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The Best Things To Do In Los Angeles And SoCal This Summer Weekend: July 9 - 11

the white observatory with its black dome look over Los Angeles on a sunny day. downtown is visible in the distant background
Griffith Observatory on October 21, 2019.
(Tim Wildsmith
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Danny Trejo discusses his memoir. Live music returns. Noir films add a touch of darkness to summer. Tlayudas, mochi ice cream, micheladas and pies tantalize our palates. Shark Week swims back around.

Friday to Sundays

Griffith Observatory
2800 E. Observatory Rd., Griffith Park
The popular observatory recently reopened mto the public, but only on weekends. Although many regular programs are on hold, the public telescopes are available.

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Friday, July 9 - Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022

A Life in Pieces: The Diary and Letters of Stanley Hayami
Japanese American National Museum (JANM)
100 N, Central Ave., Little Tokyo
JANM opens an exhibition that explores the life of a Japanese American teenager who was imprisoned by the U.S government during World War II. It features the diary, artwork and letters of the L.A. teen, who spent time at Heart Mountain concentration camp in Wyoming, then enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Timed reserved tickets to the exhibit are required.
COST: General admission $7 - $16; FREE; MORE INFO

Friday, July 9 - Sunday, July 11

626 Night Market
Santa Anita Park
285 W. Huntington Dr., Arcadia
The popular market returns for its ninth season with more than 250 food, merchandise, crafts, arts, games, music and entertainment vendors. New food vendors include Sandoitchi, serving up Japanese sandos; Warm n’ Fluffy, with waffles, chicken, ice cream and boba; and Vegano’s vegan popsicles. All tickets must be purchased online. No tickets will be sold at the gate for the markets happening this weekend or next (July 16 - 18). Masks are required for all attendees (ages 2 and older), including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

Friday, July 9

The Hotel Cafe Reopens
1623 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood
Live music returns to the main and second stages of the intimate venue with a lineup that includes Joel Eckels, David Ryan Harris, Casey Abrams, John Licht, Noah Gunderson and Funnilingus. The venue is 21+.

band photo
The L.A. based Ethiopian Jazz ensemble Ethio Cali headlines Grand Performances on Friday night.
(Farah Sosa)

Friday, July 9; 7 p.m. PT

Ethio Cali Featuring Cut Chemist and Rani de Leon
Grand Performances
350 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
The outdoor live music series returns with a funk-centric performance by the L.A.-based group. This show pays homage to Ethiopian jazz and soul, featuring collaborations with DJs Rani de Leon and Cut Chemist. All ages.

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Friday, July 9 - Sunday, July 11

Summer Weekend of Noir
The Hollywood Legion Theater at Post 43
2035 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood
The Film Noir Foundation and the classic theater screens seven films from the post-World War II film noir era: Nightmare Alley (1947), Mildred Pierce (1945), The Narrow Margin (1952), Thieves Highway (1949), The Big Clock (1948), Loophole (1954) and Cry Danger (1951). The last two films have been rediscovered and restored by the Film Noir Foundation. Six of these films will be screened in 35mm.
COST: $22 for double-feature general admission; $15 for Sunday matinee; MORE INFO

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County extends its Friday night hours this summer with music and activities.
(Gina Cholick, courtesy of NHMLAC)

Fridays through Aug. 6; 5 - 8 p.m.

Extended Friday Summer Hours
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park
NHM takes advantage of the longer summer days with fun-filled activities such as DJs spinning tunes in the Nature Gardens and DIY family activities. The ground and first floors of the Museum are open so guests can visit the exhibitions Spiky, Hairy, Shiny: Insects of L.A. and Rise Up L.A.: A History of Votes for Women. You can also check out the Butterfly Pavilion, Nature Lab, Dinosaur Hall, 3D theater and diorama halls.
COST: General admission starts at $15; MORE INFO

Saturday, July 10; 6:30 p.m.

Date Night Drive-In: Silents Under the Stars
Paramount Ranch
2903 Cornell Rd., Agoura Hills
The Hollywood Heritage Museum (which re-opens on July 9) co-hosts a screening of Buster Keaton’s silent comedy Our Hospitality under the stars. Composer Michael Mortilla performs in-film accompaniment. Before the movie, Will Ryan and the Cactus Cowboys perform a live set at 7:30 p.m. Panera Bread in Agoura Hills is offering a fundraiser on July 10 for this event, so guests can arrange their own picnic. (Use Promo Code PRFund at checkout.) Donations go to restoring historic buildings at Paramount Ranch that were destroyed in 2018 by the Woolsey Fire.
COST: $40 per car; MORE INFO

An image from Leticia Maldonado's "Autonoetic" exhibition.
(Courtesy of Bermudez Projects )

Saturday, July 10; 6-9 p.m.

