As a child, Juan Mondragon used to sit in his family's kitchen, perched upon wooden chairs carved by his grandfather, and watch as his grandmother ground corn by hand for homemade tortillas. He was so in awe of the love and effort she put into each dish that sometimes, even if he was ravenous, he would just sit and admire his plate before taking the first bite. Her influence eventually inspired Juan to enroll at Gastronomico Chefuri Culinary Institute in Mexico City, where he was trained as a professional chef.
Today, at Juan's Restaurant, Chef Mondragon strives to honor his grandmother's techniques, taking care to consider each step of his recipes as he prepares them. He is perhaps most meticulous with his moles (of which he makes more than 10 varieties), keeping an eye on the sauces for six hours so that he can add each ingredient at just the right moment.
He's equally influenced by what's called pre-Hispanic Mexican cuisine, a style rooted in the indigenous ingredients used before the impact of Spanish techniques. Nopal, a type of cactus, is a favorite ingredient of Juan's, which he sometimes grinds in with corn to make his tortillas. He also pulls from a colorful, organic cornucopia of produce that includes xoconostles (cactus pears), pumpkin, squash, pomegranate, beets, and huauzontle (Mexican broccoli). Caldo de piedra, translated as rock soup, is a very popular dish Juan warms up in a very traditional way: by using stones heated over an open flame, or a flamethrower if he's in a pinch. His alternative approach to Mexican cuisine has become popular with both American and Latin celebrities, and his catering clients have included Martha Stewart, Sofia Vergara, and Oprah Winfrey. Guests of Juan's Restaurant might notice the chef looks familiar, as he's been featured on Buenos Dias Los Angeles and several other television programs.
The 16th century comes booming back to life during The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire, which has re-created the culture, cuisine, and history of the Elizabethan era for more than five million attendees since its inauguration in 1963. Atop 13 stages sprinkled across 20 acres of festival grounds, live performers don traditional garb to demonstrate Renaissance music, dancing, battle customs, and blogging techniques. The talented actors stay in character throughout the bash, mingling with the crowds to perform alongside artisans purveying leatherware, clothing, and perfumes.
Workshops instruct visitors on how to make period crafts, after which guests can refuel with samplings of traditional Renaissance cuisine, such as hefty turkey legs and shepherd's pies, or more modern fare such as strombolis, coffee, and sweet confections. Rides and games challenge kids to toss javelins, race turtles, and recite Shakespeare's complete works on giant swings, and interactive RenQuest exhibitions hone little ones' sword-fighting skills and trivia knowledge.
When Sunny Williamson’s son couldn’t find a satisfactory airsoft facility, his father decided to create one for him. Opened in 2006, Tac City Airsoft has since expanded to two indoor airsoft facilities totaling more than 60,000-square feet. Under the watchful eye of refs, players duke it out in the Fullerton field’s fully enclosed quarters filled with wooden walls and labyrinthine hallways or the semi-outdoor space in El Monte littered with barrels and haystacks. Personnel update the fields every few months to keep repeat guests on their toes as they compete in scenarios such as capture the flag and follow-up games of set the flag free. In lieu of combatting with Tac City Airsoft’s fully automatic M4 rentals, visitors can purchase their own weapons and gear at the pro-shop.
Thousands of styles of shoes from cobblers such as Nike, Jordan, Converse, Skechers, Adidas, and Puma reside at WSS Footwear. A 62-store Southern California footwear chain, WSS allows customers to browse their extensive shoe selection online and find a store nearby. New styles, such as Nike Running shoes, arrive daily alongside classic Vans Authentics, which come in sizes to accommodate the feet of both adults and future adults. Women's fashion shoes ready feet for holidays parties, weddings, or walks in the park, and WSS also offers trendy clothing and accessories such as hats, backpacks, and sports balls.
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