Thursday, May 30, 2024

ComplexCon’s ‘food lagoon’ is an ode to SoCal grub—including Long Beach’s own scene


ComplexCon—a convention which has become a cultural staple in SoCal since it premiered at the Long Beach Convention Center in 2016—has announced it will be having a “food lagoon” of massive SoCal names, including multiple Long Beach brands that locals will cheer for.

Little Coyote, the awesomely-communal-driven Fluffy’s Sno-Balls, Afters, and All Flavor No Grease join a roster of SoCal food favorites that will be offering up grub and love to the thousands of conventioneers expected to migrate in and through the cultural convention.

Little Coyote is the crazy-popular-and-rightfully-so pie slinger on Retro Row (and now the Eastside) that was the brainchild of Jonathan Strader and Jack Leahy While I’ll have the full background on the they came to stumble into the creation of their little pizza shop that could in the coming weeks, the main thing to understand is they are likely the most prominent of Long Beach food brands representing in a list that spans quite the spectrum.

Little Coyote, Fluffy’s Sno-Balls, Afters, and All Flavor No Grease are just a few of the local favorites joining a wide array of SoCal deliciousness.

And okay, okay: Afters is based out of Orange County but its Long Beach location near CSULB has become a staple while All Flavor No Grease is, indeed, a product of Watts and I would never take that from its owner—but owner and flavor master Keith Garret has long been taking his food show on the road into the crevices of Long Beach for years.

But he’s one particularly shine-out star in this food lineup because of his humble but epic beginnings.

Garret once said amid a Watts crowd awaiting his food: “After high school, I was just tryin’ to figure out what I wanted to do in life. I spent about a week praying about the situation sincerely. I said, ‘Lord, I don’t wanna do this no more. No more 401K-ing it. Don’t wanna sell my mom’s house. It ain’t right. I want better.”

Garrett is a believer in the power of three things: God, Watts, and the almighty human connector that is food. Since launching All Flavor No Grease on his driveway in the South LA neighborhood at 108th Street, he has built up an army of tens of thousands of followers and garnering attention from Dining on a Dime to Eater LA to Business Insider.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.


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