Here are the five coolest things to do in and around L.A. this week. We publish a new list every Wednesday, covering Thursday through Wednesday. Stay tuned for insider updates on restaurant openings, festivals, exhibitions, shows, weekend escapes, and more.
Through September 16 | Art exhibition
Giant Robot Presents: In Box – A Group Exhibition Curated by Audrey Kawasaki
Eric Nakamura’s GR2 gallery space really packs a punch, while remaining a welcoming place to view original work by artists who share his vision of promoting Asian and Asian American pop and alt culture. With roots back in 1994 as a bi-monthly magazine, Giant Robot exhibitions never disappoint. In Box, curated by artist extraordinaire Audrey Kawasaki, is no exception. This is Kawasaki’s first time curating a show, in which she invited such artists as Edwin Ushiro, Amy Sol, Andrea Wan, and Yoskay Yamamoto to literally fill a handmade 12″x12″ box with art. The results are spectacular! Gallery hours vary | GR2, 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles | (424) 246-7626 | Free | website
Through September 18 | Lake art
The Spheres at MacArthur Park
MacArthur Park is in an area of Los Angeles that is often overlooked and could certainly use a little love. That’s why the initiative spearheaded by Portraits of Hope to turn its entire lake into a floating wonderland is so amazing. Some 10,000 volunteers around Los Angeles, many of them children, painted 3,000 giant inflatable spheres in bright colors and flower and fish motifs. Last weekend, these huge beach balls—some are up to six feet across—were installed on the surface of MacArthur Park lake. The results are astonishing and inspiring. Now the crowds have died down, it’s the perfect excuse to head to a part of town that you probably normally avoid. MacArthur Park, 2230 W. 6th St, Los Angeles | (213) 368-0520 | Free | website
Thursday September 3 | Book signing
Miranda July and The First Bad Man
Miranda July’s The First Bad Man is an unforgettable debut novel. An already accomplished film director, screenwriter, actor, and artist, it’s only fitting that she add an instant New York Times bestseller to her list of accomplishments. The First Bad Man is quirky, acutely observant, and fascinating. The only thing better than reading Miranda July yourself is seeing her read her own words—which she is doing at Book Soup, the preeminent independent bookshop in Los Angeles. Book Soup hosts many authors and readings throughout the year, but this one is not to be missed. 7 p.m. | Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood | (310) 659-3110 | Free (signed book is $25) | website
New menu | Drink
B.S. Taqueria Happy Hour
Chef Ray Garcia’s B.S. Taqueria is a destination spot for its insanely great eats and drinks. Even more so since the debut, a few weeks ago, of the new happy hour drinks menu. Six dollars is all it takes to be whisked away to the world of Pina Para La Nina (pineapple-infused tequila blanco, lime, basil, agave), Pajara Loco (tequila blanco, Campari, lime, mint, orange marmalade), or Lazy Daisy (mezcal, Ancho Reyes, lime, strawberry, ginger). All these drinks pair perfectly with the lip-lickingly good $2 tostadas. Mon–Fri 5.30–7 p.m. | B.S. Taqueria, 514 W. Fifth St., Downtown Los Angeles | (213) 622-3744 | website
Located just 60 miles north of LA, Ojai actually feels much further away from the constant action of the city. The area is blissfully quiet, with the air punctuated by the soothing sounds of solid golf swings—Ojai is known for its world-class courses. It doesn’t get any better than Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, whose 18-hole golf course plays 6,292 yards with a par 70, rating of 71.0, and slope of 132. If that means nothing to you, don’t worry: The property has 220 acres to explore, including a superlative spa, tennis courts, four outdoor pools, horseback riding, and even art classes and an artist in residence. It’s a meditative and creative experience, no matter how you dice it. Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, 905 Country Club Rd, Ojai, CA 93023 | (855) 697-8780 | website
Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.
Planning a trip? Check out the AFAR guide to LA.