Weekly Fun: Events to Guide Your Free Time

Photo: swanksalot/Flickr/Creative Commons License

You might have thought that, as with Sunday night's Super Bowl blackout, so too did your dreams of binge eating and over-drinking fade into the night. You may have even resolved on Monday morning to shape up and start living the healthy life. If that's you, it may be time to plan a few days outside of the city. Between beers in El Segundo and Sunday afternoon noodles, this just might not be your week. Then again, there are westerns to watch and a conversation between Dave Barry and Matt Groening that may be enough to keep you in town.

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First up is a double dose of craft beer. Up in Burbank, the perpetually on-point beer spot Tony's Darts Away is hosting a night full of saisons. The fruity, funky farmhouse ales carry slightly higher alcohol percentages and the tingling promise of an early spring. For $5 - $7 a pint, Tony's will be pouring some of the best versions that Southern California has to offer, from such noble breweries as Smog City, Cisomontane and Brouwerij West. Down in El Segundo, you can spend your Tuesday evening boning up on the brewing basics, with a 30 minute beer class. Hosted by El Segundo's own beer master (instead of sommelier, they're known in the beer world as a cicerones) Tom, the lecture will discuss the differences between American and European hop styles, the fluctuating nature of IPAs, and will include a flight of beer to help you understand the intricacies. The class is $20, and interested parties should email the brewery to get on the list.

If high culture is more your thing, you can skip the beers and head to Los Feliz. Tonight, New Yorker staff writer and poet Dana Goodyear will read excerpts from her latest collection of poems The Oracle of Hollywood Boulevard at Skylight Books in Los Feliz. The meandering works will tackle life on the streets in Los Angeles, our beautiful Southern California weather, and the humanity that unites us all. On Thursday, you can catch humorist Dave Barry sitting down with cartoonist and Simpsons creator Matt Groening. Barry is the longtime syndicated columnist who as of late has been working on a novel, and his conversation with Groening is sure to touch on the tremulous life of a newspaper writer. As opposed to Groening, who basically prints money in his basement these days.

If you're a weekend warrior, there's an all-day pinot noir festival going down in Pasadena on Saturday. The official Pinot Fest Pasadena will feature some of the region's best versions, from the Russian River Valley down through San Luis Obispo County. There are also a few different tasting options for more budget-conscious oenophiles, including early morning samplers and the afternoon grand tasting. Or, if you can't find your way east, relax your way into a Saturday western. Over at The Autry, they're hosting the What Is A Western? film series, including Saturday's screening of The Last of the Mohicans.

For the rest of us, Saturday is a time for the sort of overindulgence we promised ourselves to forget after the Super Bowl. And what better way to break resolutions than with a plate full of bacon. The DrinkEatPlay folks are at it again with this L.A. Bacon Festival, taking place at the Petersen Automotive Museum on Wilshire The afternoon affair will feature cocktails, menu creations from some of the city's best eateries, and full admission to the Petersen Museum itself. If you're still hungry, Sunday's 2013 Noodle Fest in Santa Monica promises to fill you up. For $55, eaters can indulge in seven different types of regional soup noodles, with beer provided by Singha to help you wash it all down. Now if that's not a great way to close out a week, I don't know what is.

For more weekly events visit kcet.org/events.

About the Author

Farley Elliott is a freelance food writer and comedian. He currently writes for KCET.org, SeriousEats.com, LAist.com, and L.A. Weekly. You can catch Farley doing comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Hollywood.
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