The inaugural Cherry Blossom Festival in partnership with the Dreamers Market takes place on Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28, at 2nd and PCH in Long Beach.  Step into a world of Japanese-inspired treasures, artisanal delights and unique finds from local vendors. Entertainment includes special character meet-and-greets, cultural performances and plenty of treats. Guests are encouraged to don their best cosplay and can win prizes of up to $100 in gift cards for the center.

The Catalina Museum for Art & History’s upcoming Inaugural Tamale Festival also takes place on Saturday, April 27. It will showcase homemade tamales from various vendors, live music, dancers, games, face painting, and a tamale-tasting competition to crown the Best Tamale. Additional local vendors will be selling corn, desserts and merchandise. Margarita flights and other refreshments will be available for purchase throughout the festival. 

If you’re heading out to the desert for the Stagecoach Festival, there will be an immersive experience at the Amex space for card members with a country twist featuring a disco cowboy bar.   The New Bar will curate alcohol-free drinks and  Amex will also have a merch to-go window offering official Stagecoach merchandise.

Hana Makgeolli, founder and winemaker Alice Jun, is coming to OTOTO  in Echo Park and Tsubaki on Friday, April 26, to introduce her Makgeolli (available by the glass and in flights for purchase) and chat with diners, popping back and forth between the neighboring restaurants all night. Both restaurants will feature a couple of Korean dishes in honor of Jun — OTOTO will have a Nira Jeon (pancake) among their specials, while Tsubaki will do a Korean fish dish. Reservations at Tsubaki are recommended but not required; OTOTO is walk-ins only. 

Cherry Blossom

Tie-Dye Taqueria at the Ecology Center

The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano is launching Peace Pizza and Tie-Dye Taqueria pop-ups to serve as showcases of eco-conscious dining at the Regenerative Organic Certified farm and education center.

Every other Tuesday, ‘Tie-Dye Taqueria’ is set against a backdrop of twinkling string lights and features San Juan blue corn masa tortillas and a selection of fish and vegetable tacos, alongside kid-friendly quesadillas, bean salads, and agua frescas. Taco options include cauliflower en mole taco with charred cauliflower, roasted onions and mole, or fish taco with rockfish, cabbage slaw, chili crema, salsa macha and pickled onions.

The Peace Pizza takes place every other Thursday starting today. It features a century-old sourdough starter from Italy topped with farm-to-table produce and ingredients like buttermilk pesto, red sauce, wood-fired peas and carrots, and more. Accompanying the pizzas is the seasonal market garden salad and beverages made using locally sourced ingredients.

At the pop-ups, guests can engage with farmers, chefs and regenerative agriculture experts through interactive cooking demonstrations, educational workshops and discussions. Operating on a first-come, first-served basis, both pop-ups invite food enthusiasts and environmental advocates alike to come together and celebrate the harmonious blend of tradition, innovation, and environmental responsibility. For more information and updates, visit, or follow them on social media at @theecologycenter.

Cherry Blossom

Alice Jun (June Kim)

Yi Cha, Chef Debbie Lee’s upcoming Korean gastropub, is popping up on Friday nights starting at 5 p.m., in the former Bar Moruno space in Silver Lake. Expect a preview of what the restaurant will be serving when it opens later this summer, like her signature “KFC” (Korean fried chicken) and Korean nachos. Doors open at 5 p.m.; walk-ins only. There will also be K-Town Karaage (Korean-style popcorn chicken, gochujang aioli and furikake,) Korean Nachos, Vegan Nachos and slides including Banchan of the Day, Kimchee Or Coleslaw of the Day and French Fries. The Super Mukbang serves four to six and includes KFC (large), karaage, a choice of nachos, one of each banchan and kimchi.

What’s Popping Up is a weekly column in the L.A. Weekly that explores all that’s new in food and drink.




































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