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How Long Beach became a hot spot for craft beer drinkers

Every day at 4 a.m. Blackwell, who goes by his last name only, rides his bike a mile from his home to the north end of the Belmont Shore neighborhood in Long Beach. There, at the base of the pier, is the Belmont Brewing Co., which opened in 1990 and is Southern California's oldest brewpub. Blackwell...

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    • Bigmistas Barbecue comes to Long Beach: Grab some buns!

      Bigmistas Barbecue comes to Long Beach: Grab some buns!

      Bigmistas Barbecue & Sammich Shop finally has a bricks-and-mortar restaurant. It opened Saturday in Long Beach to a line out the door. Here's a tip for your visit: Go for the now-famous barbecue, but make sure you don't miss the buns. Bigmista himself, Neil Strawder, is rolling out a new treat...

    • Five great brewed-in-L.A. IPAs to drink right now

      Five great brewed-in-L.A. IPAs to drink right now

      Love 'em or hate 'em, the popularity of India Pale Ales in Southern California cannot be denied, and there are more choices than ever for hop-forward IPAs from Los Angeles breweries. Forget the big names from San Diego, here are some new IPAs (and one classic) from local breweries that deserve...

    • A pair of truffle dinners and a truffle festival

      A pair of truffle dinners and a truffle festival

      Now that we’re heading full tilt into truffle season, here are a few more places where you can get your truffle hits until the truffles run out. At Aussie chef Curtis Stone’s 25-seat Maude in Beverly Hills, November’s tasting menu is built around truffles. The nine-course meal showcases French...

    • Free ice cream made with liquid nitrogen at Creamistry

      Free ice cream made with liquid nitrogen at Creamistry

      Creamistry, an ice cream shop offering customizable scoops made with liquid nitrogen, is celebrating its newest location in Belmont Shore with free ice cream Monday. The store, which opens on 2nd Street, will give away free scoops from 3 to 5 p.m.  Guests will also receive 20% off regular prices...

    • Sustainability series at Long Beach Aquarium, CoffeeCon coffee festival

      Sustainability series at Long Beach Aquarium, CoffeeCon coffee festival

      Care about sustainable food? You really should. The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach is sponsoring a quarterly series of conversations hosted by L.A. Times Food Editor Russ Parsons on issues of sustainability. In the first of these, noted author Paul Greenberg will discuss and sign copies...

    • International cast of all-star brewers highlights the Festival in San Pedro

      International cast of all-star brewers highlights the Festival in San Pedro

      More than 70 of the world's best brewers from more than a dozen countries will be pouring their beers under one roof in San Pedro next week when the Festival comes to Southern California. The Festival, named one of the seven best beer festivals in the country by CNN, brings a roster of brewing...

    • Kimchi and sauerkraut fanatics wanted for inaugural Ferment festival in Long Beach
      Kimchi and sauerkraut fanatics wanted for inaugural Ferment festival in Long Beach

      These days restaurant chefs are pickling everything they can get their hands on. That clearly signals that pickling and fermenting are a trend. But fermenting also hearkens back to the old days and the old ways.

      And the Institute of Domestic Technology is leading the way with classes — and now...

    • Events: History of hot sauce, banh mi, sustainable seafood and a French chef
      Events: History of hot sauce, banh mi, sustainable seafood and a French chef

      Longtime Los Angeles Times food writer and historian Charles Perry will deliver a lecture to the Culinary Historians of Southern California on the history of hot sauce on Oct. 11. His story winds back through tomato ketchup and Worcestershire sauce to the 17th-century English infatuation with Asian...

    • Still waiting for 'Game of Thrones'? Here's a beer to make it easier
      Still waiting for 'Game of Thrones'? Here's a beer to make it easier

      There are still many long months before HBO’s beloved "Game of Thrones" returns, and even longer until author George R. R. Martin finishes the next book in the series, but at least fans can drown their sorrows in another "GOT"-inspired beer from Brewery Ommegang while they wait.

      The fourth beer...

    • Restaurants with wine in kegs
      Restaurants with wine in kegs

      Some places where you can try wines on tap:

      Bäco Mercat

      This popular downtown L.A. restaurant has just one wine on tap, but it's a terrific one: Alta Maria 2013 "Carbonic" Pinot Noir made in the style of Beaujolais, $13 a glass.

