The Champion's Table
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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Save the Date: 4th Annual Sips & Sweets on December 14th in Los Angeles, California

LA Weekly proudly presents its 4th annual Sips & Sweets on December 14, 2017 at the Petersen Automotive Museum, where you can sample delicious sweets and sip on handcrafted cocktails. LA’s top bakers, most respected mixologists, and artisanal craftspeople will be showing off their best for you to see, touch, taste, and drink.

Sweets from the 2015 LA Weekly's Sips & Sweets
A portion of the proceeds of the event will be donated to Food Forward. Food Forward rescues fresh local produce that would otherwise go to waste, connecting this abundance with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same. This volunteer-powered, grassroots group of Southern Californians are passionate about reconnecting to our food system, promoting the issue of food justice, and making changes concerning hunger in our community. They convene in private properties, public spaces, and farmers & wholesale markets to recover excess fruits and vegetables, donating 100% to local direct-service agencies who feed our community’s most vulnerable. Along with the distribution partners, they provide food to over 100,000 people a month across Southern California.

Sweets from the 2015 LA Weekly's Sips & Sweets
Chefs and bakers presenting their famous sweet and savory treats:

Sweets from the 2015 LA Weekly's Sips & Sweets
Mixologists presenting sips of their signature holiday drinks:

Libations from the 2015 LA Weekly's Sips & Sweets
Sponsor lineup:

Artisan Vendor Village lineup:

Sweets from the 2015 LA Weekly's Sips & Sweets
Tickets (Attendees must be 21+ and have a valid ID for entry):

  • General admission ticket includes: entry into the event, unlimited food and drink samples, and access to the artisan vendor village.
  • VIP admission ticket includes: all of the general admission perks plus 1-hour early entry into the event and a special VIP gift bag.

Sweets from the 2015 LA Weekly's Sips & Sweets
Purchase tickets today before it sells out! You don’t want to miss your chance to sip a holiday cocktail or taste a sweet treat!

For more information:
The Petersen Automotive Museum
6060 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Date/Time: December 14, 2017 from 8pm to 11pm (VIP admission starts at 7pm)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Food+Drink Crawling with the OC Food Diva and OC Bus in Buena Park and Anaheim, California

This post was sponsored by OC Bus but the opinions expressed here are my own.

Although I’ve been a Southern California resident for over 40 years, I have never ridden on our local transportation system (except for the Monorail and the Disneyland Railroad). OC Bus has made the way we commute around Orange County so much better. They have made so many resources, like an easy-to-navigate website offering real-time arrivals, different pass options, and now a mobile app. Whether you are commuting to work, running errands, or planning a day of fun, OC Bus is a great transportation option.

The nearest route for me is 38, which runs from Anaheim Hills Festival (a center with lots of shopping and restaurant options) to Lakewood (Del Amo Boulevard and Pioneer Boulevard). For Orange County, this route travels along La Palma Avenue. For those of us who drive, we sometime miss places that we pass on a freeway or while just concentrating on the traffic around you. But, if you are riding on the OC Bus, you see places that are new or just forgot about since it is not on your normal route. La Palma Avenue is one of these streets that has a lot of hidden adventures waiting to be had.

We planned our route to start on one of the earliest buses heading west. Our first stop was on Beach Boulevard and La Palma Avenue. Can you guess where we are going? There are actually many places to go near that intersection: Knott’s Berry Farm, Soak City, Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, Pirates Dinner Adventure, Rock and Brews, and Teatro Martini. If you guessed Knott’s Berry Farm, you are correct but we were not going into the park. On the weekends, Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant is open for breakfast. When the hubby and I were dating back in the 1990s, one of our favorite restaurants was Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. The restaurant has been recently renovated and looks like a rustic home in the country. And yes, there is chicken on the menu for breakfast. Fried Chicken Filet and Eggs in Nest is definitely a breakfast food find. And it was absolutely amazing! The chicken filet was fried to perfection like chicken katsu, crispy on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. My sunny side up eggs were served up “toad in the whole”-style. The breakfast comes with their famous buttermilk biscuits, butter, and boysenberry jam.

After breakfast, it was time to start heading back east towards Buena Park Downtown (formerly the Buena Park Mall). You can wait for the next bus or you can leisurely walk a couple blocks along La Palma Avenue. On the southeast corner of La Palma and Stanton Avenue is Buena Park Downtown. On Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Buena Park Farmers’ Market has a variety of farm-fresh Certified California Grown fruits and vegetables, local food artisans, arts, crafts, jewelry, and live music. I love strolling through a farmers’ market to see what fresh produce is in season and check out new food vendors. The food find here was Parmigiano Reggiano Spread. Their cheese spread was amazing, but the amazing different accoutrements like olive tapenades and other Mediterranean-inspired flavors just blew my mind. They would be great as a dip, added to salads, spreading on sandwiches, etc.

Buena Park Downtown has a great selection of restaurants. One of them in particular brings back food memories for me. Portillo’s is an iconic-Chicago eatery with only two locations in California, one in Buena Park and the other in Moreno Valley. But, if you love Chicago eats like I do, you’ll love Portillo’s. Chicago’s iconic foods are deep-dish pizzas, Italian beef sandwiches, and hot dogs. Portillo’s has two of them. Italian Beef Sandwich is made with slow-roasted beef served on freshly baked Turano French bread. Best, and messiest, way to have it is “dipped”. The whole sandwich, bread and all, is dipped into their famous gravy. Add peppers and/or hot giardiniera peppers for acidic and spicy notes. Portillo’s is also known for their hot dogs. We call them Chicago dogs, but they just call them Jumbo Hot Dogs served on a poppy seed bun and topped with mustard, relish, celery salt, chopped onions, sliced tomatoes, kosher pickle, and sport peppers. It may seem like a wacky creation, but it’s iconic flavor has people coming in droves just for a bite of one.

After filling our tummies with yummies, it was time to catch a ride on the OC Bus to our next stop in Anaheim. Craft breweries have been popping up all around the country. Beer connoisseurs will plan their vacations around visiting breweries and locals flock to their favorites for happy hour or a fun time on the weekend. Bottle Logic Brewing is one of these fan favorites! You’ll see in the video how busy they are on Saturdays. A great way to try a brewery’s beer is with a flight. Bottle Logic has a flight called “The Constants” which profiles 5 beers that are pretty much available year-round. They have a lot of seasonal and hyper-seasonal beers as well. The Autumn 2017 flight includes (714) Blond (Blond Ale), Lagerithm (American Dark Lager), Cobaltic Porter (Baltic Style Porter), Odyssey of Oddities (Chai Porter), and Haze Maze Cave (East Coast Style IPA).

This is just one food+drink adventure that you can partake in at your leisure or make up your own while using the route maps on Choose your next adventure! OC Bus is also an easy and budget-friendly way to make your daily commute. Let OC Bus doing the driving for a relaxing commute.

For more information:

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