13 Things to Do in LA This Weekend

Learn to line dance, drink great wine or walk among the stars

January 26, 2024 6:05 am
Desert 5 Spot Stage
Wake up babe, InsideHook's LA weekend guide just dropped.
Desert 5

You can feel the city slowly waking up from its post-holiday slumber, and the calendar is beginning to reflect that return to normalcy, too. If you’re able to brave the intermittent rain — and temperatures that the rest of the world wouldn’t deem cold, but Southern Californians do — then here are 13 things to do in LA this weekend. Take your pick of great live music, delicious eats and even a wine festival to keep you warm.

Friday, January 26

Person performing on a stage with a guitar
Poolside at The Wiltern
The Wiltern

Poolside @ The Wiltern

Poolside’s original lineup included lauded Los Angeles DJs and producers Jeffrey Paradise (Jeffrey Fare) and Filip Nikolic (DJ Flip). The duo had a huge hit with their interpretation of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” back in 2012, and though Nikolic departed in 2017, Fare has been on a prolific streak of his own of late, releasing one of 2023’s best records in Blame It All On Love. Seeing them live at the Wiltern will be a party, particularly on a Friday night — and if you’re at all into deeply melodic and melancholic electronic music, this is the show for you. Tickets are between $30-$50 and you can grab some right here

Michael Hurley @ Zebulon 

On the other side of the spectrum, folk icon Michael Hurley is not just a poet and a musician, he’s one of the foremost songwriters of the freak folk generation. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, Hurley quickly found kindred spirits in the likes of Peter Stampfel, Sam Shepard and the Holy Modal Rounders. These days, Hurley is based in Oregon instead of running around the New York City music scene, and his catalogue has been embraced by contemporary artists like Devendra Banhart and Byron Coley, both of whom have released Hurley’s music on their own labels. Catching him at Zebulon is still a pretty rare feat, so if you’re interested in an under-the-radar yet deeply influential writer from the ‘60s and ‘70s folk scene, this show will not disappoint. Tickets here.

Food and Film: Origins of a Meal @ Hammer Museum

If you’re a fan of local Los Angeles art and food, then the Hammer Museum is probably already a place you like to visit for fascinating exhibits like the annual Made in LA showcase or to partake in the bounty at Lulu, the only Alice Waters restaurant in this city. Waters also curates a quarterly screening and talk back designed to probe deeper into the history of global cuisine, and this Friday’s event is a screening of the French film, Genèse d’un Repas, or “origins of a meal.” In French with English subtitles, this 115 minute movie from director Luc Moullet traces the journey of simple ingredients into his own home, analyzing the governmental, colonial and labor forces that power a single foodstuff item. Admission to the the museum is free, and the screening is also complimentary, with tickets available at the box office on a first come, first serve basis.

Desert 5 Outdoor Seating
Desert 5
Desert 5

Bootloose Fridays @ Desert 5 Spot 

On Friday, come to this rooftop bar as early as you can because starting at 5 p.m., they’ll kick things off with the more casual, happy hour style setup of Frontier Fridays — that is, two for $6 tacos, $6 beer and wine, and $9 cocktails. This weekend special runs at the Tommie Hotel’s desert-and-cowboy-themed rooftop bar, Desert 5 Spot, most Fridays from 5-8 p.m. But if you stick around for a few hours until the next installment of the evening’s countrified programming crops up, free line dancing lessons run from 7-8 p.m. More details here

Fourth Fridays in Long Beach @ 4th Street

Down south for the weekend, or want to be? Hop on the newly-developed blue line and check out Long Beach’s epic Fourth Friday programming. Like a lot of other people, this street festival is gearing up for Lunar New Year, and the artists, vendors and performers have been planning accordingly. Get more info on the @4thStreetLB Instagram.

