This week in Los Angeles, get involved in festivals of all genres. First, eat your fill of ramen at the Lucky Rice Slurpfest, and then head to the L.A. Podcast Festival for talks from your favorite audio-only shows. Eat gourmet grub and dance to a wide variety of music at the Music Tastes Good festival, or take a break from tunes in favor of visiting the Little Tokyo Book Festival. And, if you need to escape from the city for a bit, Crystal Cove State Park offers a fine weekend retreat.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
September 22 | Food festival
Lucky Rice Slurpfest
The second annual Lucky Rice Slurpfest highlights the best noodles in Los Angeles. Four participating ramen shops from across the city will offer up their most delectable dishes. The caveat? Tasters are timed. You’ll have exactly 13 minutes to slurp up each bowl—the same amount of time that it takes the average Japanese diner to polish off a bowl while still savoring its umami flavors. Vegan favorite Ramen Hood will be there, along with Shin Ramen, Ramen N.A.O., and The Ramen Joint. Mix it up with a cocktail combining oolong tea and gin.
Times vary | Millwick, 800 E. 4th Pl., Los Angeles | $100 | website
September 23–25 | Festival
L.A. Podcast Festival
This is the fifth year in a row that L.A. is celebrating podcasts in all of their glory. Started thanks to donations via Kickstarter, the L.A. Podcast Festival is now a three-day blowout that brings together podcasters and their fans. There will be panels from the voices behind Criminal, Girl on Guy, and Stuff You Should Know, as well as live versions of several podcasts and workshops to help novices learn some tricks of the trade.
5 p.m. | Sofitel Los Angeles, 8555 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles | From $49 | website
September 23–25 | Music festival
Music Tastes Good
This three-day music festival brings a range of artists—from hard rockers Living Colour and folk favorite Iron and Wine to energetic Girlpool and uber-chill Sylvan Esso—to downtown Long Beach for the weekend. You’ll also find gourmet food at this music fest, including Long Beach favorites Padre and Great Society Cider & Mead, as well as Robert Earl’s and Primal Alchemy Catering. As far as music festivals go, and considering this all-star lineup, Music Tastes Good is an incredible deal that you won’t want to miss (and that won’t last forever).
4 p.m. | 335 E. Broadway, Long Beach | $125 | website
September 24 | Book festival
Little Tokyo Book Festival
The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center focuses on all of the accomplishments of Asian American authors at the first annual Little Tokyo Book Festival. There will be signings and readings all day, as well as small-press vendors selling their books. Check out a panel on the past with memoirist Lily Havey or a community-focused talk with food writer Sonoko Sakai; then browse the offerings from Kinokuniya Bookstore and Chin Music Press. Located directly across the street from all of the shops in Little Tokyo, Café Dolce is a great place to relax when you need a break from the festivities.
10 a.m.–7 p.m. | Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles | Free with RSVP | website
September 24–25 | Escape the city
Crystal Cove State Park
For a quick vacation reminiscent of an Italian seaside village without the airfare costs, head to Crystal Cove State Park. The region is three and a half miles of glistening coastline located just two hours outside of Los Angeles in Laguna Beach. While there, enjoy the tide pools, play in the ocean, or make use of the many running trails—especially those with prime views of the scenery. Stay the night in the historic cottages downtown or rest your head at the Resort at Pelican Hill for a restorative weekend away from the city.
Crystal Cove State Park, 8471 N. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach | website
Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.
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