Things To Do This Weekend in L.A. [6-30-2023 to 7-2-2023]

A crowd gathers for Dance DTLA at The Music Center. Photo by Brian Champlin.

Independence Day is almost here, but not quite. Before the celebration (and requisite explosions) take over the entire city, let’s have a quick peak at what this pre-4th of July weekend has in store.

For June 30 to July 2 in Los Angeles, you’ll find Pride Night at The Grove, an exhibition opening celebration at JANM, Dance DTLA at The Music Center, the Los Angeles Cumbia Festival, Anime Expo at the L.A. Convention Center, Tonalism at Descanso Gardens, the 626 Night Market, and more. Should be a good one. Hope you enjoy!


Make Metro Part of Your Weekend

If you’ve already peeped our free concert cheatsheet, you probably know there are a ton of free music events coming up in July around the city/county. But here’s a new one for you that also happens to be Metro accessible:

Kicking off this weekend, The DiverCity LA Multicultural Concert Series brings a month of free performance and festivals to DTLA’s Pershing Square. On Sunday catch the Los Angeles Cumbia Festival, featuring Vilma Diaz y La Sonora, Grupo Sonador, Yeison Landero, and the Cumbia Fever DJs. Starts at 2 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Go Metro: Take the B or D Line to Pershing Square station

More Things To Do This Weekend

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

Shakespeare By the SeaFA > The 2023 season of Shakespeare By The Sea continues this Thursday to Saturday at Point Fermin Park in San Pedro with a production of Hamlet. All shows start at 8 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Pride Night at The GroveFA > This Friday, The Grove and the Original Farmers Market are hosting a festive event to close out PRIDE month. Special guest Lance Bass helps kick off an evening that includes live music, a pet parade and adoption event hosted by Wags & Walks, and charity bingo ($60 to play) with proceeds to benefit LA Pride. The free event runs from 5 to 9:30 p.m. More info here.

Glenn Kaino: Aki’s MarketM FA TP > This Friday, the Japanese American National Museum welcomes artist Glenn Kaino’s latest work, Aki’s Market, which processes intragenerational trauma caused by the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II by recreating a neighborhood market owned and operated by the artist’s grandparents in the 1950’s and 60’s. Through a combination of virtual reality and a physical installation, Kaino’s work transports viewers back in time to experience life in the years following the mass incarceration. To mark the new exhibition a free opening celebration will be held this Friday featuring tunes by DJ Melo-D of the Beat Junkies along with free gallery access. If you can’t make it Friday, remember that adult admission at JANM starts at $16. The exhibition remains on view through January 28, 2024. More info here.

Dance DTLA at The Music CenterM FA TP > Free evening dance parties are back at The Music Center’s Jerry Moss Plaza every week throughout the summer. This Friday, catch a Salsa Night featuring instruction by Leslie Ferreira and music by DJ Aragon. For each event, dance instructors will be on hand to teach guests easy-to-follow steps, allowing everyone to get into the groove right from the jump. Runs 7 to 11 p.m. More info here.

626 Night Market -> This Friday to Sunday, the 626 Night Market is back at its flagship location at Santa Anita Park with over 300 food, merch, and craft vendors. Pre-sale tickets are $5, or it’s $6 at the door. More info here.

Anime ExpoM > Anime Expo’s four-day event returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center this Saturday to Tuesday, offering anime lovers meet-and-greets with anime creators, special panels, Q&A’s, workshops, interactive experiences and so much more. Four-day passes have already sold out, but you can still grab a single day tickets from between $40-$80. More info here.

Anime Culture ExperienceFA > This Saturday, Anime Culture Experience brings an evening of anime culture, cosplay, special vendors, food, and cars to The Hangar at Long Beach Exchange. Free to attend. Runs 4 to 8 p.m. More info here.

Tonalism at Descanso Gardens -> On Saturday, LAist and dublab team up for an vibey night party at Descanso Gardens featuring DJ sets, live projections, and other multimedia elements. Guests are encouraged to bring their pillows, cushions, and sleeping bags to use as they relax to the sights and sounds. In other words… it’s going to be very chill. Starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35. More info here.

San Fernando Valley Comic Book Convention -> This mom-and-pop style comic book con pops up at The Mayflower Club in North Hollywood this Saturday, offering a day of artist signings, vendors, cosplay, and more. Tickets run $9. Starts at 10 a.m. More info here.


Red, White and Lights Laser ShowFA > The City of San Fernando hosts their Fourth of July Fest this Saturday, with the lineup of entertainment to include a ninja obstacle course, a pie eating contest, special vendors, carnival games, and a laser light show (no fireworks) to cap things off. Starts at 6 p.m. at the San Fernando Mall. Free to attend. More info here.

Pride Night at Winston House -> This Saturday, Future Gin will partner with Venice Beach supper club Winston House for a Pride focused evening of music and cocktail specials. The party begins at 9 p.m. with DJ sets from PENNYWILD and surprise guests. One dollar from each featured Future Gin cocktail will be donated directly to The Trevor Project

Polliwog Concerts in the Park FA > This Sunday, head to Manhattan Beach’s Polliwog Park Amphitheater for a performance by pin up singing group Satin Dollz who will bring their unique WWII USO camp style show to the city of Manhattan Beach. Free to attend. Starts at 5 p.m. More info here.

4th of July at The Bowl with The Beach Boys -> Starting this Sunday, The Beach Boys (the Mike Love version) come to the Hollywood Bowl for back-to-back-to-back days of 4th of July concerts, each capped by a dynamic fireworks show soundtracked by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Special guest John Stamos will be there too. Starts at 7:30 p.m. on July 2, 3, and 4. Kids 12 and under are half off. More info here.

Dining & Drinking

(picks by Christina Champlin)

Specialty roll from Leona’s. Photo by Christina Champlin.

Leona’s -> Studio City has no shortage of dining gems along Ventura Blvd, but in today’s food blurb I wanted to make special mention of a (relatively) new entrant worthy of a visit. Opened late last year by Chef Shigenori Fujimoto, restaurateur Frank Leon and actor Evan Ross, Leona’s is already a smash hit that recently gained a spot on this year’s Michelin Guide. 


Walk past the large rustic door and you’ll be met with three seating options each with their own distinctive vibe. There’s the dimly lit Living Room and cocktail bar, a blush pink Sushi House and counter, and an open air modern Garden Room. Wherever you decide to sit, Chef Fujimoto and his team will meticulously prepare and serve up some of the best sushi in the city. There’s the greatest hits like toro, yellowtail belly and sweet shrimp on the menu, but I would definitely take a look at the daily fish specials. I was able to order Mirugai, a Japanese giant clam that instantly transported me back to a recent trip to Tokyo. 

There are plenty of traditional sushi items on the menu such as nigiri ($4-$9) and handrolls alongside Peruvian tiraditos and Chefs Specials ($32-$52) like the udon carbonara. Specialty rolls (all $19) lean on the adventurous side, incorporating ingredients such as capers, miso and tomato ceviche, showcasing what it means to be a fusion restaurant. After 7 p.m. the robata fires up for a special grilled menu featuring items like beef tongue ($12), jidori chicken wings ($12), and skirt steak ($14) adding izakaya vibes to the already expansive menu. Personally, I liked just about everything I had, and I think you will too.

Leona’s is open for lunch daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 to 10 p.m and Friday to Saturday from  5:30 to 11 p.m.

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