Which 'Wich To Have in Hand This National Sandwich Day

Any ingredient you can imagine, piled between two slices of your favorite bread, a culinary expression of culture, creativity and convenience - who doesn’t enjoy a sandwich?

What better way to celebrate our collective love affair with the world’s tastiest invention – amusingly named after a gambling aristocrat - than dedicating an entire day to them? This year, November 3rd is National Sandwich Day, so let’s get rolling and look at the best Orange County has to offer.

National Sandwich Day has arrived yet again, so get ready for these creations between two slices

National Sandwich Day has arrived yet again, so get ready for these creations between two slices

 

Habana

Costa Mesa and Irvine, CA

Does the thought of scrumptious Latin-inspired food keep you up at night? Luckily, Habana is open past midnight and the “Media Noche” is the perfect bite to satisfy those late nocturnal cravings. This Cuban style pressed sandwich is loaded with slow roasted pork, jamón, Swiss and all the fixings, as well as a tantalizing roasted garlic yellow mustard aioli that makes the whole thing melt in your mouth.

Go all out this National Sandwich Day with a Cubano at Habana, and check out their new location in Irvine!

Go all out this National Sandwich Day with a Cubano at Habana, and check out their new location in Irvine!

Stockyard Sandwich Co.

4th St Market, Santa Ana, CA

Whoever thought to add tuna salad to the already delicious grilled cheese deserves a medal. The crew at Stockyard Sandwich Co. earns the gold for their take on the classic because the ciabatta and cheddar make it better. Tasty tuna and crisp pickles meld together in a gloriously salty and tangy experience that’s only elevated by tomato and red onion. House-made chips or tater tots are included with the order, so you’ll surely find happiness at this 4th Street Market standout.  

Tuna and grilled cheese come together due to a stroke of genius over at Stockyard Sandwich Co.

Tuna and grilled cheese come together due to a stroke of genius over at Stockyard Sandwich Co.

The Recess Room

Fountain Valley, CA

At The Recess Room, a trendy energetic vibe meets innovative cuisine. If your interests lie between the bread, the “Pork Belly BLT” has your name written all over it. Thick slabs of succulent, rich and flavorful kurobuta pork set the tone for this ‘wich; the charred edges alone will get your mouth watering. Arugula, tender Roma tomato, and chipotle aioli fill out the rest and beer battered fries come on the side. Just remember, there is never any shame in filling your belly with pork belly.

Mouth-watering Pork Belly BLT at The Recess Room in Fountain Valley

Mouth-watering Pork Belly BLT at The Recess Room in Fountain Valley

Pandor Artisan Boulangerie & Cafe

Anaheim, Newport Beach, Long Beach, and Orange, CA

Artisan French bread and aromatic coffee highlight this charming breakfast spot - oui, s’il vous plait! If you dream of sipping espresso while savoring a Croque-Madame along the Champs-Élysées, Pandor Boulangerie and Café can at least get you halfway to realizing your fancy.  Served atop a Provençal loaf, this delicacy of jambon ham, cheese, creamy Béchamel sauce and eggs over easy evokes the finest of Parisian sensibilities.

The Croque Madame at Pandor is beyond decadent and satisfying

The Croque Madame at Pandor is beyond decadent and satisfying

The Iron Press

Anaheim and Costa Mesa, CA

Please excuse the language, but the “Hot Mother Clucker” is so delicious, profanity is entirely necessary. On this ‘which, you’ll find tender, free-range Jidori chicken coated in a spicy buttermilk batter and stacked amid jalapeño waffles, along with zesty slaw, buffalo sauce, and jalapeño maple syrup. This delectably obscene creation will have you exhaling "&#%$ that is good!” between gulps of water. I would keep the pitcher close by.

Kick things up a notch this National Sandwich Day at The Iron Press

Kick things up a notch this National Sandwich Day at The Iron Press

The Kroft

Anaheim and Tustin, CA

What’s the coolest thing since sliced bread? Sandwich dipping. At The Kroft, thinly cut prime rib slathered with horseradish mayo and caramelized onions are the passengers on a French roll vessel certified for dunking, especially when it’s into Au Jus dip. With your Prime Rib Dip in hand, throw in some panko fried cheese curds and you’ll be on a voyage of delicious discovery.

When I dip, you dip, we dip this National Sandwich Day at The Kroft

When I dip, you dip, we dip this National Sandwich Day at The Kroft

CIVIC

4th St Market, Santa Ana, CA

CIVIC’s house-made pesto is the key that truly unlocks the flavor of its juicy, free-range chicken breast burger. Its basil is garden fresh, the olive oil enhancing the herbs while not being too soggy. They then throw savory sun dried tomatoes, arugula, melted Swiss cheese on a delicate yet crispy bun, proving that you can still get your fill without completely wrecking that healthy streak you’ve been on.

Get your hands on a truly unique creation at CIVIC, located within 4th St Market 

Get your hands on a truly unique creation at CIVIC, located within 4th St Market 

Two Birds

TRADE, Irvine, CA

For the “Bird In The Hand” sandwich, you’re going to need twice the standard gripping action, especially if you order double chicken for $3 (as you should). The massive portion towers on a cornmeal bun, seasoned, crispy poultry dripping with slaw and special tiger sauce. Don’t be intimidated, a fork and knife can make tackling the monster more feasible. Add a side of waffle fries and an Arnold Palmer truly bring the Southern comfort home.

Double the chicken, double the satisfaction this Sandwich Day at Two Birds located within TRADE

Double the chicken, double the satisfaction this Sandwich Day at Two Birds located within TRADE

Blackmarket Bakery

Costa Mesa and Santa Ana, CA

When the lunch bell rings, countless kids across the country dig into a timeless classic, the staple of every childhood diet. Blackmarket Bakery will take your fondest peanut butter and jelly sandwich memories to the next level. The Über PBJ is a layered masterpiece of creamy peanut butter, signature berry jam, shaved almonds, and fresh berries slathered on pieces of toasted 6-grain. You’ll never think about a PB&J the same again.

There's no other PB&J quite like this one from Blackmarket Bakery

There's no other PB&J quite like this one from Blackmarket Bakery

Dog Haus

Santa Ana, CA

What is the meaning of life? Was the dress black and blue or white and gold? Is a hot dog actually a sandwich? These are the questions of our time. Including frankfurters on this list might land me in the doghouse with some, but perhaps spending time at Dog Haus will provide a new perspective regarding this controversial debate. Whatever you decide, you’ll surely leave satisfied by the chain’s signature beef sausage combinations, each served on a fresh King’s Hawaiian Rolls. The popular “SOOO CALI” is garnished with wild arugula, spicy basil aioli, crispy onions, avocado, tomato, but you also have the option to craft your own.

A hot dog sandwich? Get DOWN on this madness this National Sandwich Day

A hot dog sandwich? Get DOWN on this madness this National Sandwich Day

The Little Jewel of New Orleans

Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA

Nestled in the heart of Chinatown, this outpost of authentic Southern cooking truly is a treasure. Each of their Po’boys is rich in bayou flavor; choices liked golden fried catfish, oyster, and shrimp come with mayo and all the fixings. Ask for a ‘crown’ on your sandwich, a topping of melted sharp cheddar and hand-smoked honey bacon, you’ll be glad you did.   

Enjoy the flavors of New Orleans in LA with these killer po'boys

Enjoy the flavors of New Orleans in LA with these killer po'boys

Hollingshead Delicatessen

Orange, CA

At Hollingshead Delicatessen, family owned and operated since 1963, every Hero (sandwich) has its Demon (sandwich). On the path to righteousness, you will encounter beef, ham, turkey, cheddar, mayo, mustard, lettuce, and tomato heaped on a French Roll. Luckily, giving into the dark side only means swapping for pastrami, Swiss, and an onion roll – well, and maybe partaking in the diverse beer section that features 22 different brews on tap every day.

Pair your delicious deli sammie with a great local craft beer at Hollingshead in Orange 

Pair your delicious deli sammie with a great local craft beer at Hollingshead in Orange 

Tortas Sinaloa

Santa Ana, CA

The fact that Mexican cooking, predominately embodied by the tortilla, has developed its own type of sandwich is a testament to the universal appeal. At Tortas Sinaloa, there are 60 different combinations to choose from, but the Torta Ahogada, a carnitas sandwich drenched in chili tomato sauce, lime juice and red onion is the best. Add some avocado and queso, and don’t forget to indulge in some of the liquid refreshments like tamarind or horchata.

Tortas are not to be forgotten this National Sandwich Day

Tortas are not to be forgotten this National Sandwich Day

The Carving Board

West Los Angeles, CA

When pasta ends up on a sandwich, it is a match made in carb heaven, and the meatball sandwich at The Carving Board is your ticket to those exquisite, pearly gates. Sliced all beef meatballs covered in a homemade marinara and melted mozzarella are served between Parmesan spaghetti bread (yes, it’s exactly what you think it is). Extra marinara on the side makes this pièce de résistance all the right kinds of saucy.

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WRITTEN BY: Ben McBee

A Piece of Cuba Comes to The Spectrum -- Habana Irvine Has Arrived

Orange County’s beloved Cuban eatery Habana
debuts their secondary location at the Irvine Spectrum Center

The Grand Opening -- Habana Irvine will be open to the public October 30, 2017. Their long-awaited grand opening events will take place on October 28, 2017 at 7pm. Their staff will host hundreds of guests at their brand new Irvine Spectrum location and provide entertainment including a live band courtesy of Robust Entertainment. Those in attendance can enjoy tastes of their most popular menu items, refreshing cocktails and more throughout the evening. Guests of the restaurant and Orange County's finest will sure to be seen at the long awaited opening gala.

Habana Cake Box Giveaway -- From October 16 - October 27, 2017 the public can participate in Habana’s ‘Cake Box Giveaway.’ 100 of Habana’s small cake boxes will be hidden at local Irvine businesses containing a numbered ticket, and the restaurant will be dropping hints via Instagram Stories on where to locate. Anyone who finds a box, posts an image of it and the ticket to their social accounts, and properly tags @restauranthabana and #HabanaIrvine on Instagram, will receive a $100 gift certificate to Habana. In addition, all one hundred ticket numbers will be placed into a drawing for an all-expense paid trip to Miami!

Authentic Cuban & Pan-Latin Cuisine -- Lead by Executive Chef Alex Moreno, Habana’s kitchen continues to impress visitors year after year. Moreno has brought his own flair and passion to the menu, including the return of Sunday Brunch, and so much more. Patrons have fallen in love with the Paella A La Habana, along with the key lime pie, house made bocaditos, ceviche and more.

Bakery Habana and Exclusive Coffee Blends -- In addition to the crowd-favorites, Habana Irvine will offer an array of authentic Cuban pastries, courtesy of their new on-site bakery. Habana’s talented Pastry Chef Katherine Russ provides outstanding bites to be enjoyed in-house or to-go. With its own entrance, Habana Irvine’s cafecita will be exceptionally accessible, and will offer its own inviting ambiance. Along with the housemade pastries, guests can indulge in exclusive, aromatic and rich coffee blends. These roasts can be sipped at the bakery, or taken home to be brewed at one’s leisure, but can only be found at Habana Irvine. Whether you’re there for the coffee, treats, or both, a visit to the new Bakery Habana is sure to transport you to a warm morning in Cuba.

West Coast Exclusive Cuban Beer -- Habana Irvine will also offer an exclusive Cuban style craft beer, Hatuey. This 100 year old famous ale, first brewed in Santiago, Cuba in 1914, first debuted in the states during its NYC launch party on December 1st, 2016. Habana will be the location of this refreshing and light-bodied Cuban ale’s West Coast launch. Pair this unique brew with their Media Noche sandwich and you’re sure to leave satisfied.

About Habana: Established in September of 1995, Habana proudly serves Cuban and Pan-Latin cuisine. This beloved Orange County eatery is known for its unique menu items and cocktails, not to mention, the romantic atmosphere. An Orange County rarity, guests can enjoy Habana's full menu until midnight seven days a week. Named "One of the 100 Best #AlFresco Dining Restaurants in America for 2016!" by OpenTable.  

“After seeing the success of Habana Costa Mesa grow over the past 20 years, we are excited to share the ‘Habana Energy’ with other cities, [starting with Irvine]. First rolling out nationally, and then internationally over the next several years.” - Habana Management

About DCB Hospitality Group: DCB Hospitality Group is the owner and operator of Habana bar and restaurant. Jeffrey Best and Kenneth Jones founded DCB Hospitality Group in 1994 to own and operate bars and restaurants, manage large scale events, and provide food and beverage industry consulting services. Jeffrey Best has been involved in all operating aspects of the bar and restaurant business for the previous 35 years. Early in his career, he performed functions as a Waiter, Service Bar Manager, Head Waiter, Bar Manager, and Kitchen Manager at numerous Los Angeles restaurants. His expertise has assisted in bringing Habana into the spotlight and keeping it there, and the brand continues to grow under his ownership.

