Lots to do in LA when you're lost
July 13, 2006 3:00 PM   Subscribe

LA nightclub recommendations - or in fact, anything to do or places to go in LA over the weekend?

Regarding nightclubs, we'll have Friday evening free, so what is a good 80's/pop twenty-somethings club with lots of dance space, or a good goth/industrial club with same?

What else is there to do in LA? (Other than Disneyland). Are there any world-reknowned natural/history/science museums? Anything underrated that you think too many people miss out on as they travel through?

There will be two of us (girl and boy, friends, not romantic). We're flying down tonight, heading back Sunday afternoon.

posted by -harlequin- to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (31 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
geddy museum
posted by k8t at 3:02 PM on July 13, 2006 [1 favorite]

L.A. is chock-full of great art museums--the Getty, MOCA, and LACMA to name the best--but isn't as good as NYC or DC for the science museums. If that's really what you're interested in (and seriously, I recommend the art museums; they really are that good even if you don't like art) you might want to check out the La Brea Tar Pits.

But the one museum that you don't want to miss is the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Words don't do it justice. You have to see it for yourself.

And I know jack-shit about goth or industrial night clubs.
posted by maxreax at 3:09 PM on July 13, 2006

I was just in LA for the first time in June, and I recommend checking out the Walt Disney Concert Hall downtown. It is really, really cool.

And there is always the beach, which is way better than I thought it would be. And it is totally not that cold.
posted by mckenney at 3:13 PM on July 13, 2006

The Getty has both the main museum and the recently reopened Villa -- I recommend both, but really love the Villa these days (bonus: it's going to be HOT in L.A. this weekend, and the temps can be as much as 20 degrees cooler out in the Palisades where the Villa is located). LACMA currently has a great David Hockney exhibition on view (disclaimer: I worked on it a bit, so perhaps am biased!) The LaBrea Tar Pits are also right by LACMA. And the Hammer Museum has a wonderful show these days, too -- The Societe Anonyme.

There's also the Hollywood Bowl, which is a classic summer-in-L.A. experience. I don't know who's playing this weekend, but check the schedule and have a picnic under the stars!
posted by scody at 3:14 PM on July 13, 2006

(and yeah, seconding the Museum of Jurassic Technology.)
posted by scody at 3:16 PM on July 13, 2006

Be sure to check out these preious threads: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
posted by ericb at 3:20 PM on July 13, 2006

That's *precious*, not *previous*.
posted by ericb at 3:22 PM on July 13, 2006

Don't miss out on the free tea and cookies in the room above the Museum of Jurassic Technology. The stairs are towards the back of the museum, on your right. Also, I really liked the LaBrea Tar Pits. Don't bother paying for parking (you can find it in the neighborhood behind) or going inside, for that matter. I just liked the bizarre bubbling tar everywhere. They have to put up orange cones to prevent you from stepping in it.
posted by unknowncommand at 3:23 PM on July 13, 2006

link to La Brea Tar Pits
posted by unknowncommand at 3:24 PM on July 13, 2006

It's not very 80s or anything, but we went to Rosalind's for dinner (I'd never had Ethiopian before) on a Friday, and it turned into this great neighborhood hip-hop dance club. Total cool friendly vibe. Make sure you order the coffee if you go, though.
posted by mckenney at 3:33 PM on July 13, 2006

Getty? Snnooooo-ooooze. Hollywood Bowl is fun.... IF YOU'RE THIRTY! You ain't thirty.

Where are you going to be staying? Where are you willing to go? There's the WeHo stuff -- Pop Starz, held at The Factory/Ultrasuede was fun in 1999, but I haven't been there since. Probably still fun. The gay boys know how to party. When I went, it was comfortable and frivolous, and probably still is. Rage, a couple blocks away, is too much, at least for straight-boy me. That's the extent of my club knowledge in WeHo.

