Category: Explore

The Honeydrops Make Sweet Music in CtrCity

Whether bands, singer songwriters or duets, excellent music has always been an important part of setting the vibe in CtrCity.

For the past six years, The Honeydrops, a five-piece vintage R&B blues and soul band has been one of the mainstays of live music at the Packing House. We sat down with lead singer Brooke Aston to talk about what makes The Honeydrops special and what playing regularly in CtrCity means to the band.

Professionally trained as an actor and singer, (she is a BFA graduate of Cal State Fullerton’s acclaimed theatre program), Brooke has extensive experience in musical theater and before joining The Honeydrops, played in a funk band, currently plays in a Motown cover band and while living in New York, booked high-end singing gigs playing top 40 music for million dollar bar mitzvahs and weddings.

Moving back to Orange County after marrying and having her first child, Brooke was itching to get back into playing live with a band. “Rockin’ Ramos, our drummer,  had always played in rockabilly bands,” she tells us. “He decided he wanted to do a jump blues band after the group he was in had dissolved.” Jump blues is an uptempo type of blues and one of the genres that led to rock n’ roll. Ramos found Brooke on a website called Bandmix.com, kind of a Facebook for musicians and they quickly connected.

“Our tagline is roots rock n’ roll and vintage rhythm and blues;  kind of anything in the ‘50s era but we do jazz tunes, we do a couple of blues songs (old-style blues) that weren’t written down until the ‘70s, we do a couple of rockabilly tunes, everything kind of adjacent to old school R&B,” she tells us. 

“It wasn’t a genre that I have ever worked in before, but when I started learning the music and signing it, I found it suits my sensibility and my vocal type perfectly. It just feels like I should have been singing this all my life because it is a fuller sound. It has a lot of emphasis on stories and lyrics which suits my musical theatre background.”

The Packing House was the second gig the newly formed Honeydrops booked, and years later, they play there at least once a month and sometimes for special events.

Once in awhile, they even have a chance to become a special part of people’s lives. “This one day we were playing at the MAKE building for a special event,” Brooke tells us. “And this couple comes up to us and they say ‘Hey, we went on our first date a year ago and you guys just happened to be playing, and we’re getting married and we want you guys to play at our wedding.’”

In between Packing House gigs, The Honeydrops tour the huge rockabilly scene in the Southwest, even opening for rockabilly legends Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Brooke also keeps busy directing local shows, putting together custom bands and gigging around town, but CtrCity Anaheim is always home.

“I like playing at the Packing House,” Brooke says, “Because the vibe there is just…any kind of person walks into the Packing House and every kind of person starts to bop their head. It doesn’t matter what they look like or how old they are… this music is for anybody.”

For the Love of JPop

JPop Night returns to Bizen Beer bar Saturday, February 22nd from 6:00-9:00 PM. Featuring the slick synth sounds of Orange County’s own Jpop and anime star Stephanie Yanez, this fun-filled night celebrates the best of Japanese pop culture. Japanese finger foods (tapas) will fuel the night along with special guests Ozeki Sake who come with a new way to enjoy the traditional drink—strawberry nigori sake along with yuzu and peach jelly shots!

Since winning AX Idol in 2004, Yanez, who sings original songs and covers both in Japanese and English, has toured the U.S. and Japan, recording, performing and releasing original videos on YouTube, collaborating on merch and hosting events. Presented by Anime Expo, the largest North American anime convention, AX Idol gives American talent a chance to show their JPop star skills. Since her win, Yanez has fashioned a following and is the perfect person to host an Orange County x JPop night.

Although early on JPop was influenced by western rock groups like The Beatles, Japanese popular music has since taken on a life and sensibility all its own. Today, the music is equally influenced by fashion, anime and street culture. As a nod to this match-up of music fantasy and art, cosplay is welcomed and encouraged. “We wanted to provide a place where people who are interested in anime or Japanese culture and music can enjoy hanging out drinking and eating together,” says Rocky Yoneyama, head manager of both Bizen Beer bar and Okayama Kobo.