Dine Out for the Cure in Orange County

On Thursday, October 12th, 2017, restaurants all over Orange County will be participating in Susan G. Komen Orange County’s Dine Out for the Cure®. Taking place during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Dine Out is sure to be delicious way to make a difference. The event brings together local establishments with Komen supporters to raise money to benefit breast cancer research and local services, including education, screening and treatment. For every dollar guests spend, anywhere from 10-25% of the restaurant’s profits for the day will go to Komen Orange County. Varying in their contribution to the breast cancer awareness foundation, all participating restaurants will make a significant impact in the fight against breast cancer, and the restaurants guest’s will enjoy their delectable bites knowing they’ve made a difference.

Participating restaurants include Perry’s Pizza (Huntington Beach), El Mercado Modern Cuisine (Santa Ana), DO Lunch Deli (Santa Ana), Panini Kabob Grill (many locations in OC), Felix Continental Cafe (Orange), Hatch (Tustin), The Blind Rabbit (Anaheim), and Shuck Oyster Bar (Costa Mesa), with new restaurants being added weekly.  Each restaurant will be donating 10% of their sales made on the 12th

About Susan G. Komen Orange County:
Susan G. Komen Orange County is a local breast health organization helping to serve women and save lives. Komen Orange County was founded in 1991 by a group of individuals committed to the Komen vision of a world without breast cancer. The Affiliate has raised more than $38 million toward the Komen promise. Seventy-five percent of funds raised are invested in local breast health needs and services. The remaining 25 percent is dedicated to the Komen Award and Research Grant Program to fund groundbreaking breast cancer research.


For more information and an updated list of participating restaurants, visit: http://komenoc.org/dineout/.

OC Spots to Dig Into with Your Pup on National Dog Day

Parting with your pup is difficult, no doubt about it. Luckily, Orange County is home to a few spots that are not only dog friendly, but are also ideal locations to bring your little one (dog, that is) on National Dog Day on August 26th. Give your canine friend the attention they deserve by letting them tag along with their favorite humans on their special day, and maybe stop by a park or two on the way home, they’ll find a way to love you more than they already do!

 

4th Street Market
Santa Ana

Santa Ana’s 4th Street Market is home to over six tenants, each with their own creative offerings. One of those tenants, Electric City Butcher, has dog treats available for your pup. Dog owners can choose from Falasophy’s Lebanese grub, Civic’s comfort food, Mar’s fresh seafood, and Red Envelope’s Vietnamese-fusion bites, to name a few. Whatever you’re in the mood for on National Dog Day, this Santa Ana spot has you covered. Dogs allowed on 4th Street Market’s patio, just enter patio through the gate on Bush Street. Less than half a mile away is Birch Park, where you and your canine pal can work off some of your meal.

Enter the 4th Street Market patio off of Bush St. in DTSA and dine alongside your pup | photo courtesy of 100eats

Enter the 4th Street Market patio off of Bush St. in DTSA and dine alongside your pup | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

The Iron Press
Costa Mesa

The Iron Press’s bread and butter are waffles and beer. If that sounds like an ideal meal to you, The Iron Press is your place. They have an outdoor patio where dogs can relax as you chow down on a fried chicken waffle sandwich, BLT waffle sandwich, wings, or buffalo cauliflower. The Costa Mesa joint also has an impressive 30 beers on tap to wash down your waffle. They’ll bring out some water for your pup, and you can order some grilled chicken for your hungry canine. Just a seven minute drive away is Costa Mesa Bark Park, a two-acre fenced off-leash dog park where your pup can roam free.  

Bring man's best friend along to get down on waffles and beer on the patio at The Iron Press| photo courtesy of 100eats

Bring man's best friend along to get down on waffles and beer on the patio at The Iron Press| photo courtesy of 100eats

 

Pelican Isle Restaurant and Sports Bar
Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach is home to the Huntington Dog Beach, the only off-leash dog beach in the OC. Only a seven minute drive away from the dog beach is Pelican Isle Restaurant and Sports Bar, a waterfront restaurant with a dog-friendly dockside patio where you and your dog can enjoy some Southern California sun and ocean views. Pelican Isle has a ton of salad and sandwich options for humans, like a Reuben, Chicken Breast Sandwich, Chicken Cobb Salad. With a sports bar feel and a dog-friendly environment, you and your pup will feel right at home.

After a long morning at HB Dog Beach, enjoy these waterfront views with your canine pal | photo courtesy of Pelican Isle

After a long morning at HB Dog Beach, enjoy these waterfront views with your canine pal | photo courtesy of Pelican Isle

 

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar
Irvine

At Lazy Dog, it’s all about — you guessed it — dogs. You and your pup can dine out on the patio but they’ll have to be kept on a leash. Your dog has the options of a Grilled Hamburger Patty & Brown Rice, Grilled Chicken Breast & Brown Rice, and a plain bowl of brown rice, all of which are under $5. They’ll even get a complimentary bowl of water to go with their meal. For humans, Lazy Dog offers an extensive menu of soups, sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, and main protein dishes. They also have a great seasonal menu, which features items like Street Corn Wheels, Ancient Grains and Roasted Veggie Salad, and a Grilled Steak Salad. After your meal, head on over to Irvine Central Bark Dog Park — t’s only a 10 minute drive away!

Lazy Dog may be the ultimate place for dog-friendly dining in Orange County | photo courtesy of @calvin.the.corgi

Lazy Dog may be the ultimate place for dog-friendly dining in Orange County | photo courtesy of @calvin.the.corgi

 

Beach Pit BBQ
Costa Mesa

If barbeque and dogs are your thing, Beach Pit BBQ will be right up your alley. They offer Texas smoked flavored with California style. Sit outside on the patio with your pup, and enjoy last few weeks of Summer. Beach Pit BBQ will bring water out for your dog and even a few treats sometimes. They meats are hand-rubbed with different dry rubs and smoked up to 14 hours with Hickory and Almond wood, which give their dishes amazing flavor and tenderness. Some great dishes for humans on their menu include Fried Pickle Chips, Poutine, Pulled Pork Stacked Sandwich, and Classic Beef Brisket Sandwich. Just an 11 minute drive away is Costa Mesa Bark Park, where your dog can roam free on two acres of land.

Let your animal run free at the two-acre Costa Mesa Park, and refuel afterwards at Beach Pit BBQ | photo courtesy of Beach Pit BBQ

Let your animal run free at the two-acre Costa Mesa Park, and refuel afterwards at Beach Pit BBQ | photo courtesy of Beach Pit BBQ

 

 

AQUA Pool Parties this Summer at Shade Hotel Redondo Beach

With that warm Southern California sun shining, views of the Redondo Harbor, and a live DJ playing all your favorite jams, you’ve got the perfect recipe for a memorable pool party.

 Visit the rooftop of Shade Hotel Redondo Beach and dive in to their AQUA Pool Party experience. This waterfront luxury boutique hotel opened just over one year ago and has been pleasing its visitors with top-notch service and their attention to detail ever since. Their AQUA Pool Parties, occurring every Sunday of the summer season, are no exception. Between the chic and modern design of the pool deck, their premium full bar, and sparkling views of the Harbor, it’s essentially the definition of what we know to be ‘Sunday Funday’. Guests treat themselves to bottles of prosecco or rose, refreshing handcrafted cocktails and more, along with made-to-order tacos and other poolside bites. We suggest the Moscow Mule and Hummus appetizer, both of which are perfect for a summer day.

From 1:00PM to 6:00PM, celebrate summer poolside while a DJ spins contemporary, dance-instilling beats. If you’re feelin’ fancy, go VIP style and take advantage of their Cabana and Bottle Service Package which accommodates groups of up to eight people. Guests can also extend the relaxation with the AQUA Hotel Room Package which includes tickets to the AQUA Pool Party and more. Admission to the pool party is $20.

More About the Aqua Pool Party at Shade Hotel

LA Times Presents The Taste 2017

Los Angeles Times The Taste 2017 is almost here! The annual festival, which celebrates the flavors and cuisines created in L.A.’s best kitchens, is taking place this Labor Day weekend, on September 1-3, at Paramount Pictures Studios. The studio will be transformed into a mecca for foodies — complete with a block party vibe, tastings from the city’s most notable restaurants, and an impressive offering of wine, beer, and cocktails. Hosted by The Times’ Food staff and notable L.A. chefs and mixologists, The Taste will consist for five events. Admission to each event includes unlimited tastings from some of the best kitchens in the city as well as no shortage of refreshments. The lineup for this festival is epic. Some superstars set to serve at The Taste include McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, The Butcher’s Daughter, and Beauty & Essex.  

On Friday night, expect an intimate setting at The Taste. The opening night event will feature a curated collection of tastings and elevated cocktail and wine options. You may even bump elbows with The Times’ hosts and the festival’s participating chefs and bartenders. Friday’s restaurant and bar lineup include  Baran’s 2239, Friends & Family, Georgie, Lao Tao, Little Fatty, Mainland Poke, Scratch Bar & Kitchen, Side Chick, and Tar & Roses, to name a few. This opening night event will take place at 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM.

Saturday at The Taste is all about Southern California’s agricultural roots and DIY attitude. With this ‘field to fork’ attitude in mind, several figures in the movement, including Wes Whitsell of Manuela and Romeo Coleman of Coleman Family Farms, will discuss the importance of farm and eating local. The event will be hosted by Times Food Editor Amy Scattergood and Chef/Owner of Father’s Office and Lukshon, Sang Yoon. Taking place from 12 PM - 3 PM, Saturday’s participating restaurants include Aqui es Texcoco, Banh Oui, Cento Pasta Bar, Cruciferous, M Café, Maury’s Bagels, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, and a few more killer spots.

Later in the day from 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM, enjoy ‘Dinner with a Twist’ at the festival. Hosted by Times Restaurant Critic Jonathan Gold, Times Deputy Food Editor Jenn Harris, Chef/Owner of Scopa Italian Roots and Black Market Liquor Bar Antonia Lofaso, and Mixologist at Scopa Italian Root Marco A. Ramos. For all the aspiring bartenders and at-home mixologists, there will be a chef-bartender demo by Lofaso and Ramos, and by Allan Katz and Jonathan Whitener of Here’s Looking At You. The night continues with a showcase of signature cocktails and a group demo, all in the company of chefs and bartenders at top L.A. spots, including Sotto and Accomplice Bar. Some restaurants in the lineup for saturday night include Scopa Italian Roots and Beauty & Essex.

At the final day of The Taste, expect the ultimate Sunday Block Party. Hosted by Times Test Kitchen Director Noelle Carter and Chef/Owner of Tuck Room Tavern Sherry Yard. From 12 PM - 3 PM, enjoy great food and good times on the backlot of Paramount Pictures Studio. Yard and David LeFevre of Manhattan Beach post will be revealing the secrets of pastry-baking for home cooks and how to make biscuits that’ll bring all the foodies to the yard. What’s more, Chris Phelps of Salt’s Cure will talk about what it means to brunch at some of the most innovative spots around town, because… L.A. Restaurants on this closing afternoon include The Butcher’s Daughter, Tuck Room Tavern, Otium, and a few more local spots

Sunday night at The Taste concludes with a showcase of Flavors of L.A. Hosted by Jonathan Gold, Times Restaurant Critic, and Gilberto Cetina Jr., Chef/Owner of Chichen Itza and Holbox from 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM, embrace the diversity of flavors that make Los Angeles a dining destination. There will be demos by Wes Avila of Guerilla Tacos, Cetina, and the team behind Badmaash. Host Jonathan Gold will explore Korean BBQ with Jenee Kim of Park’s Barbeque and Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co. Get ready to get hands on and learn a few more skills to use in the kitchen this Labor Day weekend!

Los Angeles Times The Taste’s charity beneficiaries are The Collins College of Hospitality Management, Midnight Mission, and L.A. Regional Food Bank. Opening Night tickets are $150. Saturday and Sunday event tickets range from $95 to $130; a $25 discount is available exclusively to Times subscribers. Details and tickets: latimes.com/TheTaste. Connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @TheTasteLA (#TasteLA).

 

 

Delicious Little Tokyo Returns

2ND ANNUAL DELICIOUS LITTLE TOKYO
Friday, July 21 – Sunday, July 23

The 2nd Annual Delicious Little Tokyo event is here! From Friday, July 21 through Sunday, July 23, drop by the Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles for a day (or three) of authentic Japanese craft libations, bites, art, and more. Experienced foodies and first-time explorers alike will find Japanese inspiration everywhere they look.

After work on Friday, swing by the event to enjoy Mutual Trading Co. sake and small plates at First Street North from 7 PM to 10 PM. First Street North is a staple to the Little Tokyo scene, and the Friday night event will also feature a multimedia installation that invites guests to reimagine the historic street. Tickets for the sake event are $100.

Saturday in Little Tokyo is filled with inspiration from Tokyo. Some highlights from the day include a poke & tea tasting (11 AM to 12 PM), a FREE bento box demo led by a former Mrs. Japan and nonprofit organization Table for Two (1 PM to 2 PM), a latte art Workshop (3 PM - 4 PM), and a historical walking tour of Little Tokyo (5 PM to 6 PM).

The last day of Delicious Little Tokyo can’t be missed. Start off the Sunday event with Kawaii stuffed sushi figures (10:30 AM to 11:30 AM), a ukulele class for beginners (1:00 PM to 2:15 PM), a FREE cocktail demo at Little Tokyo’s neighborhood highball bar Wolf & Crane (2:30 PM to 3:30 PM), and a beautiful Japanese tea ceremony led by renowned Tea Master Nishimura of the Edo Senke LA Fuhaku-kai School (3:30 PM to 4:00 PM).

Experience the culinary demos, food tours, workshops, tastings, and one-of-kind activities at local Little Tokyo shops and restaurants offered exclusively during the 2nd Annual Delicious Little Tokyo weekend. Many of the events are free, while others range in price from $5 to $100. Please note that some events require pre-registration. To register for demos and workshops and for more information, visit http://www.golittletokyo.com/delicious/.

Wingin' It

In case you haven’t already eaten your body weight in wings this summer (it happens, whatever), National Chicken Wing Day is coming up — July 29th, mark your calendars, people. Sweet, savory, tangy, or eye-wateringly spicy, no matter how you like your wings, there’s something for every wing love in this roundup of the most unique, spiciest, crispiest, varietal, awesome wings around!

 

WINGMAN

Santa Ana, CA

Although it opened just a few months ago, WINGMAN in Santa Ana, CA is already attracting wing lovers from all over Orange County, with their Cluckin’ Good Wings covered generously in WINGMAN’s signature sauces. Whether you like it hot and sweet (go for the Honey Sriracha) or spicy and tangy (the Buffalo chicken wings are a must) WINGMAN, located in 4th Street Market, has you covered.

Bring your best wingman to devour some cluckin' good wings together at WINGMAN, located at 4th Street Market in downtown Santa Ana, CA | photo courtesy of 100eats

Bring your best wingman to devour some cluckin' good wings together at WINGMAN, located at 4th Street Market in downtown Santa Ana, CA | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

WING KING

Las Vegas, NV

Whether you’re dining solo or with your entire office, Wing King in Las Vegas is ready for you and your crew. This spot offers more than 80 different flavors of wings, and order options range from one pound to 70 pounds (and there are at least seven wings per pound!) Let’s do the math here… a 70 pound order contains at least 490 wings. Insanity. Flavor wise, there are 19 hot, seven medium, six mild, seven Asian, 13 dry (like garlic parmesan), 17 BBQ, and 11 fusion options. This spot truly is the king of wings.

Top-notch stop for wings in Vegas this National Wing Day | photo courtesy of Wing King

Top-notch stop for wings in Vegas this National Wing Day | photo courtesy of Wing King

 

RED ENVELOPE

Santa Ana, CA

Another new spot impressing Santa Ana locals and Orange County peeps alike is Red Envelope. As one of the most recent additions to 4th Street Market, Red Envelope delivers unique flavors through its Vietnamese-Fusion bites, like the crispy Vietnamese Garlic Butter Wings, crisped to perfection.

Vietnamese Garlic Butter wings at Red Envelope, Santa Ana CA | photo courtesy of Red Envelope

Vietnamese Garlic Butter wings at Red Envelope, Santa Ana CA | photo courtesy of Red Envelope

 

BIG BOB GIBSON BAR-B-Q

Decatur, AL

The wing winner at Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q is undoubtedly the barbecue and bleu cheese-smothered smoked chicken wings. This Alabama spot continues to impress guests with its heaping servings and mounds of wings. Pro tip: Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ cookbook contains a recipe for legendary Spicy Apricot Wings.

Head to Alabama for the ultimate wing feast at Big Bob's Bar-B-Q | photo courtesy of Big Bob's

Head to Alabama for the ultimate wing feast at Big Bob's Bar-B-Q | photo courtesy of Big Bob's

 

NOLA RESTAURANT

New Orleans, LA

Three words: stuffed chicken wings. Yeah, as in chicken wings stuffed with a combination of ground pork, chopped shrimp, mushrooms, onions, celery, cilantro and fish sauce, and finally topped with a delicious garlicky homemade hoisin dipping sauce and chopped peanuts. Find this decadent, one-of-a-kind wing dish at Nola Restaurant in none other than New Orleans.

Want your wings stuffed, head on down to the big easy | photo courtesy of NOLA restaurant

Want your wings stuffed, head on down to the big easy | photo courtesy of NOLA restaurant

 

POK POK

Portland, OR and New York, NY

Portlandians and New Yorkers alike can enjoy the pleasure that is Pok Pok. At this spot, wing-obsessed patrons (as well as newbies to the craze) have to go for Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings. Covered in a sticky-sweet glaze and sprinkled with flecks of caramelized garlic, these wings are a must on National Chicken Wing Day. Attention vegans: Pok Pok also offers a vegan version of this favorite, made with tofu!

It's a sin to skip the wings at Pok Pok, located in Portland and NYC | photo courtesy of Pok Pok

It's a sin to skip the wings at Pok Pok, located in Portland and NYC | photo courtesy of Pok Pok

 

BUTTON MASH

Los Angeles, CA

Button Mash in LA serves up double-fried chicken wings for dayssss. Choose your taste: ginger, tangy, or tamarind. The spicy ginger wings are made with soy sauce and chili flakes, and the tangy wings are created using gochujang/Korean pepper paste, rice vinegar, honey, lemon. For the majority of the population that doesn’t know what tamarind is, it’s a delicious tree fruit that is used as the secret ingredient for tons of vegetarian dishes. You can ponder on that, or just visit Button Mash to experience it for yourself.

LA natives and visitors alike will fall in love with these wings | photo courtesy of Button Mash

LA natives and visitors alike will fall in love with these wings | photo courtesy of Button Mash

 

HOT SAUCE AND PANKO TO-GO

San Francisco, CA

A no-frills, ultra-tiny spot in San Francisco serving up some of the best wings in the U.S. With over 20 flavors of wings available, ranging from ramen flavored (yes, ramen flavored) to garlic bacon parmesan, there’s literally something for everyone. Hot Sauce and Panko To-Go is a take out spot only (it’s in the name, after all), so come in, grab an order of duck confit-fried drummettes, and be on your way.

Take these next-level wings to-go on National Wing Day | photo courtesy of Hot Sauce and Panko

Take these next-level wings to-go on National Wing Day | photo courtesy of Hot Sauce and Panko

 

BAR GOTO

New York, NY

Upscale, comfort Japanese bar food — that’s Bar Goto’s gig. On this New York spot’s list of Japanese bar food offerings are Miso Wings. A wing plate so saucy, garlicky, tangy, and downright flavorful you won’t know what hit you. Topped with miso sauce, garlic, soy sauce, chile, and ginger and finished with a delicate crisp, these wings are a Bar Goto favorite.

Bar Goto's flavorful wings are nearly impossible to stop eating | photo courtesy of Bar Goto

Bar Goto's flavorful wings are nearly impossible to stop eating | photo courtesy of Bar Goto

 

THE WING DOME

Seattle, WA

With sauce heat levels that range from 0-7 (where 6 is ‘I can’t feel my face’ and 7 is ‘face the challenge’), The Wing Dome serves up some of the hottest wings around. Smother your eight piece order in one of their signature sauces or specialty sauces, including an uber-parmesan sauce and western BBQ sauce (complete with molasses, cayenne, garlic and brown sugar).

These perfectly crispy Level 7 Alarm wings from Wing Dome will leave you desperately searching for a glass of milk | photo courtesy of The Wing Dome

These perfectly crispy Level 7 Alarm wings from Wing Dome will leave you desperately searching for a glass of milk | photo courtesy of The Wing Dome

 

ANCHOR BAR

Buffalo, NY

For buffalo chicken lovers, Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY needs to be on your bucket list. This upstate spot is home to the original Buffalo wings, and guests say the whole place is like Buffalo’s own chicken wing museum. Anchor Bar’s World Famous Wings, the recipe for which was created in 1964, as the story goes, is served with traditional celery and bleu cheese. Grab a bucket of wings smothered in one of their tasty sauces, like Honey Garlic Sweet & Sour or Suicidal (spicy beyond belief) and cross one more thing off your bucket list.

Anchor Bar's World Famous Wings need to be on your bucket list | photo courtesy of Anchor Bar

Anchor Bar's World Famous Wings need to be on your bucket list | photo courtesy of Anchor Bar

OC's Hottest Cold Treats

Summer is coming! You know what that means… ice cream! Oh my, bring on the creamy, cold sweet. If you’re anything like me, you already have a few favorite spots to grab your favorite iced sweet treat, however, branch out this season and take a look at this roundup of the hottest cold treats in Orange County to kick off summer!
 

FRONT PORCH POPS

4th Street Market, Santa Ana

It’s “Happiness on a Stick” — need I say more? What’s more nostalgic than popsicles? Front Porch Pops brings all your childhood happiness back with innovative flavors ranging from fruit, creamy and a mix of both. ‘Ain’t Misbehavin Mojito’ and ‘Vietnamese Coffee’ are just a few flavors on the menu and if you want that creamy, citrusy nostalgia go for the ‘Orange Creamsicle’, I promise it’ll be better than the one you find in the frozen section at your local grocery store.

Front Porch Pops offers a variety of innovative seasonal flavors | photo courtesy of 4th St Market

Front Porch Pops offers a variety of innovative seasonal flavors | photo courtesy of 4th St Market

 

CHUNK N CHIP

4th Street Market, Santa Ana

Ice cream sandwiches! With a ‘build-your-own’ vibe you get to perfect your own ‘sammich’. With fresh, ooey-gooey cookies, homemade small batch ice cream made with simple, fresh and local ingredients… what’s not to get excited about? Also, all of the flavors are unique and flavorful! Try the unexpected, like pear gorgonzola with orange marmalade or keep it classic with cookies n cream. Unexpected creations are strongly encouraged.

The ideal summer Ice Cream Sammich' is at Chunk N Chip | photo courtesy of @tanayas.table

The ideal summer Ice Cream Sammich' is at Chunk N Chip | photo courtesy of @tanayas.table

 

SWEET COMBFORTS

TRADE, Irvine

What’s another foodie staple that screams summer? Anything on a stick! We’re talkin’ delicious, freshly made Belgian Liege waffles on a stick drizzled with chocolate, white chocolate, and sprinkled with colorful toppings. Pair it with a solid scoop of creamy, cold ice cream and your summer is made! Create your own decadent flavors from fruity to chocolatey. Toppings range from Oreo bits, cheesecake bites and strawberries and with your picturesque waffle on a stick in hand, you're ready to take on the world

Belgian Life Waffle 'POPS' from Sweet COMBforts | photo courtesy of @mizz_ro_ro on instagram

Belgian Life Waffle 'POPS' from Sweet COMBforts | photo courtesy of @mizz_ro_ro on instagram

 

MILK MAN ICE CREAM

McFadden Public Market, Santa Ana

Looking for something classic, delicious and freshly made? Check out Milk Man Ice Cream. Located in Downtown Santa Ana’s newest food hall, McFadden Public Market, Milk Man is mixing things up this summer. All of their ice cream is freshly made using premium ingredients. ‘Old Fashioned’ is in their slogan so you know you can count on delicious shakes, floats, sundaes and three-tiered ice cream cones.

Milk Man offers their homemade ice cream flavors daily at Downtown Santa Ana's newest food hall, McFadden Public Market | photo courtesy of @alliosn

Milk Man offers their homemade ice cream flavors daily at Downtown Santa Ana's newest food hall, McFadden Public Market | photo courtesy of @alliosn

 

TREATERY

4th Street Market, Santa Ana

You’re looking for something sweet but don’t necessarily want ice cream? Treatery is your spot with classic and decadent desserts to cure that sweet tooth. If you want something convenient, tiered and delicious, grab a parfait, decadence layered to perfection for exactly what you’re craving.

Refreshing parfaits are the perfect summer 'TREAT' at Treatery | photo courtesy of 100eats

Refreshing parfaits are the perfect summer 'TREAT' at Treatery | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

STAX COOKIE BAR

Irvine

Go decadent at Stax and get the Stuffed Smookie -- warm cookies stuffed with nutella then topped with ice cream! Cookies, waffles, ice cream, frozen yogurt, cream rolls -- these are just a few items on Stax Cookie Bar’s menu. Known for making cookies in-house every day, including gluten-free and vegan options, as well as ice cream that comes chock-full of natural, delicious ingredients, Stax is the one stop shop for all your sweet needs. Try the classics like their ice cream sandwiches, perhaps the rolled ice cream, or maybe even the creamritos (ice cream burritos) -- your cravings have just been crushed.