Leticia Maldonado: Autonoetic
Bermudez Projects
1225 Cypress Ave., Cypress Park
Bermudez Projects hosts the opening of Autonoetic, the latest exhibition from artist Leticia Maldonado who creates finely wrought organic shapes — a rose, a moon, the female form — out of neon. For this show, she has created seven neon and neon-based works, including a self-portrait, and each has a unique story or memory.


Actor/comedian Nick Kroll speaks onstage at Variety's 5th annual Power of Comedy presented by TBS benefiting the Noreen Fraser Foundation at The Belasco Theater on December 11, 2014 in Los Angeles.
( Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Variety
Getty Images North America)

Saturday, July 10; 7:30 p.m. PT

Dynasty Tonight!
Dynasty Typewriter, 2511 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake
The semiweekly live show returns with stand-up comics, musicians and variety acts, including this week's lineup of Nick Kroll, Benito Skinner, Candice Thompson, Demetri Martin and Jak Knight. This show is ages 18+. COST: $20 - $25; MORE INFO

 Takoyaki TaNoTa
Find dishes like Takoyaki from Takoyaki TaNoTa at Go Little Tokyo.
(Courtesy of Go Little Tokyo)

Saturday, July 10 - Sunday, July 25

6th Annual Delicious Little Tokyo
Various locations in Little Tokyo, downtown L.A.
The Japanese culinary experience returns for three weekends of food tours, culinary experiences and virtual events. Each Saturday also features Picnic On the Plaza, highlighting exclusive takeout menu items from participating restaurants.

poolside cinema
Poolside Cinema takes place on Saturday nights at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows.
(Courtesy of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows)

Saturday, July 10; 7 p.m.

Poolside Cinema Series: A League of Their Own
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
Watch classic and cult-favorite films on Saturday nights this summer, poolside. Reservations are available through Tock or Resy and pre-paid tickets include complimentary popcorn.
COST: $25 pre-paid food & beverage minimum at FIG Restaurant; MORE INFO

Saturday, July 10; 12 p.m.

L.A. Lotus Festival: Lights of Dreams Lantern Event
The annual Echo Park Lake festival takes place virtually this year. Celebrate the people and cultures of Asia and the Pacific Islands with a focus on Cambodia. Decorate your lantern at home, showcase your designs and share your stories online. Reserve a lantern kit to participate.
COST: $10 - $20; MORE INFO

Saturday, June 10 - Sunday, June 11

Midsummer Scream Screaming Room Film Festival 2021
The Frida Cinema
Calle Cuatro Plaza
305 E. 4th St. #100, Santa Ana
The horror convention was postponed but organizers teamed with HorrorBuzz to screen the best horror and Halloween shorts that were submitted to the Midsummer festival during the past two years. Passes available. COST: $15 - $40; MORE INFO

Spectrum music vocal group
Pasadena Symphony's Summer POPS series features guest artists including the vocal quartet Spectrum.
(Courtesy of the Pasadena Symphony and Pops)

Saturday, July 10; 7:30 p.m. PT

Road to Motown
LA County Arboretum
301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia
The Pasadena Symphony's Summer POPS Series takes a musical journey from boogie-woogie and jazz to Motown with a tribute to the Supremes’ Mary Wilson. Michael Feinstein conducts the orchestra. Featured guests include Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis Jr., Thelma Houston and the vocal quartet Spectrum.
COST: $25 - $150; MORE INFO

The Von Lintel Gallery at Bergamot Station presents a solo exhibition by photographer Osceola Refetoff.
(©Osceola Refetoff
/ -

Saturday, July 10; 12 - 6 p.m. PT

If These Walls Could Talk
Von Lintel Gallery at Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Avenue, Unit A7, Santa Monica
The gallery hosts an opening reception for photographer Osceola Refetoff's solo exhibition, which includes favorites from his award-winning windows series, It’s a Mess Without You. The images will be on view in the gallery’s project room through Aug. 8.

Saturday, July 10 - Friday, Aug. 6

The Blank Theatre’s 29th Annual Young Playwrights Festival
Professional actors and directors present 12 plays by young playwrights from around the country through a series of digital shorts. Three different plays will be released weekly, streaming on Vimeo (before moving to The Blank’s 3rd Stage on Patreon). This week’s plays are Miss Diva Cup by Anya Jimenez, 17, from Brooklyn; Quarter by Kea Kamiya, 18, from Bradenton, Fla; and Tasmanian Devils by Zachary Garfinkle, 17, from Woodbridge, Conn.
COST: Pay what you can - $40 for series; MORE INFO

Sundays throughout the Summer; 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. P.T.

Steve Ferrone and Coffee Shop Trio Live
Johnny’s West Adams
4337 West Adams, West Adams
The eatery adds live music on Sunday nights at its new outdoor stage. Grab a drink from the bar as you nosh on Johnny’s pastrami and burgers.