      Bäco Mercat, 408 S. Main St., Los Angeles, (213) 687-8808, www.bacomercat.com

      ...

    • Six ways to celebrate Oktoberfest in Los Angeles
      Six ways to celebrate Oktoberfest in Los Angeles

      Dust off the lederhosen and dirndls, it’s time for pretzels, oompah tunes and plenty of delicious beer as Oktoberfest parties kick off across Los Angeles.

      Never mind the triple-digit temperatures; raising a stein of frosty German-style beers and shouting “Prost!” is like a rain-dance for autumn...

    • Five cool California food festivals to visit in September
      Five cool California food festivals to visit in September

      After Labor Day, California hunkers down for wine harvests and food festivals around the state. Spend time tasting and sipping at these five events near and far that make a nice weeklong or weekend getaway.

      --Sacramento's Farm to Fork Celebration Sept. 13-28 starts off on a poignant and important...

    • Drink some great ales, help fight ALS
      Drink some great ales, help fight ALS

      Breweries across the country are joining the Ales for ALS project with special brews that help fund research to fight Lou Gehrig’s disease, and several local breweries are participating.

      The project was begun by the hop farmers at Loftus Ranch who’ve partnered with hop supplier Hopunion to provide...

    • Events: Tablas Creek at Tam O'Shanter, Olivi at Chianina, G&Ts at Waterloo & City
      Events: Tablas Creek at Tam O'Shanter, Olivi at Chianina, G&Ts at Waterloo & City

      Anybody have room to slip a special wine dinner into your schedule? These events can be not only fun but educational. Without having to buy an entire bottle, you get to taste wines from a single producer with food that a chef has designed to show them off. And if the winemaker is in attendance,...

    • Events: Boyle Heights Heroes, Golden Gopher turns 10, bread baking at Grist & Toll
      Events: Boyle Heights Heroes, Golden Gopher turns 10, bread baking at Grist & Toll

      On Sunday, Breed Street Shul Project is hosting “Boyle Heights Heroes,” a series of conversations featuring a panel of Boyle Heights’ famous foodies. The panel will be moderated by Evan Kleiman, host of KCRW-FM's “Good Food” and panelists include Izzy Freeman, owner of Izzy’s Deli in Santa Monica;...

    • Events: Fido's first food truck, LA Craft Beer Crawl, DeSano pizza class
      Events: Fido's first food truck, LA Craft Beer Crawl, DeSano pizza class

      Milo’s Kitchen, a California-based dog treat company, is hopping on the food truck bandwagon with Milo's Kitchen Treat Truck. The truck is selling treats exclusively for man’s best friend and will be visiting several dog parks around Los Angeles starting Thursday. Dogs can choose from a selection...

    • Long Beach brewpub Beachwood BBQ turns 3, and there will be a party
      Long Beach brewpub Beachwood BBQ turns 3, and there will be a party

      In just three years the Long Beach brewpub Beachwood has earned a place among the best beer-slinging establishments around -- it was even awarded “Mid-Sized Brewpub of the Year” at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival -- and they are celebrating their anniversary with a party on July 5.

      The festivities...

    • 8 steak spots for Father's Day and a free burger to boot
      8 steak spots for Father's Day and a free burger to boot

      This Sunday is Father’s Day. For a lot of dads, that might mean one thing -- meat. And when it comes to meat, what's more satisfying than a juicy steak? Take a stab at one of these eateries to satisfy your father’s beefy cravings:

      Oliver’s Prime is offering a “Steak and Scotch” special for dads...

    • A World Cup fan's dilemma: Cevapcici or churrascaria?
      A World Cup fan's dilemma: Cevapcici or churrascaria?

      Where do I go to watch soccer? Usually down in the living room, early on Sunday mornings, until somebody decides that Charles Osgood is more fascinating than the Juventus-Parma match. Soccer can be a lonely pursuit, unless you are one of the hearties who make a habit of nipping down to the pub...

    • Dunkin' Donuts to expand in California
      Dunkin' Donuts to expand in California

      East Coast staple Dunkin' Donuts is starting its California expansion with five stores opening by year's end.

      Beginning this fall, the purveyor of everything breakfast will debut locations in Santa Monica, Long Beach, Whittier, Downey and Modesto.

      Those new spots will kick off an aggressive push...

