Summer 2013 Happenings

Photo courtesy of prayitno, Flickr

What's Hot

Universal Studios Hollywood’s ‘VIP Experience’ Combines Private Guided Theme Park Adventure with Unprecedented Behind-the-Scenes Access

Universal Studios Hollywood has raised the bar for its star-treatment "VIP Experience," granting limited parties of guests expanded behind-the-scenes access to previously "off-limits" areas of the famed Hollywood dream factory. Guest will be pampered with an elegant continental breakfast at a VIP Lounge, offering unlimited food service at favorite theme park locations and ushering them to the front of the line at such world-famous attractions as "Revenge of the Mummy -- The Ride" and "Jurassic Park -- The Ride."  The additional access to key Studio production areas now allows "VIP Experience" guests the opportunity to see the machinery of the filmmaking process in its entirety, including sound stages and standing sets, post-production bays and craft support facilities, as well an up-close view of an authentic Academy Awards® Oscar statuette®.  Only in recent years, in response to growing demand for a "luxury" studio experience, has the program been offered to the public and never before with these new enhancements.

Chefs Behind Popular Pop-Up LudoBites and Meat-Centric Animal Collaborate to Create Hot New Restaurant Concept

This summer the hottest ticket in town is to Trois Mec, a 26-seat restaurant that operates via a pay-in-advance ticketing system with reservations that are leaked once every two weeks. Diners are clamoring for the highly coveted experience of bellying up to a five-course chef’s table experience prepared by three of LA’s top celebrity chefs: Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. Trois Mec, which translates to “three guys” in French. Trois Mec posts daily open reservations on its Facebook page, great for visitors looking to snag a last-minute seat. Visiting food lovers unable to score a reservation can delight in knowing that the city is a treasure trove of good eats. Explore LA’s dynamic dining scene by visiting www.discoverLosAngeles.com/dinela.

Grand Central Market Reinvents Itself as the Iconic Steward of LA Street Food

Celebrating the cuisines and cultures of Los Angeles since 1917, the historic Grand Central Market food arcade is an unparalleled eating and shopping experience showcasing the best local chefs, culinary purveyors and entrepreneurs. Grand Central Market, located in Downtown Los Angeles, reaffirms this tradition with the spring and summer openings of Sticky Rice, LA’s first Thai comfort food restaurant; Valerie at Grand Central Market, offering a modern interpretation of the coffee shop counter experience; G&B Coffee, an award-winning coffee bar that just completed a seven month pop-up within Silver Lake’s SQIRL Café; Horse Thief, connoisseurs of central Texas-style BBQ; and The Oyster Gourmet helmed by Christophe Happillon, the only Master Ecailler (shellfish master) in Los Angeles. 

PUP Program Brings Dogs to LAX to Help Weary Travelers Unwind

Passengers at LAX are now greeted by a new breed of furry Airport Volunteers — dogs! PUP, started as part of National Volunteer Week (April 21-27), aims to create a less stressful airport experience for travelers. Trained dogs with special handlers will roam through the gate areas on the departure level of each terminal and visit passengers awaiting flights. The service is provided by Therapy Dogs Inc., which has been spreading smiles and stress relief to people in hospitals, special needs centers, schools and nursing homes since 1990.

On the horizon for LAX is the New Tom Bradley International Terminal. The $1.7-billion new Tom Bradley International Terminal will create a world-class terminal that offers better passenger convenience, amenities and services and solidifies LA’s role as an international gateway. The West Gates and a Great Hall featuring dining, shopping and other passenger amenities are scheduled to open in summer 2013 and East Gates, security and U.S. Customs and Immigration areas set for completion by the end of 2013.

Summer Events

Saturdays off the 405 at The Getty Center (Westside - Begins May 18 through Labor Day Weekend; 6 – 9pm)

The Getty Center’s popular summer concert series, Saturdays off the 405, returns for 2013. The seasonal event features free outdoor music and evening views of the city along with refreshing summer exhibitions in a casual and spontaneous atmosphere. Eclectic performances by up-and-coming bands, along with DJ sets open and close the night. 

Los Angeles Film Festival (Downtown - June 13 – 23, 2013)

For 10 days each June, the Los Angeles Film Festival presents the best of American and international cinema – a celebration that includes world premieres, filmmaker Q&As, live music and sing-alongs, and seminars with leading film artists. The Festival’s hub is downtown’s premier entertainment complex, L.A. LIVE.

BET Experience (Downtown - June 28-30, 2013)

This year it's more than an awards show; it's a celebration of music, entertainment and Black culture. The BET Experience at L.A. LIVE is three days, six stages and endless entertainment complete with must-see performances, interactive exhibits and free giveaways. The jam-packed weekend kicks off with the highly-anticipated USA debut of Beyoncé’s “Mrs. Carter World Tour” at the STAPLES Center and continues with parties, show-tapings and mega celebrity sightings. 

dineLA’s Restaurant Week (July 15 – 26, 2013)

The popular dining event returns for its summer encore, serving up LA’s best restaurants with specially priced lunch and dinner menus.

Hotel Openings

The Moment (Hollywood)

Newport Beach-based Broughton Hotels is scheduled to open a new boutique hotel called The Moment in June 2013, with 39 rooms and one suite. The hotel will include the Moment Deck & Bar, a 2,000 sq-ft deck with views of the Hollywood Hills. Rooms will be painted with "accent walls" in orange, green or purple, and start at $199 a night.