So mark your calendars— tanoshimou! Let’s have fun!

Art All Around You

Public art helps a community make sense of its history, to celebrate important people, act as an ode to a city’s natural resources, and sparks the imagination. Here are a few of the types of public artwork you can discover with the new map and how each piece plays a role in telling Anaheim’s story. 

The People of Anaheim 

A number of pieces pay tribute to the individuals who have shaped Anaheim’s history. One example is “Knowse to the Grind Stone” by the well-known public artist Buster Simpson. Simpson specializes in using upcycled and/or recycled materials. Knowse to the Grind Stone is a monumental wooden head in profile with its nose quite literally to a grindstone! The work is at once a tribute to the hard physical labor performed by workers of the past and the mainly “mental” labor accomplished by the laborers of today.

This piece is adjacent to Libations and Gaming on W Center Street Promenade. Additional works centered around people include the “Business Archway” (to the left of Pour Vida),  “Valencia Orange Tree Crates” (adjacent to RARE Goodwill) both also by Simpson, “Hammer Clock” by Daniel J. Martinez, “Anvil and Nails” by Nobuho Nagasawa, and the Anaheim History Mosaic on the Chase bank building by the late Californian artist and educator Millard Sheets

Functional

“The Coyote Bench” by Nobuho Nagasawa next to Por Vida Tacos on Center St. Promenade, is much more than simply a place to rest. It pays tribute to the coyote as an adaptable animal whose relationship has changed with people over time, and to the Native Americans who lived in this region long ago. The letters “YTUR” prominently feature on the front of the bench representing the phonetic pronunciation of the Gabrieleño word for “coyote.” Made of exposed rock sourced directly from the earth but embedded in concrete, the tension between urban development and nature and between past and present is ever-present. 

Other functional site-specific works include “Public Utility Forum” by Buster Simpson, an open-air social gathering space located in front of the Anaheim Public Utilities building, as well as the Anaheim “A” Benches scattered throughout CtrCity, also by Simpson, the Anaheim ICE building by the eminent architect Frank Gehry, the restored Packing House building by Thirtieth Street Architects, the information hubs “Video Trees” by Daniel J. Martinez, and the MUZEO sign by custom creator Chance O’Neill

Relationship to Nature

The fifty German-American families who founded our city chose to name it Anaheim, meaning “home by the river,” highlighting the importance of the Santa Ana River in the settler’s eyes. Several works of public art pay homage to the Santa Ana. Sculptor Lloyd Hamrol used river rock in “City Terrace” to convey a roaming tributary. The stone sculpture next to the Civic Center has Sycamore trees planted nearby; trees that thrive in riverside locales.

Nursery planter boxes and concrete planters by Simpson and Nagasawa, Art Haus tree gates by Nancy Castillo, and the Exchanger Fountain at the corner of Center Street Promenade and Lemon by Buster Simpson all speak relationship between the city and its natural resources.  

Abstract

“The Neighborhood” by Peter Shire, is an art installation in the courtyard of the Harbor Lofts on Center Street Promenade. Comprised of twelve vertical poles in varying colors, ranging from twelve to sixteen feet high are topped with lighting and moving elements, some in the shape of homes. The piece evokes the delicacy of Alexander Calder’s mobiles while the vertical elements recall another famous public installation in front of L.A.’s LACMA Museum:  Urban Light by Chris Burden. “Granite People” by Buster Simpson, in front of the Business Archway, has concrete “tables” made indigenous rock carried by steel “people” is another piece that uses shape and form to create an emotional reaction. 

Memorial/Reflective

Many times public art can serve as a reminder or a quiet place of reflection. The Veteran’s Monument and Plaza next to the MUZEO building on S. Anaheim Blvd. and designed by Richard Turner exemplifies the purpose of this kind of art. The everyday life of veterans from WWI through the Gulf War is depicted in bas-relief, wrapping around a circular stone monument. Everything is symbolic in the surrounding courtyard:  from the olive trees representing peace to the fountains etched with war years. The Mito Fountain, dedicated to Anaheim’s Japanese sister city Mito, Japan, by Wet Design located in the Carnegie Plaza in front of the Mix building, the nearby Mito Pledge wall donated by the sister city, also offer moments to take a pause to reflect on shared values and ideas. 

