Mmm, Socarrat: Every paella is a bit different from the next, even among those family recipes made regularly by the same person. Some extra shrimp, a little less chorizo, spicier rice, and the flavors work together in a new way. The traditional dish, with its large (large large) pans and crusty-delish socarrat -- that's what's on the bottom of the pan -- is the star at LA Paella & Wine Fest, a Saturday, Oct. 3 La Plaza party that'll see over 40 paella-making teams show off their saffron-wielding skills.
Los Angeles Ballet's Season Opener: The fashion experts might be saying that October is the time for boots, but fans of our city's acclaimed troupe know that toe shoes are all the rage right now, at least where the performers of the LA Ballet are concerned. Giselle, which leaps into Redondo Beach, Glendale, and UCLA staring over the first weekend of the month, is "a heartfelt tale of love and redemption." We'll awww over that.
Dark Harbor Opens: The theme park-centered, attraction-focused fright fests are now in full pre-Halloween swing with the Queen Mary's eerie entry. Yep, there shall be mazes, and, definitely, dastardly characters, including a maritime-themed captain, will be wandering the grounds. And next to it all stands the beautiful boat, which is said to be one of the most haunted -- for real? -- places in all the land. And sea, too, of course. In Long Beach through Nov. 1.
Vegan Oktoberfest: Look up the mountain, to our lake-close villages, and look to Huntington Beach, and Anaheim, too, and you can see Southern California's classic Oktoberfests in full, oompah-tastic swing over the first weekend of October. But this downtown gathering has a twist: There's no meat on the plates, only plant-based, dairy-free goodies. Oh, and beer, from a bevy of regional makers and beyond. It's pretty dang popular, and you need tickets in advance, if you're attending either the Oct. 3 or 4 celebration.
Shopping Extravaganza at Citadel Outlets: The start of October is, in some plan-ahead quarters, the early start of the holiday shopping season, and the 5 Freeway-close outlets is gearing up in a giveback way: To raise several thousand dollars for a host of charities. Saturday, Oct. 3 is the day, tickets are $35, and twenty five bucks goes "directly to the purchaser's charity of choice." Lots of discounts, a catered lunch, and special happenings will be afoot for ticket holders throughout Saturday, Oct. 3.