Best of L.A.

Best Of 2013

Neighborhoods

  • + Beverly Hills
  • + Burbank
  • + Central California
  • + Central San Gabriel Valley
  • + Chinatown/ Elysian Park
  • + Crescenta Valley
  • + Culver City
  • + Downtown
  • + East L.A.
  • + Echo Park
  • + Foothill Cities
  • + Glendale
  • + Hollywood
  • + Inglewood
  • + Koreatown
  • + Long Beach
  • + Los Feliz
  • + Malibu
  • + Melrose/ Beverly/ Fairfax
  • + Mid-Wilshire/ Hancock Park
  • + Monterey Park/ Alhambra/ S. Gabriel
  • + Northeast L.A.
  • + Northern California
  • + Orange County
  • + Out of Town
  • + Pacific Palisades
  • + Pasadena and vicinity
  • + Pomona and beyond
  • + Riverside County
  • + Rowland/ Hacienda Heights
  • + San Bernardino County
  • + San Diego County
  • + San Fernando Valley
  • + San Francisco
  • + San Francisco Bay Area
  • + San Jose
  • + Santa Barbara County
  • + Santa Clarita and Beyond
  • + Santa Monica
  • + Silver Lake
  • + South Bay
  • + Southeastern Cities
  • + USC to South L.A.
  • + Venice/ Marina del Rey
  • + Ventura County
  • + West Adams/ Crenshaw/ Baldwin Hills
  • + West Hollywood
  • + West L.A.
  • + Westchester/ LAX
  • + Westlake
Map It

Arts & Entertainment

Bars & Clubs

Food & Drink

Shopping & Services

Sports & Recreation

Readers' Choice

MORE

Best Of :: Arts & Entertainment

Best Ska Band
Viernes 13

Having launched in 1999 while they were still in high school, East Los Angeles ska band Viernes 13 (that's Friday the 13th to you, gringo) gained popularity over the years playing backyard shows but never put out an official full-length album. That will change later this year, when the group's as-yet-untitled debut drops. But in the meantime their star has risen, and they now can be seen at big-money venues like the Roxy and House of Blues, performing alongside better-known groups like The Slackers, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Manic Hispanics. Viernes 13 differ from most ska bands through their use of bilingual lyrics, their incorporation of punk and lead singer Juan Pulido's signature look — long hair, tied back with a bandanna. One thing's for sure: Viernes 13's lively stage presence and rowdy mosh pits set the tone for a party. facebook.com/V13RNES. —Juan Gutierrez

Best Place to Go Brazilian
Brasil Brasil Cultural Center

Ask the average American to describe the culture of Brazil and he or she may cite the bikinis of Ipanema and Copacabana, the gang violence of the favelas, the popular beauty-salon waxing trend or the off-Strip Vegas casino called Rio. Brasil Brasil Cultural Center is here to spread the rich, authentic and energizing traditions of the proud, ethnically mixed South American nation. Launched by husband and wife Amen and Nayla Eva Santo almost 25 years ago, BBCS is a spacious cultural and community center, which spreads and shares Afro-Brazilian culture through classes in capoeira (a dance/martial arts hybrid), samba, belly dance, Zumba, kickboxing, multiple musical styles and fitness and language instruction. Pra caramba! 11928 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City. (310) 397-3667, brasilbrasil.org. —Adam Gropman

11928 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, 90230
MAP
310-397-3667
Best Music Class for Toddlers
Scruffin Rock

Let's face it, baby music can be a nightmare. Less Wiggles, more rock, right, parents? If only kids could develop the same taste in classic jams that we have. Well, in fact, they can, especially if they're students in Julie Ingram's Scruffin Rock class. Classically trained, with a master's degree in music, Ingram has created a program akin to those Pixar movies that sneak innuendo into their dialogue: entertaining for your kiddo but with elements even adults can enjoy. Toddlers in Scruffin Rock sing, dance and learn rhythm and melody via music inspired by rockers such as Chuck Berry, The Go-Go's, Big Mama Thornton and Neil Young. It may look like they're just batting kiddie tambourines, but they're really learning the fundamentals of good music. With any luck, it will counteract the Bieber craze you know is coming. 3141 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village, facebook.com/pages/Scruffin-Rock/109744712416682. —Ali Trachta

3141 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, 90039
MAP
323-669-2821
Best Do-It-Yourself Crafts
Duff's Cakemix
Photo: Diamond Bodine-Fischer

Need an activity that will entertain everyone from your mom to your 8-year-old cousin? Just love being crafty? If you answered yes, then Duff's Cakemix is your place. Located on Melrose Avenue at Sweetzer, it's not far from some of the most popular designer shops in Los Angeles. At Duff's Cakemix you're first given a "Kit Menu" from which you choose your cake size, flavor, filling and canvas (buttercream or fondant icing). Once you've decided on your foundation and gathered your decorating materials from the decorating bar, the team of trained pros at Cakemix helps you as much (or as little) as you please. With the assistance of Duff Goldman's Cakemix crew and its collection of decorating tools — which includes everything from cookie cutters to an airbrush station — even the uninitiated and untalented can create a cake that will impress. 8302 Melrose Ave., W. Hlywd. (323) 650-5555, duffscakemix.com. —Diamond Bodine-Fischer

8302 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 90069
MAP
323-650-5555
Best Blacksmithing Class

Some hobbies are just more badass than others, and blacksmithing is about as badass as they come. Adam's Forge is a nonprofit group that encourages students from beginner to pro to express themselves through metal. Their weekly Discovery Days are $20 and feature projects simple enough for anyone. The volunteer staff is passionate about the craft and offers an inviting environment for first-timers. After attending a Discovery Day, if you're interested in going deeper, you can pursue your CBA (California Blacksmith Association) certifications at Adam's Forge. Their calendar is filled with always changing specialty classes like Mokume-gane and Viking Cutlery. If you reach the point where you're confident enough to work independently, they even offer "open forge" times to aspiring blacksmiths and passionate hobbyists alike. 2640 N. San Fernando Road, Glassell Park. (323) 257-5855, adamsforge.com. —Diamond Bodine-Fischer

Best Gay Men's Discussion Group
Tribe

Need to talk about issues, such as dealing with a homophobic boss or navigating the dating scene, which only another gay man can understand? Want to connect with your gay brothers outside of the loud, sometimes intimidating bar scene? Feeling as if you're all alone in what you're going through as a gay man? Look no further: Go to Tribe, a fantastic gay men's discussion group that meets in the Community Conference Room of the West Hollywood Library. The setting is safe and friendly, with an emphasis on building the self-respect and personal power gay men already possess. Men from a broad age range — 20s to 50s — attend the meetings, held at 7:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. So you'll hear many different generational perspectives, which will be invaluable, and not always easily accessible outside of the group. 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., W. Hlywd. (323) 848-6460, weho.org/tribe. —Patrick Range McDonald

625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood, 90069
MAP
310-652-5340
X

Best Ska Band: Viernes 13

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >