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Portland’s Voodoo Doughnuts Head to Universal Studios

August 12th, 2016

 

Portland, Oregon is home to some of the most scrumptious foodie goodies in the world, and recent transplants from PDX to the LA area include the likes of Salt & Straw ice cream. However, Portland’s most beloved doughnuts, Voodoo, has announced they’ll be opening a location at Universal Studios after the Portland mayoral doughnut-eating contest.

baked donuts

 

The details are being kept relatively hush-hush, but it’s possible LA visitors might be able to dig into the famous Voodoo Doll doughnut, Mango Tango, Captain My Captain and more extra-sweet fried dough by autumn. Universal Studios has been looking for a way to renovate the entry for a while, and the CityWalk area of the park has proven perfect for the latest Voodoo location.

What’s the Big Deal?

Voodoo is a staple in Portland and has been featured on numerous Food Channel and Travel Channel shows thanks to their funky and eclectic atmosphere, strange toppings, and knack for perfecting sheer indulgence. Other non-Oregon locations include Denver and Tokyo.

It’s unclear whether the same doughnuts will be in California as well as Portland, but if so, make sure to check out their Diablos Rex (available in regular and vegan) as well as the Pot Hole, featuring Oreo crumbles and a Bavarian cream center.

Great Greek in Anaheim

August 7th, 2016

 

Thanks to being nestled against the Pacific Ocean, there’s some fantastic Greek fare in the Anaheim area you have to try. Start at Athens West, a casual eatery on Huntington Beach that offers a generous vegetarian menu alongside more classic dishes. The orzo pasta, Greek salad, kebab selection, and salmon platter with two fillets grilled perfectly are all top picks. Four lamb chops, seasoned and cooked on an open flame, are another popular choice.

Greek Salad

 

At Daphne’s California Greek, you’ll find the classic pita sandwiches with small grilled chicken served street-style or with mouthwatering steak. On the Family Feast menu, select form classic entrees like grilled chicken, falafel, chicken shawarma or fresh-carved gyros. Their seasoned rice, tabouli and dessert menu never disappoint.

Satisfy Your Appetite

Elena’s Greek Armenian Cuisine is a favorite fusion restaurant with chicken lulu kebabs, stuffed eggplants and grape leaves, and of course falafel platters and gyros galore. Substitute salad and/or rice for their house fries, or go for the Greek burger to really mix things up.

At The Mad Greek Restaurant, you’ll find lamb and salmon souvlaki, Greek ribs and roasted lamb, and moussaka in an unfussy, laid back atmosphere. Try the Niko’s platter with skewers, calamari, prawns and scallops galore!

 

The OC Fair

August 5th, 2016

 

The Orange County Fair runs from July 15-August 14 with a Super Pass available, offering access every single day, for just $35. There are nine pickup locations around the OC area for just $2 each way and a special $3 daily admissions price for those who travel green. At the Pacific Amphitheater, fair concerts are well underway, and in August you’ll find Michael Franti and Spearhead, Train, Chris Young, The B-52s, Ziggy Marley and more performing.

Carnival Scene

 

The Hangar is where you can find even more live entertainment including tributes to Neil Diamond and the Bee Gees. At Action Sports Arena, check out rodeos, broncs and bulls nights, demolition derbies, the emergency pursuit derby, and motor home madness. Special events throughout the fairgrounds include the 5k Fun Run on August 14, community flag salutes throughout August, and the Courtyard Wine Seminars, where $3 gets you 2 oz. tasters.

An Af”Fair” to Remember

The OC does fairs right, with carnival rides for all ages and abilities. Food vendors dish up deep-fried treats, smoky BBQ and so much more. New additions for 2016 include the $2 Taste of Fair Food every Thursday from noon to 4pm, where vendors offer up taste specials in addition to their usual goodies.

Don’t miss out on the exhibits like Agriculture in the Community, milking demos, the OC beekeepers, leather crafting and much more at the OC Fair!

The Honda Center

August 1st, 2016

 

At the Honda Center, some of the hottest events in Anaheim take place. Check out their full event calendar for August now and plan your trip around the best concerts, festivals and happenings in the city. The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Presents Out of This World August 1-7 with family-friendly shows daily. Arrive early and meet the cast members, including some exotic four-legged performers in a special all-access meet and greet.