    • If you go: Catalina Island travel tips
      If you go: Catalina Island travel tips

      If you go

      THE BEST WAY TO CATALINA

      By sea: Catalina Express offers frequent daily trips of about one hour from Long Beach and San Pedro to Avalon, Catalina's main town, and less frequently from Dana Point to Avalon and from San Pedro to Two Harbors. Round-trip adult fare is $74.50, $2 more for...

    • Big plans, and concerns, surround L.A. River's revitalization
      Big plans, and concerns, surround L.A. River's revitalization

      City engineers, public works officials and developers stood on a hilltop just north of downtown on a recent weekday and gazed at a low-lying railroad yard dotted with weeds on the far side of the Los Angeles River channel.

      To the uninitiated, it was a mildly depressing vista of concrete, unwanted...

    • Brouwerij West to bring serious craft brew cred to new digs in San Pedro
      Brouwerij West to bring serious craft brew cred to new digs in San Pedro

      A new brewery is headed to the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, but instead of yet another start-up company it is an established, hometown brand that’s taking the plunge on a sprawling production brewery, tasting room and restaurant.

      Across the channel from the Victory Ship-turned-floating museum...

    • Six restaurants to try during Long Beach Restaurant Week
      Six restaurants to try during Long Beach Restaurant Week

      Long Beach, my fair city, is having its first Restaurant Week, and though this city of almost 500,000 may not be the first area that comes to mind as a hub of fine dining, there are some really good places you should try.

      Eat LBC will run from March 30 to April 5 and features more than 50 restaurants...

    • Frida Kahlo lovers, here's a chance to taste her cooking
      Frida Kahlo lovers, here's a chance to taste her cooking

      Frida Kahlo, the cult-figure Mexican artist whose collection of photographs will be shown in a new exhibit at Long Beach’s Museum of Latin American Art, was also a cook. And to celebrate the opening of the show, MOLAA has asked Luis Navarro, proprietor of the popular local restaurant Lola’s Mexican...

    • Beer review: Beachwood Brewing's Melrose IPA
      Beer review: Beachwood Brewing's Melrose IPA

      Beer of the Month: Beachwood Brewing's Melrose India Pale Ale is clear and golden with a complex aroma and layered flavors.

    • Still celebrating paella Saturdays at La Española
      Still celebrating paella Saturdays at La Española

      Let’s face it: running Saturday morning errands is no one’s idea of a good time. Unless you can figure out a way to be near Harbor City at lunchtime. Then it can turn out to be one of Southern California’s great pleasures.

      That’s thanks to Juana Gimeno Faraone, a native of Valencia, Spain, who...

    • Dunkin' Donuts developer agrees to save Long Beach's signature pastry
      Dunkin' Donuts developer agrees to save Long Beach's signature pastry

      After Long Beach residents make a case for city's pink, rooftop doughnut, Dunkin' Donuts developer and city leaders vow to save it.

    • A pizza place for every persuasion
      A pizza place for every persuasion

      Counter Intelligence: With a vast variety of pizza makers throughout the Southland, there's a perfect pie to suit any opinion. Here's where to find them.

    • Brewery is on tap for Port of Los Angeles project
      Brewery is on tap for Port of Los Angeles project

      A master beer brewer and a popular young chef are set to take over a World War II-era warehouse near Ports O' Call. It's part of an ambitious plan to upgrade the San Pedro waterfront.

    • Beachwood BBQ turns 7 and -- what else -- celebrates with beer
      Beachwood BBQ turns 7 and -- what else -- celebrates with beer

      One of Southern California’s finest best craft beer bars, Seal Beach’s Beachwood BBQ, turns 7 this week, and in addition to a week-long celebration, it has brewed and bottled a special IPA that’s causing a stir among L.A.’s hop heads.

      Beachwood 7 is on draft at the original Beachwood location and...

    • First Wienerschnitzel, symbol of L.A. car culture, now a landmark
      First Wienerschnitzel, symbol of L.A. car culture, now a landmark

      Over the decades, the city of Los Angeles has named more than 1,000 noteworthy spots as architectural and historic landmarks: the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, the Theme Building at LAX, the entry gates of Chinatown.

      And now it has Der Wienerschnitzel.

      On Tuesday, the City Council added the nondescript,...

    • Thanksgiving 2013: Where to eat out on the holiday
      Thanksgiving 2013: Where to eat out on the holiday

      Cooking a full Thanksgiving meal is a lot of work. If you'd like someone else to worry about the cooking, here are some places that will be open and ready to serve Thanksgiving lunch and dinner.  

