This week in Los Angeles, rock out, dress up, and eat your heart out. First, head to The Forum for a lively performance by Prophets of Rage. Then hit up the Long Beach Comic Con for a toned-down take on comic conventions (cosplay still encouraged). Have one of the best burgers in town on National Cheeseburger Day, and catch a special showing of My Neighbor Totoro in theaters. If you need to escape, drive to Encinitas and find peace in nature at San Elijo Lagoon.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
September 15 | Concert
Prophets of Rage
Prophets of Rage were destined to rock. Made up of drummer Brad Wilk, bassist Tim Commerford, and guitarist Tom Morello—formerly of the band Rage Against the Machine—and Public Enemy bandmates Chuck D and DJ Lord, Prophets of Rage combines modern and nostalgic styles of rock music for a result that’s melodic, rhythmic, and full of passion. That’s also what makes L.A.’s The Forum, a venue with a lot of history, the perfect place to see them live.
7 p.m. | The Forum, 3900 W. Manchester Ave., Inglewood | From $20 | website
September 17–18 | Comic convention
Long Beach Comic Con
Long Beach Comic Con is an annual event celebrating the world of comic books and their place in pop culture. Gather with fellow comic book lovers, illustrators, writers, artists, and creators for panel discussions, celebrity signings, and a chance to support indie artists in Artist Alley. This is an event that the entire family can enjoy, and Long Beach Comic Con especially is a good introduction to the convention scene. It’s not as overwhelming as some other cities’ versions of the event, although cosplay is still welcome.
10 a.m.–5 p.m. | Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach | From $30 | website
September 17–18 | Escape the city
San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve
San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve is about a two-hour drive from L.A., but the scenery will make you feel much further from the city: It’s 979 acres of pure beauty. Walking along its coast will give you an opportunity to see roughly 300 species of plants, over two dozen species of mammal, and over 300 types of fish. The County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation leads guided hikes and operates a nature center there, which you can visit for more information about the ecology of one of the county’s largest remaining coastal wetlands. When you’re ready to head back to the city, consider a pit stop in San Diego’s Gaslamp District, a drink at McCormick & Schmick’s, and a stay at Omni San Diego.
San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, Encinitas | website
September 18 | Food
National Cheeseburger Day
Sure, it seems like there’s another food-related holiday or two all the time. But it’s not every day when said holiday involves delectable cheeseburgers. Celebrate at Lamill Coffee, where you should order the Lamill burger. It features a 7 oz. Boulder Valley burger, roasted tomatoes, Hook’s cheddar cheese, romaine slaw, and a brioche bun. And if that isn’t enough, add a side of fries for pure happiness.
7 a.m.–10 p.m. | Lamill Coffee, 1636 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles | $15 | website
September 18 | Film
My Neighbor Totoro
Seeing old favorites on the big screen is a special treat, and this week, Aero Theatre is bringing beloved animated film My Neighbor Totoro back to the cinema. The film, one of Hayao Miyazaki’s most admired creations, follows Satsuki and Mei, two sisters who move to a rural part of Japan to be closer to their hospitalized mother. After the move, they discover that the forest around their house is home to a magical spirit called Totoro.
3 p.m. | Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica | $11 | website
Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.