Mint Chip-filled Creamritos from STAX | photo courtesy of STAX Cookie Bar

Mint Chip-filled Creamritos from STAX | photo courtesy of STAX Cookie Bar

 

I AM.

The Anaheim Packing District, Anaheim

Liquid nitrogen snowball, need I say more? Located in the Anaheim Packing District, I am is known for their Korean rice balls dipped in liquid nitrogen to create a frozen treat. Even cooler (pun intended), the aesthetic of the snowballs are very pleasing to the eye and makes for the perfect Instagram photo-op. If ice cold rice balls aren’t your thing, I am also offers ice cream covered in your favorite toppings, smoothies for the health conscious, and shaved ice. Bring it on Summer!

Shaved Ice topped with fresh fruit from I am | photo courtesy of @vyt92 on instagram

Shaved Ice topped with fresh fruit from I am | photo courtesy of @vyt92 on instagram

Ideal Spots to Celebrate Dad in SoCal

The day to celebrate and thank your dads has finally come, and what better way to celebrate than some quality time around the table. There’s a little something for every dad at these sunny Southern California spots — from penny-priced beers, to Cuban-inspired paella and mojitos, to an authentic Napoletana pizza, we’ve got you covered.

 

Habana, Costa Mesa

Habana serves up a delicious range of Cuban-inspired fare, from seafood ceviche starters to a loaded hamburger, this Costa Mesa spot is sure to wow on Father’s Day. Dine inside or al fresco and enjoy their signature Paella A La Habana or pork croquetas. With a fresh mojito in hand and a delicious meal on his plate, dad is sure to be happy.

Fresh Mojito-Filled Coconuts will let Dad feel as if he's on a tropical vacay on Father's Day at Habana | photo courtesy of 100eats

Fresh Mojito-Filled Coconuts will let Dad feel as if he's on a tropical vacay on Father's Day at Habana | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

The Iron Press, Anaheim

Beer and waffles — a beloved combo and a father favorite. Located in the bustling Anaheim Packing House, The Iron Press is the perfect spot to indulge this Father’s Day on a mind-blowing sweet or savory waffle sandwiches and an ice cold beer — they have over 30 on tap. All the guys in your family will love the Bird in Hand, made with buttermilk fried chicken, house-made gravy, and mashed potatoes and a cold one this Father’s Day.

Because everyone loves beer...and waffles! Let Dad indulge in this Country Breakfast, complete with fried chicken, bacon and house made gravy at The Iron Press | photo courtesy of 100eats

Because everyone loves beer...and waffles! Let Dad indulge in this Country Breakfast, complete with fried chicken, bacon and house made gravy at The Iron Press | photo courtesy of 100eats

 

Umami Burger, Anaheim

After sweet, salty, sour, and bitter, Umami is the fifth taste — rich and savory — and boy does Umami Burger live up to that. The men in your family will love this casual, delicious eatery. Everything on the Umami Burger menu is incredible, but this Father’s Day settle your food cravings with the Manly Burger — made with beer-cheddar cheese, bacon lardons, and smoked-salt onion strings — or the Short Rib Sliders with cucumber and Thai chili pepper. Pro tip: start with the Caramelized Brussel Sprouts. To make things even better, they also have local craft beer on tap.

Umami Burger brings the best out of indulgence | photo courtesy of Umami Burger

Umami Burger brings the best out of indulgence | photo courtesy of Umami Burger

 

Blake's Place, Anaheim

For the barbecue-loving dad, try Blake’s Place. This casual Anaheim favorite features an expansive list of all BBQ bites imaginable. You can’t go wrong with the pit-smoked Meat & Rib Plate, the Pulled Pork Pile, and Tasha’s BBQ pulled pork, chopped beef brisket, and pulled chicken trio sampler. Blake’s Place also serves up small portion Baby Back Ribs for the kiddos from their children’s menu!

Bring Dad and the entire family to Blake's for a Sunday BBQ fix | photo courtesy of Blake's Place

Bring Dad and the entire family to Blake's for a Sunday BBQ fix | photo courtesy of Blake's Place

 

Fuoco Pizzeria Napoletana, Downtown Fullerton

Does your dad love pizza? Do you wish your family vacation was to Italy this summer, but you’re only getting as far as your backyard? Fuoco Pizzeria is the answer to your prayers. This Downtown Fullerton serves up the best, authentic Pizza Napoletana in the OC. You’ll think you were eating pizza straight from Naples with the salame piccante-layered Diavola Pizza or the Vesuvio, topped with smoked bufala mozzarella, smoked prosciutto, and basil.

Naples Style pizza in Fullerton ...YUM | photo courtesy of @spiderphysicist on instagram

Naples Style pizza in Fullerton ...YUM | photo courtesy of @spiderphysicist on instagram

 

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Anaheim 

Ruth’s Chris Steak House is a meat lover's heaven. This upscale eatery serves up USDA Prime Beef broiled to perfection on a sizzling 500° plate, as well as other delicious meat and seafood options. Some menu highlights that your dad will love are the 16-ounce New York Strip, Lamb Chops, and Petit Filet & Shrimp. Ruth’s Chris also serves up mouth-water starters like Crispy Lobster Tail and Sizzling Blue Crab Cakes. Make sure to make a reservation — this refined steakhouse fills up quickly.

Petit Filet & Shrimp at Ruth's Chris is sure to leave Dad smiling | photo courtesy of Ruth's Chris

Petit Filet & Shrimp at Ruth's Chris is sure to leave Dad smiling | photo courtesy of Ruth's Chris

 

Zinc at Shade Hotel, Manhattan Beach

This Father’s Day you and dad can enjoy pints for just a penny on the best brews in the house with the purchase of an entrée on Zinc’s airy outdoor terrace and in the lounge. Created special for the holiday, you can satisfy your savory craving with Lamb Chop Benedict made with cheddar and chive biscuits or black and bleu open face steak sandwich with marinated skirt steak, bacon jam, garlic toast and chimichurri blackened fries — YUM.

Pints for a penny?! What more could you (or Dad) ask for | photo courtesy of Zinc at Shade Hotel

Pints for a penny?! What more could you (or Dad) ask for | photo courtesy of Zinc at Shade Hotel

Ocean Prime, Beverly Hills

Treat dad to a dinner he won’t forget at Ocean Prime in Beverly Hills. Celebrate the holiday with a special 14 oz Prime New York Strip Steak topped with a decadent butter-poached lobster gratin with garlic, lemon and Parmesan aioli. It’s baked to golden brown and then topped with a house-made Cabernet. This mouth-watering steak is SO worth the drive.

Dine at Ocean Prime for a memorable meal with Dad | photo courtesy of Ocean Prime

Dine at Ocean Prime for a memorable meal with Dad | photo courtesy of Ocean Prime

We're Guiding You to OC's Best Happy Hours of 2017

Happy Hours, Anti-Happy Hours, Social Hours, Hoppy Hours...well, this could go on for a while. Orange County’s food scene has evolved into a nucleus of quality after work menus, offering libations from humble house mixers that hit the spot to cocktails of craftsman proportions for slower sippings (and a small bites pairing or two if you’re lucky!) all at hard-to-beat prices. These local establishments bring menus that make the top of our list for the best excuse to indulge in post-office outings with colleagues and friends alike. Cin, cin.

Habana's house sangria is the perfect pairing for your next late night visit | Photo courtesy of Taylor Loren via Instagram

Habana's house sangria is the perfect pairing for your next late night visit | Photo courtesy of Taylor Loren via Instagram

KIYOMIZU | DTSA

One of DTSA’s newest eateries, handroll house Kiyomizu embraces supreme simplicity with one primary formula: crisp nori, warm sushi rice, and seafood delivered daily to uphold the highest quality. When the handrolls are this fresh, what else could you possibly ask for? How about an everyday Happy Hour, with Golden Road Brewing’s Point the Way IPA for $4, Hangar 24’s Orange Wheat for $3, and edamame or pork sausages for $2 to pair with made-to-order handrolls. KANPAI!

Kiyomizu happy hour offerings, such as $2 edamame, pork sausages, and beers!

Kiyomizu happy hour offerings, such as $2 edamame, pork sausages, and beers!

SHUCK OYSTER BAR | COSTA MESA, CA.

Shuck Oyster Bar is a sharp little spot inside the food hall concept The OC Mix in Costa Mesa, and they promise the finest shuck with their guarantee of incredibly fresh oysters, just one day out of the water. For happy hour, you’ll find $2 fresh oysters (selected varieties), plus $2 off all alcohol.  Our drink of choice? A shot of the whisky-barrel-aged soju, Migaki, racking up to $3 a shot from the hours of 2PM to 6:30 PM Monday through Friday!

When oysters are only $2 a piece at Shuck Oyster Bar, why not just get a little bit of everything?

When oysters are only $2 a piece at Shuck Oyster Bar, why not just get a little bit of everything?

HATCH | TUSTIN, CA.

Hatch is the sliders-centric brainchild of local restaurant tycoon Leonard Chan, and probably the only space where you can be transported to a seamless fusion of mid-century modern and tiki aesthetic with one of the widest happy hour lineups around. Mai Tai Mondays are for all day $6 Happy Hour Mai Tai’s. Tiki Tuesdays feature a rotating weekly special for a discounted tiki cocktail. Monday through Friday Happy Hour selections range from draught beers $3.50-$5, house wines for $5, and $2 off select sides and entrees. Mahalo indeed.

Hatch's tiki cocktails make for the perfect companion with their specialty sliders.

Hatch's tiki cocktails make for the perfect companion with their specialty sliders.

HABANA | COSTA MESA, CA.

It’s too hard to pass up the exquisite Cuban fare of Habana when it comes with late night happy hour Monday through Sunday. Swing by between 10 PM to 1 AM (2 AM Saturdays and Sundays) and enjoy $5 on sangria, classic mojitos, wells, and more! Feeling hungry? Bites are $7 each until midnight, with delectable varieties like Pork Croquetta Fries and Ropa Vieja Sandwiches with mango slaw. Who needs sleep when it means more time for eats!

It's never too late to grab a chilled glass of Habana's famous sangria | Photo courtesy of Habana via Instagram

It's never too late to grab a chilled glass of Habana's famous sangria | Photo courtesy of Habana via Instagram

MESA | COSTA MESA, CA.

Mesa in Costa Mesa calls their offering an “elevated happy hour”, and they’re not kidding. When you can find crafted Old Fashioneds and Manhattans on happy hour, you know you’ve hit a great spot. The menu includes bar bites for $5 including shishito peppers and sweet potato fries, and get a variety of pizzas or grilled marinated shrimp for just $7. Enjoy high-end cocktails like a Moscow Mule, sangria and margaritas for just $7 as well. 

Mesa's elevated happy hour, along with their sexy lounge area, is the ultimate ending to any work day.

Mesa's elevated happy hour, along with their sexy lounge area, is the ultimate ending to any work day.

THE IRON PRESS | MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

Savory waffle sandwiches are fun enough on their own, but The Iron Press has kicked it up a notch with Hoppy Hour from Monday through Friday for the ultimate post-work pick-me-ups. From 3 to 6 PM, beat the traffic and stop by to enjoy $10 beer flights, $5 pours, and a select $3.50 pour from their 30 rotating taps. $2 tater tots and waffle fries will help fill you up for the long commute back.

$2 Tater tots from Iron Press during Hoppy Hour keep us coming back, and the beers have us staying for more. 

$2 Tater tots from Iron Press during Hoppy Hour keep us coming back, and the beers have us staying for more. 

SOCIAL | COSTA MESA, CA.

Come by new-American hotspot Social for their “Social Hour,” where signature craft cocktails and tasty eats are enough to keep you coming back. Between Tuesday and Friday, step right up to the rustic bar and choose among $7 classic cocktails like a Paloma, Old Fashioned, Gimlet, and more. Take $2 off all draught beer, and $6 gets you any house red or white! Not to mention delectable petite dishes like Brussel Sprouts with honey, Louisiana-style house Tasso Ham, honey, and hazelnuts, or maybe something heartier like the Bacon & Pimento Grilled Cheese. But when these eats are $8 a piece, why not enjoy one of everything? Though we do warn you to hurry, the Social Hour menu is only featured between 5 and 6 PM.

Social's signature cocktail, Monkey Business, only $10 during Social Hour | Photo courtesy of Social via Instagram

Social's signature cocktail, Monkey Business, only $10 during Social Hour | Photo courtesy of Social via Instagram

CITIZEN KITCHEN | FULLERTON, CA.

Citizen Kitchen offers happy hour Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 7 PM. Located inside The Hotel Fullerton, Citizen is getting rave reviews from locals and hotel guests alike for their cuisine and craft cocktails. Find tasty gourmet bites like their amazing polenta fries, shrimp skewers with caper and olive vinaigrette or a lamb “martini” - mini lamb chops served in a martini glass. Citizen pairs house wines and craft beers with these delectable bites for just $4 during happy hour. Don’t forget to try The Little Burgers People Like, also known as New York strip sliders with house-made ketchup, goat cheese, arugula and spiced tomato jam. Just keep your eyes peeled...rumor has it a new and improved Happy Hour menu is on the horizon!