      33 Taps is offering a special "Next Day" turkey sandwich on Thanksgiving and the week after. It's...

    • 'We're buying the bulls': New Long Beach steakhouse Chianina to raise its own beef
      'We're buying the bulls': New Long Beach steakhouse Chianina to raise its own beef

      A new steakhouse in Long Beach featuring its own beef -- as in it will breed and raise cattle just for the restaurant -- is set to open in December.

      From the restaurant group behind Michael's on Naples, it's called Chianina, named after the type of cattle -- one of the world's oldest breeds, used...

    • 28 great L.A. bakeries
      28 great L.A. bakeries

      Maybe it was the rise of kouign amann -- the uber-buttery, caramelized "it" pastry from Brittany -- and better access to fresh-baked baguettes that lately has helped reinvigorate an Angeleno culture of neighborhood bakeries, all butter and sugar and love.

      There's a bakery out there to suit any...

    • Five craft beer bars you need to know about

      When the L.A. Tourism & Convention Board put together a list of the “Top Craft Beer Bars and Restaurants in Los Angeles” for its Discover Los Angeles website, it didn't just slap together a few of the best-known spots. The list was detailed, well researched and comprehensive. 

      Compiled by Joshua...

    • Forced from Long Beach courthouse, vendor is no longer a no-ware man
      Forced from Long Beach courthouse, vendor is no longer a no-ware man

      Rick Lopez ran the cafeteria and snack bar at the Long Beach courthouse for 20 years. Now he's set up shop in Downey and Compton.

    • Boob cookies for dogs, Scarpetta anniversary, dry persimmons the Japanese way
      Boob cookies for dogs, Scarpetta anniversary, dry persimmons the Japanese way

      Cookies! (for dogs): Downtown's Semi Sweet Bakery is baking breast-shaped dog treats (cookies made with whole wheat, peanut butter and egg) for Pussy & Pooch pet stores for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They're $2.50 each, and proceeds go to the Keep A Breast Foundation. Available through October....

    • Congregation Ale House adds a brewpub in Azusa
      Congregation Ale House adds a brewpub in Azusa

      The Azusa “chapter” of Congregation Ale House -- the monastic-themed beer bars with outposts in Long Beach and Pasadena -- has converted to a brewpub, and the newly debuted brewed-in-house beers are worthy of praise.

      Congregation’s owner, Travis Ensling, has a long history in the restaurant and...

    • Banh mi goes gourmet; here's 11 of Los Angeles' best
      Banh mi goes gourmet; here's 11 of Los Angeles' best

      The latest wave of sandwich shops (Hero Shop, Superba Food + Bread, Trencher) and modern Vietnamese cafes (East Borough, Phorage) in Los Angeles have generated tantalizing new spins on banh mi, the beloved Vietnamese sandwich that is the culinary result of French colonialism in Southeast Asia.

      ...

    • Five Chinese restaurants where MSG isn't on the menu
      Five Chinese restaurants where MSG isn't on the menu

      Monosodium glutamate: Love it or hate it? Some people are convinced it’s toxic, though there isn't much science behind that claim. Others compare it with table salt.

      Regardless of which camp you fall into, it’s no secret that MSG is used heavily in restaurants – especially in traditional Chinese...

    • The A to Z of Los Angeles pizza
      The A to Z of Los Angeles pizza

      In celebration of National Pizza Day, here's a run-down of Los Angeles pizza, including go-to delivery spots, Chicago-style, New York-style, Neapolitan-style and New York-Naples hybrids. Here's where to get your gooey, cheesy, melty, crispy- and/or chewy-crusted pizza fix.

      800 Degrees Neapolitan...

    • Jonathan Gold's 101 best restaurants in L.A.
      Jonathan Gold's 101 best restaurants in L.A.

    • 9 great breakfast sandwiches plus one killer burrito to try now
      9 great breakfast sandwiches plus one killer burrito to try now

      A perfectly balanced breakfast sandwich the size of your head goes a long way toward improving the prospects of almost any day. (And there’s nothing like it for curing a hangover.) It has to have melted cheese, protein (preferably crisp bacon), eggs (of course) and bread (from tortilla to loaf,...

