You're not one of those folks who thinks culture and beer don't mix, are you? Good, because this week is full of both. From downtown's always innovative REDCAT productions to the L.A. Vegan Beer Fest along the Sunset Strip, there's plenty of live music, great food and (of course) drinking going down this week. And we haven't even gotten to Cinco de Mayo yet!
On the culture front, let's look first to UCLA. Royce Hall has been a popular stopping point for author and humorist David Sedaris whenever he makes a west coast leg of a book tour, and this Wednesday night is no exception. Expect the place to be packed to the rafters as Sedaris delivers his dry wit and depth of humor in a sort of best-of retrospective that celebrates the author's 17-year relationship with Royce Hall and UCLA. But starting tonight and running through Saturday, REDCAT downtown will be putting together a free CalArts film screening showcase. The 8 P.M. events will screen juried selections from students in the experimental animation, video, film and direction programs. All screenings are free and open to the public. Also on Saturday, REDCAT will be switching formats during the day for the International Children's Film Festival, which will screen works for tiny (and not so tiny) cinephiles over the next three weekends. Or, if you can hold out until Friday, reward yourself with that ultimate intersection of booze and culture: First Fridays at the Natural History Museum. Sip on selected beverages as you wind your way through the endangered and extinct exhibits, or listen in to music by Helado Negro and Javelin for a slightly higher fee. The convergence of dinosaur bones, live music and cups full of boozy liquid is simply not to be missed.
If it's been one of those weeks where you really just want to drink, you're in luck. The first signs of summer are here, and with them come an array of outdoor food and beer festivals that are sure to get you prepped for the months ahead. First, you can start your month off classily at The Mixing Room inside the J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live, where an ongoing weekly cocktail competition known as The Mix Off will be going down. Celebrity judges will be pitting bartenders and mixologists against one another in a series of ongoing challenges, with a single winner rising from the behind the bar. The events run every Wednesday night, all month long. Or, you could hit the Angel City Heritage Music & Arts Fest, a full-day party put on by Angel City Brewery at their Arts District space. There will be food trucks, beer, live music and plenty of art to go around, including in-person silk screening. Also on Saturday, the L.A. Vegan Beer Fest happens simultaneously across town, with more than 25 of the best regional and national breweries on hand, plus sustainable bites from Mandoline Grill, STREET and plenty of other great L.A. dining destinations. If you'd rather take things easy, slow down at the Eagle Rock Brewery Session Fest on Saturday, where lower-alcohol beers will be poured all day long. The idea is to have fun, relax, and not get too blitzed.
Maybe you'd rather just have a bite to eat? Not to worry, there's still a lot of culture to be had in the food scene as well. There's a Blood & Dumplings Tour going down on Saturday in the San Gabriel Valley, where the perfectly-titled Crime Bus will be taking folks on a four-hour dumpling run that focuses on the nitty gritty deeds done at each location. Then, on Saturday night, Eat.Drink.Art. hosts an evening exhibition of works from the L.A. Municipal Art Gallery, with a silent auction to follow. Of course, there will be vino from Silverlake Wine and beer from Eagle Rock Brewery, plus a DJ set, live art demonstrations and food trucks galore. And finally, take a load off on Sunday with author Mark Bittman and Evan Kleiman, two noted food journalists who will be discussing, among other things, Bittman's latest book on how he lost a lot of weight using a modified vegan diet.
If you're still in search of more food, culture and fun, check out our constantly updating events page for the latest goings-on throughout the city. Then get out there and party!
For more weekly events visit kcet.org/events.