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Los Angeles & SoCal

SoCal Seafood Review

“As soon as I get home, all I want to eat is seafood.” 

~Quvenzhane Wallis

 

Me too, Q! Me too.

One of the benefits of Southern California living (other than the weather, of course) is access to deliciously fresh seafood. And as a lover of crab and shrimp and lobster (oh my!), I supremely enjoyed compiling (and taste testing) for this roundup. So when you next visit SoCal—or if you are living here and looking for a new seafood joint—check out some of these options. You won’t regret it.

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Got Pork? The Big Bite Bacon Fest Does

A friend once told me that bacon makes everything better. She was right.

And this mantra was definitely confirmed by the chefs, food trucks and general pork lovers who attended the 2nd Annual Big Bite Bacon Fest this weekend. The festival, held at The Queen Mary in Long Beach on August 1 and 2, featured a vast array of pork-filled dishes, live music, games, and did I mention pork?

I was in heaven. It was a pork smorgasbord of epic proportions. Signature dishes included bacon mac ‘n’ cheese, bacon quesadillas, pulled pork, bacon-wrapped shrimp and drumsticks, bacon maple donuts, and even bacon cinnamon rolls.

“We are committed to growing the Big Bite Bacon Fest in order to welcome all passionate bacon lovers,” commented Big Bite Event’s Chief Bacon Officer, Mark Entner. “We have expanded the festival into two-days and secured double the number of bacon purveyors to participate to create a sensory overloaded environment where bacon enthusiasts can truly enjoy all things bacon.”

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Thrillist’s Culinary Roadtrip Brings the Nation’s Regional Specialties to LA

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”

~James Beard

Been hankering to eat your way across the country on a coast-to-coast road trip but don’t have the time? Thrillist has the solution for you.

Whenever I visit a new location, I try to experience the local food delicacies. I want to enjoy the foodie spots and items that a local experiences. Well, Thrillist had the same idea. So this weekend it hosted the “Culinary Roadtrip,” which was a smattering of local delicacies at Siren Studios in Hollywood.

All of the delicious food and none of the driving? Let’s dig in.

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Who Knew Encinitas Tasted So Good?

“I love to take something ordinary and make it really special.”

~Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa

Everywhere I go, I try to experience the local fare. Food is such an integral part of travel; it allows you to delve into the local experience. Whether it is domestic or international, I always try to sample the local cuisine.

So even though I have been to Encinitas and Carlsbad a number of times, I decided to branch out and try some different dining experiences, outside of Fidel’s Little Mexico, which we always enjoy. Here are some new favorites that stuck out that I just had to share. (And make sure you make it all the way to the end because the last place has changed my dining expectations forever.)

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The Carlsbad Flower Fields… and Global Warming?

“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”

~Walter Hagen

California is such a vast wonderland. I think I had started to take it for granted. While I am looking for new and exciting places to visit, I forget that people come here for vacation. It’s a wonderful place that I fear I have gotten way too accustomed to.

So I decided to look into cool photography spots in Cali, specifically in the LA area. But while searching the Interwebs, I ran across a little gem: The Carlsbad Flower Fields.

How have I missed this? As many times as I have been down to visit San Diego and Carlsbad I had never heard of the Flower Fields. And to cap it off, it was right across the street from the outlet mall I have visited. #shame

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I Left My Heart in Solana Beach

“Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Every so often, you come across a place that transforms you. Somewhere that changes your very essence.

I had always imagined that I would be struck by places like the Colosseum or the Taj Mahal or the Iguaçu Falls or the Great Barrier Reef. I never imagined I would be altered by somewhere so close to home. And just outside of San Diego, no less.

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L.A. Food Beyond Just Tacos

“When it’s done properly, taco should be a verb.”

~Jonathan Gold

Think Los Angeles food and tacos inevitably comes to mind. Now, I love a good taco (special shout out to Tacos Tumbras a Tomas in Grand Central Market downtown, not to mention the Kogi Truck). I think most everything tastes better when wrapped in a tortilla. But there are so many other amazing cuisines in LA that leave you wanting more.

So, because people always ask me for food recommendations when they are coming to town, and given that spring break is just around the corner, I have come up with a round up of my favorite L.A. food spots by category. Enjoy, because I actually made myself hungry putting this together.

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A Whale of a Good Time

“The whales do not sing because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song.”

~Gregory Colbert

It had been a long day.

Almost an hour and a half in, we had yet to see any whales and we spent our time simply trying to catch our footing on the boat. I was cold and the dead weight of my camera was tiring.

But let me back up. As I embarked on the quest to conquer various items on my Travel Goals list, about a month ago I saw a deal for whale watching off the Channel Islands. So I enlisted my buddy and we, along with her 4-year-old daughter (who is the real trooper in all of this) decided to tackle a 3-hour whale watching boat trip so I could cross that item off my list.

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