Then there's Hollywood Blvd. -- The Ruby would be the place to go, Clockwork Orange on Friday nights is fun and stupid, and you can always find something to dance to. It's big and spacious with plenty of people from all over, probably lots of kids from the valley. If you can make it there Saturday night, that's Bang! and it's a blast. Indie new rock stuff.

There's a smaller place called Tempest that I enjoy occasionally and can be a real hidden treasure. That's on Santa Monica Blvd, east of WeHo. Friday nights is Underground, also Indie, but more focused on UK.

Now for the east side -- Akbar is a small bar w/ dance floor, and it's fun, but lately it's been losing that straight contingent that evened it out. That's on Sunset in the Silverlake area. Further east still on Sunset, in Echo Park, is Sidebar, another small bar w/ dance floor. I was there last Friday, packed dance floor, get there early, very straight and slightly rough crowd. Music's good, though, really running all over the map.

I've only ever been to once club in Santa Monica and that's because my old roommate was a huge Giles Peterson fan and he was spinning there and it was goddawful. So don't go there. Not that I remember which club it was.

No matter what you do, if you're on the west-ish side, stop in at Chateau Marmont for a drink out on the back patio. Bar Marmont is cool, but the Chateau, the hotel next door, is fucking awesome, never crowded, and always provides for some celeb sightings. They serve drinks in back. Don't be intimidated, just walk in like you own the place. Other than that, I'd stay away from the Sunset Strip -- it's for amateurs.

Everything I'm talking about here can be found at the LA Weekly website. This is the dance club listing, although for some reason it seems kinda brief to me. You can pick up a copy around town when you arrive.
posted by incessant at 3:53 PM on July 13, 2006

I'm not sure if it's exactly what you're looking for on the dance side (it gets pretty crowded) but Short Stop in Silverlake is fun.

If you want more indy music dancing there is the Beauty Bar in Hollywood...that's all I got.
posted by guruguy9 at 3:56 PM on July 13, 2006

Hollywood Bowl is fun.... IF YOU'RE THIRTY!

Yes, I guess that's true -- I didn't see a single person under 30 at the Bowl the other night when Belle & Sebastian played.
posted by scody at 3:58 PM on July 13, 2006

Two science museums - right next to each other in Exposition Park just South of Downtown:

The California Science Center
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

A whole bunch of interesting ideas for stuff to do

It's really, really fucking hot right now. I can't really think of a thing to do besides going swimming. Museums are probably a good idea. Have fun!
posted by redteam at 4:02 PM on July 13, 2006

I was at the Bowl that night too... but then again, I'm thirty one.

Harlequin, feel free to e-mail if you have more questions.

And Guruguy is totally right -- it's the SHORT STOP, not Sidebar. Sidebar is the Armenian joint in Glendale where, well, all the Armenians hang out. Short Stop is the packed place in Echo Park. Again, get there early. PACKED.
posted by incessant at 4:02 PM on July 13, 2006

Also, look here for nightlife stuff.

I know a lot of the Burning Man crowd's going to that Lightning in a Bottle party, but that's like three days in the forest near Santa Barbara (which, BTW, is the place that all the European tourists go to when they realize that LA isn't what they thought it was going to be).
posted by redteam at 4:09 PM on July 13, 2006

Seconding Clockwork Orange at the Ruby.

Goldfinger's (6423 Yucca Street Hollywood) was an excellent 80's club (tiny dance floor, but there's always space and cover is < $10.) music ranged from the cure to guns'n'roses. i heard a rumor they might have closed, so you might want to call ahead. (323) 962-2913. also, you can walk a few blocks from goldfinger's to the beauty bar, where there is a dj, but more importantly $10 will get you a martini and a manicure, or a henna tattoo.br>

Post-dancing you will definitely want to head to Canter's Deli if you love pastrami and plastic-y tables, or Fred62 if you prefer super-pretty hipsters and tarte tatin (apple) pancakes.
posted by synapse at 4:10 PM on July 13, 2006

Yes, I guess that's true -- I didn't see a single person under 30 at the Bowl the other night
when Belle & Sebastian played.

