When something is simply referred to as "the beast," there's probably a good reason. In the case of Blake's Place BBQ, The Beast refers to a monster of a sandwich: slow-smoked pulled pork, pulled barbecue chicken, chopped beef brisket, coleslaw, sliced red onion, and a dousing of Blake's BBQ sauce. All those ingredients teeter between an over-sized bun, and as a whole, The Beast weighs in at 2.5 pounds. If you devour it in 20 minutes or less, you earn a T-shirt and food challenge immortality, and if you make it disappear behind someone's ear you earn lots of attention for your party-magician business.
Of course, plenty of people come to enjoy the food, not just to defeat it. The original Blake's opened in Anaheim in 1996 and has since filled the bellies of more than one million customers. A second location in Los Alamitos was added in 2012. At both, chefs use high-tech wood-burning barbecue pits that are big enough to smoke more than 3,500 pounds of meat at one time?some for as long as 16 hours. The resulting menu features entire plates of baby back ribs, hot sandwiches, and even smoked wings. Homemade desserts round out the Southern-style selection, including peach cobbler and bread pudding. And none of this goes unnoticed: Blake's was voted The Best of Orange County and Best Barbecue in Orange County by the Orange County Register, as well as Zagat-rated in 2013.
First-time campers kick off with a comprehensive, one-on-one consultation with a certified fitness consultant. Then, during each session, boot-bodies can expect varied total-body workouts heightened by exercise formats such as resistance training, jump roping, kickboxing, Pilates, partner drills, short-distance running, and encyclopedia ripping-in-half. At the end of four weeks, goals are assessed and firm, silent, head nods of confidence are exchanged. Long Beach Boot Camp requires that all campers bring the following equipment to each session: exercise mat, set of hand weights, resistance band, and water bottle.
Co-owners Tyler Valencia and Tony Nunez have spent years ensuring that they could help others be healthy. They’ve received certifications as personal trainers and have earned degrees in kinesiology with emphasis on fitness. Together, they lead students of all fitness levels through rigorous outdoor boot camp sessions. They customize the program to suit all students, designing routines of interval training that make use of battling ropes, TRX suspension equipment, and resistance bands.
For more than 15 years, SoCal Event Staffing has not only matched experienced bartenders with restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and catering companies, they've also taught novices the ins and out of the bartending trade. Their two-day certification program prepares students for the nightlife industry, teaching them more than 150 drink recipes and how to wield a drink umbrella in the event of a water main burst. Program graduates then earn a lifetime of placement assistance from the company, which matches them with full- and part-time positions at more than 300 venues.
Bartenders often use soda to offset the intense flavor of alcohol, but Hanayo Martin prefers another tasty counterweight: cupcakes. Topped with her signature cream cheese frosting, the decadent treats include strawberry cake infused with champagne and banana cake infused with dark rum. But Hanayo—along with childhood pal, Hapa cofounder, and frosting miner Akemi Lee—happily crafts non-alcoholic versions of her spiked treats as well, available in an additional half-dozen classic flavors. Classic, however, doesn't mean traditional; cupcakes can be crowned with rice cereal treats, seaweed, and green tea icing.
Named a top place to play in Southern California by Golf Digest, the course at Rio Hondo Golf Club leads players on a zigzagging path toward glimpses of glittering lakes and waterfalls. Separated from adjacent holes by aisles of stately pine, the narrow fairways traverse rolling hills and mounds strategically placed to create tricky lies and inhibit golf-cart drag racing. When a rusty swing holds back progress, the club facilitates game improvement with a lighted, 30-stall practice range, as well as lessons with head PGA professional Steve Labarge and his band of instructors. The new 23,000-square-foot clubhouse houses the buzz of activity, inviting players to down cold beers while enjoying the emerald panorama.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par-71 course
Total length of 6,360 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 70.5 from the back tees
Course slope of 122 from the back tees
Four sets of tees per hole