The Breakfast Bar and Beadel Family Foundation, through their Pancakes 4 Purpose initiative, will host a community block party in honor of Veterans Day from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., with an afterparty from 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., on Sunday, Nov. 12, at 3404 East Fourth St., in Long Beach. The event will benefit the Kind Acts Factory, a nonprofit focused on connecting veterans with community leaders and civic improvement. Pancakes 4 Purpose will feature food and drink from The Breakfast Bar, a dedication to honor veterans, raffles, a silent auction, games and more. The celebration will continue into the evening with karaoke, live music and dancing. Tickets cost $20 and are available here.  

On Saturday, Nov. 11, all California-based Sizzler locations will offer a free lunch to any active duty military or veteran until 4 p.m. Each active duty military member or veteran can choose between a free half-dozen crispy shrimp, Malibu chicken, or 6 oz. tri-tip steak entree. Click here to find your nearest Sizzler location.

Veterans Day

Strawberry Fields Salad (Courtesy Rock & Brews)

Eureka! The all-American restaurant serving scratch dishes, local craft beers, small-batch whiskeys and signature cocktails will offer a complimentary American cheeseburger to all active and retired military members, no proof needed, all day on Saturday, Nov. 11, at all locations. The burger is made with American Swiss, grilled red onion, butter lettuce, house pickles, tomato and special sauce atop a brioche bun.

All NORMS  locations will honor those who serve and have served with a complimentary Four Deuces, complete with two eggs, two slices of bacon, two sausage links and two hotcakes. Those with a valid ID can enjoy the diner favorite on Nov. 11, for dine-in or to-go only.

As part of an annual tradition, since they opened their doors, Rock & Brews locations will offer army and military veterans as well as first responders select menu offerings completely free of charge. This year, the team will treat vets to the complimentary “We Salute You” pulled pork sandwich or strawberry fields salads. The sandwich comes on a sesame brioche bun with spicy sweet barbecue sauce and pickles and is served with coleslaw and natural fries. The salad is a mix of baby greens, strawberries, avocado, cucumbers, red onions, candied walnuts and feta cheese in a lemon pepper vinaigrette.  Each time Rock & Brews opens a new restaurant location, it invites members of the military to be the first guests in the door. They also participate in donation campaigns throughout the year to raise funds for vets. 

Veterans Day

New sushi/tapas bar at West Edge (Courtesy Gelson’s)

Westside Food Bank’s Hunger Walk returns for its 33rd year to Santa Monica’s Ocean View Park (2701 Barnard Way) on Sunday, Nov. 5:   

 Check-in begins at noon:

  • Pre-walk festivities: 1 p.m.
  • 5K walk starts 2 p.m.
  • Beach Bash After-Party: 3:30 p.m. (ticket purchase required)

Speaking of the Westside, the brand new Gelson’s grocery store at West Edge designed by the award-winning firm Shook Kelley, has opened its sprawling 33,000-square-foot market. From its polished concrete floors to hanging pendant lights throughout, the store is accented with geometric metal shapes, light wood slats and an abundance of wall art. The color palette is based on the Gelson logo with a spectrum of dark caramel, mahogany and taupe, accented by creams and blue greens. 

The sleek wine and sushi/tapas bar serves as a communal hub and is anchored by a quartz counter and contemporary furniture, as well as an outdoor patio. Along with a Wolfgang Puck Express build-your-own pizza bar and a café and bakery with adjacent seating, Gelson’s West L.A. features serviced deli, meat/seafood, produce cutting/juicing, and floral sections, in addition to a self-serve salad bar, hot food and soup bar, poke bar, and dedicated wine and cheese section.

Agua Caliente Casinos will host the ninth annual Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival & Food Truck Fiesta, kicking off on Friday, Nov. 17 through Sunday, Nov. 19. This is the third year Agua Caliente Casinos will launch its marquee racing balloon to kick off the festivities. Here’s the schedule:

Veterans Day

Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival and Food Truck Fiesta (Courtesy Agua Caliente Casino)

Friday, Nov. 17  

Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage |6 a.m. to 8 a.m. 

  • Sunrise Balloon Flight. Coffee and donuts are available from Dippity Donuts. 

Cathedral City Community Amphitheater | 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

  • Food Truck Fiesta, beer and wine garden, kid zone, live performances and a drone show 

The Westin Rancho Mirage Gold Resort & Spa |7 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

  • Balloon Glow to music featuring Grammy-nominated performers Mindi Abair and DW3 

Saturday, Nov. 18  

Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa | 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.

  • Sunrise Balloon Flight. coffee and pastries are available for purchase. 

Cathedral City Community Amphitheater | 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

  • Food Fiesta, beer and wine garden, kids zone, live performances, music, vendor market, car show, and pilot meet-and-greet. 

Agua Caliente Casino Cathedral City |5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

  • Balloon Glow to music, face painting, balloon Twister and giveaways 

Sunday, Nov. 19  

Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage | 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. 

  • Sunrise balloon flight. Coffee and Donuts will be available from Dippity Donuts. 

Big League Dreams Cathedral City |7 a.m. to 10 a.m. 

  • Pancake breakfast with special shape balloons

For more information and to purchase tickets visit,

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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