Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oktoberfest at Old World, Huntington Beach

I loved all things German ever since the Brothers Grimm had filled my young, impressionable mind with visions of castles and charming princes. So it's no wonder that I look forward to Oktoberfest, a German holiday celebrated in late September through early October. Of course the American bastardization of Oktoberfest is more about drinking bier than anything else, but it's still a fun excuse to don on the dirndl or lederhosen and party like a German. (What are people who love german culture called? Germ-o-philes? haha)

Oktoberfest at Old World, located in Huntington Beach, is one of the biggest and longest-running in Southern California. During the rest of the year, Old World is a little shopping center built to emulate a german village. For a month-and-a-half, Old World hosts Oktoberfest, replete with vendors, an Om-Pa-Pa band and a set of elderly sisters performing bizarre feats of flexibility. And of course, what is Oktoberfest without beer? There's Spaten and Bitburger on tap along with few domestic brews.

The food was surprisingly good. They have a booth that sells bratwurst, BBQ pork sandwich, roasted chicken and german potato salad. I recommend their bratwurst and potato salad, although everything was good. The portions are hearty.

Besides the beer, there's young ladies dressed in dirndls selling shots of J├Ągermeister and apple schnapps. If getting sloshed is not your thing, another vendor sells flavored cigars and other Oktoberfest paraphernalia. I get a kick out of the chicken hats. If you want to teach your kids violence, you can buy them a balloon hammer, hence they'll happily go smacking their brothers and sisters all day. (of course they were going to whack people with it, wouldn't you? What were the planners thinking?)

Chicken Dance
Originally uploaded by Michael Zampelli

 In conclusion, it's a nice way to spend a night outdoors and enjoy some food and beer but throughout the night, I couldn't help but think this was the kobe of cash cows for Old World. Admission is $15 on Fridays and Saturdays but $5 off with this coupon. Fridays it's free before 6pm and free Sundays with coupon. Beers are $10 for domestic, $12 for foreign, but $2 off during happy hour. Hey, at least you can say you bought an $8 beer during happy hour. haha. Parking is free.

Old World Oktoberfest
Old World "Beer Garden"
7561 Center Avenue #49
Huntington Beach, CA 92647 
(714) 647-7107

I lack a major component of making the dirndl work. haha. Unfortunately Chris didn't let me wear it, so I'm going to post it here. :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Brass Monkey That Funky Monkey

Brass Monkey. That funky monkey. Brass Monkey - junkie. That funky monkey.
I don’t know if this place was named after the Beastie Boys song, or after the cocktail, or the movie?  However, there’s a few things I do know: There’s three things I love in this world:
1. Drunk karaoke.
2. Drunk dancing.
3. Drunk ?????. The Brass Monkey fulfills number 1 and sometimes number 2 and 3!

Photos are from Tina from Adventures in SoCal

Did I mention that I love this place? Because I love this place. I have so many good memories here. Drinks are pricey and food is horrible, but this place isn’t about the food. It’s about having a good time and the Brass Monkey always delivers for a good time!

Locals You'll See At the Brass Monkey
I've got a lot of great memories at the Monkey like getting a drag off a joint from one of the locals. And I've been there enough times to recognize some of the locals, who are the real reason Brass Monkey rocks! Here's some of the faces you'll see at the Monkey:

Lucas, the resident KJ

Yep, Lucas likes to sing, but can you blame him? He's got a great voice. Not the friendliest guy in town but I like that he runs a tight ship and he gets the crowd rocking. Tip him well to keep him happy.

Terry Nakasone, the middle-aged Japanese dude that is ALWAYS there. 

 I've been to Brass Monkey at least five times and I'll always see Terry there, right at 8pm, when karaoke starts. He's got a good voice and I noticed he's gotten better over the year. He's got his own youtube account where he uploads his karaoke. Below is a clip from the night we were there, if you look closely in the background you can see Chris and our party. 

Besides the locals, it's rumored that celebs will drop in. Every time I've been, there's always some amazing singer, most likely a Hollywood wanna-be. Maroon 5 and Seth MacFarlane (from Family Guy) have been known to drop in from time to time. 

Overall, Brass Monkey is one of my favorite places in Los Angeles all the world. It's a place where real people come to have real fun. And everyone needs to let their hair down and sing some Prince at some point in their lives, right?

Cafe Brass Monkey
659 S Mariposa Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 381-7047