Los Angeles

Fun Things to Do in LA This Week: August 15-18

Break up your weekday routine with a wine happy hour, oysters and bubbles, a burger pop-up, a Burning Man night market, and more.

Photo courtesy of Beauty & Essex
Photo courtesy of Beauty & Essex
Photo courtesy of Beauty & Essex

Between triple-digit heat and packed events, we won’t blame you if you prefer to skip the busy weekend action in LA and head out during the week when things are a little more chill. This week cuts through the monotony with a wine-focused happy hour that’s extending through the month, the unveiling of a new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, live jazz, a burger pop-up with prizes, a Burning Man night market, and more. Keep reading for all the fun things you can do in LA this week, and for more inspiration, check out our weekend and summer guides.

Photo courtesy of Avaline
Photo courtesy of Avaline
Photo courtesy of Avaline

Hit up a wine happy hour on one of Weho’s best rooftops

Ongoing Monday–Thursday through August 31
Harriet’s Rooftop/West Hollywood
Running all summer long, Avaline, the organic wine brand co-founded by Cameron Diaz and Katherine Power, is hosting “Avaline Hours” on Harriet’s Rooftop at 1 Hotel West Hollywood from 5–7 pm, where guests can buy a glass of rose or Frose for $15 each and enjoy the second glass for free.
Cost: $15 for a glass of rose or Frose, other costs vary.

@bairewines
@bairewines
@bairewines

Join an industry wine night

Monday, August 15
Eszett/Silver Lake
Restaurant workers need social lives too and Eszett is here to help that happen with their Industry Night Series, happening every Monday night. This week, they’re hosting Baire Wines, including special bites paired to complement the wine. Baire Wines is a small and focused collection of wines from producers in Austria, Germany, and California.
Cost: Varies

Celebrate Nipsey Hussle’s birthday with a star ceremony

Monday, August 15
Walk of Fame/Hollywood
Late rapper and community activist Nipsey Hussle is earning a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame on what would have been his 37th birthday, with a ceremony that starts at 10 am. He’ll be joining a 2022 class that includes NFL legend Michael Strahan, actor Michael B. Jordan, Kenan Thompson, and the Black Eyed Peas. If you can’t make it to Hollywood, you can also watch the ceremony live online.
Cost: Free

Beauty & Essex Los Angeles
Beauty & Essex Los Angeles
Beauty & Essex Los Angeles

Indulge in Bubbles & Pearls

Tuesday, August 16
Beauty & Essex/Hollywood
To celebrate the launch of Tuesday night dinner service, glam hotspot Beauty & Essex has added a Bubbles & Pearls option to the menu, where diners can receive a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine with every order of one dozen oysters (variety depends on availability). Stop by between 5:30–8 pm to take advantage of the deal.
Cost: $54 for a dozen oysters, other costs vary.

Bar Lis
Bar Lis
Bar Lis

Get funky on a Hollywood rooftop

Tuesday, August 16
Bar Lis/Hollywood
LA has had a dearth of live jazz nights since Piano Bar closed some years ago, but not far from that storied dive of yesteryear is Bar Lis, a Mediterranean-inspired rooftop where you can catch improv jazz funk sessions by musicians Gilles Amsallem and Ryan Cross every Tuesday, with the sparkling Hollywood Hills as your backdrop. Doors open at 8 pm, music starts at 9 pm and concludes at 1 am. A strict dress code is enforced and anyone wearing t-shirts, sneakers, shorts, caps, or ripped jeans will be turned away.
Cost: Free to attend, other costs vary.

