Let's be honest with ourselves: If we wanted to turn over a new leaf, it would've happened long before January 1. We aren't gonna judge if you partake in Habana Irvine's brunch, or Sweetbird's grand opening. It's all in the name of good food, right? And if your conscience starts to nag, then donate a few cans to Sgt Pepp's before continuing.
Studio Cooking Classes - Laguna Beach
Beginning this Saturday, Chef Strong will be a teaching a diverse series of cooking classes from his Studio kitchen. First up, Spanish Cooking 101, featuring tapas and paella. February will cover pastry basics, including lemon tarts and warm chocolate cake. And March celebrates pasta in a trio of forms. All classes are $150, start promptly at 11 a.m., and can be reserved by calling (949) 715-6420. 30801 Coast Hwy., (949) 715-6030; www.montagehotels.com/laguna beach
Sergeant Pepp's Canned Food Drive - Newport Beach
The Golden Foodie Awards Winner for Best Lunch in 2017, Sergeant Pepperoni's loves its community. They've been conducting a canned food drive since mid-December, and it's still going on through the end of the month. Also, for every five cans donated, you'll be in the running for a $100 Sergeant Pepp's gift card! Drop in on a Sunday, when they feature the Yolko Ono brekkie-themed pie. 2300 SE Bristol St., (949) 852-9500; www.sgtpepps.com.
Sweetbird Official Grand Opening - Anaheim
A few months ago, we were singing the praises of Sweetbird in our fried chicken roundup. What was once a pop-up is about to go all in over at the Packing House. Yes, their official grand opening is scheduled for this Saturday. They'll be giving away fried chicken sandwiches to the first 50 customers in line. Bonus: One lucky raffle ticket holder will win free Sweetbird for an entire year. Are you game, or are you too chicken? Find out at 11 a.m. 440 S. Anaheim Blvd., (714) 905-9832; www.eatsweetbird.com.
Habana Brunch Kicks Off Sunday - Irvine
Someone recently asked us where they could locate a non-hotel, buffet brunch that was good. Well, starting this Sunday, that place is Irvine Spectrum. Habana will conduct a reservations-only policy the first few weeks. Expect the AYCE feast to get busy real fast; their dessert spread alone makes it worthwhile. Our advice: Make your first pass through the chilled shrimp and salad stations. Then grab a pastry before getting into the entree line on your next round. It'll make the time pass a tad quicker. 708 Spectrum Center Dr., (949) 419-0100; www.restauranthabana.com.
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Foodbeast Noods x 3 Returns - Santa Ana
Get carb happy at this year's Noods Noods Noods, hosted by Original Cup Noodles. In similar Foodbeast event fashion, diners can opt for Marketplace (pay-as-you-go) or VIP (all you can eat). Both are good choices, depending on how hungry you are. We suggest going early regardless, as long lines often end with sold out vendors. Head to Esports Arena on January 27th to break those New Year's resolutions (and inhale Bruxie's Kickin Kimchi Ramen Waffle above). 120 W. 5th St.; www.noodsfest.com.
Save the Date: Cookie Con - Anaheim Convention Center
The Los Angeles Cookie Con and Sweets Show is making its way to Orange County next month. Think Comic Con for serious dessert enthusiasts. Television and internet celebrities, an exhibit space three times the size of their previous LA location, and all the samples you can dream up await. Tickets are already selling out, so check out their site for more details. 800 W. Katella Ave., (714) 765-8950; www.anaheimconventioncenter.com.