The best of what to do in and around Los Angeles this week.
This week in Los Angeles, giant rabbits invade downtown, jazz legend Pharoah Sanders performs, and 1212 Restaurant brings late-night grub to Santa Monica. Meanwhile, Jess Thom, the comedian behind Touretteshero, presents her two-woman show, Backstage in Biscuit Land.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.
Now through June 11 | Art installation
Australian artist Amanda Parer does not shy away from large-scale, thought-provoking art installations. With the help of Arts Brookfield, Parer’s seven gigantic (39 feet tall) inflatable rabbits have found their way to downtown L.A. (they’ve previously been installed in places like New York and San Francisco). At first glance, it may seem a little silly to call these white bunnies “thought-provoking,” but for Parer the hopping rodents hit close to home. The installation, called Intrude, is an exaggerated version of Australia’s bunny problem. Rabbits were first brought to Australia in 1777 by white settlers, and have since irrevocably changed the environment in Parer’s home country.
12 p.m.–9 p.m. | Plaza Level, Fig at 7th, 735 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles | Free | website
June 8–9 | Festival
Backstage in Biscuit Land
Jess Thom is a British performance artist who uses her disability as fodder for a rollicking good time. If this sounds unconventional, that’s because it is. Thom has Tourette syndrome, which leads her to say the word “biscuit” upwards of sixteen thousand times a day. Rather than let it impede her, biscuits take center stage in her life and her comedy. Thom handles challenging situations with humor and poise, which is how she came to found Touretteshero, a website and production studio. Presented by Touretteshero, Backstage in Biscuit Land, is part puppet show, part comedy hour, and part concert all rolled into one totally unique evening. Additional audience sound effects are also encouraged.
8 p.m. | Skirball Cultural Center, 270 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles | (310) 440-4500 | $20 | website
June 9–11 | Concert
Harold Mabern Trio ft. Pharoah Sanders
Saxophonist Pharoah Sanders is a musician worthy of his royal name. He’s played with John Coltrane and was one of the leading proponents of free jazz. His stage presence is unparalleled; watching this level of showmanship will will take you back to jazz’s heyday. But Sanders isn’t afraid to push the envelope, so it’s equal parts traveling back in time and moving forward all at once. He joins the Harold Mabern Trio—an enduring and dazzling group in their own right—in concert, and the result is pure melodic magic.
8:30 p.m. | Catalina Bar and Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Ave., Los Angeles | (323) 466-2210 | $25 plus a two drink minimum | website
Though Altadena is only about 14 miles from downtown L.A., it feels a world away. Altadena is the kind of place where everyone seems to know everyone else, and waitresses remember diners’ regular orders. That small town feel is something Angelenos—or anyone used to big city life—may be startled to know still exists. Make sure to stop at Fox’s, a classic diner with insanely tasty baked goods. Once you’ve gotten your grub on, head to the hills (specifically Sam Merrill Trail) for a moderate hike (5.6 miles round-trip) that ends with a gorgeous view of the San Gabriel Mountains and L.A. basin.
Now open | Restaurant
The Santa Monica Third Street Promenade is high on many visitors’ lists when they come to L.A., but it’s always been lacking in one thing: a good late-night food spot. That’s in the past now thanks to the new 1212 Restaurant. Chef Walter Greenwood cooks up a menu filled with ambitious contemporary world cuisine and cocktails. Try the duck confit and black truffle dumplings, and wash everything down with innovative drinks like the 2.4 Carrots Cold (cold-pressed carrot juice, organic ginger liqueur, rum, simple syrup, egg white, and toasted pepitas). All of the menu items are inspired by the Santa Monica farmers' market—so the produce is not only seasonal, but has come from L.A. soil.
1212 W. Third St., Santa Monica | (310) 579-9996 | website
Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.