14 Things to Do in LA This Weekend

Get ready for the Oscars by spending your weekend partying or relaxing

March 8, 2024 6:29 am
antique lamp with man on it, speakers, radios, drinks, books
Bar Next Door
Stan Lee

It’s going to be all Oscars, all the time this weekend. Especially in a city known for being the central hub of the acting world, the next three days are guaranteed to be packed with out-of-town guests. This means you might even get a celebrity sighting or two if you’re out and about in the fray. But just because Hollywood is focused on their big night doesn’t mean there isn’t a plethora of other things to do, from a solo show by one of Canada’s foremost indie rockers to a Mediterranean lunch in Beverly Hills. Here are our picks for what you should get into this weekend in LA.

Friday, March 8

Dan Bejar, aka Destroyer, at Lodge Room 

Though he’s previously worked with Canadian indie rock royalty like the New Pornographers, Dan Bejar’s work as Destroyer has slowly but surely established a legacy for him as one of the most quietly incredible lyricists and wry commentators of the last three decades. While he’s usually joined by a cohort of other musicians within his own band, this solo show from Bejar will be just as worth watching. His stage presence is singular and mesmerizing, and the latest Destroyer album, 2022’s Labyrinthitis, continues his evolution as a musician who can apply his theatrical brilliance to practically any genre. This is the chance to see a true showman playing at one of the best venues in Northeast LA. Tickets here

Watch Andre 3000 Perform Songs From His Flute Album, New Blue Sun

If you thought “flute album” was a typo, you couldn’t be more wrong. Yes, 3 Stacks is one of the greatest rappers of all time, and fans of Outkast (including Big Boi himself) have been dying for a reunion tour — but this elusive MC has other plans. Instead, he’s poured his creative soul into becoming an accomplished flautist and released an album of original compositions late last year. Plenty of fans have fallen for these 87 minutes of ambient, free jazz, and if you’re one of them, there’s really no better backdrop to see this kind of thing live than at the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever cemetery. Tickets here. (Editor’s note: The ticket page expressly states that phones won’t be allowed in the show, just a warning.) 

inside of nightclub, people dancing, lights
Sound Nightclub
Dice

Check Out Electronic Music Legend, Maya Jane Coles, Doing a Rare Stateside Set

If you know you know — Maya Jane Coles is a British-Japanese DJ, engineer, producer and artist who’s been making heavy, woozy electronic music since she was merely 15. Sometimes working under the alias Nocturnal Sunshine, her bass-driven, trip-hop-influenced sound has been a deeply influential force in the world of house music. If that’s your jam, this show at Sound Nightclub will be everything you’ve ever wanted and more. And thanks to the fair pricing of Dice.FM, it’s less than $30 to get in. Tickets here

Get Bougie With Ecoluxe’s Pre-Oscars Luxury Lounge at Avalon Hollywood

What better way to prep for the Oscars than hitting up a luxury lounge party and making sure your vanity is well-stocked with all things beauty and wellness? Hosted by industry veteran Debbie Durkin, the event is pretty packed and includes some things you might expect — like skin technology treatments from Fountain of Uth and teeth whitening from JEMZ SMILE — but also unexpected additions like a cowboy hat bar and wild Mustang horses (!), plus surprises. If you’re into fashion from emerging designers, beauty and wellness treatments, sustainable brands, and food and cocktails, this is the perfect daytime event to get you in a celebratory mood for the weekend. More info here.

man smiling and crossing his arms wearing chain and blue shirt, tattoo on his right arm
Leonard Smith Jr
Leonard Smith Jr

Comedy Confessional at The Crow

I recently had the chance to see Leonard Smith Jr. perform as part of the Lemon Pepper Wet improv show we highlighted a few weeks back, and I’ve been wanting to catch more material from him ever since. This weekend would be the perfect time to do just that when he joins a cast of all-star LA comedians at Comedy Confessional, which is pretty much just what it sounds like. The audience gives anonymous secrets to the comedians, and they work them into their material. Tickets here.

Enjoy Free Museum Admission During the Annual ArtNight Pasadena

Plenty of Los Angeles museums host free or reduced admission entry nights or weekends throughout the year, but one of the best of the bunch is ArtNight Pasadena — and that’s partially because they provide free shuttles to help visitors really make the most of the night. With legendary institutions like Gamble House (where guests can try drawing and painting themselves), the Norton Simon Museum and Nose Thaeter all part of the evening, it’s an ideal way to get to know the arts and culture scene in this historic suburb. It runs 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday only, more info here.

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Saturday, March 9

inside of bathroom, marble sink, green interior, light up lamps with words on them
Fig Bar Interior
doublespace photography

Book Yourself a Facial at Formula Fig

Even if you’re not attending the Oscars, setting up an appointment for some serious self-care is a great idea for anybody. Getting a facial is kind of like taking your face to the gym, and Formula Fig’s methods involve breaking up those workout sessions to focus on different areas and getting you in and out in an ideal amount of time. Their appointments only take 30 minutes, and the shops are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., so there’s a time slot for everyone. Treatments range from a focus on collagen and texture, exfoliating and sculpting and even lifting and toning your facial muscles. Book here.