    • The great L.A. coffee scene: Your dream caffeine fix may be just around the corner
      The great L.A. coffee scene: Your dream caffeine fix may be just around the corner

      You're a coffee fiend keeping track of every new specialty coffee shop that opens in L.A.? With one new cafe opening after another, it's not so easy anymore. But it is a lot easier to come across a great brewed coffee or perfect pull of espresso, whether in south Santa Monica or North Hollywood,...

    • 5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)
      5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)

      It's easy to succumb to a faux-Cronut addiction. Intrigued by a meta-pastry trend, I've eaten every version of the croissant-doughnut hybrid in Los Angeles that I could find, from Spudnuts in Canoga Park to DK's Donuts in Santa Monica.

      I've had the original Cronut, the "half-croissant, half doughnut"...

    • Falafel! 6 great places to get your fried-garbanzo fix
      Falafel! 6 great places to get your fried-garbanzo fix

      There's an art to making falafel so that the ground garbanzo beans are perfectly light and fluffy, the exterior crisp but not greasy, the mix of textures and spices habit-forming.

      Falafel's exact origins are unknown, but it's believed to have started in Egypt, then made its way through the Middle...

    • MSG-free bowl
      No MSG, no worries

    • Cold-pressed juice, hot in L.A.
      Cold-pressed juice, hot in L.A.

      Shortly after Chipper Pastron opened the first Juice Farm in Pasadena in January, a developer asked if he'd be interested in setting up another in the same neighborhood. No way, Pastron said, thinking there wouldn't be enough demand.

      Six months in and he and his partners are negotiating a space...

    • L.A. restaurants: Top 13 spots on hotter-than-ever Sawtelle Boulevard
      L.A. restaurants: Top 13 spots on hotter-than-ever Sawtelle Boulevard

      The stretch of Sawtelle Boulevard often referred to as Little Osaka recently has expanded so quickly that it's bursting beyond its traditional boundaries. With so many new restaurant openings, they're popping up north of Santa Monica Boulevard and south of Olympic. 

      Shin Sen Gumi officially opened...

    • Chicken karaage list: 6 great places to get your fried fix
      Chicken karaage list: 6 great places to get your fried fix

      Chicken karaage, the Japanese version of fried chicken, is addictive. Unlike its American cousin, karaage are boneless, cut small and mostly dark meat. It's easy to pop five into your mouth in quick succession. The coating, made of potato starch, is light, almost paper thin and delicate. And the...

    • Best banh mi sandwiches
      Best banh mi sandwiches

    • Where to find the best bibimbap
      Where to find the best bibimbap

      Several locations specialize in the many varieties of the favorite Korean mixed-rice dish.

    • Easy dinner ideas from the Los Angeles Times California Cookbook
      Easy dinner ideas from the Los Angeles Times California Cookbook

      99 EASY DINNER RECIPES to help you when you need something fast.

    • The $10,000 martini
      The $10,000 martini

      The $10,000 martini from Vaucluse is literally on the rock - a one-carat, rough cut diamond added to the drink.

    • The hunt's on: Three restaurants deep into game this season
      The hunt's on: Three restaurants deep into game this season

      Critic's Choice: Josie Restaurant, Patina at Disney Hall and Saddle Peak Lodge are there to indulge your hankering for wild boar, elk, quail and other manner of game.

    • 25 Cinco de Mayo recipes: Guacamole, tostadas, chiles rellenos and more
      25 Cinco de Mayo recipes: Guacamole, tostadas, chiles rellenos and more

      Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with recipes for margaritas and tacos and other great fare. Avocado tips: Best way to get unbruised avocado

    • Three L.A. restaurants that are good brunch bets
      Three L.A. restaurants that are good brunch bets

      Critic's Choice: Bucato, Girasol and Farmshop are three L.A. restaurants that know how to do brunch right, which can be a lifesaver when you have houseguests.

    • Places to eat for $5 or less in Southern California
      Places to eat for $5 or less in Southern California

      Dining out for $5 or less may seem like a fantasy, but Southern California has much to offer for those on a tight budget. For affordable Vietnamese fare, venture to Garden Grove. Or look to food trucks for inexpensive eats. Even some pricier restaurants offer cheap eats during happy hours.

    • Pancakes, on a grand or silver-dollar scale, in L.A.
      Pancakes, on a grand or silver-dollar scale, in L.A.

      Critic's Choice: Pancakes are an American comfort food favorite. Three L.A. eateries offer terrific examples: Cooks County, Valerie and Axe.

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