I arrive at the Restaurant Rave Event, in the Spectrum Entertainment Center, and I decide to browse in the mall as well as buy some birdfeed from Target while I wait for the event to start at seven o’clock. The weather is very humid, in the 80s, as I walk around from one store to the next. I stop at The Body Shop and 41olive. The Body Shop has natural makeup, skincare and bath products, while 41olive has an assortment of flavors for olive oil and vinegar. There are thirteen extra virgin olive oil flavors, which include Arbequina, Coratina, Hojiblanca, Koroneiki, Livermore Frantoio, Manzanillo, Mission, Nocellara Del Belice, Leccino, Picual, Ultra Picholine, Leccino Frantoio, and Ultra Picual. There are also some infused flavors in olive oil, which include basil, blood orange, butter, cilantro and roasted onion, chipotle, garlic, harissa, herbs de Provence, lemon, organic Tuscan herb, Persian Lime, wild mushroom and sage. Specialty oils include almond, avocado, French walnut, Japanese sesame, and white truffle. Moreover, the twenty-five traditional balsamic vinegar flavors include eighteen-year-old traditional, black cherry, black currant, blackberry ginger, cinnamon pear, dark chocolate, espresso, fig, lavender, pomegranate, raspberry, red apple, strawberry, tangerine, vanilla, white apricot, white cranberry pear, white grapefruit, white honey ginger, white jalapeno, white mango, white peach, white pineapple, white Sicilian lemon, and white blueberry. After I bought the wild bird food from Target, I lugged the twenty-pound bag to the parking lot, where I placed it inside my car’s trunk. I walked by another cosmetics store, Orogold Cosmetics, and the salesgirl hands me a moisturizing day cream for under my eyes, probably because my face looked tired.
I notice a white picket fence enclosing the Restaurant Rave event section, and there is a line already forming at six o’clock. I stand in line for an hour until the public is finally allowed to enter the white picket fence area, adjacent to the Ferris wheel. As I wait, I look around to notice little black and white canopy booths set up around a runway ramp, in the enclosed section. There is a video screen on the back wall of the ramp as well as eight silver cocktail tables with “Red Bull” can design stems, and four of these tables are placed on each side of the ramp. I check out the booth in front of me, Casey’s Cupcakes, which has pink items decorating the inside of the booth, including pink and white balloons, each with a pink string. The booth next to it has packaged water bottles. On the other side of the ramp, the food booths include California Pizza Kitchen, Luna Grill, Paul Martin’s Capital—Dim Sum Seafood Bar, Dave & Busters, and Red Robin. I check out the large poster for Casey’s Cupcakes before asking one of the attendants if they have vegan cupcakes. She informs me that they recently created new flavors, and their chocolate cupcake is vegan. But they will open their new store in the Irvine Spectrum, in January 2013. They now have five stores, including the Irvine Spectrum store. Capital booth has some Asian decoration, which included red oval Asian lamps with goldenrod yellow tassels hanging from the bottom of each lamp. They also had golden dragon statues on the booth counter.
At seven, everyone walks inside the enclosed area, and I wander around each booth, checking to see if they have any vegan or vegetarian samples. California Pizza Kitchen offered some vegetarian pizza slices, small cups of salads, and tortilla chips with cheese and spinach dip. Luna Grill is mostly a kabob restaurant, but I just tried their hummus and yogurt dips with some soft and warm pita bread pieces. Since Luna Grill is a new Middle Eastern cuisine restaurant at the Spectrum, I picked up a takeout menu to check out their dishes, and noticed that they have a lot of interesting vegan and vegetarian dishes. Paul Martin’s American Grill is mostly a “meat and potatoes” restaurant, but I just tried their mashed potatoes. Since Capital is a seafood restaurant, I didn’t try any of their dishes, although their dishes looked interesting and artistic. I just sampled a small cup of macaroni and cheese at Dave & Busters before spinning a roulette wheel to win a coupon for Free Five-Dollar Game Play. At the Red Robin booth, I sampled a bowl of their salad. I then went to the cupcake booth for dessert, but they didn’t have the vegan chocolate cupcake for sampling. The other cupcakes looked colorful, small and cute. Then, I noticed two girls with Red Bull backpacks walking around and handing out cans of Red Bull. I took a can, along with a Red Bull keychain,then chilled as I drank some Red Bull and people-watched. Then, some young men performed street dancing on the ramp to entertain the crowd. It is now nine o’clock, and the Ferris wheel, filled with colorful and multicolored neon lights, was glowing brightly against the dark sky. I went to my yellow Beetle and drove home.
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