Orange County’s First Paella Festival Is Almost Here!

We’re partnering with the Paella Wine & Beer Festival to giveaway two tickets to their OC debut! Read more to find out about the festival and how to enter for a chance to win admission for two – a $200 value.

Orange County’s first ever Paella Wine & Beer Festival is coming to the Orange County Fair and Event Center THIS Saturday, August 26, 2017 from 4-9 p.m.

Photo Courtesy of the Paella Wine & Beer Festival

The Paella Wine & Beer Festival is a series of one-day events celebrating Hispanic culture and Spanish cuisine held in Southern California, with separate events taking place in Los Angeles, San Diego and starting this year, Orange County.

The San Diego and Orange County festivals serve as the semi-final competitions for the 57th annual World Paella Championship, which will take place in Sueca, Valenciana, Spain, on September 10, 2017. Nearly 50 local chefs will compete with their own paella recipes for the chance to represent the United States at the World Paella Championship.

Chef Leo Razo of Villa Roma in Laguna Niguel will attempt to set a record during the event with the largest paella ever made in the United States – enough to feed 3,000 people!

Entry to the 2017 Orange County Paella Wine & Beer Festival includes unlimited wine, beer and paella for the entire event!

Attendees will be able to drink and eat to their heart’s delight and enjoy an experience reflecting what one would find while strolling through a lively outdoor market in Spain. There will be live entertainment including Flamenco performances and Spanish rock, and local vendors will offer tapas, sangrias, cocktails, cultural art, and much more.

For more information on the event visit paellawinefest.com. Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win two tickets to this weekend’s event!

GIVEAWAY

Use the form below to enter for a chance to win two tickets to the 2017 Orange County Paella Wine & Beer Festival.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be chosen at 9pm PST, Friday night, August 25th 2017, and will be contacted immediately upon being chosen. Winner will be provided with two promotional codes to be redeemed for their free tickets on the ticketing website. Must be 21 or older to enter and a resident of Southern California. Transportation and lodging are not included.

The World Fabulous Drag Brunch at House of Blues Anaheim

The new House of Blues Anaheim kicked off a new monthly event this summer featuring wild entertainment, mimosas and an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet. The World Fabulous Drag Brunch is held on the first Saturday of each month and is hosted by the always fantastic Willam Belli – actress, author, YouTuber and former RuPaul’s Drag Racer.

(FTC Disclosure: SoCal Locale attended the World Fabulous Drag Brunch with a complimentary ticket to facilitate our post. No other compensation was received.)

The hot and hilarious new show features performances from Willam as well as several other amazing ladies – and the occasional gentlemen. The World Fabulous Drag Brunch brings your favorite drag stars up close and personal while you enjoy the one of the biggest and best brunch food selections in Orange County!

The amazing House of Blues brunch buffet includes tons of Southern-inspired favorites including jambalaya, jalapeno-cheese cornbread, collard greens, a prime rib carving station, and chicken and waffles as well as brunch classics like french toast, smoked bacon, fresh fruit, homemade pastries, and more!

Food and non-alcoholic drinks are included with admission, and you can buy a World Fabulous Mimosa Bucket for just $25, with enough champagne and juice to share with a friend or two if you’re feeling generous!

Willam (and friends) will delight and entertain you with music, moves and a dose of comedy. The World Fabulous Drag Brunch is perfect for a wild Saturday morning with friends and special celebrations that call for a dash of glitz.  Get your tickets at houseofblues.com/anaheim!

The World Fabulous Drag Brunch

1st Saturday of the month

The NEW House of Blues Anaheim (at GardenWalk)

400 West Disney Way, Suite 337, Anaheim, CA

Tickets: $45

Parking: 2 hours free with validation

AMG Opens Their First U.S. All-You-Can-Eat Location in Lynwood!

Disclosure: We were invited to a complimentary media tasting in order to try out a variety of offerings from this restaurant. No other compensation was given in exchange for this post.

AMG recently opened their very first All-You-Can-Eat location in the United States. Located in Plaza Mexico in Lynwood, the new restaurant boasts a huge selection of 45 AYCE items. And their prices are affordable – $20.99 for an adult dinner, and $15.99 for an adult lunch.

