Find the best Los Angeles things to do for the weekend of 12.13.13
By Christina Xenos
Santa Monica Pub Crawl
Dec. 14. Dress in your favorite holiday kitsch and join one of the largest pub crawl events in the city–one that spans over 25 bars with multiple crawl routes in Santa Monica. Each bar offers food and drink specials to participants throughout the night. Crawlers must dress in Santa/Holiday attire so the streets of Santa Monica will be filled with merry cheer. $10 gets you specials at participating bars, proceeds benefit the Westside Food Bank. santamonicapubcrawl.com
Marina del Rey Boat Parade
Dec. 14. Festooned with twinkling lights and decorations, boats and yachts cruise their way through Marina del Rey for spectators’ pleasure. A fireworks show over the water starts the 50-year-old tradition with a bang. Grab a front-row seat to the festivities by reserving a table at Cafe del Rey where you can dine on decadent fare like stuffed grape leaves with braised lamb and steak Oscar with Dungeness crab. Fireworks, 5:55 pm; parade, 6–8 pm. Free. Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey. mdrboatparade.org
Dec. 14. There’s still time to grab a sleigh pass and join the annual event that attracts Santa-clad revelers for a citywide holiday crawl accessible via Metro and sleighs. Just sign up, fashion your own personal Santa suit, print out a songbook and wait for the meeting location to be sent to you 24-48 hours in advance. santacon.info
West 3rd Street Holiday Party
Dec. 12. Put a dent in your holidays shopping and enjoy seasonal festivities at the annual West 3rd Street Holiday Party. Find in-store celebrations, discounts (think 30% off food and drinks at Sushi Roku, 20% off Bedhead Pajamas, 20% off at Eggy and more), music, holiday treats and more on the stretch of West 3rd St. between La Cienega Blvd. and Fairfax Ave., from 6-9 p.m. westthirdstreet.com
Renegade Craft Fair
Dec. 14-15. Hundreds of today’s best indie artisans from Los Angeles and beyond put their works up for sale at this holiday market. Also find hands-on workshops, food from your favorite food turcks, music local DJs spinning tunes, a photo both and more. Los Angeles State Historic Park, 1245 N Spring St., downtown. renegadecraft.com
Float Holiday Pop-Up Shop
Dec. 14-15. Shop everything from handmade goods to vintage finds from a an array of designers and artisans offering a range of items from clothes, to jewelry, to cards and more. While you browse indulge in Float’s seasonal floats like the Frostie’s Frostbite with Frostie’s Blue Cream Soda, peppermint ice cream and candy cane pop rocks. 380 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena. floatpasadena.com
Grinchmas Universal Studios Hollywood
Through Jan. 4. Whoville comes to life on the Universal Studios backlot. Take photos with Grinch and his dog Max, join in on the nightly Whobilation as the Whos sing and dance through Whoville and stand beneath the 60-foot Grinchmas tree while you enjoy the park’s festive decor. Universal Studios Hollywood, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, 818.622.3801. UniversalStudiosHollywood.com
MUSIC + DANCE
Tis the season for Nutcracker performances all around Los Angeles. Gustave Dudamel is on the scene at Walt Disney Concert Hall Dec. 12-15, to conduct the LA Phil and Los Angeles Children’s Chorus in the orchestral arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s masterwork. See the artistry of the Moscow Ballet perform the classic on stage at The Wiltern, Dec. 20. The Los Angeles Ballet performs the work across LA throughout the month. Debbie Allen offers her take on the holiday classic with The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker at UCLA’s Royce Hall, Dec. 14-15.
Stila Warehouse Sale
Dec. 14. You love to deck yourself out with everything from Stila’s liquid lipsticks to volumizing mascaras, cheek palettes and more. Stock up for yourself or those on your holiday gift list at the annual sale where you’ll find all your favorites at up to 80% off. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The Doll Factory, 1910 West Temple St., L.A.
