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What's Popping Up? Sparkling Wine Corks, Banda Filarmónica Maqueos and More - LA Weekly

Improve your bubbly knowledge with a free sparkling wine class in the Valley, join the holiday party in Playa Vista, celebrate Hecho in L.A. at Smorgasburg and more gingerbread ⁠— here’s what’s popping up this week.

Sunday, December 8

The annual Smorgasburg Holiday Market continues this Sunday with a special “Hecho in LA” theme.  The monthly celebration of Latinx culture that happens the second Sunday of every month gets into the holiday spirit with a live Oaxacan brass band, Banda Filarmónica Maqueos Music, from noon-2 p.m., a special lineup of vendors like Horchateria Rio Luna, La Sirena, Mercado el Catrin and Poncho’s Tlayudas will be serving their famous barbacoa with freshly made corn tortillas. In addition to the Hecho in LA Holiday Market, burger expert George Motz is returning to Los Angeles to pop up inside the @lovehourlosangeles tent as a guest smasher.

Smorgasburg LA

Monday, December 9

Bring your tots in their festive finery for The The Draycott Kids Holiday Buffet Dinner on Monday from 4-6p.m. with neighbors and friends overlooking the Palisades Village Christmas Tree. Resident balloon artist will be twisting balloon swords and crowns for little ones and grownups can kick off the holiday season with a glass of wine, holiday cocktails, and grazing cheese and charcuterie boards. For those who have gotten a head start on their Santa List, for this night only, they will be hosting a special Santa Cottage Visit with a special  photo package. Santa Visits are booked on a first come, first serve basis. Kids’ tickets are $17 (including tax and gratuity) include a kids buffet dinner of burgers, chicken tenders, pasta, French fries and mixed vegetables. Please also make sure to note if you would like to visit Santa’s Cottage on the night.

Saturday, December 14

With New Year’s Eve rolling around the corner, vintagestudiocity.com is offering a free tasting class on all types of sparkling wines. Everyone loves to celebrate with a little bubbly, but have you ever wondered “What’s the difference between prosecco and champagne?” Or the term “pet nat” (and no, it’s not a domesticated bug)? Need to finally have an epiphany about brut vs. extra brut? Join sommelier Rebecca Rose Phillips for a free class (and tasting) on sparkling wine that will explore the difference in wine making techniques and taste sparkling wines from around the world.

Vintage Wine and Eats

Tuesday, December 10

Discovery Cube LA’s annual Science of Gingerbread competition takes place in Sylmar. Judges ⁠— including L.A. Weekly food editor Michele Stueven ⁠— will inspect gingerbread creations that celebrate sweet science and engineering by bakers of all skill levels. Judges will be asked to pick their favorite gingerbread houses in three of nine categories based on engineering, aesthetics, creativity, originality and theme.

Wife and husband chef team Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts, co-chefs and co-owners of Los Angeles’ westside restaurant group Company For Dinner, welcome locals and visitors to the Playa Vista neighborhood for the inaugural “Holiday Party,” a limited-time-only pop-up bar.

Open through December 31 at runwayplayavista.com, the experience is complete with a festive collection of tiki cocktails from Playa Provisions’ bar manager Taylor Hall; signature menu items from the couple’s fast casual Hawaiian spot at Runway, Da Kikokiko, including poke bowls and musubi; and Sundays with Santa with family-friendly arts & crafts, snow cones, cotton candy, and visits from the jolly man himself. With extravagant decorations by Fun Fete LA, guests are transported to the North Pole as they enter the pop-up, surrounded by elves, presents, lights, snow, and tributes to classic holiday movies and music.

Take a nip on a Tiki Nog with Mt. Gay Black Barrel Rum, milk, demerara, angostura bitters and nutmeg, or a Navidad Tropicale with Dobel Tequila, yellow chartreuse, pineapple, coconut and lime.