With art all around us, the city itself becomes a museum: living, vibrant and like the Anaheim, always changing. View the new CtrCity interactive map here to experience art in a new way. 

Eat Happy in 2020 with Healthy Junk

If you don’t know by now, Healthy Junk has opened a second location a mere walking distance from its first site on Center Street Promenade. The food is great, the concept brilliant: conscious comfort food, but why have two spots so close? The better question is why not?

By taking over a former pizza spot on the upstairs level of the Packing House, (across from Han’s Homemade Ice Cream) the CtrCity favorite was able to expand its menu to include pizzas either made with fresh Italian dough or a cauliflower crust. The pizzas include vegan takes on both familiar basic pies like the “Just Chez” (red sauce and mozzarella) or more inventive creations like the “Chorizo Ole!” with spicy chorizo, red sauce, spinach, jalapenos, onions, tomatoes, and cilantro sauce.

Both the burger and salad bowl menus are different from the original location. New dessert menu items include the “My Style Chez Cake” with strawberries, blueberries, and chocolate available as an add-on. As well as chocolate[JG1] , vanilla or swirl soft-serve cones. The kid’s menu is the same with the exception of a spaghetti swirl (made with broccoli trees) and a kid’s pizza. The juice menu has expanded and smoothies, shakes, and soda is also available.

For Kenny Dena, a lifelong Anaheim resident and who alternates eating vegan and vegetarian, Healthy Junk has long been one favorite eating out option. The busy graphic designer and drummer in Don’t Push, a local Sublime cover band, likes the additional options the expanded location gives him and his young family.

“I was disappointed when they stopped serving pizzas at the first location,” he tells us. “However, I was thrilled when I found out they opened a new spot at the Packing House with an expanded pizza menu. My favorite item is the sausage pizza; the flavors are amazing and the almond ricotta is very clever…even my meat-eating co-workers loved it!”

And when you have two little kids five and under, having a little something to please everyone makes for some happy eating!

Check out the Packing House menu here.

Healthy Junk Packing House

440 S. Anaheim Blvd. Anaheim, CA 92805

Gift in Style at RARE Goodwill

The RARE by Goodwill store on Broadway is one of our favorite spots in CtrCity for one-of-a-kind finds. Holiday shopping is easy and fun as the entire shop is carefully curated, so inevitably there will be something exceptionally cool for someone special on your list. And by highlighting the highly personal, socially conscious, local and handmade, we emphasize the values we hold dear throughout the year. 

We pulled out some of our favorite items on a recent trip to RARE to give you an idea of what gifts you can find. Keep in mind, the stock is unique and most of the time, only one item is available. Some of the items listed here may no longer be available but trust us: there’s always a steady stream of “stylish” coming in. 

Bold Prints, Concert Tees and, Cool Jackets and Cocktail Dresses  

RARE by Goodwill is surprisingly savvy when it comes to trends, both in fashion at large and on the local scene. They also keep a pulse on the current through relationships with designers and social influencers. Special events like a repurposing of “last chance” a clothing-by-the pound by local designer Jeff Yokoyama of the Yoki Shop in Newport Beach is just one example of the fashion events the shop hosts. 

When we work with our pull crew, we are working with what the trends are and what people are looking for, and those are the types of things we look for when they are pulling,” Eric Smissen, Marketing and Branding Manager for Goodwill Orange County tells us. 

From ‘90s and concert tees, to a table full of denim shorts, to pieces that look vintage enough for Disney Dapper days, you can find it all. For the ladies we loved a pile of slacks in bold colors, prints and stripes. The ones pictured here are by Balena, Old Navy and CHAPS Ralph Lauren, all for under $10. There’s a sister stack of equally bold (sequins, florals and stripes) and jean shorts in the same price range. 