Give + Receive at Burning Torch
Dec. 13-14. Find everything you need for that stylish someone at the luxury lifestyle brand’s weekend event. Stop by for complimentary mimosas and organic mini manicures and get a $25 give spent for every $250 spent. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 1627 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice. burningtorchinc.com
EAT + DRINK
Plan Check Kitchen + Bar
Opens Dec. 13. Known for offering discerning diners over-the-top burgers, innovations like ketchup leather and new creations like salmon pastrami, chef Ernesto Uchimura opens a second Plan Check outpost on Fairfax. Stop by for favorites like the aforementioned salmon pastrami which is served with squid ink cream cheese and an everything bagel chip; or opt for an array of burgers like the Chefs Favorite Burger topped with cheese two ways, bacon two ways, ketchup leather and an egg. If pastrami poutine is more your style, you can land that combo of tallow French fries, pastrami bits, pastrami gravy, melted Swiss cheese, and chopped pickles on the late night menu. Cocktail chef Matthew Biancaniello conjured up the restaurant’s craft cocktail program with selections like the The Last Tango made with Ford Gin, strawberries, Gourmet Blends balsamic, and St. Germain Foam. The restaurant also offers a 40-seat bar complete with 16 craft beers on tap and wine selections; where you can also enjoy old-school hip hop, $2 off draft beer, and cocktail specials daily from 3-7 p.m during Shift Change happy hour. 351 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A., 310.288.6500 ext. 2. plancheck.com
There’s a new Parisian patisserie in town and this one—from chef Pascal and his wife Audrey Achcar—offers heavenly “nuage” cakes comprised of whipped cream sandwiched between two layers of meringue, covered in whipped cream and shaved white chocolate. Savor 15 favors (think dark chocolate, vanilla, salted caramel, coffee and more) of the bite-sized mini cakes and also find larger wedding-sized cakes as well. The cafe also serves a selection of Lamill coffee, tea, and beverages to-go. 8010 Melrose Ave., L.A., 310.880.2065. bonuage.com
Opens Dec. 13. First it was tacos and now it’s tortas, the sought after Mexican sandwich that you can order up at the new FIGat7th spot in fashions like pulled pork, Veracruz style snapper, turkey in mole sauce and more. The concept is from revered chef Jimmy Shaw of Lotería Grill, which also debuts it’s newest grill and cantina next to Torta Company. Secure your spot at the opening party for an evening of Mexican music from La Santa Cecilia, food and Casa Herradura cocktails all in the courtyard of FIGat7th. 735 S. Figueroa St., downtown. tortacompany.com
La Dolce Vita Celebrates Sinatra
Dec. 12. Celebrate Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday by stopping by his regular Beverly Hills Rat Pack hideaway, La Dolce Vita for $1 Jack Daniels cocktails (his favorite) and an Ol’ Blue Eyes-inspired menu (think steak Sinatra and eggplant parmesan). The cocktails are available one night only and the celebratory menu continues until the end of the year. 9785 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. ladolcevitabeverlyhills.com
Breakfast with Santa
Dec. 14-15; 20-21. Give little ones a hoiday experience to remember complete with sumptuous buffet, children activity areas, gifts, a visit from Santa and his elves, plus more. Breakfasts take place either at the Music Center downtown from 9:30-11:30 a.m. (call 213.972.7565 to reserve) or on the gorgeous grounds of Descanso Gardens from 10:30-11:30 a.m. (call 818.790.3663 to reserve).
Dining Around Los Angeles
The Library Alehouse features an exclusive five-course beer and wine pairing dinner with Argentinian Susana Balbo Wine and Epic Brewing of Salt Lake City on Dec. 16; expect fare like spice-rubbed chicken roulade, Asian short rib and more. La Sandia, in Santa Monica, is celebrating the chilly winter months with the return of their red hot 3rd Annual Tamale Festival Dec. 16-31; dine on tamales from pork tamale in Banana Leaves, to fried chicken tinga tamales. Cheer on Border Grill Downtown LA chef Alex Moreno as he competes on Chopped Dec. 17 over appetizers in the Border Grill Cantina, rsvp: 213.486.5171.
Peter and the Starcatcher
Through Jan. 12. See the origin-story musical based on the Disney-Hyperion novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson about Peter Pan’s introduction to Neverland. More than a hundred characters grace the stage in the epic story of popular culture’s most enduring and beloved hero. (Photo by Jenny Anderson.) Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772. centertheatregroup.org
A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens!
Through Dec. 29. Chicago improv group the Second City spoofs Charles Dickens’ holiday tale A Christmas Carol. A star-studded grab bag of special guests adds comic sparkle and a joyful surprise to each performance the lineup includes Casey Affleck, Matthew Modine, Rhea Perlman, among others. (Photo by Craig Schwartz.) Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 213.628.2772. centertheatregroup.org
Through Dec. 22. Set in 1930s Budapest and the inspiration for movies including The Shop Around The Corner, two rival employees at a boutique start a love affair through anonymous letters. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.746.4000. thewallis.org
The Steward of Christendom
Through Jan. 15. In the wake of Ireland’s bloody struggle for independence, Brian Dennehy plays a Roman Catholic former police officer in Dublin confined to a mental institution. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772. centertheatregroup.org
The Lion King
Through Jan. 12. See the Disney classic brought to life on stage by award-winning director Julie Taymor and unforgettable score including Elton John and Tim Rice’s Oscar-winning song “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” and “Circle of Life.” Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., L.A., 323.468.1770. hollywoodpantages.com