AMG serves nothing but prime fresh meat, ready to be grilled right at your table. And if you’ve never had Korean BBQ before, just let the staff know and they’ll help get you started. Their unique in-table grills include a spot on the side to rest your cooked meat, and a reservoir to cook eggs as well.

AMG Korean BBQ also offers an amazing selection of beers and soju. Their beers range from $4.25 to $7.00, but most of them are $5.00. Bottles of Soju are only $10.

A few other notable mentions – they have a great banchan selection, and yes it includes rice paper. Their volcano (kimchi) fried rice is delicious and fun to watch them make, and don’t forget to save room for dessert!

AMG’s newest location is the perfect place to bring your friends and enjoy great service and a delicious meal. With so much variety and such amazing service, you won’t be disappointed!

 

Sabroso: Craft Beer, Tacos, Music, and More! Tickets on Sale Now

The Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival is back for its 4th year, and this time they’re heading to the beach!

The ultimate taco and craft beer celebration, presented by KLOS and powered by Gringo Bandito, is proud to announce an all-new location at the scenic Doheny State Beach in Dana Point on Saturday, April 8th, 2017.

This year’s music lineup will be headlined by Orange County-based, multi-platinum rock band The Offspring, along with performances from Sum 41, Rival Sons, Lit, and Unwritten Law, as well as the world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band, Metalachi. There will also be roving mariachi band performances throughout the festival.

During the festival, taco lovers can indulge themselves in $3 gourmet tacos from top local chefs and restaurants, who are competing for the coveted Sabroso “People’s Choice” awards. Attendees can select their favorite via a Text-To-Vote system during the event. There is also a “Best Of Show” award, chosen by a panel of highly acclaimed and pre-selected food judges.

The 2017 Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival will feature renowned craft breweries including Bottle Logic, Bootleggers, Riip Brewing, Pizza Port, TAPS Fish House and Brewery, Stereo Brewing, Fall Brewing, Barley Forge, Ritual Brewing, Modern Times, Artifex Brewing and more.

If music, beer, tacos, and the beach aren’t enough, attendees will also be entertained by lucha libre style wrestlers like Red Spider, La Golosa, Lady Lee and Mariachi Loco, who will take to the ring for four action packed qualifying matches, followed by a championship match.

Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival will run from 1:00 PM – 9:00 PM on Saturday, April 8. VIP entry begins at noon, to include an extra hour of complimentary exclusive tastings in the VIP lounge. The festival is only open to attendees 21 and older.

For more info and tickets, head to www.SabrosoTacoFest.com!

A Regular Family Went to Au Fudge and This is What Happened

Earlier this week my family and I were invited to attend a special movie screening of the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie in West Hollywood. Usually when someone invites me to drive to LA from South OC on weekday afternoon I have to give them a big nope. However, this screening was being held at the already infamous new Au Fudge restaurant. I had to go. (Disappointingly, we were not greeted at the door by chipmunks holding tiny muffins.)

Todd Williamson / Getty Images

What I knew about Au Fudge prior to going:
It is a restaurant.
It’s owned by Jessica Biel.
It may or may not serve fudge.
It is not for regular people like us.

Since this was a last-minute invite, my personal stylist was unavailable and I didn’t have time to book a driver. So, I dressed everyone in their one nice outfit, and we piled into the minivan. Luckily, it was recently cleaned inside and out, so when we pulled up to the (complimentary, thank god) valet, garbage didn’t fall out of the minivan when the doors were opened. (Yes that is a thing that actually happened to me once. Okay, more than once.)

We didn’t tell the kids where we were going, aside from the fact that it was in LA and it would be fun. So naturally, they thought of all kinds of way more fun places we could have been going. I just kept driving and let them set themselves up for eventual disappointment that was going to happen when we showed up at a restaurant and not a theme park.

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When we finally arrived, about 2 and a half hours from the time we left the house, my seven year old saw the sign out front and yelled “OH YEAH A FUDGE FACTORY.” Once again I had to lay down the disappointment and let him know that it was just a restaurant and that I wasn’t sure they even had any fudge.

