Los Angeles

Weekend roundup

February 11-14

Lunar New Year

Beverly Center

Feb. 12. Swing over to Beverly Center this Lunar New Year to watch a lion dance stroll through the center and live musical performance from Leung Kong Lion Dance Club ending in the Grand Court. In addition to the festivities, look forward to offers and special collections from select retailers throughout the month—including Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Burberry, Balenciaga, MCM, Kenzo, as well as Paragon, Museum of Dream Space and more. See website for more info. beverlycenter.com

Santa Monica Place

Begins Feb. 12. Celebrate the Year of the Ox at Santa Monica Place and enjoy seasonal decor and socially-distanced activities—through Feb. 27. Highlights include overhead red and gold lanterns illuminating Center Plaza, takeaway keepsake craft kits for the kids, and red envelopes with special deals from participating shops and restaurants. In Lunar New Year tradition, cherry blossom Wishing Trees (pictured) are available for well-wishers to hang their wish for prosperity and renewal for the new year. 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, 310.499.2928. santamonicaplace.com

Valentine’s Day


Feb. 11-14. Set the stage for a romantic evening at Redbird with chef/owner Neal Fraser’s celebratory three-course dinner in three beautifully appointed outdoor dining spaces. Indulgent dishes on the menu include beet gnocchi, diver scallops, filet of beef, garden lemon custard, tropical vacherin and more. Optional wine pairings by wine director Josh Wibbenmeyer are also available. Each course has several delicious options that are designed to please every vegetarian, pescatarian or meat lover in your life. $138 dinner, $74 wine pairing. 114 E. Second St., L.A., 213.788.1191. redbird.la

Street Food Cinema’s Valentines Series

Feb. 11-12. Hurry and grab your tickets to watch classic romantic films this Valentine’s Day weekend at L.A.’s premiere outdoor movie and drive-in series. Featured films with tickets available online include Disney’s animated films Cinderella and Mulan, as well as 10 Things I Hate About You. Attendees must purchase a Car Entry ticket and General Admission ticket to enter; each person in the car must have a General Admission ticket. $20 car entry, $8 per person. 3233 Donald Douglas Loop S., Santa Monica Interim Open Space, Santa Monica, 323.254.5068. streetfoodcinema.com


Feb. 12-14. In celebration of V-Day and the 13th anniversary of Akasha’s opening, chef/owner Akasha Richmond presents an expansive menu of holiday cocktails, dinner specialties and “Morning After” selections to enjoy at home or for outdoor dining. Entree options include the Champagne & pea risotto, lamb shank osso bucco and ora king salmon, while the “Morning After” selections are take-and-bake sour cherry scones, dark chocolate pound cake and jam-filled walnut scones. Outdoor dining: 5:30-9:30 p.m. Takeout: preorder 24 hours in advance of desired pick-up time from noon-7:30 p.m. 9543 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 310.845.1700. akasharestaurant.com

Grand Park’s Lovers Rock

Feb. 12-28. With an homage to Valentine’s Day, Grand Park’s Lovers Rock celebrates the “month of love” with a two-week digital festival featuring a vegan food tutorial and musical playlists from five different DJs. Angela Means Kaaya, owner of Jackfruit Cafe, serves up a vegan food tutorial on YouTube to create a healthy V-Day meal while five L.A.-based music influencers—including KCRW’s Novena Carmel (pictured)—create special playlists in honor of the Lovers Rock genre. Don’t miss a special Instagram Live interview on Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. with Grammy-winning producer Aston Barrett Jr., band leader of The Wailers. grandparkla.org

Uplifters Kitchen

Preorder by Feb. 12. For those with a plant-based sweetheart, Santa Monica’s newest vegetarian cafe has the perfect treat for you to gift! Order the vegan chocolate-covered strawberries, which comes in a box of four packed with ribbon and a heart-shaped customizable card. Uplifters Kitchen also partnered with L.A.’s favorite tearoom, Chado Tea, to offer a Rose Chai Latte using Chado’s best-selling chai tea blends. Orders must be placed by Feb. 12 at 3 p.m. Pickup available on Feb. 13, noon-3 p.m. and on Feb. 14, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. 2819 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica, 424.268.4904. Order Online

Food + Drink

The Gastro Garage Pop-Up

Begins Feb. 12. Get fired up at the Gastro Garage’s culinary pop-up experience on the rooftop of the W Hollywood. The popular L.A.-based catering crew opens this dinner series on Friday and Saturday nights through Mar. 27 with seatings at 8 p.m. and two additional special seatings on Valentine’s Day at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. This one-of-a-kind, blowtorch-powered event features an 8-course, progressive meal with a specialty shot and a curated cocktail to round out the evening. Limited tickets; reservations required. Tables are available in parties of 2, 3, 4 or 6 at $100 per person. 6250 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 310.993.3979. thegastrogarage.com | Tickets

Taste of NOLA at The Original Farmers Market

Feb. 13-16. With Mardi Gras right around the corner, Angelenos can get a taste of New Orleans at 3rd and Fairfax (or from home) with a variety of specials running at the Original Farmers Market. Participating eateries include The Gumbo Pot with themed feast options, Bar 326 (pictured) with beer favorites to-go, Michelina Artisan Boulanger with traditional Galette de Rois (King Cake) and The Dog Bakery with a free mini-pack of Mutti Gras cookies if you bring your pup in costume on Feb. 13-14 or 16. 6333 W. 3rd St., L.A., 323.933.9211. farmersmarketla.com

Arts + Culture

Douglas J. Cuomo’s Seven Limbs

Feb. 12. UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA) presents Douglas J. Cuomo’s Seven Limbs featuring Nels Cline (pictured) and the Aizuri Quartet through CAP UCLA Online. This new composition by Cuomo is a ritual in seven movements, based on the Seven Limbs, which is a fundamental Tibetan Buddhist practice of purification. 7 p.m. Free. online.cap.ucla.edu

Bach’s Goldberg Variations for String Trio

Feb. 13. The renowned L.A.-based performing arts Colburn School invites viewers from home to watch its accomplished alumni in “Next Up,” a new virtual concert series that features imaginative programs and collaborations created with the online experience in mind. Dmitry Sitkovetsky’s arrangement reimagines Bach’s keyboard masterpiece, the Goldberg Variations, for string trio: assistant principal violist Ben Ullery (pictured), violinist Grace Park and principal cellist Robert DeMaine. 7 p.m. Free with registration. colburnschool.edu

Heartbeat Opera’s Breathing Free

Feb. 13. Tune in for the West Coast Premiere of Heartbeat Opera’s Breathing Free, an ambitious filmed song cycle dedicated to the celebration of Black artistic voices Presented by The Broad State, this 45-minute “visual album” features three singers, three dancers, eight instrumentalists and a robust creative production team—as well as the voices of more than 100 incarcerated singers and 70 volunteers from six prison choirs. Rehearsed remotely on Zoom, the cast has recorded their individual audio tracks at home, with the music team then layering the tracks together. 7 p.m. See website for prices. thebroadstage.org

Photo credits: Santa Monica Place by Mathew Tucciarone. Novena Carmel by Larry Hirschkowitz. Akasha by Anne Fishbein. The Gastro Garage by Fitz Carlile. Nels Cline by Nathan West. All other images are courtesy of the venues.

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