Visit the New Jean-Michel Basquiat Exhibit at Gagosian

In case you didn’t get your fill of contemporary art last week during the Frieze blitz, a brand new Basquiat exhibit at the Gagosian museum opens this week. Made on Market Street is a collection of both private and public works on loan that emphasize a period of paintings Basquiat did in Venice, California, during the ‘80s. Though this artist is so thoroughly associated with New York, his work in California was actually quite prolific, too, and this exhibit focuses solely on that output. 

Here’s an excerpt from Larry Gagosian, who helped curate the exhibit and was the first curator to showcase Basquiat’s art on the West Coast: “Los Angeles has always been a great city for artists, and Jean-Michel seemed to find it a refreshing change from New York. While the immensity of his talent was immediately apparent, it was nonetheless a highlight of my own career to work with him, to introduce him to Los Angeles and to witness the amazing impact that his art and legacy have made on our culture.” Like all Gagosian exhibits, this show is free to the public. The Beverly Hills gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

two hands holding chopsticks, sashimi on plate, wine glasses
Espelette Beverly Hills
Vanessa Tierney

Grab Lunch at Espelette, the New-ish Restaurant From Chef Steve Benjamin

Because you’re already in the area taking in the art of Basquiat, stop for lunch at this coastal Mediterranean restaurant with plenty of European influences. The outdoor seating area of this Beverly Hills institution is something of a haven during the warmer months with a garden-like serenity. Grab a cocktail and start off with truffle-oil-infused salmon carpaccio, then keep the decadent seafood trend going with steamed mussels or what has quickly become the best dover sole in town. It’s butterflied tableside and coated in butter, so you’ll get a meal and a show. Reservations here.

Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams at Norton Simon Museum

As part of an ongoing series of film screenings that capture “the drama and beauty of some of history’s most celebrated works of art,” Norton Simon Museum will be showing the magical realist film Dreams by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. The episodic film is essentially eight different vignettes exploring themes like childhood, life and death, and morality. In one storyline, Martin Scorsese plays Vincent van Gogh in what amounts to a stunning tribute. ​​The film will be shown in Japanese with English subtitles, and the screening is free with museum admission. If you can’t make it to Artnight Pasadena on Friday, this is a great way to still see one of the best art collections in the area and take in a classic film that’s consistently praised by critics. The screening begins at 4:30 p.m with doors opening 30 minutes before. Get info on museum admission here.

interior, booths, dim lighting, mirrors hanging on walls
Bar Next Door
Stan Lee

Stop by Bar Next Door for Classic Hollywood Cocktails

Whether you fit in a film screening or not, there’s still almost nothing better to do on a Saturday night than have a couple of drinks with friends or your partner at a great cocktail bar. In case it isn’t on your radar yet, Bar Next Door is quickly becoming a go-to spot to have classic, incredibly well-made drinks in Hollywood with a bar program run by Bartending Pretty, aka Brynn Smith. Not only did she help revamp the menu for this historic-focused spot, but she’s an incredible mixologist and can whip up pretty much anything if you want to venture off the menu. She’s also well-versed in the history of LA drinks, like the Moscow Mule’s murky origins. No reservations needed — the bar is open 5 p.m. until late. Menu here.

Sunday, March 10

Annual Festival of the Kite at Redondo Beach Pier

As a celebration of both the history of the kite and how easily anyone can still make their own flyer today, this event is completely free to the public and going on its 49th year. Join in with the crowd to help send up a 25-foot wide super kite, or face off against others in competitions for the highest flying kite, best handmade kite and, for the kids, the youngest (successful) kite flyer. The festival runs from 12 to 5 p.m. More details here.

interior, warm lighting, crowd of people
Oscars Gold Party
Gonzalo Marroquin/Getty Images for Affinity Nightlife

Oscars “Dream In Gold” Black Tie Only After Party at Academy LA

Presented by Affinity Nightlife, this wrap up event is routinely packed with celebrities and the movers and shakers of the industry. Past attendees include names like Bella Thorne, Idris Elba, Sabrina Carpenter, Paris Hilton, Zedd, Jack Harlowe, Russell Westbrooke, Keke Palmer and more. It’s technically an invite-only list, so start currying favor with your talented friends to see if you can’t score a spot after all.

pool at twilight, beds and chairs with candles on them
Skybar Pool
Mondrian Los Angeles

Watch the Oscars Under the Stars at Skybar at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood

Who even has cable anymore? If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of figuring out what channel or which streaming app will be showing the Oscars this Sunday, head to Skybar at the Mondrian Hotel and let them take care of the tech logistics — and the food and drink. There will be live music from harpist Sara Kawai during the red carpet and light bites and cocktails during the award show itself. And if you want to make it even better and play hooky all weekend, tap into the Mondrian’s Glitz & Glam hotel room package. For this special, guests will get a complimentary bottle of Champagne, skincare product set by Ole Henriksen and 15% off their Red Carpet Facial at the Ole Henriksen day spa on Sunset Blvd. Even though the Oscars are Sunday, this deal is available until March 16, 2024. Book here if you’re so inclined. Otherwise, get tickets for the Oscars party here

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