The valet situation was a bit of a nightmare, and while we were stopped in the road, where the valet had signaled us to stop, two parking enforcement officers rushed over to ticket our crappy 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan, ignoring the rest of the cars that were also in the way. Thanks, WeHo Parking Enforcement, you’re real swell! Anyway, kudos to the valet who stepped in and took care of that.

Once we were inside, we pretended that we didn’t feel really out of place. We checked in for the event and the kids were herded into the “Creativity Room” which had been set up as a makeshift movie theater. Normally, for $15 an hour (less than most of the entrees on the menu) you can check your child in, and they can explore all kinds of creative outlets while you get a nice buzz going. Today, it was just a big room to watch a movie in.

Todd Williamson / Getty Images

Todd Williamson / Getty Images

I tried to get my kids settled down on the floor with their popcorn that was served in a fancy pink Au Fudge paper bag, but I was in the way as usual and one of the au pairs kindly suggested that I just leave the room and let her do her job. Okay, she didn’t say those exact words but I think it was implied. But, I wasn’t in the mood to argue, so I headed to the bar because I love free drinks.

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The bar menu is exactly what I expected. A lot of thought was put into the names and descriptions of each $14 drink. You can order the low-calorie, MILF cocktail, with the tagline, “This yummy mummy needs her juice.” Or grab a “Jessica Rabbit’s Rabbit,” or an “Old Fashioned Fawn.” I went for “Claude’s Tonic,” which is described only as “Beefeater Gin. Mixwell Dandelion Tonic. Magic.” I think the “magic” is the fact that it is so strong that you only need a couple of drinks to forget about how ridiculously out of place you feel.

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Two drinks in and I was feeling fantastic. I was brushing shoulders with some of the event’s celebrity guests. We talked about things like, where the bathroom was, and yes you can have that chair, and no I did not order that grilled cheese and soup, I’m not sure why the waiter placed it on the table next to me. I was fitting right in.

Whose grilled cheese is this anyway?!

Whose $16 grilled cheese is this anyway?!

Every so often, one of my kids would sneak out of the movie screening, or be walked out by an au pair when they wouldn’t sit still for five seconds. My kids not sitting still? Imagine that. Since the only way to get my kids to behave in public is to bribe them, we bought them all gum balls (they’re all natural!) and sent them back into the screening. I did peek in on them once or twice and it turns out they were getting talked to an awful lot.

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While the kids were getting scolded once again, the adults were enjoying passed apps. My expectations of the food were a bit low. I heard it was overpriced and mediocre. Perhaps they were just showing off for the event, but everything we tried was delicious. Tiny cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches cut into bars caprese salad on a toothpick, and the juiciest little chicken nuggets I’ve ever tasted. My husband said the sweet potato fries were the best he’s had in a long time. Suffice to say, we weren’t disappointed in the food we ate, but we also didn’t pay for it, so take that with a grain of salt.

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If you have older kids, they probably wouldn’t care about this place much at all. But, someone on the design team thought about that, and so they put some awesome arcade games in the back of the restaurant. In fact, my husband, the biggest kid of them all, spent most of the evening back there. There’s also a fortune telling game and a photo booth. Basically, if you are currently a teenager in the 1980’s, this is where you’d hang out when you visit Au Fudge.

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Au Fudge really loves itself. You’ll find the name of the restaurant all over the place. In the little market at the front of the restaurant, they sell Au Fudge tote bags, and even a book with the title.

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And guess what else I found in that little shop. A variety of actually reasonably priced treats including? Fudge. Now I had to tell my kid that I lied about them not even having it. Or, I could say nothing and hope he doesn’t notice. Spoiler alert: He didn’t notice.

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Aside from baked goods and refrigerated drinks, the little gift shop carried a random variety of other stuff. Products from celebrity BFF Jessica Alba’s Honest Company, candy, packaged snacks, Easter baskets, art kits, hats, dresses, and even jewelry that you can order off of the “Jewelry Menu.” That is a real thing that I did not make up.

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What is a “Dessert Necklace?”

