OC Weekly’s SummerFest kicked off this past weekend just in time for the perfect California weather. The event drew hundreds of Orange County locals looking to enjoy the beautiful Newport Dunes with live music and amazing food. This year they introduced a new Farm to Table event in the VIP area and it was a huge success.

 

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First, the Farm to Table section was incredibly spacious and allowed plenty of room for guests to roam around and sample plenty of tasty bites. Several popular restaurants participated this year including True Food Kitchen, Sidedoor, Cucina Enoteca, and the recently featured 370 Common. There were absolutely no lines which was amazing and guests could enjoy endless samples from their favorite restaurants. The prepared dishes were delicious and I found myself completely over indulging. Some of the highlights were definitely the fried doughnut with oxtail jam and black garlic puree from Restauration, the albacore tataki from True Foods Kitchen, and Mesa’s ahi taco which utilized a watermelon radish as the shell. All the bites were delicious as you can see from our numerous photo’s below.

 

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ahi tacos by Mesa with watermelon radish shells

 

Students from The Art Institutes Culinary Program and our favorite Indian Restaurant L.A. Biryani

 

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Sidedoor in Corona del Mar, next to Five Crowns

 

delicious albacore tataki and kale salad from True Food Kitchen

 

Then there was the “In the Shrubs” cocktail contest located in the gazebo area and accessible just for VIP’s. Guests were able to sample 5 different cocktail creations, made with Tito’s Vodka, and vote on the most creative, best looking, and overall best cocktail. Mixologists brought their A-game and whipped up some serious one-of-a-kind cocktails. I had a hard time deciding between my favorites and had to try several more than once. I loved the cocktail created by The Blind Rabbit. It featured pineapple chocolate shrub, coconut washed Tito’s Vodka and smoked sea salt, delish!

 

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Guests in the general admissions area could also indulge in Bloody Mary’s complete with an Italian pickled veggies and olives station. I couldn’t help but grab several pickled cauliflowers which I always empty from the jar first at home. Stella Artois was also on hand and was a crowd favorite. I especially enjoyed that hard cider which was perfectly refreshing for a warm summer day. If guests weren’t able to snag VIP tickets, they could also enjoy the numerous food trucks with $5 specials throughout the event. Hint: VIP Tickets to OC Weekly’s events always sell out!

 

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Tito’s Vodka’s newest Mascots! How cute are these fur babies enjoying the event!

 

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