Fun, flirty and sophisticated cocktail dresses are waiting to be worn to a New Year’s Eve party and you can give a little edge to the ensemble with a smart jacket (the silver one pictured here is by Bebe for $20. 

Some of the best discoveries are in the t-shirt section including surf and skate brands like Vans and Hurley and one-of-a-kind concert tees like this University at Buffalo Nirvana In Utero 1993 concert tee. Most tees are around $8. 

For the Dapper Dan in your life, these black-and-white Stacy Adams dress shoes are a welcome departure from a bland dress shoe, while a rack of Hawaiian and printed dress shirts including brands like Ben Sherman and Calvin Klein are just right for your resident Jeff Goldblum (shoes $15, shirts around $8 each.) 

Nostalgia

There are always fun throwbacks to be found in the store: from childhood toys from the ‘80s to random pop-culture memorabilia. 

In the artwork section, we came across this print of a charcoal pencil drawing by Gary Saderup depicting beloved Star Trek Next GenCharacters Wharf, Data and Counselor Troi in a stately pose. Put it in an outlandish frame and you have a quirky formal dining room piece for $8.  

Beanie babies were all the rage in the late ‘90s, early naughts, with many people collecting them thinking they’d be worth a fortune in time. While the Beanie Baby craze is over, the creatures are still cute and mark a time in history. Many of them (like the ones pictured here) is in excellent condition and still have the tags. Do a little spot cleaning and they become a great stocking stuffer!

Elegant Housewares and Artsy Artifacts 

Goodwill Orange County pioneered ShopGoodwill.com which comes in only second to eBay in online auction sites, Smissen tells us. There you can shop the best of Goodwill from all over the country and can ship throughout the U.S. as well. At RARE, many of the housewares were selected from the auction site. 

You can go with a color scheme (like Tiffany blue) for your classy best friend and pick-up a pair of mid-century serving platters to match with a Lenox for Kate Spade “birds of a feather” ornament (dishes $2.99 each, ornament, $6.99.) Or a coffee table book on a favorite musician or interest. 

A photographer might appreciate a vintage camera either for decoration or to take photos old-school style with this ‘60s era Voigtlander Vito CL camera (only $6.99). Pick-up up some vinyl as either a gift for a music lover or to add authentic flair to your holiday party. RARE has a vinyl listening station so you can test out what you buy. 

Happy hunting and Happy Holidays!  

CtrCity’s Uncommon Holiday Gift Guide

While it’s no secret that online shopping is up, especially during the holiday season, there are many advantages for shopping local and brick-and-mortar. From supporting small business owners and the community to picking up a great gift at the last minute, “slow shopping” still has its advantages.

When it comes to finding a gift for that hard-to-please person or even someone who deserves a gift as unique as they are, CtrCity Anaheim has it covered. From the foodie to the pop-culture enthusiast, here are just a few of the coolest gifts around town this season:

Original Artwork

Our favorite Japanese bakery, Okayama Kobo, regularly features the whimsical art of Amelia Haru. In addition to adorable “Kobo Kuma” enamel pins ($10), the bakery has an “Enjoy the Little Things” tote bag along with an assortment of original greeting cards ($5). And Washi tape with Haru’s designs is just the right stocking stuffer size.

Right next door, at Bizen Beer Bar, a collection of colorful original sharpie drawings called “Shisa My Way…” by Tustin restaurant owner Mayumi Vargas. Shisa refers to the guardian lions of Okinawa, Japan, where Vargas is originally from. Original drawings are $50 each and postcards are available at 5 for $20. Proceeds from the sale go to support the reconstruction of Shuri Castle in Okinawa, Japan.

Gorgeous mid-century style artwork by MUZEO Guest Services Manager and artist Baggio Ardon also grace mugs with 10% of proceeds donated to charitable causes. The shop also features jewelry by local artists including MJK bracelets by young jewelry-maker Madison Kelly.

