Los Angeles, home of the stars, is where pop culture is born.
New York, home of the critics, is where it’s built up and torn down.
This weekend, two worlds will collide on stages throughout Hollywood when Vulture Festival makes its maiden West Coast voyage.
The two-day festival includes talks and screenings with the likes of Guillermo del Toro, Ted Danson, the cast of Scandal and 30-something other movers and shakers..
To assist, we’ve whittled the two-day bonanza down to the truly must-see events, along with where to snag a bite and a drink along the way.
For the Scene: Beauty & Essex
The opulent dining destination at the Dream Hotel just launched a boozy brunch. We’re eyeing that avocado latke benedict. They also have a raw bar (menu). Get a reservation for this one.
For the Food: Salt’s Cure
If you want something that’s less of a scene and more food-first, hit Salt’s Cure. They’re plating the best buttermilk pancakes in town, with farm fresh eggs and spicy bloodies, too.
WHAT NOT TO MISS
The heavy-hitters this year include a chat with Natalie Portman, the cast and creators of Scandal forecasting the final season, Owen Wilson and Ed Helms will discuss their upcoming project Fatherhood, and the creepy yet lovable Guillermo del Toro on creating a monster at a time when monsters seem to be everywhere. But here are the five under-the-radar can’t-misses for both laughing and loathing.
Zach Galifianakis, Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson and showrunner Jonathan Ames will reunite to sip white wine and talk about the quirky details of the ill-fated Bored to Death.
Journalist Frank Rich and comedian Sarah Silverman talk about the current nature of political discourse with their State of the Union address.
IFC and Funny or Die are hosting their Thanksgiving House: “like a haunted house, except for Thanksgiving.” Pick your time, because it’s offered more than once.
And comedian Tig Notaro test-drives her new talk show concept, in which she challenges guests to expound on the moment in their lives “when everything changed.”
For the Scene: Tao
It’s like going to dinner in a club, and yet the food is surprisingly good. They advise to make a reservation two weeks in advance, but it doesn’t hurt to hit up them up to see if anyone has bailed. If you find yourself with a table, you can’t lose with the miso black cod.
For the Food: Birch
Chef Brandon Collins whips up a rich chicken liver that you smear on rustic bread. His pork shank is good for sharing, and if you’re there on the early side, the happy hour menu includes $5 drafts, fried chicken balls and a mean patty melt.
For the Baller: Gwen
You won’t get out of Gwen for under $150, but you’ll be more than happy you went… provided you’re a meat lover. Chef Curtis Stone’s butcher shop specializes in premium-grade beef. You’ll want to split one of those bone-in rib-eyes that’s been dry aged for 30 days. They also have a patio bar where the sticker shock is a little easier to stomach.
For Early Drinking: Power House
The Roosevelt is hosting the event, and yes, it’s home to some sweet lobby bars, but they’ll likely be packed. For a starter, try the Power House. The cocktail lounge is done up Prohibition-style and sits just a few blocks away.
For the After Party: The Spare Room
If you’re going to stay at the Roosevelt, our favorite bar is The Spare Room. The cocktail menu rotates pretty regularly, but try something with gin in it. Make a reservation to ensure you get in, and roll some balls on their stylish bowling lanes.
For a Late Night: The Highlight Room
Since it opened this summer, the new rooftop situation at the Dream Hotel is where all of the big parties have been going down. If you’re looking for a late night, this is a good bet. The lounge, to the left of the elevator, is where you want to end up. The cocktails are a little light-handed, so go with straight mezcal.