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August 17 brings Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas to the Honda Center at 7pm for a must-see collaboration. Tickets are on sale now, but there may be some last minute seats given up, so check directly with the box office. Monday, August 29 is when the Outcry: Summer 2016 Tour kicks off with Kari Jobe, Chad Veach, Hillsong Worship, Housefires, and Rend Collective performing for the Bride of Christ as part of a 15-city tour.

Events Worth Remembering

The setting of a once-in-a-lifetime event makes all the difference, and that’s where the Honda Center really stands out. The Honda Center opened in 1993 and has been home to the 2007 Stanley Cup champions the Anaheim Ducks as well as LA KISS and the Wooden Legacy Basketball tournament.

With over 650,000 square feet, 200,000 square feet of marble lining, a 444 foot roof and 12 feet of granite lining the exterior, it’s an impressive LA feature you have to see in person!

Anaheim’s Steak Restaurants

July 29th, 2016

Craving a juicy, perfectly prepared strip or filet? Anaheim has you covered with some of the best steakhouses in southern California. Try Carthay Circle Restaurant, where you’ll find boneless beef short ribs, Cajun spiced salmon, and jambalaya on the menu. A touch of New Orleans right along the golden coast, there’s also roasted beef sirloin and bayou surf and turf, too!

Organic Lamb Loin Chops

JT Schmid’s Restaurant and Brewery pairs their own locally crafted beers with some of the most mouthwatering menu items you can fathom. Favorites include their world famous French dip, the cowboy burger with bleu cheese, killer steak tacos, and boneless beef buffalo wings. Hibachi filet steak and a 16 oz. prime rib are available for those who really bring their appetites.

Up the Steaks

The Royal Street Veranda offers a magical Disneyland touch to steakhouses, located in the Disney Park and famous for their steak gumbo. Here, you can also get clam chowder in a sourdough bowl, or enjoy a drink on their spacious wrought-iron patio as you munch on fritters.

Roy’s is a Hawaiian restaurant that does beef right with their grilled filet mignon alongside teppanyaki shrimp. Braised beef short ribs and truffle bacon mac and cheese are just a couple of their prime picks. No matter which steakhouse you choose, you can’t go wrong in Anaheim!

 

Best Thai in Anaheim

July 9th, 2016

There’s an abundance of top Thai restaurants in town, and it’s the perfect way to satisfy your sweet or savory cravings. Thai Tangerine Restaurant offers a crying tiger BBQ beef starter, a famous papaya salad that’s the perfect refresher on a hot summer day, Thai curry options, and a boat noodle specialty you have to try. Top it all off with rainbow ice cream.

Asian Ingredients

At Jumpa Thai Restaurant, you’ll enjoy deep-fried tofu, beef or pork jerky, and shrimp cakes for starters. The shrimp pineapple curry is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy, while the Chinese broccoli with crispy pork is always a favorite. Their crab fried rice, Thai omelet, and mango with sticky rice for dessert are all guaranteed to delight.

Thai Options

Thai California Kitchen is a favorite for college students, where affordable, authentic eats with innovative twists are king. Get deep-fried ground chicken with cream cheese and a selection of dipping sauces for a real treat. Egg noodle and wontons with your choice of protein, glass noodle dishes, or BBQ chicken over fried rice are all popular picks.

There’s also Thai Nakorn, where Thai BBQ is so big, it needs its own menu! Choose from their seafood selection, curries, soups, Thai salads, and specials like fried fish with mango salad or Chinese water grass with bean sauce. Where will you Thai one on?

Anaheim Events You Can’t Miss

July 5th, 2016

It’s the peak of summer, and there’s nowhere better to be than Anaheim! Countless events are taking place this July, starting with the Family Beach Days July 1 from 10am-2pm. At the Dockweiler Youth Center, a slew of family-friendly games, like ping pong, basketball and badminton, are on hand—all complementary! Hosted by the department that governs 17 of the area’s beaches, it’s an event to help you keep your cool and escape from the sun for a few hours before barreling back to your surf lessons and sand castle competitions.

Sandcastle

The Palisades Park Tour is held regularly throughout the summer with tours beginning at 10:30am. These walking tours give you an insider, expert perspective on the gorgeous landscapes of Anaheim. Learn watercolor artistry, and gather with new friends for a picnic by the sea.

