There is no shortage of fun things happening this weekend in LA. But your time is precious — and nothing is worse than being stuck in traffic and showing up at a lame event. This week, we’re recommending some of the top food and culture events in the city including an all-new coffee festival (to perk you up!) and an immersive art experience downtown. Check out our top picks below.
Art at the Rendon // Stories
Take live operatic performances — and mix it with a 1920’s speakeasy serving prohibition-era inspired cocktails, then put it all inside a former hotel with artistic video projections on the wall. Now that’s one creative idea! Leave it to the fine team at Cartwheel Art to come up with such a cool idea. We joined Cartwheel Art a few months back to take one of their incredible tours exploring underground tunnels of Los Angeles. If you haven’t heard, downtown LA has secret speakeasies and a network of tunnels running underneath (that you can only access on their tour). Read about our spooky adventure here.
Now, they’re presenting STORIES, which is part of their ongoing series of creative programs featuring art, musical performances, lectures, artist residencies and film screenings to celebrate and support the arts. And if you’re not into art or opera, they’ll at least have a lot of good booze on hand including beverages from Angel City Brewery, Infuse Spirits and Pali Wine and music by The Vignes Rooftop Revival (all local businesses based in the thriving Arts District).
100 percent of the ticket sales will benefit local arts organizations Inner-City Arts and Cornerstone Theater Company. So you’re getting to see some amazing art AND giving back. Win/win! Tickets are $25, available through Eventbrite.
A Coffee Festival to Perk Up Your Weekend
This weekend, marks the first-ever Los Angeles Coffee Festival… which made us all wonder, how did we all wait this long for a festival dedicated to coffee? Not gonna lie, we love a festival dedicated to specific beverage/food group. We’ve driven several hours to a tamale festival in Indio, Calif., and once contemplated hitting up the avocado festival until we realized it was 5 hours away. Luckily, my husband is the voice of reason and kindly suggested just getting guacamole at the Mexican joint down the road.
But back to coffee – whether you’re a coffee aficionado or self-confessed coffee geek, this is sure to be an unmissable event. The festival will have expert roasters including some of our faves like Verve, Stumptown, Cartel Coffee and Intelligentsia. Not into coffee? Full confession, my husband isn’t! No fear — the festival will also have some tea shops, food, cocktails as well as live art and music. And who knows, maybe by the end he’ll be a coffee convert. Or in all likelihood, make a scrunched up face after sipping from each booth’s samples (no offense coffee roasters – it’s him, not you!).
Tickets are $27 in advance or $35 on the day of, and can be purchased here. The event will take over Downtown LA’s Magic Box @ The Reef the entire weekend.
Snap a Selfie at the Pizza Experience
We’re not afraid to admit it — we have a selfie museum problem! We have a soft spot for these silly pop up museums and are typically among the first to hit up places like the Museum of Ice Cream (that is now touring), the Museum of Selfies and the graffiti art inspired Beyond the Streets. This weekend, you should head up to Pasadena to check out the latest selfie pop up, the Pizza Experience.
We were the only ones inside the Pizza Experience when we visited towards its closing time a few weekends ago. And we had the place to ourselves — which makes it a lot different than some of the other pop up experiences where you’re fighting for your perfect selfie. Plus, we had no fear of looking completely silly and anyone seeing us. Well, with the exception of now sharing it on this blog!
The experience includes, as you might guess, slices of pizza. And if it’s late, you might get a few bonus slices! We personally loved the staff who helped guide us through the experience and were really into it. They even told us about the pizza diet — where the founders of the museum lost a bunch of weight just from eating pizza. Hey, now that’s a diet I could get into! The pop-up museum is located in Old Town Pasadena and tickets are available on Goldstar starting at $18 each.
Free Cheese Demonstration
We’re always up for a visit to Surfas Culinary District. But this weekend, they really got our attention with free cheese! Surfas, which has been family owned and operated since 1937, is jam-packed with thousands of culinary items for the food enthusiast or professional chef. One of our favorite spots inside the store is its cheese counter, packed with Goudas, Cheddar and all kinds of stinky cheese.
This weekend, their in-house cheesemonger will be offering an afternoon of learning and tasting. And did we mention, it’s free? The demo will include 3 easy cheese recipes just in time for Thanksgiving. Let’s just hope they keep some cheese back for the demo. Just saying — we’ve been known to clear out a sample station before!
The event runs Saturday from 2-4 PM at Surfas. You can reserve your free spot on EventBrite.