Actor Danny Trejo arrives at the world premiere of Disney's "Muppets Most Wanted" at the El Capitan Theatre on March 11, 2014 in Hollywood.
(Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney
Getty Images North America)

Sunday, July 11; 3 p.m.

Danny Trejo Book Release
Dynasty Typewriter
2511 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake
The actor and restaurateur has written a memoir with the help of BFF and fellow actor, Donal Logue. Trejo’s story starts with an abusive childhood followed by a life of crime, time in prison, addiction and loss. With his sobriety, he found fame as Hollywood’s favorite bad guy with a heart of gold. Proof of full vaccination is required upon entry; name on vaccine card must match ID. Livestream tickets are also available.
COST: $5 - $60.18; MORE INFO

Sunday, July 10 - Monday, Sept. 12

Angels Gate Cultural Center
3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro
The gallery holds an opening reception for this group exhibition that expands the meaning and concept of the multiple in art. The exhibition will be open by appointment only.

Legs and lungs will be burning after a workout at Manhattan Beach's Sand Dunes Park.
(Vahe Martirosyan, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Outdoor Pick

Sand Dune Park
If you ate one too many hot dogs over the holiday weekend, a butt-kicker of a workout might be in order. This Manhattan Beach park features a sand dune that’s about 100 feet high. Your lungs will burn by the time you reach the top. To regulate the crowds that flock here, Manhattan Beach requires online reservations for the dune every day but Sunday. Each registrant gets a one-hour reservation per day. Dune fees are $1.05 for Manhattan Beach residents and $3.16 for nonresidents.

TV/Streaming Pick

Shark Week 2021
The popular summer TV series is back for its 33rd year, featuring sharks, celebs, scientists and adrenaline-pumping adventures. Watch 45 hours of programming dedicated to the study of shark (and human) behavior, as well as conservation efforts around the world. Guests include Robert Irwin, Tiffany Haddish, Brad Paisley and William Shatner. Shark Week 2021 runs from July 11-18 on the Discovery Channel and Discovery+.

Goldbelly Live! holds an interactive Zoom session teaching how to bake The Pie Hole's Alone Together pie from scratch.
(Courtesy of The Pie Hole)

Dine and Drink Deals

Here's the 411 from restaurants and bars in Los Angeles and SoCal:

  • The Pie Hole founder Sean Brennan leads a Goldbelly Live! session online on Friday at 4 p.m., showing fans how to bake the Alone Together pie from scratch. The fan favorite includes an Oreo crust, peanut butter filling, dark chocolate ganache and potato chips. The pie kit from Goldbelly serves six to eight people.
  • Say hello to Put Me In Coach, a vegan sports bar that's taken over the former Hinterhof space in Highland Park. The menu features plant-based hamburgers, hot dogs, tacos, ceviche, bibimbap, onion rings, fries and housemade Cool Ranch Doritos. There's also a varied roster of beer, wine and cocktails.
  • July 12 is National Michelada Day and Golden Road Brewing’s Atwater, Anaheim and Huntington Beach locations are celebrating all week long. From July 11-17 get $1 to-go guava cheladas from noon to 4 p.m.
  • Chef Lior Hillel opened a new Barcari location on Sunset in Silver Lake last week, adding to locations in West Adams, Glendale, Playa del Rey and W. 3rd St. The new outpost offers Mediterranean cuisine and takes over the former Cliff’s Edge space with its enviable patio.
  • Bar Calo, which had one of our favorite Echo Park happy hours in the pre-pandemic era, reopened earlier this week.
  • Bubbies Ice Cream, a Hawaii-based purveyor of mochi ice cream, celebrates National Ice Cream Month by giving away free mochi. The Bubbies Treat Wave Ice Cream Cart will be on the Venice boardwalk on Saturdays and Sundays this weekend and next from noon to 5 p.m. Try their strawberry, mango and vegan chocolate flavors.
  • The Los Angeles Times’ Food Bowl continues with a gold dinner event that showcases the works of the 2021 restaurant of the year, Phenakite. Chef Minh Phan offers a 14-course VIP prix fixe dinner experience on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and a bento box brunch and awards presentation on Sunday at 1 p.m. Both events currently have a waitlist.
  • Playa Provisions’ Brooke Williamson has paired with the Long Beach-based Trademark Brewing to launch a summer collaboration beer: the Radiant Beast. The berry wheat beer is now available through the summer at Playa Provisions by the glass for dine-in, by the can for to-go orders at Trademark Brewing and select places in SoCal.
  • El Granjero Cantina opened in the Original Farmers Market, offering casual Mexican fare including tlayudas, tacos, bowls, papas fritas and handmade tortillas in a festive cantina space. The restaurant, which accepts reservations, features agave-based spirits and frozen margaritas. (h/t Eater LA)
Got an event in Southern California you want us to consider for one of our event roundups?
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