Expect more happy hour offerings in the near future, like this blood orange concoction, at Citizen Kitchen | Photo courtesy of Citizen Kitchen via Instagram

Expect more happy hour offerings in the near future, like this blood orange concoction, at Citizen Kitchen | Photo courtesy of Citizen Kitchen via Instagram

CHAPTER ONE: THE MODERN LOCAL | DTSA

Chapter One is one of the hottest bars in OC, located in the heart of Santa Ana’s burgeoning downtown district. Join them for “After Office,” their aptly named Happy Hour, Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 PM. The After Office Menu includes: $5 tapas plates, half-price draft beers, $4 fresh fruit infusion shots, $5 house wines, $6 specialty drinks, and if you’ve got your whole crew with you, select wine bottles for just $20. Serving local, sustainable cuisine, Chapter One offers $5 apps like duck fat fries, fried pickles and stuffed jalapenos during happy hour. Staying for dinner is an extra treat - make sure to try one of their specialty burgers, pork belly buns or the rich and delicious butternut gnocchi.

Duck fat fries are the perfect pairing with Chapter One's house mule, only $5 on Mule Mondays | Photo courtesy of Chapter One via Instagram

Duck fat fries are the perfect pairing with Chapter One's house mule, only $5 on Mule Mondays | Photo courtesy of Chapter One via Instagram

RED BAR | IRVINE, CA.

Red Bar boasts one of Irvine’s top choice happy hours, and it’s not hard to see why. Daily offerings from 3 to 7 PM include food and libation options. Think Pork Lumpia for $4, Three Cheese Flatbread for $5, and featured house cocktails for $5.50. Among the drinks, we suggest the Dealer’s Choice option, just pick the spirit and let your bartender do the rest. 

Red Bar's crowd-favorite Happy Hour menu on display | Photo courtesy of Hotel Irvine via Instagram

Red Bar's crowd-favorite Happy Hour menu on display | Photo courtesy of Hotel Irvine via Instagram

BARLEY FORGE BREWING CO. | COSTA MESA, CA.

Brats, burgers, brews. Barley Forge has done it right so far and has stayed ahead of the local game since its inception, with West Coast and German style beers brewing just behind The Camp and delicious sandwich and sausage pairings to match. To keep themselves in front of the local brewery pack: Grilled Cheese Tuesdays, and unconventionally fun Happy Hour with nine carefully crafted sandwiches to choose from, like romage de Meaux brie with D’anjou pears on sourdough, or the Onion Jam Grilled Cheese. The added bonus of insane cheese goodness is found in the full pour beer pairing that comes built into the price of each sammie. 

Barley Forge's Cuban Grilled Cheese | Photo courtesy of Barley Forge Brewing Co. via Instagram

Barley Forge's Cuban Grilled Cheese | Photo courtesy of Barley Forge Brewing Co. via Instagram

25 DEGREES | HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA.

25 Degrees is not your run of the mill burger bar, elevating customer experience with dim light and sexy ingredients enough to drag you out of the bustle of Downtown’s Main Street with agreeable submission. Their daily (yes, Monday through Sunday) Happy Hour menu is culmination of foods and drinks, with the likes of $2 french fries, sweet potatoes, and onion rings, $5 Boback hotdogs, and alcoholic refreshments ranging from $4-$6. Munch on, sip long!

25 Degrees' wells and sweet potato fries are all up for grabs during happy hour | Photo courtesy of 25 Degrees HB via Instagram

25 Degrees' wells and sweet potato fries are all up for grabs during happy hour | Photo courtesy of 25 Degrees HB via Instagram

BISTANGO | IRVINE, CA.

Bistango offers maybe one of the longest happy hours in OC, you could almost call it “happy half-day”! From 4pm to close, Bistango offers a special small-plate menu and discounted drink prices. Tucked in the center of Irvine’s corporate business district, Bistango is a delightful fave of locals with its spacious outdoor patio with hanging lights and fountains and also a great indoor bar, live music filling the space several nights a week. Be sure to try their Moroccan Lamb Sausage with apple raisin chutney, or the amazing wild salmon skewer on cucumber salad.

Bistango's Happy Hour boasts elevated dishes like the lamb sausage with apple raisin chutney | Photo courtesy of Bistango via Instagram

Bistango's Happy Hour boasts elevated dishes like the lamb sausage with apple raisin chutney | Photo courtesy of Bistango via Instagram

 

This information, including content, photos and links is to be sourced as listed above. Photo content without sourcing is to be credited to 100eats.

 

 

For more information or interview requests please contact

Kayla Glass at 100eats - Promotions Coordinator

kayla@100eats.com

831.359.2077

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Kiss It, V-Day: A Dining Guide for Singles Who Don't Need to Mingle This Holiday

When it comes to celebrating singlehood this Valentine's Day, take a seat at Casa's speakeasy-vibe bar for one of their delicious cocktails.

When it comes to celebrating singlehood this Valentine's Day, take a seat at Casa's speakeasy-vibe bar for one of their delicious cocktails.

The made-up holiday inanity of Valentine’s Day has scarred singles with the presumption that V-day equates to eating out of a tub of ice cream in bed while wallowing in memories of past lovers. But it’s time to demystify the negative stigma attached to fellow singles, and instead acknowledge those who have found solace in solitude — The singles that don’t want to mingle. So for those who openly embrace their contemporary independence, we’ve curated a list of ten places to bask in the glory of singledom, from LA to OC. Places where libertine’s can celebrate their solitude and be shamelessly selfish by treating none other but themselves. 

Iron Press | Anaheim, CA

Let your guilty pleasure run wild at the Anaheim Packing House's The Iron Press with waffle sandwich treats and craft brews at their My Boozy Valentine Tap Takeover event on February 10th. Think Anti-Valentine's Day tribute, but better because all the beer on this roster will be bigger and boozier! Feel your heart race as you slowly succumb to the calling of an Are You Cereal — a waffle drenched in cap’n crunch, drizzled in condensed milk, and dripping in vanilla ice cream. Reach for a barrel-aged brew from their specially selected beer lineup before the feeling of attraction makes you pant. Now go ahead, indulge in a shameful pleasure at Iron Press this Valentine’s, we promise you won’t regret it. 

The Iron Press's Are You Cereal with Cap'n Crunch Berries

The Iron Press's Are You Cereal with Cap'n Crunch Berries

Kiyomizu | DTSA

Conversation and direct interaction isn’t only reserved for couples on V-day, especially for those who understand that less is always more. Kiyomizu is a standing sushi bar with an eco-friendly minimalist design for folks that appreciate taste more than atmosphere. The true beauty of Kiyomizu lies within the experience. Watch as chefs gracefully construct hand-rolled delicacies in plain view, and strangers turned to neighbors yell “KANPAI” while they cheers their Junmai Daiginjo sake. The simplicity of the room is complimented with the simplicity of their hand rolls — one being their artfully crafted Scallop Roll. Intimacy is in the air this Valentine’s Day, but in this case, it’s amongst a room a strangers at Kiyomizu

Kiyomizu's Scallop Handroll

Kiyomizu's Scallop Handroll

Hatch | Tustin, CA

Trade in your chocolate and flowers for burgers and beer at Hatch. This mid-century themed ultra mod hang out spot has a selection of 20 craft brews guaranteed to wash away the taste of love that’s permeating the air. Get your dose of caramelized chocolate with the Modern Times Sleepless City ale and pair it with a Soft Shell Crab slider that is nothing short of amazing — I’m talking about pure taste bud transcendence. And if you’re looking for a stronger kick, take full advantage of their world-wide rum selection, or dive into a tropical Tiki cocktail paradise. The choice is yours.

Hatch's Softshell Crab Slider and onion rings

Hatch's Softshell Crab Slider and onion rings

BLUEWHALE | DTLA

Who needs the Valentine’s Day blues when you got jazz? Bluewhale, a live jazz club, art gallery and bar located in Little Tokyo, is for those who find comfort in music rather than company. Upon entry, the hidden gem is split into two rooms — the bar and the performance space. With unconventional seating on ottoman stools and a ceiling laced in Rumi quotes, Bluewhale offers a sophisticated yet easy going experience. The menu consists of unique blends of strong drinks, like the jalapeno infused tequila concoction — El Guapo, and finger foods, such as the Kimchee Dog, to please your appetite. Jazz aficionado or not, Bluewhale’s acoustics will give birth to a newfound love, trust us.

Bluewhale's seating area, where audiences can sip on house cocktails while listening to local jazz artists | Photo courtesy of Bluewhale Music

Bluewhale's seating area, where audiences can sip on house cocktails while listening to local jazz artists | Photo courtesy of Bluewhale Music

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations | Newport Beach, CA

Bosscat — a lively, rustic gastropub, specializes in good ol’ comfort food, making it a go-to spot for Southern home-cooked meal enthusiasts. No date? No problem — Indulge in shamelessly eating their 12 Hour Beef Short Rib entree that will leave you licking your fingers clean. Besides, the outside DJ will throw it back and spin old tunes throughout your stay, feeding you additional energy until next thing you know, you’re ordering a Papi Chulo cocktail. 

Bosscat's southern comfort dishes | Photo courtesy of Bosscat Kitchen & Libations via Instagram

Bosscat's southern comfort dishes | Photo courtesy of Bosscat Kitchen & Libations via Instagram

PLAYGROUND dtsa | DTSA

Look, we know you’re single because you know what you want, but Playground is a restaurant that has everything you didn’t even know you needed. Boasting a precocious menu that evolves daily, Playground is the epitome of what it means to be dynamic. The buoyant environment was made for foodies seeking to venture out of their comfort zones. Although there are no substitutions or modifications, a worthy staple item for starters is the thick-cut Maple Glazed Pork Chop, and because it’s Valentine’s Day, we recommend trying out a frisky cocktail, 50 Shades of Chai. Take a risk — leave your doubts at home and submerge yourself to an adventurous gourmet experience at Playground

Playground dtsa's 5 inch thick Maple Glazed Pork Chop | Photo courtesy of Playground dtsa via Yelp

Playground dtsa's 5 inch thick Maple Glazed Pork Chop | Photo courtesy of Playground dtsa via Yelp

Casa | Costa Mesa, CA

Treat yo’ self to a night of live music and merry-making. With no reservation or dress code, Casa welcomes all to enjoy its contemporary vintage interior while sipping on hand-crafted libations. Casa is a dim, intimate, chic space with a modern speakeasy twist; A home to mixologists who compose aesthetically pleasing, creatively mixed delicious drinks that will take away your breath and never give it back — hello, love at first sight! Among some of their extraordinary cocktails is the Oaxacan-inspired, gusano garnished La Inconforme — the nonconformist, and the aromatic fruit-infused Hello Euphoria.  

Casa's dim speakeasy aesthetic makes for premium cocktail sipping and a cheers with your neighbor on the next barstool

Casa's dim speakeasy aesthetic makes for premium cocktail sipping and a cheers with your neighbor on the next barstool

Novacane Sports Bar & Grill | Los Angeles, CA

If your aura screams independence and your favorite line to hit someone with on Valentine’s Day is, “No I don’t like you, I just thought you were cool enough to kick it,” then make your way over to the Frank Ocean-inspired sports bar and grill, Novacane. Tucked away in an industrial area, Novacane truly is a diamond in the rough. With a large outdoor mural that makes for great photo-ops and an interior embossed in urban pop art, Novacane has brought a hip, adaptable atmosphere to Huntington Park. Not to mention the Frank Ocean themed cocktails such as Rich Kids — a refreshing blend of apples, lime and a hint of mint — can be perfectly paired with their vegan barbacoa tacos or, if you’re a lover of all things protein, your choice of meat. Novacane for the Valentine’s Day pain, baby.

One of Novacane's famed Frank Ocean-inspired cocktail | Photo courtesy of Novacane Sports Bar & Grill via Instagram

One of Novacane's famed Frank Ocean-inspired cocktail | Photo courtesy of Novacane Sports Bar & Grill via Instagram

 

Pizzeria La Piccola | Thousand Oaks, CA

What better way to rejoice in your singleness than with pizza, beer and a movie. Pizzeria La Piccola is a two-leveled, brick-walled artisanal pizzeria filled with candle-lit tables, creating a cozy, casual ambiance. Why Netflix and chill alone when you can catch a movie screening every Tuesday and Wednesday at Pizzeria La Piccola while munching away at a Four Seasons pizza slice? If the warm setting swallows you back into your Valentine’s Day feels, hop on over to the Golden Gopher next door and enjoy the laid back 1900’s feel of the historic bar. Order an Allagash White — a witbier with a citric backbone — and disappear into a dark corner as you wait for your pizza slice to make its way over. Yes, you heard that right — Pizzeria Piccola lets you order straight from the Golden Gopher. So start with the slice or start with the beer, either way it’s a win-win Valentine’s Day.

