Surrounded by towering skyscrapers and apartment buildings, California Plaza is a multicultural oasis smack dab in the middle of downtown. The outdoor venue features several stages and a variety of seating options, including bleachers and cafe-style tables and chairs scattered around the plaza. Large, shallow reflecting pools soften the effect of the surrounding concrete and glass edifices, and the ambiance evokes the spirit of a modern European performing-arts plaza. For a quarter of a century, the Grand Performances series has presented a wide array of free, all-ages music and cultural events, including film screenings, dance, theater and world-music, classical and pop shows. Concerts are sometimes interrupted by low-flying helicopters and airplanes, and residents of nearby apartments often stand on their balconies to listen to the music and soak up the atmosphere. Concertgoers are welcome to bring their own wine and picnic baskets, and the plaza also includes several dining and beverage options, including Starry Kitchen, Casa, Starbucks, Johnny's Pizza, Famima and California Pizza Kitchen. While all of the events are free (with unreserved seating), donations are also accepted to keep the nonprofit series running. Paid parking is available in the adjoining underground parking structure.