Three foodie festivals -- bacon, chocolate, and noodle bowls -- make Southern California a bit tastier in the days ahead.
FOODIE FEASTS: If only there was one giant bacon-chocolate-noodles festival (though we're sure that's ahead, what with trends these days). There are three distinct gatherings in the days ahead feting those particular foodstuffs: The LA Bacon Festival fries it up at the Peterson Automotive Museum on Saturday, Feb. 9, the businesses of Belmont Shore give the love to chocolate and chocolate-type treats, and Noodle Bowl Fest gets steamy in Santa Monica on Sunday, Feb. 10. Really, food planners. There's a bigger party here. These things work together. Please brainstorm. Thank you.
GARDEN GROVE TET FESTIVAL: The billing on this Orange County tradition is major: It's the largest Tet Fest outside of Vietnam. That means revelers show in the tens of thousands for competitive chess, lion dances (lots of lion dances, in fact), grand concerts, and all of that delicious food. We'll end there, because we need to think about banh mi for a few minutes. Friday, Feb. 8 through Sunday, Feb. 10
MARDI GRAS: Southern California can become many places on film, but when directors need the Big Easy, they generally head to New Orleans. Still, for at least one weekend a year, we try and take on a few Bourbon Street traditions. And we do it well: Farmers Market has a fun 'n free party, complete with a pet parade and beignets for sale. Other doings are ahead on Mardi Gras proper, which is Tuesday, Feb. 12.
MUTTLY LOVE: A lot of print and screen time is given to those pups with "purebred" on their birth certificate. But mixed breeds have their fans, too -- millions and millions is probably an accurate number -- and some of those millions will be out in Long Beach for the National Mutt Show. There are other dogly pageants, too, going down, including a Bulldog Beauty Pageant. Please. We pre-love. Saturday, Feb. 9.
CAMELLIA FESTIVAL: Call it a sign of spring, SoCal-style. When Descanso Gardens throws its annual bud-based flower party, which they always do around early February, Southern Californians know they can soon look forward to sunnier days. Other to-dos are planned around the La Cañada Flintridge landmark, like a tea ceremony. Saturday, Feb. 9 and Sunday, Feb. 10.