Beloved local Anaheim artists Kevin & Jody (they have a long relationship designing for Disney) collaborated with Anaheim Brewery on $5 “Merry Krampus” pint glasses in their signature style. You can also find items created by the design duo at Pop Comics.

For the Train-Obsessed Littles

Most kids know what they want for the holiday gifting season and aren’t afraid to share the list. However, for the giver, watching a child’s eyes light up when receiving the unexpected is a true delight. MUZEO’s carefully curated gift store often reflects its featured exhibitions. For the holiday season, they present their traditional MuzeoExpress train exhibition through January 26th. For kids who love trains, gifts abound from full-sized to mini-train conductor teddy bears, to MUZEO souvenir train whistles, to Thomas the Train memorabilia.

Over at the Packing House, Seed People’s Market kiosks greet you right as you enter the second floor of the building. Year-round the kiosks and its companion shop feature eco-conscious housewares, decorations and candles. Cute and quaint little gifts from kazoos to toy boats by Green Toys and Jelly Cat stuffed animals are simply a few of the adorable and unique toys for sale.

                                     For the Vinophile and Beer Lover

This month, Colony Wine Merchant offers a trio of distinctive wines from Tres Sabores, a family-owned vineyard in Napa Valley. One of the first vineyards to be certified organic in California, the trio consists of a 2018 sauvignon blanc 2018 rosė and Porque No, their 2015 2015 red blend. Purchasing the three together gives you savings.

Fun, superhero-themed brewery Unsung in the MAKE building might have a few bottles of seasonal beer like their Pumpkin Spice Doctor Goodnight. Signature stemless wine glasses complete a gift package and to top it off, wooden Christmas coasters with the Unsung logo and a built-in bottle opener at only $6—a steal!

A neat way to package a gift of wine or local beer is in a big growler (Anaheim Brewery has some beautiful, authentic German growlers) or in a custom wine bag with accessories also at the Seed shop kiosk in the Packing House.

                                     For the Pop Culture and Sci-Fi Fan

With the opening of Requiem Coffee, CtrCity is quickly becoming a hub of the fantastical and fun. The fantasy-gamer-sci-fi themed locale has Star Wars merch, aesthetic gamer dice, and vinyl collectible Dungeons and Dragons figurines.

Over at Decades bar and grill, you can relive the eighties and nineties with regular live tribute and cover band entertainment. Pop in to pick up a gift certificate of any amount to cover dinner or ask for a VIP package which will include admission for the night’s entertainment.

No need to look anywhere further than Pop! Comics to meet all your fandom needs. Comic compendiums are all the rage and at 60 dollars a book of an entire comic book series is a better value than individual comic books. It also makes for a nicer gift. Pop has a large collection of Funko figurines including special edition Star Wars characters donned in holiday attire.

                                                Something for Everyone

Not sure you got everything covered? Not only is there much more to explore in retailers mentioned above, but plenty more gifting ideas in CtrCity. Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 14th for the Packing District’s annual Night Market from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. It will feature crafts, artisans and a free screening of the movie Elf. Beat that Amazon!

What Are You Thankful for CtrCity Anaheim?

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we took some time to meet people who work, live or visit CtrCity Anaheim to ask what they are grateful for this holiday season. From their answers, it’s clear that when it comes to appreciation, friends and family take center stage.

Joseph and Louis, from Rwanda and England, Packing House

Joseph: “I’m grateful for my parents sending me to college all the way from England. I moved here for tennis, I’m a tennis player at college, so I got offered a place here, I love it.” 

Louis: “I live with an American family. I’ve been here for two years. They usually have Thanksgiving. Actually, it’s my favorite holiday in America. I’m grateful for my family. My family back home, they support me. Also, I’m grateful for my host family, they offered me a scholarship to Cal State Fullerton. They are helping me pay the tuition.”

Coco, Yari and Juan, Hammer Workshop & Bar

Coco:We’re here because I got a Snapchat reminder earlier today that three years ago today, November 23rd, we were at Mesa in Costa Mesa celebrating Friendsgiving, so I texted my friends and said ‘Hey I got this reminder and we should do this again.’ It was totally last minute and I was actually surprised that Juan was down because it was so last minute, he’s usually very busy. We are here celebrating 15+ years of friendship.”

