Archive for August, 2008

Siva Afi Fa’a Samoa

So I took Maria’s recommendation and spent an evening at the Pearson Park Amphitheater in Anaheim watching the spec-freaking-tacular fire knife competition. If you haven’t taken time to stop in and see this event in its five year history, you’ll have to make sure and drop in next year for the sixth annual competition. It’s well worth the fifteen dollar admission price and features adorable kids doing impressive Samoan dances and some seriously buff warriors showing off their fire knife skills.

This particular contest was hosted by the actual descendants of Freddie Letuli, the man who literally invented the concept of adding fire to the traditional knife dances the warriors performed before and after battles. Guess there’s nothing like flames and sharp blades to celebrate your victory or to scare the crap out of your enemies?


The winners of the three divisions (pictured above) all performed remarkably well. Have you ever been to one of those tacky but awesome fakey luaus? Have you ever seen the attempt some of their dancers make at the fire knife? It’s often vanilla, slow and not nearly as thrilling as it should be, Not so at this competition! The “world championships” are held here in Anaheim and tonight we saw competitors from all across Polynesia, Asia and the United States.

The live drummers provided the soundtrack and the rhythmic pounding was down right infectious; just try not to tap your feet, I dare you! At two and a half hours, the program was just long enough without becoming overly extensive and numbing to your butt. While there, we checked out the tasty long-rice, kalua pork and the many polynesian vendors on site. Needless to say, we came away with full stomaches and more than a few trinkets.


What will tide us over till next year? Well there is always YouTube.

Praise the Lord and pass the grits!

So, one of our goals this fine labor day weekend, was to do things that we have never done before. Yesterday we went to Mel’s Drive-In in West Hollywood and today we went to the Gospel Brunch at the Anaheim House of Blues. At forty dollars a pop we weren’t sure what to expect but what we got was a heaping pile of stellar entertainment and a towering assortment of mediocre food.


On the southern brunch buffet you find the good, the bad and the ugly.

  • The Good: The homemade biscuits and country gravy, white chocolate and banana bread pudding, cheddar cheese grits and the “Hallelujah Omelette Station” all hit it out of the park. Delicious.
  • The Bad: The homemade cornbread, creole chicken jambalaya, roasted breakfast potatoes and smoked sausages were fairly far south of edible. Delirious.
  • The Ugly: The worst of the worst was the smoked bacon – it had the wonderful full flavor of old rancid grease and an aftertaste that lingered on the palate far too long. Disgusting.

[It should be noted we didn’t even try the “Have Mercy Carving Stations“ feature brisket, turkey and ham. It’s just not our speed.]

The real treat here was the entertainment. This alone is worth the price of your ticket. Every week gospel groups from around the area perform live on stage. If what my wife and I experienced this morning was representative of what every performance is like, then run (don’t walk) and buy tickets now! The vocalists (The Clara Ward Singers) and band were all spectacular. I was particularly moved (almost to tears) by a touching tribute to Judy Garland – she really brought it.

The only sour notes came from the staff who were often too loud and raucous behind the bar area and downright negligent in their serving duties. They should be there to enhance your experience, not to detract from it. If I can hear you snapping each other in the ass with bar towels throughout the performance, then you richly deserve the crappy tip I left as your reward.

Have any of you been to the HoB Gospel Brunch in Anaheim? What were your thoughts? Share in the comments!

Hurricane Gustav Coverage-New Orleans

Check out our sister site New Orleans Metblogs for first hand encounters leading up to and during Hurricane Gustav. While there are mandatory evacuations (Meaning if one stays, they are on their own) many people, including Metblogger Craig have chosen to stay, having been through this before. He and others will be updating when they can.

To echo the sentiment of Sean and LA MetblogsWe’re thinking of you all, stay safe!”

It’s Freeeeeeeeee! Part Elventy-Billion

Yet another free Chick-fil-A deal for you.

This Labor Day, Sept. 1, 2008, Chick-fil-A will be giving away a free order (3) of their new Chicken Strips. Giveaway starts at 10:30 am and runs until close (while supplies last).

The catch? You have to be wearing something with your favorite football team’s logo on it.

Go here for the details.

Weekend Activities

With Labor Day Weekend upon us, here are a few interesting things going on around the OC:

  • The Orange International Street Fair: This event (which everyone in the OC knew about except me) starts today and goes on until Sunday. Featuring food, music, and all around good fun from cultures around the world. For more info, visit
  • Fire Knife Competition: Looking for something with a little more heat? On Saturday and Sunday you can watch fire warriors from around the world duke it out for the champion title at Pearson Park Amphitheater in Anaheim. For more info, visit
  • Art Festivals in Laguna Beach: Several summer art festivals will end this Labor Day Weekend, including the Sawdust Art Festival Summer Show and Pageant of the Masters. For more info, visit and

Or, you could mourn celebrate the end of summer by relaxing at the beach, cooking s’mores and hot dogs over bonfires. Whatever you do this weekend, I hope you all have a great time, and please stay safe!

How’s the Weather?

I simply cannot remember an August being so cool.  I mean, overcast until 10 in the morning?  That’s June weather!

Will the weather keep on feeling nice, or do you think there’s an Indian Summer around the corner that is going to make us beg for mercy?


I (heart) Hof’s Hut

OK, so here’s the deal. I have a not-so-secret hard-on for Hof’s Hut in Orange. I know it’s not glamorous or hip or even remotely cool but what can I say? I like the simple pleasures life has to offer. Hof’s as it turns out, if far more than a simple pleasure; in fact its more of an sophisticated indulgence than you’d think.