Even the bathroom was thoughtfully decorated. Like a chic farmer’s market bathroom or something.

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Since we weren’t actual paying customers, I suppose we didn’t get the full Au Fudge experience. But here’s what I learned while we were there:

It is a restaurant.
It’s owned by Jessica Biel.
It does serve fudge.
It is not for regular people like us.

If you’re into having a whimsical restaurant experience where you can leave your kids unattended for a little while and escape the perils of being rich and slightly famous, OR you want to pay too much for lunch while possibly running into rich and slightly famous people, Au Fudge is the place to go. If you’re a regular mom like me, it’s a fun experience to try once. If you just want to drink and let your kids run around, go to Chuck-e-cheese. It’s cheaper.

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5th Annual West Coast BBQ Classic Returns to The Queen Mary

On May 14th, 2016 from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, the Queen Mary will be ripe with the smell of delicious barbecue. The 5th Annual West Coast BBQ Classic (WCBC) is returning to Long Beach and bringing some of California’s most accomplished Champion Pitmasters together to compete for a $10,500 cash prize and the coveted title of West Coast BBQ Pitmaster Champion.

WCBCLogo

In addition to an exciting BBQ Battle, the WCBC will feature BBQ styles from across the country including slow-cooked hickory barbeque from Texas and southern Memphis-style barbeque. Attendees can taste delicious BBQ samples for only $2 each while enjoying a beautiful ocean view.

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The festival offers something for everyone! Join in the fun and participate in the watermelon or cobbler eating contests. Live entertainment will be provided by country music sensation, Scotty Mac Band. Children will love hanging out in Kids Country, which will offer games, a bounce house, face painters and potato sack races just for little BBQ fans. With the live music, backyard games, contests, and a merchant market, there will be more to do than just eat – although that will be a big part of it!

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The West Coast BBQ Classic is a one day only event, not to be missed. General value pack tickets are $20 each through April 30 and include event admission plus five tasting tickets and access to the Queen Mary ship. After April 30 tickets increase to $25. VIP value pack tickets are $35 through May and include one-hour early event admission plus five tasting tickets and access to the Queen Mary ship. After May 1 tickets increase to $40. Event parking is $15.

Ready for some great BBQ? Get your tickets here!

Get Your Sugar Rush at the OC Fair & Event Center Dec 5-6

SugarRushLogo_hirez

Need a little sweetness in your life? Big Bite Events has just the thing for you. Coming down with the recent success of their Big Bite Bacon Fest in Long Beach, they’ve announced their newest concept in “foodtainment,” Sugar Rush.

Sugar Rush is a one-of-a kind combination dessert showcase and sweet market experience. Festivalgoers will also enjoy chef demonstrations, live entertainment, games and crafts for kids. As with all Big Bite Event productions, there will be plenty of fun themed games and entertainment to keep everyone busy!

The event is packed with entertainment, competitions, demonstrations, walk-about tastings, and shopping from dozens of the best pastry chefs and confectioners in Southern California.

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Karina Jimenez of Viva Los Cupcakes is the chef behind an award winning specialty cupcake company which draws inspiration from Mexican regional foods and desserts to create new and unique cupcake flavors like the ‘Tamal con Mole” cupcake. (Pictured above.)

Olivia, owner and founder of Unbaked: A Cookie Dough Bar, makes sweet dreams come true with 100% safe-to-eat edible raw cookie dough.

Unbaked

In celebration of National Cookie Cutter week, Sugar Rush is inviting both professional confectionary and pastry chefs along with amateur dessert artisans to participate in the Sugar Rush Cookie Competition. This competition will offer everyone a chance to put a favorite family cookie recipe to the ultimate test. There will also be a Sugar Cookie Art Display Competition, which will bring together a cookie, an artist and a cause to battle for the best sugar cookie art display. All entries will be put on display for the festivalgoers to bid on via a silent auction, with 100% of the auction proceeds being donated to a local charity.