Juan: “I’m thankful for our friendship and just, you know, the people I have in my life.”

Coco: “Yari, what are you thankful for?”

Yari: “I’m thankful to have people in my life who you can trust, who are honest. Even if their attitude sucks sometimes, you know they’re genuinely good people.”

Coco: “And I’m just thankful for this year, I’ve been through the ups and downs and I’m ready to start the new year. I learned a lot this year, and I hope to learn more.”

Don, Mini Monster

“It’s super cliché but I’m really grateful for my mom. Actually, I have a tattoo because she almost passed away when she was giving birth to me and she had an option: she had to choose which one to live either me or her. My mom chose me instead of herself, so I’m super grateful for that. Even with my little sister, she almost passed away. Her life was really at risk at that time. She chose me.”

The Snyders, Jillian (mom), and Micah one of three boys, Healthy Junk

Micah: “I’m grateful for you” (looks at mom.)

Jillian: “I’m grateful for family for sure. I am grateful for—this area. I’m really grateful for areas like this. It’s really diverse. My husband’s not vegan, but we are so we can eat here and he can eat somewhere else and there’s so much to do and see.”

Luis, FRAN driver, Center Street Promenade

“My family. My wife. I recently got married at the beginning of the year. So, I’m grateful that I have a family and everyone right now is healthy and that I have a job because most people right now are struggling to get a job. FRAN is my second job, so I’m grateful to have a full-time job and a part-time job.”

Archie, delivery person, Center Street Promenade

“You know what? I am so grateful that I am going to turn sixty-nine in a couple of weeks. I’m hopefully going to make it and I’ll be blessed. Everything is good so far, but you’ve got to take it a day at a time.”

Be the Holiday Host with the Most: Expert tips from Pali Wine Co.

You might think an annual family gathering isn’t the place to get fancy. Think again. The folks over at Pali Wine Co. love nothing more than to make the newbie oenophile feel more comfortable with bringing a little class to the table. For MAKE tasting room manager Kim Casanova, wine is a year-round passion. Although she doesn’t need a special time of year to break open a new bottle, the holiday season brings unique ways to share, serve and discover wine. Read on for Kim’s tips on making the most of your glass this holiday:

Bottle Trade with a Favorite Relative

Kim started a tradition with a favorite uncle who shares her passion for wine. Each holiday they each exchange a bottle they’ve found particularly interesting and leave a little note with a memory of where they discovered the find or personal tasting notes. It’s a sweet and easy way to connect with a relative you may not see as often. Make it even more special by gifting a Wine Club membership. Pali’s very generous Membership program is tailored to the individual, so your loved one will have access to complimentary tastings and special releases throughout the year. The membership tastings are also a great excuse to get out and meet people (hello single aunt!)

Serve Up the “King of Thanksgiving” Varietals

Want to bring a bottle but have no idea which wine pairs best with the rich meats and savory sides typical of most Thanksgiving and winter holiday celebrations? You can’t go wrong with a Pinot Kim says. This red wine varietal is notoriously difficult to cultivate often resulting in rich, fruity, or earthy complex wines. Grenache is another type of grape variety to look for when pairing with the buttery, meaty and earthy plates typical of the season. Try Pali Co. ‘16 Estate Pinot Noir (note: certain wines may be available in limited quantities.)

Spruce Up Your Stemware

Stemware is super important when enjoying good wine, Kim adds. “Above all, you want to serve your wine in a glass without a thick rolled lip as it detracts from the aroma and flavor,” she says. Showing up to someone else’s party with it might be a little much, but hosting even a small gathering is the perfect time to update your stemware. You don’t have to break the bank either, glassware companies like Riedel makes terrific glasses and you can find them at reasonable prices.

