This week in Los Angeles, laugh out loud at an unconventional comedy show, and then see the intimate art of U.K. artist and filmmaker Ben Gregor. Catch the last few days of Little Tokyo’s Nisei Week, and finish off the day with cocktails at a not-so-secret bar and eatery. If you’d rather see less of the city, catch a last-minute flight to the other half of California.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
August 18 | Comedy
Asperger’s Are Us: A Sketch Show
Asperger’s Are Us is the first openly autistic comedy troupe. Jake Hanke, New Michael Imegi, Noah Britton, and Ethan Finlan are funny as heck, and the fact that they’re all on the spectrum makes their brand of humor stark, honest, and totally not typical. They’re so good, in fact, that they have a Netflix documentary coming out in the fall. Just to be clear: This isn’t a show about making fun of people, but instead about celebrating differences (and leaving your pity at the door).
7 p.m. | Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles | From $10 | website
Through August 20 | Art
Humble and Epic
London-based artist and filmmaker Ben Gregor is paying homage to his love of skateboarding (something he has been passionate about since his teenage years) at Project Gallery in his new exhibit, Humble and Epic. He’ll be showing and selling hand-etched board decks with names of people who have been meaningful throughout his life. Although the decks are all made of maple wood, the markings and patterns on them vary—similar to the differences in all of us. Gregor has paired each board with a piece of thought-provoking prose written by him, which helps bring the stories behind the names to life. All proceeds from the project go to Skateistan, an international nonprofit that brings skateboarding to children across the world.
Times vary | Project Gallery, 961 Chung King Rd., Los Angeles | Free | website
August 20–21 | Escape the city
A one-hour flight from L.A. will land you in Northern California’s Lake Tahoe. Although the area’s known for its winter resorts, its summer activities are fun enough to rival ski season any day. There’s fishing, hot-air ballooning, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and more, all easily accessible from the same resorts that usually cater to the winter crowd. Speaking of resorts—skip the big guys and stay at the newly redesigned Coachman Hotel. It’s simple and high quality with thoughtful touches like Malin and Goetz toiletries, Stumptown cold brew coffee, and craft beer with a side of Jenga: all easy makings for a great weekend.
The Coachman Hotel, 4100 Pine Blvd., South Lake Tahoe | website
Through August 21 | Cultural festival
Nisei Week celebrates Japanese American culture with an annual parade and other festivities throughout the streets of Little Tokyo. The name nisei refers to the first-generation Japanese Americans who threw the original version of this festival in 1934. Nowadays, every generation comes out to celebrate Japanese culture with traditional taiko drum performances, tea ceremonies, calligraphy, Japanese dolls, community dance troupes, and more.
Times vary | Japanese American Cultural and Community Center Plaza, 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles | Free | website
Special menu | Cocktails
K Ramen. Burger. Beer.
K Ramen. Burger. Beer. is a fine spot to chow down on some seriously good grub while taking in some of the best people-watching in the city. Located on the second floor of Katsuya, K is a more relaxed dining experience (think garlic butter shrimp and sweet potato fries). Now there’s even more to love, because in addition to the eats, a new cocktail menu is making the hidden spot a great way to finish your day and start your evening. Treat yourself to a new take on the classic mojito with K’s Rock Sake and muddled fruit mojito, or try the mango, raspberry, or watermelon-cucumber versions.
702 Americana Way, Glendale | website
Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.