Pizzeria La Piccola's Pepperoni Pizza paired with Hawaiian | Photo courtesy of Brenda Mars via Instagram

Pizzeria La Piccola's Pepperoni Pizza paired with Hawaiian | Photo courtesy of Brenda Mars via Instagram

 

This information, including content, photos and links is to be sourced as listed above. Photo content without sourcing is to be credited to 100eats.

 

 

For more information or interview requests please contact

Kayla Glass at 100eats - Promotions Coordinator

kayla@100eats.com

831.359.2077

100eats.com

National Bloody Mary Day: Your Cocktail Guide to Ring in The New Year

It seems like Bloody Marys become more popular every day. Starting the day off right? Curing your hangover from the day before? Either way, they’re unstoppable, and since it’s coming up on National Bloody Mary Day, here are some of our favorites, plus what they put in them, for those of you who can make it out of the house on New Years Day.

 

SHUCK OYSTER BAR | COSTA MESA, CA

This Costa Mesa Oyster bar is nestled into the SoCo Collection's OC Mix, and they're pumping out the freshest seafood fare. But wait, they also offer an exceptional drink selection, including their own take on the beloved Bloody Mary. Soju based, this Bloody is for anyone and everyone. Fresh tomato juice is combined with a heavy pour of Soju, house made habanero honey hot sauce, and a garnish of the house pickles - cucumbers, carrots and olives. Add that spicy, salty Tajin all around that rim rim and your tastebuds are sure to dance any hangover away.

Shuck's Soju-based Bloody with oysters | Photo courtesy of @foodieonfleek on Instagram

Shuck's Soju-based Bloody with oysters | Photo courtesy of @foodieonfleek on Instagram

 

SOCIAL | COSTA MESA, CA

Among Social’s rock solid brunch menu, you’ll find a multitude of morning drinks (because the morning is the best time to drink, according to real science that we didn’t just make up). Definitely go for the Social Mary, with your choice of vodka, Social’s excellent homemade Bloody Mary mix, seasonal vegetables, and lemon. See, there’s vegetables, so it’s healthy.

Social's life-saving Bloody Mary | Photo courtesy of Social via Facebook

Social's life-saving Bloody Mary | Photo courtesy of Social via Facebook

 

TAPS FISH HOUSE & BREWERY | BREA, CORONA, IRVINE

Sometimes all the beer and all the breweries in all the world won’t do the trick -- lucky for you Taps has a rockstar Bloody Mary. Choose a vodka, then they’ll load it up with their very own Taps Bloody Mary mix (which is #onpoint), bacon, fresh veggies, and a cream ale back. You’ve got all those things in your house, right? Of course you do. Get to work.

Taps' Bloody Mary and impressive garnish (or meal on a stick?) |  Photo courtesy of Taps Fish House via Facebook

Taps' Bloody Mary and impressive garnish (or meal on a stick?) |  Photo courtesy of Taps Fish House via Facebook

 

THE HANGOUT | SEAL BEACH & HUNTINGTON BEACH

The Hangout does multiple Bloody Mary options, ranging from basic (with jalapeño-infused Tito’s, so really, just how basic is?) to their Elite Surf N Turf, in a 16oz pint glass, complete with Grey Goose, a crisp strip of bacon, two jumbo shrimp, olives, fresh cut celery, lemon, lime, and a salted rim. Pretty hard to beat.

The Hangout's Bloody Mary, bathed in a heavenly light for its godsend status | Photo courtesy of The Hangout

The Hangout's Bloody Mary, bathed in a heavenly light for its godsend status | Photo courtesy of The Hangout

 

JIMMY'S FAMOUS AMERICAN TAVERN | BREA

Jimmy’s just kind of lost their minds when they were designing their perfect Bloody, because they pretty much made an entire meal out of it. For only $15 you can do the Meal Mary, a beastly creation full of Absolut Peppar, Bloody Mary mix, bacon, a blue cheese olive, chilled shrimp, pepperoni, jack cheese, pepperoncini, and a jalapeño “bedeviled” egg. That right there, is a morning cocktail for the ages.

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern's Bloody Mary to help you get away with drinking at 10 AM | Photo courtesy of Jimmy's Famous American Tavern via Facebook

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern's Bloody Mary to help you get away with drinking at 10 AM | Photo courtesy of Jimmy's Famous American Tavern via Facebook

 

Wilder Shaw is an LA-based writer and comedian who hopes restaurants keep making bigger and bigger Bloody Marys. Follow his morning adventures on Instagram at @wildershaw and Twitter at @WilderShaw_.

 

 

For more information or interview requests please contact

Kayla Glass at 100eats - Promotions Coordinator

kayla@100eats.com

831.359.2077

100eats.com

Badass Burger Roundup

THIS BADASS BURGER ROUNDUP WILL HAVE YOU READING BETWEEN THE BUNS

SEE HOW THESE BURGERS STACK UP AGAINST THE COMPETITION

 

To feed your burger addiction with fresh and fully loaded content, we’ve created a list to out-stack any creative customized combo you’ve dreamed up. We’re lookin’ for the burger that’s so fresh you’ve gotten to know the back story of the ranch it grew up on. You’ve built up your vocabulary through ingredients from all of the burgers you’ve tried. The burgers are getting wetter, cheesier, taller and sexier. Does your burger ooze with yolk? Did your toppings make it into an aioli? We’ve raised the standard and pretty much any burger that’s going into your mouth better have a story to tell. So slap some butter on those buns and let’s get toasty. We’re not shy of crazy — are you?

CITIZEN KITCHEN | FULLERTON, CA

Located inside The Hotel Fullerton, Citizen Kitchen’s menu is the brainchild of Chef Zach Geerson where focus is seasonal ingredients in a modern and innovative fashion. The new Barcelona Burgerwhose patty is made of Chef’s 4-way burger blend, is topped with seafood paella, duck confit, pimenton aioli, frisée, almonds and sherry vinaigrette. You better believe we are not holding back on this one! Be bold. You can always sleep off your food coma at the hotel …and then come back for a night-cap with a cocktail. Rusty Nail anyone? This cocktail features Pig’s Nose and Drambuie, garnished with a lemon twist. Cheers!

Citizen Kitchen's Barcelona Burger | Photo courtesy of Chef Zach Geerson

Citizen Kitchen's Barcelona Burger | Photo courtesy of Chef Zach Geerson

PIG PEN DELICACY | 4TH STREET MARKET | SANTA ANA, CA

As if you needed another reason to love bacon, Pig Pen Delicacy’s sophisticated and modern interpretations of bacon and pork favorites has us obsessing over their new Maple Bacon Jam Burger, featuring bacon jam, Havarti cheese, chive aioli and fried onion strings over top of  an all-beef patty. What’s on the menu for dessert? That’s right, you guessed it, bacon! You have to order a side of candied bacon for the ride home, this oven-baked bacon with brown sugar and spices adds to that mic drop moment.

Pig Pen Delicacy's Maple Bacon Jam Burger | Photo courtesy of @misoo_hungry via Instagram

Pig Pen Delicacy's Maple Bacon Jam Burger | Photo courtesy of @misoo_hungry via Instagram

THE WHARF | GARDEN GROVE, CA

The Caj-sian fare at The Wharf, situated in historic Downtown Garden Grove, takes America's favorite sammy and kicks things into serious overdrive. These guys are not afraid to do things differently with an keen eye to detail and a palate for the finer ingredients of their reimagined Vietnamese cuisine. A classic burger is transformed here with cajun shrimp grilled to perfection to crown a pork belly (yes, pork belly) patty, all doused in a healthy helping of melted cheddar cheese for modern surf-and-turf action. 

The Wharf's Surf n Turf Burger | Photo courtesy of 100eats

The Wharf's Surf n Turf Burger | Photo courtesy of 100eats

SLATERS 50/50 | ORANGE COUNTY & SAN DIEGO, CA 

At Slater’s they are reinventing the idea of what it means to play with your food. If you like over-the-top, in-your-face burgers that are loaded with flavor (also known as bacon) then Slater’s may already be showing up in your Waze app as your home location. Just when you thought their magical 50/50 burger couldn’t get any better … they reinvented your standards. Hey! It’s just in their nature. The re-formulated burger is thicker, juicier and just as sexy as it was before. Build your own jaw-dropping burger by using this patty as your canvas. Whether it turns out to be a Pollock or a Manet, sandwich it with a toasted-to-perfection brioche bun and the critics will be satisfied.

Slaters 50/50's Jalapeno Popper Burger | Photo courtesy of Slater's 50/50 via Instagram

Slaters 50/50's Jalapeno Popper Burger | Photo courtesy of Slater's 50/50 via Instagram

VACA | COSTA MESA, CA

If you work by South Coast Plaza then you might as well call Vaca the employee break room, because everyone ends up here when they're clocked out. You're the type of person that really digs superior tasting meats and that’s why you keep coming back here, or it could be those Spanish cocktails you can’t get enough of. Well now you have yet another reason to come back here, the burger. This twist on this tradition comes from the hands of celebrity chef, Amar Santana. The Hamburguesa features a grilled prime beef patty and crispy Spanish chorizo on a fluffy brioche bun with smoked paprika aioli and overnight tomatoes. And if you feel like taking this burger next level, accept the option to add Spanish cabrales bleu cheese or Spanish manchego cheese.

Vaca's Hamburguesa | Photo courtesy of Travel Costa Mesa

Vaca's Hamburguesa | Photo courtesy of Travel Costa Mesa

HOPDODDY | THE TUSTIN MARKET PLACE | TUSTIN, CA

Thoughtfully crafted, well proportioned burgers made with the freshest available, all-natural ingredients is what you get at Hopdoddy. And lucky us, they just opened a new location at The Tustin Market. Their beef comes from those happy, humanely raised cows. You know, the ones that are never, ever given growth hormones or antibiotics! Not feeling the beef? They also offer bison, lamb, chicken, turkey, sushi-grade tuna and a black bean-corn patty. If you’re the type of person that can fall in love with an aioli so much that you just want to rub it all over your face and put it in your hair, then thePrimetime Burger is for you. This beauty features grass-fed beef, Brie cheese, arugula, caramelized onions, that truffle aioli that makes you act strange because you love it so much, steak sauce and beefsteak tomato. The overall flavor profile of this burger is very rich but it won’t leave you feeling weighed down with regret. You can attribute this to the thoughtfully crafted proportions of the burger.

Hopdoddy's Primetime Burger | Photo courtesy of Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Hopdoddy's Primetime Burger | Photo courtesy of Hopdoddy Burger Bar

25 DEGREES | HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA

In case you were ever wondering the precise temperature difference between a raw and well-done hamburger, it’s 25 degrees. Where the burgers are as fancy as the decor, this burger bar offers chic, sophistication on and off the plate. This is the kind of place where you come for the burger and you stay for the atmosphere. With the amount of different ingredient options available in this house, your imagination (and your wallet) is your only limitation. Just a teaser of what we’re talking about, their cheese selections include the benedictine, creamy smoked mozzarella, tart and creamy crescenza and a blue veined prelibato gorgonzola that has us melting in our seats. If you start to feel like your drowning in options, just opt for the Number 5 “Truffle Style” featuring, mushroom, truffle oil, dijon aioli, arugula, caramelized onion and smoked mozzarella. You’ll thank us later. Seriously, this truffle addiction will be hard to kick.

25 degrees' Number 1 Burger | Photo courtesy of @likefoodla via Instagram

25 degrees' Number 1 Burger | Photo courtesy of @likefoodla via Instagram

FRITZI DTLA | LOS ANGELES, CA

Located in the Historic Arts District in LA, the industrial chic restaurant, Fritzi, has Chef Neal Fraser serving up his other-worldly, artisanal nosh, including his Fritzi Burger. Chef’s burger features a nine-hour sous-vide Nueskie’s bacon-beef blend patty, topped with creamy fontina fondue, crisp iceberg lettuce, calabrese relish and thousand island, served with your choice of fries, tots or potato waffle. Pair with Arts District Brewing Co. beer for the ultimate ticket to burger nirvana. This spot screams fancy in your mouth all while promoting a casual no dress-code vibe. The best part, you get that transcendental moment for your tastebuds without the hefty price tag.

Fritzi's Fritzi Burger with their 9 hours sous-vide patty | Photo courtesy of @misscutiefoodie via Instagram

Fritzi's Fritzi Burger with their 9 hours sous-vide patty | Photo courtesy of @misscutiefoodie via Instagram

PETIT TROIS | LOS ANGELES, CA

Chef Ludo Lefebvre reinvents your interpretation of the double cheeseburger, inspired by the cheeseburger at Au Cheval in Chicago. The Big Mec at Petit Trois features two 4-ounce beastly, prime beef patties that are flooded with bordelaise sauce and topped with American cheese and garlic aioli. This savory, delicious masterpiece that they call a burger doesn’t have us missing lettuce and tomato in the slightest. Rumor has it, there may even be foie gras in that sauce, and we couldn’t be more delighted. Not that this burger needs directions, but we do suggest cutting it in half, eating it until it falls apart in your hands, and then just putting your face in the plate.