Spiceology
Spiceology
Spiceology

Save your appetite for a delicious burger pop-up

Thursday, August 18
Amboy Quality Meats & Delicious Burgers/Chinatown
Burger buff Alvin Cailin has collaborated with Spiceology on a new line of seasonings called FLAVOR SZN and they’re celebrating the launch with a party at Cailin’s Amboy Quality Meats, including burgers, raffles, music, and details about what to expect from the four versatile seasoning blends, which include Burger SZN, Fries SZN, Chicken SZN, and Everything SZN. The event starts at 5 pm.
Cost: Free

Stock up for Burning Man at a night market

Thursday, August 18
Skybar at Mondrian/West Hollywood
Burning Man is quickly approaching-the first that’s been held since 2019-and you can bet that festival goers are going to be even more over the top with outfits, camps, and desert art installations. Shop poolside at the “In Dust We Trust” night market from 7–11 pm, where you’ll find vintage threads, hats, faux furs, jewellery, pasties, goggles, and more, plus cocktail specials, a beauty bar, tarot readings, and DJ sets by Hint Of Lavender. 21+.
Cost: Free entry, other costs vary.

@bondlewines
@bondlewines
@bondlewines

Celebrate a magnum wine launch

Thursday, August 18
Kodƍ/Arts District
Michelin-starred chef Duyen Ha founded BONDLE, the first US wine company to exclusively sell in the magnum format, with five hand-selected wines in the new collection, including an orange, red, white, rose, and Champagne-all sourced from small, sustainable French vineyards. Head to Kodƍ between 5:30–9:30 pm to sample them all in a sommelier-led tasting and curated wine cocktails, plus passed hors d’oeuvres.
Cost: Free

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Danielle Dorsey is the West Coast Editor for Thrillist.

Los Angeles

How to Spend a Weekend in Topanga Canyon

Nature and the arts collide in this beloved canyon community.

Hanan Isachar/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images
Hanan Isachar/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images
Hanan Isachar/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images

Situated in the Santa Monica Mountains and known for its vibrant creative community, Topanga is one of Los Angeles’s most prized destinations for art and outdoor enthusiasts alike. And while LA boasts its own sprawling landscape of fun to tap into, you’d be remiss to miss a chance to explore this tucked-away collection of state parks, and cafes, and restaurants-especially when it all rests just 20 minutes away from the city. From a quaint cafĂ© with dazzling canyon views to a world-renowned, open-air theatre, here are the best ways to pass some time in Topanga now.

Photo courtesy of Inn of the Seventh Ray
Photo courtesy of Inn of the Seventh Ray
Photo courtesy of Inn of the Seventh Ray

Friday

Book dinner at Inn of the Seventh Ray
Owner Lucille Yaney opened this iconic restaurant in 1975 after spotting the property on a drive through the canyon with her late husband Ralph, and it’s safe to say she had a good eye. The land perfectly fits into Yaney’s vision of a romantic, alfresco dining space with tables tucked into cozy nooks and gazebos, all beneath canapes and fairy lights. Today, Yaney co-owns the venue with executive chef consultant Brad Miller. Together, they continue to fulfil the restaurant’s original mission to serve pure, natural foods reflective of the season’s best. That approach appears in dishes like 8-Hour Black Vinegar Braised Short Rib with creamy rosemary polenta, duck bacon Brussels sprouts, and caramelized onion and fig jam; Roasted Mushroom Toast with oyster mushrooms and sherry tarragon cream; and Beets & Whipped Black Pepper Creme Fraiche. Consider the carbs here. Pastas and sauces are made in-house and from scratch, as is the bread (available regular or gluten-free), an order of which you won’t want to miss. Check out the wine list, too, which offers a robust organic and biodynamic selection that has helped the restaurant garner some impressive accolades in recent years.

Check into Topanga Canyon Inn
In addition to plenty of excellent Airbnbs available to rent in the Canyon, there’s Topanga Canyon Inn, a charming bed and breakfast comprised of two Mediterranean-style buildings-Casa Blanca and Casa Rosa-both built by the owners. Guests can enjoy bespoke design details in each room, along with gorgeous mountain views from their own private balcony. Come morning, join other travellers for breakfast, served daily at Casa Rosa.