Pay Attention to Pour Sizes

When hosting appetizers or a tasting event, it’s best to stick to pour sizes of about 1.5 ounces Kim advises. This way, you not only have enough to go around but when the food is lighter or in smaller portions, a smaller pour matches the wine to the amount of food, assuring things don’t get too boozy. Pali’s 2018 P.C.H. Estate Rosé of Pinot is a smooth, sophisticated wine, usually best served lightly chilled and just right for a cocktail party, pre-dinner appetizers or a daytime holiday affair. You can also go for an excellent Chardonnay, also usually served chilled, like the 2013 Huber Chardonnay. It’s barrel-aged in French oak just enough to take a bit of the buttery taste often associated with newer varietals and deliver a nicer balance of fruit and minerality. During dinner, you can stick to a standard 5 to 6 oz pour.

Have Fun!

Not sure where to start? Look at regions you like, offers Kim, perhaps starting with a style that has its origins in a country where your ancestors have roots or a place you’d like to travel. Good wines also can come at decent price points. Sonoma wines, for example, are often an excellent value. Or, you can splurge: for the price of two nice bottles you can pick up a “magnum” bottle (Pali has some in select wines)—a giant size that screams special occasion. You can also play games where blindfolded guests try to guess which wines share something in common or which one is the outlier.

Most important: have fun and share wine with people you love. Those who make wine, love what they do and most want to share their enthusiasm with as many people as possible. You don’t have to memorize every varietal, possess a wine cellar or be rich to enjoy good wine. All it takes is an open mind and a willing palate. There are many ways to bring fun to a joyful occasion. Pick up your wine at a local winery, shop or tasting room and don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Salud!

Packing District’s World Taste Sneak Peek

An array of foodie-worthy delights are coming to the Anaheim Packing District’s World Taste on Wednesday, November 13th. Special plates inspired from around the globe will be available to taste alongside exciting culture fusions. All without ever leaving Orange County!

Each ticket gives you access to ten gourmet tastes from participating vendors, many created especially for the event. The taste tickets are tear-off so you can share with a friend. Enjoy a private party atmosphere enhanced by live performances from Diversity Band and the Darden Sisters.

Single tickets are $30.00 and two-fer tickets go for $55 online and will be $40 at the door the day of the event.

Here are a few gourmet offerings you can expect:

Japanese-style crȇpe tacos with Cream Top Coffee from Crȇpe Coop

Porto’s Cuban mashed potato beef balls from Pali Wine Co.

Holiday Leftovers Poutine from The Kroft

Photo Credit @packingdistrict

Wood-fired Italian cuisine from Healthy Junk’s new Packing House location

Thailand-inspired jalapeño waffle dog bombers from Fanfare Waffle Dog

The Gobbler Grilled Cheese from Black Sheep GCB

Fish N’ Chips from The Chippy Fish & Grill

Photo Credit @_mbar

BBQ pork buns from 18 Folds

Vietnamese chicken egg rolls from 206 BCE

Shrimp Pan Roast, Turkey Gumbo or Jambalaya from Kettlebar

Falafel, Chicken Kabob or Shawarma Bowl from Mangal

Photo Credit @mangal_anaheim

and much more!


CtrCity’s Ultimate Guide to Halloween Haunts and Happenings

From the scary to the sweet, Center City has no shortage of fun fall festivities and special treats. And although Halloween is the star of the show, it’s not all spooks and seasonal foods, as some of the best of Center City’s fall lineup includes a twist on a German tradition and a brilliant exhibition on one of southern California’s darkest hours.

Hawaiian Portugese Sausage at Black Sheep, GC

 Come in now through the end of the month for this seasonal special at Black Sheep Grilled Cheese Bar, Center Street’s own grilled cheese gurus. Designed especially for the fall season, the Hawaiian Portuguese sausage sandwich is made with sage Derby cheese, ground mustard and sauerkraut. Through October 31st. Black Sheep, GCB, second floor Packing House.           