Funny, I saw quite a few. In fact, at 32, I felt quite old. And I was in the box seats!

The rooftop of the Downtown Standard is very scenic/scenestery. I second the Short Stop
and MJT. You can also always find worthwhile suggestions here.
posted by Lillitatiana at 4:21 PM on July 13, 2006

Yes, I guess that's true -- I didn't see a single person under 30 at the Bowl the other night
when Belle & Sebastian played.

You might want to retune your sarcasm filter.
posted by ericb at 4:26 PM on July 13, 2006

or you might want to retune yours.
posted by scody at 4:32 PM on July 13, 2006

I was meaning that to be directed at Lillitatiana: "Funny, I saw quite a few. In fact, at 32, I felt quite old. And I was in the box seats!" aI took it you (scody) were obviously be sarcastic.
posted by ericb at 4:49 PM on July 13, 2006

I'll third Clockwork Orange--the Evil Club Empire website sometimes has printable discount passes. Das Bunker is reputed to be a good industrial club, although I haven't been there myself. LA Goth may have other recommendations, although their site is a bit out of date, so you should check to make sure the clubs you find there are still running (I'd do the research myself, but I'm at work...)

Bar Sinister and Malediction are good Saturday night goth options, if you happen to end up free then.
posted by fermion at 4:56 PM on July 13, 2006

Cemetery screenings every saturday. Picnic with a horde of folks in the Hollywood Forever cemetery and watch classic films projected on the side of the mausoleum. Extra points for eating a whole chicken and drinking one or two bottles of Two Buck Chuck before the film's climax (I always get extra points.)

Last week: Repo Man. Next week: The Big Sleep.

Might be my favorite "nightlife" event in town.
posted by thedaniel at 4:57 PM on July 13, 2006

I was at the Belle at the Bowl show and I'm 26. Lots of beautiful young people around me. We danced our asses off, much to the displeasure of the rentacops.
posted by rbs at 5:01 PM on July 13, 2006

I'll second fermion's mention of Das Bunker (though their site seems down).

There's an EBM/industrial room which is quite large, a second, lower room which is more noise oriented, and a small-ish room that is more retro. Last time I was there I heard Skinny Puppy on the main floor, The Operative on the noise floor, and The Cure in the retro room, all within a fairly short time.
posted by chimaera at 8:39 PM on July 13, 2006

Anything underrated that you think too many people miss out on as they travel through?

L.A. Farmers Market. Sunday brunch. Yum.
posted by frogan at 9:07 PM on July 13, 2006

I can't believe anyone hasn't mentioned Miss Kitty's Parlour. Friday nights @ New Dragonfly, Santa Monica and Wilcox. You'll get your goth/industrial fun and probably see many a spanking.

Everyone else has covered the culture stuff, but you also might want to check out art.blogging.la for current art exhibits. Oh, and depending on where you're staying, if you're near downtown, go eat at Nicks Cafe. It's a (very tasty) greasy spoon, but you will never see a greater combination of people in your life. Cops sitting next to bikers, artists sitting next to construction workers. It's good times.
posted by bedhead at 10:27 PM on July 13, 2006

No! No! Not Rosalind"s! Merkato and Meskarem are much better Ethiopian.
there was lipstick on the glass at Rosalind's.
posted by brujita at 11:46 PM on July 13, 2006

it is going to be a hot weekend, i recomend getting out of LA and heading to the beach cities (hermosa beach/manhattan beach) and getting in the water. water temp is perfect.
posted by dieguido at 12:31 AM on July 14, 2006

The place that can't be missed is the Museum of Jurassic Technology. There are other museums and attractions, but the one that's truly special is the MJT. Blew my mind the first time I went.

You might also consider a comedy show, perhaps something at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. The shows are pretty uniformly strong there, but Assscat is special.
posted by YoungAmerican at 7:12 AM on July 14, 2006

Sorry, I actually took a comment at face value, but I'm not ashamed.
Sarcasm is played out anyway.
posted by Lillitatiana at 8:59 AM on July 14, 2006

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