Saturday

Get coffee at Café on 27
Ready your camera for a coffee date at this AM eatery and cafĂ©, where ample (and busy) outdoor seating offers some of the Canyon’s best views. A full breakfast and lunch menu is available (complete with hearty orders like eggs Benedicts, soups, and club sandwiches), but for lighter morning fare, spring for a pastry and any of their specialty drinks, such as the turmeric latte or Moroccan mocha.

Bradley Allen Murrell/Shutterstock
Bradley Allen Murrell/Shutterstock
Bradley Allen Murrell/Shutterstock

Hike Topanga State Park
Spanning 11,000 acres and 36 miles of trails, Topanga State Park is the largest state park within the Santa Monica Mountains and one of the world’s largest parks within city limits. Visitors can access the grounds via more than 60 entrances. Once on the trails, enjoy sweeping vistas while exploring the region’s range of plants, habitats, and wildlife, including several resident bird species.

Grab lunch at Topanga Living Café
Guided by their Topanga upbringing and need for a community gathering spot with great eats, sibling team Agustina Ferguson and Bayu Suryawan opened this daytime eatery in 2016. Ever since, locals and visitors have found refuge in the cafĂ©’s warm, airy space and nourishing, hyper-fresh fare-all California-inspired with global influences. Check it out in plates like the Island Style, a breakfast salad with Balinese corn fritters, a poached egg, and house-made chilli jam, or the tacos (Baja Fish or Baja Shrimp, Carne Asada, or Kabocha Squash), made-to-order and served on handmade tortillas. If you’re seeking something shareable, try the Farmers Market Crudite, a seemingly humble order whose bright beet hummus reminds us that eating your vegetables is, indeed, very cool. And take a drink to-go. The team here takes great pride in their coffee (organic espresso, courtesy of their iconic pink La Marzocco machine) and a lineup of made-to-order smoothies, juices, and teas. Shop your way through town
Visitors can stroll through the town centre’s most popular shops for various fun finds, including Moona Star, Pebbles, and Topanga Homegrown. Be sure to stock up on specialty, local snacks at Canyon Gourmet and satiate your sweet tooth while you’re at it. The organic soft-serve there is a must. Pro tip: Top it with any of their artisanal syrups for a winning combo, namely, the vanilla with cardamom.

Photo courtesy of Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
Photo courtesy of Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
Photo courtesy of Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum

Catch a show at The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
This beloved open-air theatre has hosted productions for decades and is recognized worldwide for its Shakespeare interpretations. In addition to its annual summer season, which includes works like Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the venue hosts concerts, rehearsals, and classes throughout the year for budding actors and playwrights of all ages.

Snag a slice at Endless Colour
This family-run pizza joint specializes in from-scratch pies with clever topping combinations (think purple potatoes, fontina, and truffle oil in the Purple Molly Potato or spinach, leeks, and goat cheese in the Super Greens). Bring some friends, order a pie or two, and check out the drinks list, which includes offbeat options like orange wines and hard kombucha.

Photo courtesy of The Canyon Bakery
Photo courtesy of The Canyon Bakery
Photo courtesy of The Canyon Bakery

Sunday

Check out The Canyon Bakery’s “Sunday Funday”
Situated on the grounds of the aforementioned Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, this bakery specializes in naturally leavened breads, pastries, cakes, and cookies using locally sourced, whole grain flours. There’s a takeout window on Sundays, from 9:30 am until the bakery sells out. A strong following lines up for favourites, such as whole grain croissants and gluten-free pizza, so be sure to arrive early to get your fill.

Try tacos to-go at La Chingona
On your way out of town, grab some tacos at La Chingona, where a team puts forth fresh, organic, gluten- and dairy-free tacos. Orders range to include options like grass-fed beef (carne asada), shrimp (wild-caught), and soy chorizo and can be fashioned into plates beyond tacos, too (think tostadas, salads, and bowls). Open only on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays; this taco stand sees good demand. Plan accordingly, pending your travels, especially to savour an order or two of the churros.

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Nicole Schnitzler is a contributor for Thrillist.

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