Our 300-page, 400-item, perfect-for-your-coffee-table Best of L.A. issue is on newsstands today, and it also comes with our very own (and very free) “Best of” app to tell you about all the Best of L.A. locations near wherever you are.

To give you a preview, here are five kick-ass pop culture meccas that every Angeleno should know about.


5. Most Spectacular Spectacle: Lucha VaVOOM

“…a mobile ringside spectacle that comes with masked Mexican wrestlers, wisecracking MCs and plenty of steamy stripper acts to help cool down a heated audience.”

Credit: Shannon Cottrell

Credit: Shannon Cottrell

4. Best Place to Be an Anime Fan: Anime Los Angeles

“The convention is always held on the first weekend of the year (next one is Jan. 6-8), lately at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott…It's big enough that you're bound to meet new people but small enough that you won't lose your friends. There are plenty of panels and events to keep you busy throughout the weekend, but the main draw is cosplay.”

Credit: D. Stoneberger

Credit: D. Stoneberger

3. Best Variety Show for Night Owls: Steve Allen Theater's The Tomorrow Show

“Scan the seats at the Steve Allen Theater on Saturday at midnight and you'll find them half-empty. The audience members are half-stoned, half-drunk or high on the fact that they're breaking curfew. They are old and young, but mostly bearded and beer-bellied. And they keep coming back, some from as far away as San Diego, for the nutty midnight variety show.”

Jackie Kashian, who has performed her podcast at NerdMelt

Jackie Kashian, who has performed her podcast at NerdMelt

2. Best Place to Get Your Geek On: NerdMelt

“Housed in a comic store, NerdMelt hosts nightly experimental comedy shows, writing workshops, comic book Q&As and the occasional video game competition. But the staff won't kick you out if you don't like Star Wars.”

1. Best 30-Day Trial Castle: Magic Castle Open Sesame Membership

“While inventing clever ways to snag an invite to the members-only Magic Castle is an amusing parlor game, there's no shame in buying your way past the door. The Magic Castle Open Sesame Membership gives you and a guest 30 days of admission to the mysterious Hollywood landmark for a reasonable $100…”

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