July Finds

Every Friday in July, Fullerton’s BIGS Bar and Restaurant offers $10 all-you-can-eat fish tacos with a drink purchase. You’ll also find late night happy hour prices on other items, the latest music videos streaming from high-tech televisions, and a number of bar games from billiards to Monster Jenga!

Ready to dance off those endless tacos? Free Zumba classes are offered at the DYC in Los Angeles every Friday at 5:30pm(??). Hosted by the Department of Beaches and Harbors, simply show up ready to show off your moves—or the ones you’re about to learn!

 

Fourth of July Festivities

July 1st, 2016

Nothing compares to the Fourth of July fireworks at Disney because they really take it to the next level—the magical kingdom has to when they’re already famous for their regular fireworks show! It’s a fantastic night to visit Disneyland, and the fireworks pair perfectly with a sweet treat available along Main Street, U.S.A., but what if you want a different kind of celebration this Independence Day?

Friends running with fireworks on a beach after sunset

The Fourth of July Celebration at El Modena High School has no crowds and features games, live performances, and entertainment for the kids. It offers a fun, charming experience, even in the glitz and glamour of southern California. For those craving an old fashioned Fourth, this one really delivers.

Fireworks Galore

Head to Aliso Viejo at Grand Park for their annual festival, which includes fireworks at dusk, face painting, live music and plenty of food vendors. A massive bounce castle has made it a favorite for families, and arts and crafts stations let your little ones stay busy so the whole family can enjoy the holiday.

There’s also the Newport Dunes Fourth at Newport Beach, where carnival games and face painting accompany a fantastic show. Live entertainment, food and music late into the night ensure this is one summer celebration you’ll never forget.

 

 

“Top” Rooftop Bars

June 24th, 2016

Really enjoy the weather and views of southern California by discovering the best rooftop bars in the area. Upstairs at the Ace Hotel Bar, you’ll find killer views, incredible cocktails and a blazing fire, just in case you start missing that California heat when the sun goes down. Rotating DJs keep you on your toes, and this relatively new establishment attracts the occasional celebrity so you can do your star sighting without having to leave your table.

Mojito cocktail and cashews on table in rooftop bar

At Pearl’s Liquor Bar in West Hollywood, you’ll find delectable filet mignon and beef tartare, all while you gaze over the Sunset Strip. Famous just as much for the food as the views, you have to try the mushroom flatbread. However, if you prefer to drink your dinner, there’s always the Whiskey Twist made with ginger whiskey, fresh mint and lime.

A Bar with a View

SIXTY in Beverly Hills is an intimate getaway, located at the old Thompson hideaway, and is known by locals for their happy hours with $4 drinks and bites. Nestle next to the pool, and find yourself relaxing in the midst of Wilshire. You’ll feel rightfully old Hollywood glam in no time.

Palihouse is a secret escape where locals head when they want to avoid crowds. Now that you’re in the know, you can also slip away for some rooftop wining and dining. The area is brimming with rooftop options—where will you go first?

Star Wars Half Marathon Registration Now Open

June 24th, 2016

Come to the dark side—and be one of the first to register for the popular Star Wars Half Marathon! Planning ahead is critical for one of the most beloved races in Anaheim. The race is scheduled for January 12-15 at Disneyland Park, but with registration opening in June. The bibs always sell out, and if you know you want to run this bucket list race next year, now’s the time to get your (Donald) ducks squared away.

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If you prefer a shorter run, there are also 10k and 5k options available, and fun runs for kids of all ages. The runDisney Kids Races are an amazing way to instill a love of running in your little ones as you take on your own course. The chipped, timed run takes you through the streets of Disney before spilling out into Anaheim streets and avenues, all while spectators, hosts and of course Star Wars characters cheer you on.

A Weekend of Fun

Arrive early on race weekend, and don’t miss out on the Health Expo where you’ll get swaddled with oodles of goodies, hear celebrity guest speakers and fitness experts, and learn tips for having the best, fastest and most enjoyable race possible.

You can also register for the Star Wars Rebel Challenge in tandem with the half marathon or 10k, ensuring you battle to victory along the course, and receive your special finisher medal.