Things To Do in Los Angeles This Week [8-14-2023 to 8-18-2023]

Griffith Observatory at Dusk
Credit: Frank Steele via flickr

The kids are back in school, the humidity is sticking around, and the summer event series are winding to a close. So let’s see about the week to come.

From August 14-18 in Los Angeles, you’ll find the Art Renzei Art Festival in Long Beach, Astronomy on Tap in Pasadena, Popular Kids Club two-year anniversary show, All Space Considered at Griffith Observatory, the Dance DTLA summer finale, Odd Nights at The Autry, a fireworks spectacular at The Bowl, and more. Check out all your options below!


Things To Do This Week

M = Less than .5 miles from an L.A. Metro Station, FA = Free Admission, TP = Top Pick

Long Beach Walls and Art Renzei Art FestivalFA > Outdoor installations and interactive events abound at this week-long (August 14-19) celebration of art in Long Beach, all under the umbrella of this year’s theme: “Follow Your Bliss.” 18 artists will contribute murals throughout the city, and multiple connected events are spread throughout the week, including a Moonlight Movie screening of Back to the Future at Granada Park on Tuesday, an artist reception at Open Gallery on Wednesday, a Moonlight Mash Mural Bike Tour on Thursday, and a closing party on Saturday. Get mural locations and the full schedule of events here.

Astronomy On TapM FA > Astronomy on Tap returns on Monday with a pair of scientific talks (helped along by trivia, live music, and beer) at Dog Haus Biergarten in Pasadena. Topics for the evening include The Early Universe and Cosmic Neutrinos. The event is free and open to all ages. Runs 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. More info here.

Brett Gelman: I was There -> Actor and comedian Brett Gelman (Stranger Things, Love) is workshopping a new show this Tuesday at The Elysian Theater where audience feedback (of the hyper-critical variety) is fully welcomed, even though the show isn’t fully formed. Special guests include Ari Dayan, Cyrus Ghahremani, John Gemberling, and Gil Ozeri. Tickets are $20. Show starts at 9:30 p.m. More info here.

Shakespeare in The ParkFA TP > The second half of ISC’s Shakespeare in The Park season returns with a staging of A Midsummer Nights Dream in Griffith Park beginning August 9, and then running every Wednesday to Sunday through September 3. Registration to attend (free!) is not required, but highly encouraged. More info here.

Flavors of Aloha Benefit Dinner -> This Thursday, unite with Chefs Raphael Lunetta, Josiah Citrin, and Suzanne Tracht for “Flavors of Aloha: Supporting Hawaii’s Restaurant Community” at Lunetta in Santa Monica. Priced at $135 per person, the six-course dinner’s entire proceeds will to go Kokua Restaurant Hospitality Fund, an initiative aiding the restaurant industry that has been impacted by the recent fires. Reserve your spot via OpenTable.

All Space ConsideredFA TP > On Thursday, join the curatorial staff at the Griffith Observatory for their monthly discussion on the latest phenomena and news in the world of astronomy during this evening presentation at the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater. This month ASC also welcomes special guest Dr. Aomawa Shields, the Clare Boothe Luce Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine. The program is free to attend, but you’ll want to arrive early to ensure you get a seat. Event starts at 7 p.m. More info here.

Sizzling Summer Nights at The Autry -> Every Thursday in August The Autry museum hosts some of L.A.’s best salsa and Latin fusion bands with free salsa lessons, access to the museum galleries and a separate children’s dance floor. Admission cost $20 per person. More info here.

JazzPOP at The HammerFA > A lineup of notables from the West Coast jazz scene are headed to The Hammer courtyard for three concerts this August as part of the museum’s JazzPOP series. The music continues this Thursday with a performance by Eric Revis Trio. Free to attend. Starts at 8 p.m. More info here.

Culinary Connections – Summer Cookout FA > This Thursday at the Crawford Family Forum in Pasadena, join How To LA podcast host Brian De Los Santos and LAist’s food and culture editor Gab Chabrán for a special discussion on role the of the summer cookout in building community and culture. Special guests for the evening include SueEllen Mancini of Sad Girl Creamery, Janet Kang and Robin Kloess of Pizza Baby, and Gustavo Chavez of Carnitas El Artista. Free to attend, but preferred seating is available for $20. Starts at 7 p.m. More info here.