I have these snobby friends who just don’t understand. Take for instance my friend Gina (not the Metroblog Author Gina, but a different and equally cool Gina) who simply refuses to meet me there for lunch or dinner? Why? Because she said she’s “not a senior citizen seeking an Early Bird Special.” Harsh.

Truth be told Hof’s does have an image problem, and the number of restaurants in the local home grown chain are dwindling. In recent years they have seen the demise of the Irvine and Brea locations and Orange County only has three left, one in Buena Park and one in Orange and one waaaay out in Los Alamitos. How long before they are gone completely?


The strongest items on the menu are the soups, sandwiches and salads. It’s not surprising those are also the core items they are offering – stick with what you’re good at. Lucky for me, the wife and I are soup/salad/sandwich kind of people. We’re not looking for super fancy cuisine or extreme atmospheric experiences, mostly we’re just seeking a quiet, calm place for some tasty food. Say what you like but I am pretty sure there is no ailment in the world that a grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of soup cannot cure.

One of the best things about the Hut is that everything is homemade – the breads, the pies, the muffins, you name it. Even the chicken strips are breaded and made to order. Don’t see anything you want on their menu? Just name it and they will most likely be able to rustle it up. Off-menu ordering is a big plus in my book. Finally, I noticed recently they have their own wine label, although I have never ventured to try it. Have any of you had the occasion to partake in this particular delicacy? Can it be that bad? Lord knows it can’t be good. I digress…


If there is a weak spot on the menu, it’d have to be breakfast. Don’t get me wrong, breakfast happens to be my favorite meal of the day but is definitely not Hof’s forte. The overly bland breakfast menu and rude rude rude rude rude morning staff pretty much seal the deal on keeping us out of the restaurant till lunch rolls around.

So, if you’ve never been, check your preconceived ideas at the door and give it a try. It’s fresh peach pie season, so be sure and sample some of that! Mmmmm. Yummy.

[Hof’s Hut is located at 4050 W. Chapman Ave in Orange California. (714) 634-8606]

Still ok to bare it all

Fell free to continue to strip down to your birthday suit when you visit the southern end of San Onofre State Beach near Trail 6. According to the LA Times, Orange County Superior Court Judge Sheila Fell ruled that nude sunbathers could not be cited unless a member of the public complained. She further stated that any changes to the policy required a public hearing.

This follows the policy enacted in 1979 by then Director of the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Russell Cahill.

“enforcement of nude sunbathing regulations within the state park system shall be made only upon the complaint of a private citizen. Citations or arrests shall be made only after attempts are made to elicit voluntary compliance with the regulations.”

I have known about the beach since the policy was passed in 1979. As adolescent boys we made up stories of decadence and perversion, knowing full well it was just people enjoying nature. In the time since the policy was passed, I cannot remember any major disturbances due to the policy.

The State Department of Parks and Recreations has not stated whether they will attempt to change the policy via a public hearing or appeal the decision.

If you have always wanted to go to a nude beach, here are so guidelines for the clothing optional beach from The Friends of San Onofre Beach :

    • DON’T GO OUT OF ESTABLISHED NUDE AREAS or wander nude onto a clothed beach or parking lot. Our ability to use the beach nude depends on our staying within the traditional Clothing Optional area. Nudity is only tolerated at San Onofre State Beach south of the wash located about 300 yards south of Lifeguard tower 6.

However, sexual conduct in any public place is illegal and will not be tolerated at San Onofre State Beach. What does the law say?

    • DO NOT PHOTOGRAPH PEOPLE without their permission. No one wants to end up in a stranger’s photo album, and certainly not on the Internet. Hidden cameras are especially objectionable. NEVER photograph children without first asking their parents for permission.

    • RESPECT OTHERS’ PRIVACY. Many are at the beach for quiet and relaxing time. Gawkers and pickup artists are not welcome.

    • If a person seems unaware of beach etiquette, explain it, kindly and plainly. Their objectionable or ILLEGAL behavior can cost us this beach. It may be helpful to enlist the support of others when confronting these individuals.”

If you didn’t know about it until now, but are now outraged that there are nudists so close, get over it. It looks like they will be here for a bit longer.

(by the way, I know San Onofre State Beach is technically in San Diego County, but the case was heard in Orange County and gets many visitors from here.)

Esther’s Taco House: Good, Cheap Eats

Having a young one sometimes means that you have to carefully pick the restaurants you frequent.  Not for nothing do most restaurants have separate kids menus.  Unfortunately for us, our son is not the biggest fan of Mexican, although my husband and I adore it. 

Enter Esther’s Taco House.

We have only visited their Yorba Linda location, not the one in Placentia, so I can’t vouch for that one.  However, this family run place is pleasant, has great seating for larger parties, and has some of the best (natch!) tacos around.  The prices are very reasonable, and the only complaint we have is that the salsa could be a bit better.  But, that won’t keep us away.

Tuesdays are Taco Nights and you can get some fabulous tacos for $1.50 and a pitcher of beer will cost you three bucks, if I remember correctly. And with NFL season around the corner, they’ve got Sunday NFL specials as well.

Oh, and did I mention the kid’s menu?  Unlike most Mexican restaurants, it has other things on it such as chicken and macaroni and cheese.  While we slowly try to develop my son’s palate into loving Mexican food as much as we do, this will be our go-to casual Mexican restaurant from now on. Well, at least he likes tortilla chips.  Baby steps, baby steps…

Bike Path Patrol?

I spotted this cop sitting next to the Santa Ana River bike path off Orangewood by Anaheim stadium.

Bike Path Patrol?

Could he be protecting cyclists from the dangers William Cambell wrote about in his post a few days ago???

Or are they just harassing cyclists as they like to do?

Then again, I suppose he could just be napping eh?

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