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Weekend Planner: 20 Things To Do In Los Angeles

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Here are 20 of our favorite events happening right here in L.A. this weekend. Think we missed something or you want other options? Check out the July Guide, too.


Go Little Tokyo presents the food and drink fest Delicious Little Tokyo from Friday through Sunday. Explore the Little Tokyo neighborhood of DTLA and sample the area’s culinary delights. Things kick off on Friday from 7-10 pm with the Little Tokyo Service Center’s 10th Annual Sake & Food Tasting Event, Starry Night in Little Tokyo. On Saturday, there’s a walking tour of culinary food landmarks, a Kanpai Crawl as well as a free, after-hours tasting at Chado Tea Room. On Sunday, the Wolf & Crane presents a mixology class that helps perfect cocktails like the O’Shito, Tokyo Express and a classic Old Fashioned from Japanese whisky experts. Check out the website for the full details (and the various ticket prices for some of the events).

The seventh annual Luckyrice Grand Feast, hosted by Seoul Sausage Trio and presented by Bombay Sapphire EAST Gin, takes over Vibiana in DTLA on Friday night, serving up Asian-influenced foods and cocktails from 8-10 pm (7 pm entry for VIP tickets). Confirmed food/drink participants include: Bling Bling Dumpling, Katsuya, Little Sister, Pok Pok LA, Hanjip Korean BBQ and many more. Tickets: $88-$150 (VIP, which means you can get in at 7 pm).

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Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters is the LACMA exhibition dedicated to the film director's creative process through his paintings, drawings, maquettes, artifacts and concept film art. While the exhibition doesn’t open to the public until Monday, LACMA hosts a book signing with del Toro from 5-6:30 pm on Friday at the museum’s Pavilion for Japanese Art. The filmmaker will sign the exhibition catalogue or another title by him purchased at a LACMA Store. The signing is free and open to the public and is first-come, first-served. Lineups can begin at 3 pm.

E.T. (Rooftop screening + dining)
There are great summer views at the top of The Ritz-Carlton in DTLA, which now offers WP24 Rooftop Patio dining for the public every Friday and Saturday evening (6-10 pm) through Labor Day weekend. Dine by the pool and sip Champagne Floats or Sangria with tasty Confit Pork Belly Sliders, Thai Spiced Grilled White Corn on the Cob and Tandoori Grilled Jidori Chicken or other tasty options. Additionally, fav films are screened at 8pm on the last weekend of the month. This weekend, they’re screening E.T. to watch while you dine. Reservations a must.

The English singer-songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich plays the Hotel Cafe on Friday night with Oliver Riot and others. Leftwich is prepping for the release of his long-awaited second album After the Rain (out Aug. 19). The show is sold out online, but a few tickets may be available at the door. 21+. 7 pm.

The Getty Museum's Friday Flights happens once again this Friday from 6-9 pm, tapping L.A. artists in various media to respond to the Getty's architecture, grounds and collections through the creation of films, interventions and art installations. Veggie Cloud, a film and lecture series based in Highland Park and programmed by Courtney Stephens and Kate Wolf, features a film slate that includes Alexandra Gaulupeau’s Life at a Snail’s Pace, Lee Anne Schmitt and Lee Lynch’s Bowers Cave and others. The night also features installation and performance by M. Geddes Gengras in Robert Irwin's Central Garden, sound installation by Jim Drain, video installation by Jennifer Junniper Stratford, and performances by The Bushes (Ry Rocklen & Nick Lowe) and wild Up’s Lewis Pesacov. Free.

KCON LA (Music + culture)
KCON LA is the largest fan celebration of Korean entertainment and culture and runs Friday through Sunday. The daytime portion of KCON is at the LA Convention Center and features panels, workshops, performances, exhibit booths and more. Highlights include a food workshop with Seonkyoung Longest, winner of Food Network’s Restaurant Express and K-drama screenings all day long. Concerts by Korean artists on Saturday and Sunday night. KCON also partners with KTOWN Night Market to bring KCON Food Street to Chick Hearn Court at L.A. Live. with more than 50 food options each night. Free admission to the KCON Food Street, convention tickets are $10-$25 and prices vary for other events.

Roaring Nights, the L.A. Zoo’s summer music and party series, returns on Friday night with a country music theme. From 7-11 pm, guests can listen and dance to live music by Highway Starr, Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band and Grant Langston and the Supermodels. There will be line-dancing lessons, food trucks, bars, lawn games and pop-up zookeeper talks. Roaring Nights tickets are $25 and $22 for GLAZA members. The event is 18+.

LE BAL (Drag ball)
Le Bal: A One Night Only Drag Extravaganza takes place on Friday night at 9 pm at the Theatre at Ace Hotel. The event’s hosted by Candis Cayne with performances by Jackie Beat, Thorgy Thor, Manila Luzon and Brendan Jordan. Doors at 7:30 pm. Tickets: $15-$40.


