post.

The 2012 Los Angeles Oktoberfest returns this weekend to Vanguard Hollywood. A step above the other well-known Oktoberfests in Southern California, LA Oktoberfest gives guests the LA spin on Oktoberfest. Whereas other Oktoberfests charge you to enter then charge you for every beer you consume, LA Oktoberfest functions more like a beer fest. Guests pay $35 for admission to enter at 2pm, which includes a souvenir 1-liter stein and one complimentary beer fill. Each food item and additional beers cost $5 each. For $100, guests receive the VIP treatment – early entry at 1pm and unlimited beer pours. The fest ends at 5pm for all guests. For entertainment, LA Oktoberfest not only features the finest beer maidens serving beer, wine, cocktails, and more, but also live DJ’s, Bavarian dancers, accordionists, a silent auction, stein-holding contests, and more.

626 Night Market
3:00 pm – 1:00 am, October 20
3:00 pm – 11:00 pm, October 21
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia

The largest Asian night market in America moves to Santa Anita Park this weekend. Free to attend, this flea market of sorts will host tons of vendors selling Asian wares, merchandise, apparel, appliances, food, drinks, and more. Arrive before 4pm to pay only $4 for parking and receive free horse-betting entries. Parking will cost $7 after 4pm.

Uptown Whittier Zombie Pub Crawl
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, October 20
The 6740, Whittier

Got a zombie outfit or zombie makeup? Join in on this zombie-themed pub crawl this Saturday night! Start at The 6740, then follow the group as they stroll from bar to bar.

Surf City Beach Derby
6:30 am – 12:00 pm, October 21
Huntington Beach Pier

Not your typical race! This Sunday morning in Huntington Beach, thousands will participate in various physical challenges, including a 10-mile run, a 10K, a 2K & 5K obstacle course, half marathon scramble, and more. In addition, a costume contest aims to mix things up on the sand. When registering, use coupon code YHang10 to save $5 off entry.

Uptown Whittier saw over 300 cars adorn the streets this past Saturday for their 12th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show. For any car enthusiast, this car show delights the soul with streets filled with classic and muscle cars. This car show does not stay in one area – it branches out from the center of Uptown Whittier down multiple streets to carefully section out the cars. Walking the entire length of the show without stopping to gaze or take pictures may take at least half an hour with a light crowd. But because spectators ranged in the thousands, getting through the crowd required patience. However, getting to see all the cars in a family-friendly atmosphere easily earned my time spent here.

Come back next year to see these cars and more in Uptown Whittier! In the meantime, the next similar car show will take place in Belmont Shore of Long Beach on September 9th, so mark your calendar(s)!