Petit Trois' Big Mec | Photo courtesy of Eddie @hungryinla via Instagram

Petit Trois' Big Mec | Photo courtesy of Eddie @hungryinla via Instagram

LOVE & SALT | MANHATTAN BEACH, CA

You might not expect this Italian-inspired restaurant with a California soul to offer a burger, but they do. You’d think this was the best kept secret in LA, but let’s be honest, a burger this good doesn’t stay hush-hush for long. This now famous burger that was intended to be on the DL (hence the Downlow Burger name) features wagyu beef, caramelized onions, aged cheddar, house pickles, rosemary parmesan and tomato aioli. This is the kind of burger you could fall in love with, it hugs you in all the right places.

Love and Salt's Downlow Burger | Photo courtesy of Eddie @hungryinla via Instagram

Love and Salt's Downlow Burger | Photo courtesy of Eddie @hungryinla via Instagram

THE STANDING ROOM | REDONDO BEACH, CA

The next time you’re in Redondo Beach and you’re headed to the liquor store for some beer and Lotto tickets, you might stumble upon a very tiny counter where some of the best burgers in LA are served. Enter with no regrets, or on a cheat day, because you’re about to have one of the best fancy-gastropub-meets-Asian-influence burgers touch your lips. Whether you decide on the Cash Burgerserved with shishito pepper, bacon, cheddar, American cheese, onion ring, Korean aioli, and hoisin bbq sauce … or the Hapa Burger, featuring spring mix, onion, scallion, sesame leaf tossed in spicy vinaigrette, fried egg, gouchu Q and Korean aioli, you are guaranteed an absolute flavor bomb — Boom.

The Standing Room's Cash Burger | Photo courtesy of The Standing Room

The Standing Room's Cash Burger | Photo courtesy of The Standing Room

HAWKINS HOUSE OF BURGERS | LOS ANGELES, CA

You could go into cardiac arrest just by looking at this burger. The Whipper Burger features two generously portioned Angus beef patties, ooey gooey cheese, pastrami, a hot link and your classic burger produce to balance this beast of a burger out. By no means should you think that this burger is compensating with size, not one ingredient is unnecessary, each being full of flavor and contributing to texture and structure. Just a heads up, the burgers do take about 20 minutes to make since they are made-to-order. You can tell that person behind the grill is persnickety about the details, and we couldn’t be more excited to reap the benefits.

Hawkins House of Burgers' Whipper Burger | Photo courtesy of @thebestfoodperiod via Instagram

Hawkins House of Burgers' Whipper Burger | Photo courtesy of @thebestfoodperiod via Instagram

THE PARTISAN, WASHINGTON D.C.

Washington D.C. wasn't ready for this burger. The Partisan's Triple Stack Burger lives up to its name. The patties consist of a crazy blend of chorizo and dry-aged beef, and are partnered with classic american cheese. To take this burger up an additional notch, The Partisan incorporates some bacon-braised caramelized onions, and house-made tomato aioli. This next level triple stack of awesome will have you praising yourself for never choosing to be a vegetarian. 

The Partisan Triple Stack burger | Photo courtesy of @thepartisandc via Instagram

The Partisan Triple Stack burger | Photo courtesy of @thepartisandc via Instagram

HOLEMAN & FINCH PUBLIC HOUSE | ATLANTA, GA

"It's Burger Time!" These three words and a bullhorn changed Atlanta's late-night burger game in ways no one saw coming every night at 10 p.m. Luckily for us, Burger Time is no longer shackled to Holeman & Finch's 24 burgers per service policy (as in only four-and-twenty burgers to touch that grill every shift.) No wonder people lining up an hour before the coveted BT, and for what? An American classic of umami proportions with double patty action of a brisket-lean check hybrid ground in-house, a blanket of classic Kraft American cheese, and bread-and-butter pickles all sandwiched between a buttered milk brioche bun. 

Holeman & Finch's Cheeseburger | Photo courtesy of @droolius via Instagram

Holeman & Finch's Cheeseburger | Photo courtesy of @droolius via Instagram

JACK IN THE BOX | VARIOUS LOCATIONS, USA

Jack’s new Brew House Bacon Burger is making fast-food sexy, and not in a Carl’s Jr. kind of way. This beauty features 1/4 lb signature beef patty, topped with authentic porter ale cheese sauce, tasty grilled onions, and hickory smoked bacon – all on a toasted artisan potato bun. Follow that up with an order of their crispy garlic herb French fries, or those curly fries that you’ve become so loyal to, and you might think you were at an actual brewhouse. Then you realize you’re actually in a drive-thru and last-minute impulsively add the Oreo shake, because at this point you’re all in and committed to this fourth meal moment.

Jack in the Box's Brewhouse Burger | Photo courtesy of @dailyfoodfeed via Instagram

Jack in the Box's Brewhouse Burger | Photo courtesy of @dailyfoodfeed via Instagram

OC Japan Fair

This last weekend, 9/9 and 9/10, Orange County got their spin of a traditional Natsumatsuri, or Japanese summer festival. With 20+ food vendors, a blend of games and awesome community integration, the Japan Fair 2016 was a hit! 

The biggest take away from the OC Japan fair was all of the traditional Japanese food being cooked! Not only did it give all the attendees an awesome take-home experience, but the authenticity really show cased what it would be like if you were walking through a Natsumatsuri in Tokyo, Japan! 

Here are 5 vendors you'll want to check out the next time the Japan Fair heads your way: 

  1. Takoyaki from Tanota: Takoyaki are delicious balls of batter filled with tako, or octopus. Each batch of Takoyaki are cooked freshly in front of you and was an obvious hit at the fair. If you really want to mix things up, TaNoTa offers their Takoyaki in multiple flavors, like mentaiko (in the photo gallery below) which is spicy cod eggs, or sesame seed.
  2. Watermelon juice from Squidi: presentation is KEY and Squidi takes the cake on this one! They make fresh watermelon, pineapple, and mixed berry slushes and pour them in these totally unique light bulbs decorated with a mini light. Once the sun set and you noticed how many little light bulbs were lighting up around you, these bad boys became irresistible! 
  3. Okonomiyaki from Gaja: Gaja refers to okonomiyaki as Japanese pancakes, but boy are they more than that! Sure they're circular, made of batter, and cooked the same... But these are loaded up with cabbage and onions, and are made up of yam, flour, and water! To spice it up a bit, Gaja offers their classic vegetable okonomiyaki topped with cheese & spam (pictured below), loaded up with corn, or with a generous coating of curry on them.
  4. Yakisoba hot dog from Kobe Wagyu Freaks: Yakisoba is one of the many staple pieces of a traditional Natsumatsuri in Japan! Now, make a hot dog out of it and you've got one of the coolest things you'll eat all night! Yakisoba is traditionally cooked with stir fry noodles, spices, and cabbage, and Kobe Wagyu Freaks of course had to add a generous helpings of delicious grounded Kobe beef to top off the dog!   
  5. Fresh crepe from Fujiyama: After trying so many different savory dishes, it was time for dessert. The fresh crepes from Fujiyama are where it's at! The crepes are freshly made in front of you, and are stuffed with fresh strawberries, bananas, or both! As if it couldn't get any better, the crepe was topped off with a nice drizzle of chocolate. Made fresh to order, this is where you'll want to satisfy your sweet tooth! 

Secrets About OC's Favorite Restaurants

We Found Your New Fave Secret Things about beloved OC Restaurants

There’s so much great food and drink in Orange County that sometimes you spend time searching for… that little something extra to make a difference. We found a few spots that have some exclusive experiences and off-menu specials that will pique your interest. Where should you stop first?
 

CITIZEN KITCHEN

Citizen Kitchen is your newest 'Hotel Hideaway' in Orange County. No need to book a room at Hotel Fullerton (although, a weekend stay-cation is never a bad idea either), just get lost in the incredible dishes from Chef Zachary Geerson. Hotel Fullerton's Executive Chef Geerson is bringing Orange County a truly unique culinary experience. With a strong belief in simple flavors and high quality ingredients, he is always cooking something that he truly believes in, and describes the experience at Citizen Kitchen as casual fine dining. Stop by and you'll find yourself wondering how you're eating such exemplary food in your flip flops.

Hidden away within Hotel Fullerton, Citizen Kitchen is updating their menu consistently with seasonal ingredients. Dishes such as roasted octopus, chicken with housemade pistachio mole sauce, and more grace their menu. Their craft cocktail selection is unbeatable as well, providing a drink for every palate, and utilizing herbs and other fresh ingredients in an innovative fashion. It's safe to say that the best secret about Citizen Kitchen, is Citizen Kitchen itself, and the mastermind behind it, Chef Geerson.

Citizen Kitchen's Grilled Spanish Octopus with "Mole Negro."

Citizen Kitchen's Grilled Spanish Octopus with "Mole Negro."

THE BLIND RABBIT

The Blind Rabbit in the Anaheim Packing District has made a name for itself already with their great gourmet eats, specialty hand-crafted cocktails and a particular set of guest rules, but they’re taking it to the next level with Mahalo Mondays. On select Mondays, this 1920s prohibition-style bar is transformed into a tiki oasis. Each bartender gets to lead up their own tiki night and showcase their own skills! Past themes include Gilligan’s Island, The Love Boat, and a traditional tiki night. Which Mondays? Maybe they’ll tell you… if you can find the secret entrance to this hidden gem.

The Blind Rabbit also offers liquor lockers to exclusive guests who might not always want to share their booze. The program costs $230.00 for half the year, and allows 2 private bottles. All members receive a special TBR coin with their locker number on it, along with the ability to add up to 4 guests on the program. Just be there once a month to continue your status (why let that private bottle go to waste?) and also receive 10% off dining.

In addition, this speakeasy offers a batch of Herradura Reposado Tequila made especially for them. Try it this summer in their Oaxaca Old Fashioned, a tequila twist on a traditional whiskey cocktail. Want to share the joy of The Blind Rabbit with friends? You’re not giving them a piece of paper. Purchase a limited edition Gift Coin for $50 each. Each batch produced are unique, one-of-a-kind collector coins.

The Blind Rabbit's custom batch of Herradura Reposado Tequila.

The Blind Rabbit's custom batch of Herradura Reposado Tequila.

MESA

Reminiscent of a chic, sophisticated WeHo nightclub, Mesa Lounge in Costa Mesa is offering a heightened dining experience by combining food with film and/or music in a monthly themed dinner event. Each dinner has a specific artist theme, with dishes thoughtfully created by Executive Chef Niki Starr Weyler to pay homage to aspects of the musician or specific songs. These exciting and inspiring events occur the last Wednesday of every month. In May, Mesa celebrated the life and music of the legendary David Bowie, including a nod or two to his famous alter ego Ziggy Stardust. And June's dinner was as equally memorable, honoring the life and music of Prince. Expect Fall 2016's lineup to include Bob Marley and Misfits celebratory dining.

Purple Rain, Fourth Course of Mesa's Prince Tasting Menu | Photo courtesy of Jared Sandoval.

Purple Rain, Fourth Course of Mesa's Prince Tasting Menu | Photo courtesy of Jared Sandoval.

PANDOR

Pandor Artisan Boulangerie & Café de Provence is serving fresh-baked artisan breads and goods in the style of southern France by master bakers and pastry chefs. While you can find plenty on the menu to delight your taste buds (one word: carbs), Pandor offers a couple of secret off-menu items for real devotees. 

The Dornut Club is Pandor’s savory sandwich, featuring their famous dornut (a beautiful cross between a buttery, flaky croissant and a sweet, cakey donut) filled with roasted turkey, bacon, tomatoes, onions, cheese, garlic mayo, and a sunny side up egg. Now that’s the way to hit all food groups. 

But that’s not all. Test your limits by climbing the K2 Dornut, 6 layers of Pandor’s buttery croissant dornut filled with vanilla custard and chocolate custard, and whipping cream. Between each custard layer you’ll discover fresh strawberries and bananas drizzled with maple syrup and condensed milk. The entire K2 mountain is topped with fruity pebbles, mini marshmallows, and colorful sprinkles. Currently, these decadent treats are available at the Anaheim location, but are coming soon to Newport Beach and Belmont Shore.

Pandor's K2 Dornut | Photo courtesy of June Quan via Instagram.

Pandor's K2 Dornut | Photo courtesy of June Quan via Instagram.