Who’s ready for Halloween season? If you are, then head down to the Long Beach Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday for the Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival, organized by , the folks behind CreepyLA and Theme Park Adventure. Check out artisan vendors, live entertainment, workshops, makeup demonstrations, screenings, haunted attraction previews and a scare zone. Tickets: $30-$135.

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SPIRIT GUILD (Distillery tour)
La Beer Hop holds The Spirit Guild Tour on Saturday at noon. The four-to-five hour tour takes people to three locations and includes a flight of beer or spirits and bottled water at each stop. It’s the first time The Spirit Guild, the new Arts District distillery, opens their doors for a tour, and the day also includes stops at Iron Triangle and Mumford along the course of the four-hour tour. Pickup location is at the Union Station. Tickets: $69 per person.

The Rumpus Lo-Fi Film Festival: Lo-Fi: Queer, Feminist, Independent, Unafraid is an all-day festival on Saturday at The Brewery Arts Complex downtown. The event is a direct, and hopefully positive, offshoot to Stephen Elliott’s article, "The Great Film Festival Swindle." Elliott and Antonia Crane have organized the festival, screening films Search Engines, S&M Sally, Creedmoria and After Adderall, with panels on How to Film Festival and Life Into Art, When Books Become Movies. Each film program is $10 or $25 for the whole day.

The Broad Museum continues its monthly, late-night Summer Happenings Series on Saturday night at 8:30 pm. The event features live music sets and DJs spinning the tunes, paying homage to the Downtown NYC art scene of the 70s and 80s that blended pop and the avant-garde. On the program: Sky Ferreira DJs darkwave and 80s pop; punk pioneer Richard Hell reads from his own work and then performs with Haxan Cloak; live music by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith; and dance collaboration by Ryan Heffington and Brontez Purnell. Tickets include full museum access, including the Cindy Sherman special exhibit. Tickets: $35.

The 21st edition of the Central Avenue Jazz Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm in South Los Angeles on Central Avenue and at the Dunbar Hotel. Performances on three stages by Justo Almario Afro-Colombian Jazz Ensemble, The Clayton Family Jam Band, Ernie Andrews, Bobby Matos Latin Jazz Ensemble, Nedra Wheeler, Sweet Baby J’ai and others. Food vendors and an art gallery are also onsite.

Now in its 19th year, the International Pop Overthrow Los Angeles Music Festival runs Friday through Aug. 7. The festival features dozens of up-and-coming pop bands and acts playing Fais Do Do, Molly Malone's, Skinny's Lounge, Silverlake Lounge and Surf Dog's (in Orange County). Many of the shows are either 18+ or all ages, making the festival (and pop music) accessible to a larger audience. Tickets: $10 per show.

Now in its 45th year, the Malibu Arts Festival, presented by Malibu’s Chamber of Commerce, takes place on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm at Pacific Coast Highway and Civic Center Way. Check out the works of more than 200 painters, sculptors, photographers, jewelers and other artisans. Live music, entertainment, food and other family friendly activities throughout the weekend, too. Free.

Saturday marks the American Cinematheque’s Annual Tiki Night at the Egyptian Theatre with live music, tiki cocktails, Hawaiian bbq, vendors and more. The day begins at 4 pm with music and performances, food, drinks and shopping in the Courtyard pop-up marketplace, followed by a screening of South Pacific at 7:30 pm. Tickets for movie and performances: $18 general, $14 student/senior, $12 member. One Tonga Hut cocktail or non-alcoholic beverage is included with the price of admission. Additional cocktails and food are sold separately.

PROCESS: BISCO SMITH (Art exhibition)
C.A.V.E. Gallery in Venice presents Process, a solo art show by Bisco Smith, a contemporary urban artist who blends “graffiti deconstruction, abstract gesturalism, graphic design, and ‘visual freestyle.’” The opening reception is on Saturday from 6:30-9:30 pm, and the show runs through Aug. 29.


GALCO’S SODA TASTING (Soda fundraiser)
Galco’s Soda Pop Stop in Highland Parkthrows its annual soda tasting party on Sunday from 5-8 pm with beverages, music and more. This year’s selections include offerings from Bedford's of Port Angeles, WA; Bickford's Australian sodas; fantastic French sodas from Rieme; and Zedazeni from the Republic of Georgia. In addition, there will be side-by-side challenges will allow sippers to compare brands of black cherry, cream soda and more. The tasting is a fundraiser for the Friends of the Southwest Museum Coalition that is working to reopen Los Angeles’ first museum as well as the Casa de Adobe to display portions of the museum’s collections. All-inclusive tickets: $15 ticket (free for children 5 and younger).

TONGUE & GROOVE (Storytelling)
Tongue & Groove is an evening of stories, readings and music that takes place on Sunday from 6-7:30 pm at The Hotel Cafe. The literary variety show is hosted by Conrad Romo and features readings by Pam Ward, David Darmstaedter, Elizabeth Marquez, Rios de la Luz, Kristina Wong and music by Linda Ravenswood. Tickets: $7.

Want the 411 on additional events and happenings in LA? Follow @LAist or me (@christineziemba) on Twitter.