Saturday, January 27

Interior bar area at Meteora LA
Meteora bar

Sample a Dry January Menu at Jordan Kahn’s Meteora 

If you’re still going strong with a commitment to Dry January, kudos! But skipping the alcohol portion of the evening doesn’t mean fine dining has to be off the table, too. In fact, some of the best restaurants in Los Angeles have gone out of their way to offer a non-alcoholic drinks menu that’s on par with their full-proof cocktails. One such option is the latest restaurant from master chef Jordan Kahn, who has already made his mark on the westside with his modernist prix fixe at Vespertine (which reopens shortly!) and the more casual cafe, Destroyer. Meteora is a completely different take, with a lush, jungle-like interior in West Hollywood. One NA option is the Erosus, a standout with fresh sugarcane juice, jicama, ginger, lemongrass and lime. Reservations here.

Shot of many small bright lights being looked at by a group of people
Astra Lumina
Astra Lumina

Astra Lumina: An Enchanted Night Walk Amongst the Stars @ South Coast Botanic Garden

If nighttime garden walks through lit-up forests are your thing (or you know they are for someone you love), then Astra Lumina is a pretty good bet for a romantic evening. Hosted at the South Coast Botanic Garden, the one-hour or so stroll through a trail set up with projections, lighting and music is a fun alternative to going to the movies or a restaurant. Similar to zoo lights and holiday light displays, this one is simply celestial-themed and is suitable for families and all ages. Tickets here.

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Exterior of Sugarfish
Eddie Sanchez

Visit the Brand New Sugarfish Location in Corona Del Mar

Unless you just got to Los Angeles, Sugarfish is likely already on your radar as one of the city’s finest, and most accessible, omakase options. Sure, there’s an a la carte menu if you’re feeling particular, but the best way to take down some fresh fish from Chef Nozawa is by ordering their signature Trust Me tasting, with a mix of sushi, nigiri, hand rolls and the occasional appetizer or two. With this newest opening in Corona Del Mar, the sushi master has 12 locations around the greater Los Angeles area. So if you’re out near the beach this weekend, definitely pop in to experience the trusting process for yourself.

Uncorked: LA Wine Festival @ Union Station

If you’re a wine obsessive, there’s really no better way to run through some of the most important producers and winemakers in the area than a festival or expo like the ones Uncorked throws all over the country. Their next Los Angeles event is hosted at the gorgeous, historic event space in Union Station for the LA Uncorked festival. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales will go toward the nonprofit A Kid Again, which is similar to the Make A Wish foundation, curating meaningful experiences for children suffering from life threatening illnesses and their families. Note: there is also plenty of food available on site to go along with all the wine. Tickets here

Sunday, January 28

Smorgasburg Los Angeles @ Row DTLA

Starting bright and early at 10 a.m. every Sunday, this just might be the best place to get a plate of food in all of Los Angeles. Plenty of iconic restaurants and chefs that are now thriving in their own brick-and-mortar locations got their start as a food stall at this beloved foodie event. It’s all completely free to attend, though bring your cash so you can get your snack on early before the more popular vendors sell out. (Remember, this market is perfect for families but unfortunately doesn’t allow pets.)

Stave off the Sunday Scaries With a Special Sukiyaki Menu

A visit to Azay in Little Tokyo is always a treat in itself, as this community kitchen from Kyoto-born chef, Akira Hirose, follows both traditional Japanese cuisine and French technique. But this weekend, they won’t be following Hirose’s own menu but adopting the historic service of Kawafuku, the first restaurant in the United States to serve sushi. To honor the now-defunct restaurant, which first opened 100 years ago in 1923, Azay will be serving their famous sukiyaki menu with courses like suimono (clear broth soup), sunomono (Japanese cucumber salad), sukiyaki (Kawafuku style), rice, tea and anmitsu for dessert. This is a special, limited-time offering — reservations here

Lunar New Year Festival @ Monterey Park

Though Lunar New Year technically doesn’t take place until mid February, it’s never too early to start celebrating this massive event — and nobody does it better than the Monterey Park community. Lunar New Year begins February 10th and runs through February 24th, but this kick-off party on January 27th and 28th features traditional activities, vendors and all-day performances. The festival is completely free — more info here.

Pasadena Comic Convention

Look, if comic books are your thing, what could be better than a local Comic Con event right here in our very own Pasadena? It might not be as big as the annual San Diego convention, but it’s still got plenty of appeal for real collectors. Tickets here


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