KTCHN DTSA

Angelenos have been raving about the amazing breakfast and brunch offerings of KTCHN dtla, and Orange County is getting its turn with KTCHN dtsa located in Santa Ana’s 4th Street Market. Though they made their name with the breakfast-all-day concept, owner Felix Barron IV has also created a Friday night dinner concept entitled "It's What’s for Dinner" – a cheeky grab of the successful advertising term for the beef council in the 1980s.


Every Friday night, KTCHN is serving a special off-menu entrée in addition to their current menu. This one specialty entree is enough to usually serve two, and is served on real china with real silverware. The dish changes every week… just ask to find out what that Friday’s dish is, and ask nicely! You’ll find a wildly different dish each Friday; past Friday dinner specials include handmade pappardelle with a lamb ragu or Thai curry catfish.

KTCHN dtsa's Scrambowl.

KTCHN dtsa's Scrambowl.

All photos courtesy of 100eats and Anne Watson Photography, unless otherwise stated.

Where to watch the 2016 Olympic Summer Games

The Olympics are HERE! The athletes of the world have trained harder than you can imagine, and the ultimate competition is officially underway. While some are lucky enough to view the summer games in Rio, we’ve rounded up the best places for you to find a front row seat, right here in OC. These local bars and eateries have got the TV setup you hoped for, and plenty of libations to indulge in while you watch these world champions win medals in awe.

4TH STREET MARKET
Located on East 4th Street, Downtown Santa Ana, CA
www.4thstreetmarket.com

This DTSA food hall is known for their extensive selection of good eats and weekly happenings, and the weeks of this year’s summer games are no exception. During the Olympics, 4th Street Market’s craft-centric bar, Recess will be offering Brazil-inspired drinks for just $6. Cachaça and Caipirinha are the primary spirit and drink of Brazil, so watch the Rio games with a well-made Caipirinha in hand. In addition to this, the famous 4th Street Market patio will be airing the games on their projection screen. So, stop in and snag a cocktail on tap, some killer Dos Chinos tacos, and maybe even some dessert from Front Porch Pops, and hoot and holler for Team USA with a satisfied tummy alongside the Santa Ana locals.

Caipirinha by Recess, 4th Street Market | photo courtesy of 100eats

Caipirinha by Recess, 4th Street Market | photo courtesy of 100eats

THE WHARF
Located on Main Street, Downtown Garden Grove, CA
www.thewharfoc.com

One of historic Garden Grove’s newest eateries is the ideal spot for viewing the summer games this month. With a diverse menu featuring Cajun, Vietnamese, and American flavors there’s always something for everyone’s tastebuds. Plus, in honor of the Olympics they’ll be hosting TWO Happy Hours - the first, Monday through Friday from 5PM to 7PM, the second (referred to as ‘Social Hour’), Thursday through Saturday, 10PM to 2AM. During these times you can find $2 beers, $6 wings, $8 house specialties, and even oysters for $1. With gourmet grub and two 120” projector screens showcasing these world athletes in all their glory, The Wharf is more than ready for you and your crew to come by and support Team USA.

Signature Cocktails at The Wharf | photo courtesy of 100eats

Signature Cocktails at The Wharf | photo courtesy of 100eats

THE IRON PRESS
Located in the Anaheim Packing House and SoCo, Costa Mesa, CA
www.theironpress.com

This local craft beer and waffle house is always a good spot for sporting events. WIth ample bar seating, and multiple televisions, this tiny but mighty family-friendly eatery is bringing you the summer games with a side order of waffle sandwiches. Not to mention their 30 taps of local craft beer and laid back vibe. Think of it as a home away from home, grab a stool and stay as long as you’d like. The Iron Press hosts their weekly ‘Hoppy Hour’ from 3PM to 6PM Monday through Friday, featuring discounts on all beer and more. Oh yeah, and if you come in rocking U-S-A gear in support, your beers are on happy hour no matter what time it is. They’re crew is stoked to host you and cheers with you during the awards ceremonies.

30 taps of local craft beer at The Iron Press | photo courtesy of Anne Watson Photography

30 taps of local craft beer at The Iron Press | photo courtesy of Anne Watson Photography

4 SONS BREWING
Located on Gothard Street, Huntington Beach, CA
foursonsbrewing.com

HB locals love this laid back brewery. With two separate tasting rooms, games, and plenty of fresh beer on tap there’s really no reason to leave. They’ve almost always got a food truck steps away too, so you can match your craft beer intake with your snacking levels throughout the olympic games. You can watch the competition on one of their multiple TVs and enjoy the ‘everyone’s family here’ environment all at once. Cheers!

One of two of 4 Sons Brewing tasting room | photo courtesy of 4 Sons Brewing

One of two of 4 Sons Brewing tasting room | photo courtesy of 4 Sons Brewing

 

HERE ARE SOME OTHER SOCAL SPOTS
WE SUGGEST TO CHECK OUT FOR THE SUMMER OLYMPICS


MESSHALL KITCHEN
Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
www.messhallkitchen.com

Head over to Messhall Kitchen to watch the Olympics from August 5-21 and enjoy their Olympic Cup cocktail! Made with Cachaça, muddled lime and cucumber, sugar, and garnished with a pinch of sea salt! You can’t have just one! Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 4PM to 6PM, and Saturday through Sunday 4PM to 5PM.

NOBLE ALE WORKS
South Sinclair Street, Anaheim, CA
www.noblealeworks.com

Attention all beer lovers, Noble Ale Works is bound to satisfy your hop cravings. And, during the summer games, kick it in their tasting room and check out the competition on their giant projection screen. Sip something fresh, and watch Team USA kick some butt while the team at Noble brew a fresh batch right next to you.

SLATERS 50/50
Multiple OC Locations, CA
slaters5050.com

Burgers, beer and sports - heck yeah! Slater’s is a SoCal staple with their build-your-own-burger centric menu, 50+ taps of beer, a full bar, and plenty of screens for sporting events. This month check out the Olympic games at one of their many SoCal locations. You can even enjoy their awesome ‘Day Drinking’ menu, with great deals on beer and food Monday through Fridays 11AM to 6PM… talk about a truly happy hour.

Mesa's Music Inspired Chef's Table Dinners Continue with Prince, and more musically paired menus to come.

Prince Inspired Tasting Menu

MUSICAL LEGEND PRINCE HONORED WITH A CULINARY PERFORMANCE PRESENTED BY CHEF NIKI STAR AT THE MODERN ORANGE COUNTY EATERY, MESA. 

"Prince was a huge favorite of mine growing up... I remember making up dances to his songs as a little girl. And, my favorite part of Pretty Woman (one of my all time favorite movies) is when Julia Roberts sings to 'Kiss' in the bathtub." - Chef Niki Star

These inspired tasting dinners are the last Wednesday of every month - The Prince Menu was featured in June, but there are plenty more incredible menus available in the months to come. Tickets available through TicketFly at mesacostamesa.com.

Purple Rain, Fourth Course | Photo courtesy of Jared Sandoval

Purple Rain, Fourth Course | Photo courtesy of Jared Sandoval

Course 1: DARLING NIKI
Cotton candy amuse full of Chef Niki’s favorite things.

Course 2: RASPBERRY BERET
Mache salad, arugula, red beet juice, raspberry pearls, raspberry vinaigrette, raspberry baked meringue (beret on top to be smashed).

Course 3: BREAKFAST CAN WAIT
Sous vide egg yolk, sautéed spinach with garlic chips, English muffin, hollandaise foam, bacon lardons.

Course 4: PURPLE RAIN
Herb crusted steak, confit purple potatoes, pinot noir sauce, purple cauliflower shaved table-side.

Course 5: CHEESE COURSE
 

Course 6: DESSERT COURSE

 

Upcoming Music/Food Pairing Dinners at Mesa

Each dinner is held the last Wednesday of each month.
Tickets available at mesacostamesa.com 

July - Sublime
SOLD OUT!

August - Wu-Tang with Chef Linh Nguyen
Get Tickets

September - Bob Marley
Get Tickets

October - The Misfits
Get Tickets


 

For more information or interview requests please contact

Kayla Glass at 100eats - Promotions Coordinator

kayla@100eats.com

831.359.2077

100eats.com 

Treat Yo Self 2016

On March 20th, Los Angeles was taken over by sweet lovers. Treat Yo Self, a small event that hosted some of the best candies, sweets, and sugary items from some of the top bakers, restaurants, and candy creators in LA.

Taking place in the small L.A. River Studio, They managed to squeeze 10 vendors not including the DJ, Beer station, chalk artist, and a salon, I guess you can say the place was DOUBLE STUFFED. To top it all off, they made sure they had something to fulfill everyone's favorite guilty pleasure.

The adventurous type (like me)-

My favorite thing hands down had to be the Ice Cream from Wanderlust Creamery. Serving an Ube cone topped with Mango Sticky rice ice cream, topped with another scoop of Thai Tea ice cream and then encrusted rose crystals.

The refreshing yet indulging-

The Gadarene Swine which had a coconut pudding topped with mojito granita, brown sugar streusel, strawberry and thai basil. Can you say refreshing and delicious?

The classic dessert lover-

Demitasse Cafe had probably the most simple dessert. A torch toasted marshmallow! OH, and it came with a side of lavender liquid hot chocolate. You heard me right, Simple yet amazing.

The “There is no such thing as too much chocolate”-

Cake Monkey Bakery had a Must Love Chocolate Cakewich - A chocolate brown butter cake, dark chocolate butter cream, chocolate crunchy pearls, and dark chocolate glaze.

If reading this makes you want to head straight to the nearest candy store or if your mouth is watering like crazy, then you need to look out for this event next year. I can't even imagine the new levels that Treat Yo Self will reach.

Introducing Guinness Nitro IPA

Photo Provided By: Guinness

Photo Provided By: Guinness

When I thought of Guinness prior to exploring their new Nitro IPA, I always thought of it as a members only kind of drink. Whether you’re a beer aficionado or not, you can take one sip of a Guinness and know that there isn’t going to be be any other type of beer that you’ll enjoy like this one. The head is thick and creamy. It tastes of old family secrets. There is no alternative to Guinness. There is just Guinness. So needless to say, when I thought about how they would turn that into an IPA, I was curious, and I had to taste it for myself. 

Guinness, established in 1759, has introduced their new Guinness™ Nitro IPA , a hop forward India Pale Ale with the familiar features of a classic Guinness that we all know and love — that creamy mouthfeel and a thick head. This is a beer you can practically taste by its smell, as the beer provides aromatics of tangy citrus peel over gentle pine notes. And for an IPA, this brew offers only a slight hop profile with its subtle bitterness that dissipates quickly from the palate. If you’re looking for hops being slammed in your face, this isn’t that beer. Think balance. You’ll take a sip and as you lower your glass, you’ll think … well played, while slightly nodding your head. 

Photo Provided By: Guinness

Photo Provided By: Guinness

This beer is available draught (in select U.S. bars) or in a can, so no glass bottles here. The cans are actually pretty cool with their nitro infused widget (although I will always pick draught, if available). When you crack open the can, gases are released from the widget, providing a pleasant bitter finish, and a cool sound. (The widget inside the can made me think of Cracker Jacks, but for adults.) Inside your can of beer there is a toy for you! OK, It’s not a toy, but feel free to cut open the can and see what’s in there … I did.This widget technology has been perfected by Guinness since the 1950s, and by bringing nitrogenation to an IPA, Guinness is putting their stamp of balanced flavor and aroma to a hop infused Pale Ale. But FYI, don’t drink it from the can. It’s a very aromatic beer so you’ll want to drink it from a glass. This beer actually offers five different types of hops in the recipe; Admiral, Topaz, Celeia, Challenger and Cascade. You’d think it would have an overwhelming aroma and taste with all of those different styles of hops, but they actually balance one another out, offering an ultra smooth finish. Overall, this beer was very approachable while it’s complexities will have you intrigued. 

Photo Provided By: Guinness

Photo Provided By: Guinness

Luis Ortega, the brewer of this beer, explains to us the complexities and differences of IPAs, “IPAs are complex and hoppy, but for some beer drinkers the bitterness can be too much. We aimed to make a balanced, smooth beer. Guinness perfected nitrogenated beer more than 60 years ago, so we believed we could really add something new to the style. There's plenty of hoppy flavor, with citrus aroma to the fore, but the nitrogen rounds it all out. The mouthfeel is fantastic, and the use of Guinness yeast gives it an echo of the character of our famous stouts.”

Photo Provided By: Guinness

Photo Provided By: Guinness

Guinness™ Nitro IPA was created by a small group of Guinness brewers called, The Brewers Project,  who are given the opportunity to have fun exploring and researching the beer world and coming back and creating new beers out of Dublin at St. James’s Gate Bewhouse No. 4. With 256 years of brewing history to back them, you can expect perfection in their brewing. 

The beer has an ABV of 5.8% and 44 IBUs.Whether enjoying a new Guinness™ Nitro IPA, or any Guinness beer, please drink responsibly.  

More information can be found at www.guinness.com.

Photo Provided By: Guinness

Photo Provided By: Guinness