Regular tickets are still available and start at $20. VIP tickets for Sugar Rush are also available and include one-hour early admission before general admission guests, a VIP swag bag, chocolate and spirits pairing and access to the VIP Sugar Lounge. The event will open at 11 a.m. for VIP, 12 p.m. for general admission and continue until 5 p.m. daily. The event will be held at the OC Fair & Events Center in Costa Mesa.

 

For more information about this one-of-a-kind sweet experience and to purchase tickets visit www.SugarRushOC.com.

 

Spicy Pork “Barba-Cola” Tamales with La Morena Chipotle Peppers and Coca-Cola

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MejoresRecetas #CollectiveBias

When I think of the Holidays here in Southern California, I think of a few things – actually getting to wear boots and sweaters for a few weeks, extravagant tree-lighting ceremonies, and an abundance of delicious tamales.

Pork Barba-cola tamales

Tamales are known as a very labor-intensive food item. From slowly cooking the filling meat to a tender perfection, to hand kneading the masa dough and letting it rest, to carefully wrapping the tasty little packages in corn husks, there is a lot of work and a lot of love that goes into making them. That’s why it’s such a wonderful gift to receive when someone gives you a batch of tamales. You know that a lot of time and energy went into making them.

Traditionally, tamales are usually made on Christmas Eve, with the tamale-prep going late into the night, and the finished product finally being ready to eat on Christmas Day. The filling for these tamales are slow-cooked over night in the crock pot, and with the filling made ahead of time, I like to invite a few friends over to help with the assembly. It goes much faster, and everyone is happy because the end result is delicious tamales!

El Super Entrance

To make these, I first headed to El Super in Santa Ana to get my ingredients. [Read more…]

Smart & Final Mission Viejo Grand Opening & Cheesy Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ChooseSmart #CollectiveBias

IMG_9294 [Read more…]

Atticus Creamery & Pies Opens New Location in Hollywood

Atticus Creamery + Pies Hollywood

Atticus Creamery & Pies recently opened their second location. Following-up on the success of their first location in West LA, Atticus Creamery & Pies has launched their second Los Angeles location near The Grove. The new Atticus location serves up hand made pies, ice cream, coffee drinks, and a few non-coffee drinks too.

Inside Atticus Creamery and Pies Hollywood

Their pies are baked daily at their Pico location and then delivered fresh to the Hollywood location. They feature creative and delicious flavor combinations such as Early Grey, Salted Caramel, Lemon Lavender, Strawberry Pistachio, Blackberry Cheesecake, and more. If you need help deciding what to get, just ask for a sample!

Atticus Hollywood Amazing Pies(L-R: Lemon Lavender, Blueberry Cheesecake, Strawberry Pistachio, Peanut Butter Chocolate.)

Their pies are made with only the freshest ingredients, and they do not use artificial colors or flavors. Their scratch-made crust is light and flaky, and pairs with each pie flavor beautifully.

Blackberry Cheesecake Atticus Hollywood(Front: Blackberry Cheesecake.)

Atticus Creamery & Pies in Hollywood also features a rotating selection of ice cream, also hand made in their Pico location. These ice creams also feature no artificial colors or flavors, and feature incredible flavor combinations such as Honey Honeycomb (one of their most popular), Milk and Cereal, Raspberry Champagne, Brown Sugar Apple Pie, Caramel Macchiato and more.

Atticus Hollywood Ice Cream Sampler

And of course what compliment pie and ice cream better than coffee? Atticus has a great selection of flavored lattes as well as espresso, brewed coffee, and cold brewed coffee. The stand out of their coffee selection is the “Atticus Cold Brew.”

Atticus Hollywood Coffee & Dessert

The Atticus Cold Brew takes cold brew coffee to the next level with a splash of whole milk and a hint of maple syrup. It’s the perfect refreshing drink on a warm day, and it pairs amazingly with a Lemon Lavender pie!

Atticus Hollywood Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie to go

Whether you’re eating in or taking it on the go, Atticus Creamery & Pie in Hollywood offers you a great atmosphere, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and most importantly, high-quality and delicious food and drink. If you find yourself the area, stop in and check it out.

Atticus Creamery & Pie Hollywood
6015 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90036
323 934 7890
Mon – Sun: 12pm – 10pm