1324 S. Normandie Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Category: Religion and Spirituality
Region: Mid-Wilshire/ Hancock Park
The Greek community may be more prominent on the East Coast or in Chicago, but neither of those places has Tom and Rita Hanks, who are once again hosting the L.A. Greek Fest at St. Sophia Cathedral. And only in L.A. can you find a celebration of Greek culture in a largely Latino neighborhood that's a stone's throw from Koreatown. You can link pinkies with the actor and his wife (who's of Greek descent) while dancing to bouzouki music, shop for imported gifts and take a guided tour of the church, which was built in 1952 and declared a historic monument by the city of Los Angeles. Though the two-time Oscar winner will be among the estimated 15,000 in attendance, the real star of the festival is, of course, the food. No doubt you've had many a gyro sandwich and baklava drizzled with rosewater syrup, so this weekend, try something new, like grilled octopus, flaming saganaki cheese or stuffed phyllo dough pies. Better yet, if you don't know your loukaniko from your loukoumades, take a cooking class. You can also walk across the street to one of the city's best-known restaurants -- Papa Cristo's, run by the diminutive, mustachioed Papa Cristo himself -- and have a big, fat Greek meal, though if you're going to commit the sin of gluttony, best do it on holy ground. St. Sophia Cathedral, 1324 S. Normandie Ave., Pico-Union; Fri., Sept. 6, 5-10 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 7, noon-10 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 8, noon-9 p.m.; $5. (323) 737-2424, lagreekfest.com.
Fri., Sept. 6, 5-10 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 7, 12-10 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 8, 12-9 p.m., 2013