         The Yoga Mat + Decades Bar and Grill Bend & Brunch: Rock Out ‘80s Theme

 Need some costume inspiration? Let the “Me Decade” inspire you. The Yoga Mat and Decades Bar and Grill have teamed up to bring you a totally ‘80s yoga and brunch event on Saturday, October 19th at Decades. Wear your best ‘80s gear for the yoga class and stick around for brunch afterward. $30 per person. Includes the class, one breakfast entree, and one mimosa or Bloody Mary. Radical! Yoga from 10AM-11AM, Brunch from 11AM-2PM, Decades Bar and Grill, Center City. For more info:decadesbarandgrill.com/live-events

Diwali Celebration Class at Adya

Diwali is the fall festival of lights celebrated on October 27th by many Sikhs, Buddhists Hindus, and Jains. The five-day festival celebrates the triumph of light over dark, and knowledge over ignorance. Learn how to make celebratory foods for this beautiful tradition from the folks at Adya on the second floor of the Packing House. The event is $35 and includes the class, lunch and a beverage. Saturday, October 19th. For reservations call 714-533-2392 or email info@adyaoc.com.

 Bizen Beer Bar’s Oktoberfest

We said Anaheim Brewery’s Oktoberfest is a can’t-miss event and we stand by our word but the fun continues with Bizen Beer Bar’s non-traditional take on Oktoberfest. With $5 and $7 draft beers, Japanese tapas and the music of Frank Sinatra by Trevor Kelly makes for an eclectic ode to beer. Neighbors Hummus Bean, Pour Vida and House of Chimney Cakes join in with street food. Bizen Beer Bar Saturday, October 19th, from 4-10 PM.

Anaheim Fall Festival

A tradition since 1923, Anaheim’s Fall Festival and Parade are a delight for kids and adults alike. The festivities begin at 11 AM on Center Street Promenade. Be sure to enter your little person or pup in the Kiddie Costume Contest and Halloween Pooch Parade. The main parade starts at 6 PM, going from Broadway to Center Street. Saturday, October 26th starting at 11 AM. For more info: https://www.anaheimfallfestival.org/parade/

BXCR’s Absinthe and Cheese Pairing

The spookily green spirit absinthe once had a forbidden reputation but in the hands of BXCR’s resident cheese sommelier it takes on a much more refined reputation. The green-colored anise and fennel spirit was a favorite of Vincent Van Gogh. BXCR Wines, Packing House ground floor, Tuesday, October 29th from 6:30-9:30 PM. $50 per person.Reserve your spot here.

Halloween Music from Amanda Castro

Make one of your trick or treat spots the Packing House and you’ll be entertained by the sultry jazz of Amanda Castro, a local favorite. Thursday, October 31st From 7-9 PM Free. Check out Amanda and her band here.

Okayama Kobo and House of Chimney Cakes Scary & Sweet Treats

These Center Street neighbors are outdoing each other with Instagram-worthy adorable and sweetly spooky desserts!  Limited and seasonal, pop by Okayama Kobo for adorable ghost and bat croissants. House of Chimney has a Halloween Day only OG Chimney ”Mummy” wrapped up in Marshmallow fluff and a “wicked witch” special through the end of the month with orange Dole whip, blueberry sugar cone, fondant and sprinkles. 

      Boo-tiful Halloween and Thanksgiving Gear for the Littles

Lil Rockstarz Tutu Boutique has sewn up some adorable festive creations for your little fashionista. Custom creations can also be requested online but stop by the Thursday Anaheim Farmers Market between 10AM-3PM and pick out your pumpkin’s outfit in person!

I Am an American: Japanese Incarceration in a Time of Fear

This sobering but important special exhibit tells the story of local Japanese Americans before and after WWII. Ending soon, on November 3rd, the display includes personal artifacts and testimonials. It takes a special look at the Poston, Arizona incarceration camp which many Orange County Japanese Americans were relocated to between 1942-1945. Presented in partnership with the Anaheim Library. Through November 3, MUZEO, 241 South Anaheim Blvd. Wed.-Sunday 10AM-5PM. Between $7-$10 Purchase tickets here.