Cars & Coffee at Water GardenFA > A lowrider edition of the Cars and Coffee’s monthly meet-up series comes to Water Garden, Santa Monica for an afternoon affair this Thursday. In addition to the rare fleet of autos, expect live music, a food truck, and a custom floral station. Free to attend. Runs noon to 2 p.m. More info here.

Goth Night at ACBM FA > Don your darkest garb and apply plenty of black eyeliner and nail polish for this Thursday’s Goth Nite at Angel City. Expect DJ-spun dark wave tunes plus discounts on ACB brews. Music starts at 8 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Popular Kids Club Anniversary Show -> This Thursday at Permanent Records Road House, Popular Kids Club celebrates two years of live standup shows with an all-star lineup including Doug Benson, Reggie Watts, Marc Maron, Aparna Nancherla, Dana Gould, and more. Advance tickets are now sold out, but door tickets will be available for $12. Doors open at 7 p.m., and show starts at 8. More info here.

Sunset Concerts at SkirballFA > The annual free music series at Skirball Cultural Center continues this Thursday with a performance by Valley-raised musician IAN SWEET. Admission is free, but remember parking runs $15-$20 depending on if you purchase in advance. More info here.


The Music Center’s Dance DTLAM FA TP > The Music Center’s Dance DTLA summer series comes to a close this Friday ay Jerry Moss Plaza with an evening of Bollywood led by the Blue13 Dance Company. Fun starts at 7 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Odd Nights at The Autry -> Odd Nights at the Autry return every third Friday of the month now through September. Expect an indie bazaar populated by funky vendors, food trucks, and live music. Runs 5 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $5 and parking is free. More info here.

Tchaikovsky Spectacular with Fireworks TP > This Friday and Saturday, the Hollywood Bowl’s annual fireworks extravaganza returns, with conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser leading the LA Phil in selections from Swan Lake to Romeo and Juliet, concluding with a spectacular finale featuring Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Tickets start as low as $22. More info here.

818 Day CelebrationFA > This Friday to Sunday at Topanga Social, celebrate the culture of the San Fernando Valley with a weekend of retro video games, neon signs and artifacts from the Valley Relics Museum, an appearance by the Back to the Future DeLorean, caricature artists, celebrity DJs, and food specials from 25+ vendors. More info here.

Dining & Drinking

(picks by Christina Champlin)

Renowned Chef Tony He has expanded his dim sum empire with the unveiling of his third Chef Tony restaurant, now open inside the new Courtyard by Marriott Monterey Park.

Hailing from Vancouver, Canada, Chef He first made his mark back in the late 90’s with his Cantonese restaurant, Sea Harbour. His culinary journey led him to establish several other restaurants across both Canada and the United States, including a U.S. location of Sea Harbour located in Rosemead, California.

Following the success of Sea Harbour in the U.S. and the growing admiration from notable food critics like the late Jonathan Gold, Chef He shifted his focus towards modernizing the dim sum experience with a new venture, this time named after himself: “Chef Tony.” 


Locations first popped up in Arcadia and Pasadena, and the recent opening of the Monterey Park location distinguishes itself with with an upscale ambiance and a menu to match all under the expert guidance of Chef He.

Unlike traditional setups with roaming carts, guests here select from a menu of made-to-order items to ensure freshness. Each day, the dim sum offerings are meticulously handcrafted, with certain classics receiving a refined touch. For instance, the Shumai is crowned with a sliver of black truffle, while Har Gow boasts black squid ink wrappers adorned with gold leaf motifs. Even simple coconut pudding is artfully presented in the shape of white bunnies, almost too cute to consume. A personal favorite of mine is the eye-catching jet-black and gold topped Steamed Salted Egg Yolk Lava Buns, a delectable interplay between sweet and saltiness.

At Chef Tony’s establishments, the allure of truffles seem to know no bounds. Notably, the Black Truffle Chicken, while not a traditional dim sum item, has gained its own following. It graces nearly every diner’s table during both dim sum hours and dinner service, a sign that tradition and innovation can in fact live in perfect harmony. 

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