Today: If you weren’t one of the first 500 people who received free gift cards and/or Mickey Mouse ears at Santa Monica Place this morning, don’t fret: the festivities celebrating the outdoor mall’s grand opening continues all weekend long, including Jason Bentley’s DJ set from 5-7pm on the rooftop Dining Deck.
If you’re not on the Westside in the evening, head to the Zoo. Yes, the Zoo. You see, while the Natural History Museum has music-infused First Fridays in its hall of dead animals, the Zoo does the museum one better and has an indie rock music set amongst live animals in cages. Music in the Zoo runs from 6 to 9pm and will feature one of my favorite bands, Voxhaul Broadcast, as well as The Happy Hollows. Tickets are $12.50-$16.50 depending on whether you are a Zoo member.
Saturday: The LA Street Food Fest just two weeks ago, so surely you’ve had enough time to recuperate for Saturday’s Second Annual Korean BBQ Cook-Off on the rooftop of the 3600 Wilshire Building in Koreatown from noon to 8pm. A number of Korean BBQ restaurants and joints, including my favorite, Park’s BBQ, will be on hand to grill up some bulgogi and kalbi and other delicious Korean BBQ. By way of entertainment, you can watch Jonathan Gold, Ludo Lefebvre, and Sandra Oh judge the pitmasters during the 5pm cook-off. Entrance is free; plates of food are $5 each, not to mention the requisite food trucks that also will be in attendance.
You probably will need something sweet after all that BBQ, so hit up SusieCakes – one of the best bakeries we have – to celebrate its fourth year. The first 100 customers between 1 and 4 will receive a free box of four mini cupcakes; there will be temporary tattoos (of course); and – best part – retro pricing. We’re talking 40 cent cookies, people. SusieCakes has six locations between SoCal and NorCal; the closest one to you probably is Brentwood or Manhattan Beach.
If Louisiana crawfish is more your style, check out Long Beach’s 17th Annual (17!!) Crawfish Festival. It starts Saturday and runs through Sunday; tickets are $13-$35 depending on whether you just want to watch people eat, or whether you want to actually attack 2 or 3 pounds of seafood. Don’t be shellfish, people, share your buckets!!
Sunday: Two words. Tetris. Championship. “Former Nintendo World Champion and Tetris expert Robin Mihara” brings together the best of the best Tetris players and will pit the gamers against each other before a live audience at the Downtown Independent Theater on Main Street. Because the only thing worse than the pit in your stomach as you realize the pieces are coming faster than you can handle – it’s like a metaphor for life – is watching the same thing happen to other people. Admission is $10, which includes a shot at qualifying for the competition. Qualifying rounds start at noon sharp, semi-finals at 3pm, and finals at 5pm. No word on whether there will be a post-competition contest to see how fast you can pack a U-Haul.