(Credit: Mike Rollerson)

(Credit: Mike Rollerson)

There are lots of new beginnings to celebrate this week! New shop openings around the city will have you enjoying artisanal ice cream in the valley and travel-themed food and drinks downtown. A comedy show with some serious headliners is on deck for the week, as is a free screening of Purple Rain at L.A.’s iconic Wiltern Theater. With Friday’s opening of the new Santa Monica Expo Line, you can take the train to Santa Monica’s Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories, where they’re celebrating the station’s opening, as well as their own anniversary, with a day of baking demos. If you’ve never been to the Getty Villa, or it’s just been a while, this Saturday is a great day to visit with an outdoor concert in the gardens. Sunday it’s all about the circus, as animal-free Circus Vargas blows your mind with death-defying acts perfect for the whole family.

Monday, May 16
(Credit: Salt & Straw)

(Credit: Salt & Straw)

“May Flowers” Ice Cream at New Salt & Straw
Salt & Straw
12180 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 358-2890

Portland-based ice cream shop Salt & Straw is once again planting roots in Los Angeles with the opening of its latest store in the valley. Studio City residents and visitors can now enjoy Salt & Straw’s artisanal, small-batch ice cream close to home. Along with shop’s staple flavors like Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons and Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache, the shop is currently scooping up special flavors as part of their “May Flowers” series. Featuring various California flowers, highlights include Grand Poppy Sorbet with Spring Flowers and Wildflower Honey with Ricotta Walnut Lace Cookies. The “May Flowers” flavors will be available until the end of the month, so don’t miss your chance to take edible flowers to a whole new level.

Tuesday, May 17
(Credit: DYLAN+JENI)

(Credit: DYLAN+JENI)

New Restaurant Opening: Westbound
300 S. Santa Fe Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 262-9291

Open for just a little over a week, Westbound is downtown L.A.’s newest hip dining destination. Located in the One Santa Fe mixed-use complex in the Arts District, Westbound brings food and cocktails from around the world to your table. Gathering inspiration from his global travels, Chef Gary Nguyen’s menu is an international assortment of small plates and elevated bar snacks menu (don’t miss the Foie ‘n’ Waffle). Similarly, a travel-inspired drink menu offers cocktails with a rotation of global and seasonal ingredients. Enjoy your drinks and eats inside surrounded by subtle nods to the area’s former train station, or outside in the tree-line garden patio.

Wednesday, May 18
(Credit: Photography by Mandee Johnson Photography | @mandeephoto)

(Credit: Photography by Mandee Johnson Photography | @mandeephoto)

The Super Serious Show
The Virgil
4519 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90029

If you’re looking for a little levity in your hump day, The Super Serious Show is a seriously good bet. Hosted by Comedy Central writer and comedian Emmy Blotnick, the show brings both emerging and experimental performers alongside well-known headliners. Tonight’s lineup includes Andy Kindler, John Mulaney, Eddie Pepitone, Kevin Camia, Nancy Friedrich, Alex & Jude, and videos by Thomas R. Wood. The monthly live comedy show is a full service affair, with music, food trucks, happy hour drink specials (including $15 whiskey flights), and sweets. Tickets sales start at 7:00pm, and the show begins at 8pm.

Thursday, May 19
Prince (Bertrand Guay/Getty Images)

Prince (Bertrand Guay/Getty Images)

Purple Rain: A Special Free Tribute Screening
The Wiltern Theater
3790 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 388-1400

Whether you’re still mourning the loss of one of music’s greats, or you’re just a rock musical enthusiast, The Wiltern has the perfect night for you. A special free screening of Purple Rain starring Prince in his acting debut will be shown at the theater tonight. The 80s rock musical drama is a quasi-biographical film that inspired the soundtrack and studio album of the same name. All ages are welcome, and a full bar and food will be available. The show is free, and entry is first come first served. Doors open at 7pm, and the show begins at 8pm.

Friday, May 20
(Credit: Brita Potenza )

(Credit: Brita Potenza )

Free Baking Demos + Expo Line Opening
The Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories
395 Santa Monica Place, Suite 329
Santa Monica CA 90401
(310) 656-8800

Celebrate both an anniversary and a new beginning in Santa Monica today, as the Gourmandise School turns five and the new Santa Monica Expo Line station opens its doors. The Gourmandise School is embracing both with free demos during the day, kicking off with a noon Summer Pies demo where you’ll learn the secrets to a flaky pie crust and sweet fillings, followed by a class to learn how to make The Perfect Cookie, including classic chocolate chunk, and the school’s famous Whole Grain Hazelnut Chocolate Cookie. A Raised Doughnuts & Glazes class ends the day teaching you to make custom glazed doughnuts, compete with sprinkles. Take the train there for free (offered Friday and Saturday), and save 20% on any class or cookware purchase when you show your ticket.

Saturday, May 21
(Credit: The Getty)

(Credit: The Getty)

Al Fresco Classical and Modern Jazz Concert
The Getty Villa
17985 Pacific Coast Hwy.
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
(310) 440-7300

An nice evening out is a great way to start the weekend. As a museum dedicated to the study of ancient Greece and Rome, the Getty Villa is the perfect place to hold a concert inspired by Greek heroes and heroines. Tonight’s performance of the multi-movement Pythiad will blend classical music and modern jazz in a piece written for voice, string quartet, soprano saxophone, and string bass. Each movement of the work examines human nature and heroism, through story and song. The concert will take place in the Villa’s Outer Peristyle garden, and will include wine and Mediterranean bites for sale. While you’re there, check out the museum’s most recent exhibition Roman Mosaics Across the Empire. Tickets are $25, and after the concert’s 7:30pm start time, the Outer Peristyle garden will remain open with concession sales until 9pm.

Sunday, May 22
(Credit: Mike Rollerson )

(Credit: Mike Rollerson )

Circus Vargas iLUMINOUS
Under the Big Top
777 N Front St.
Burbank, CA 91502
(877) 468-3861

The circus is in town, and ready to dazzle audiences of all ages with high-energy entertainment. Circus Vargas’ “iLUMINOUS” features special effects lighting and specially designed costumes, and includes lots of amazing acts, like a gymnastics team leaping from bars 20 feet in the air, a roller skating duo performing death-defying lifts and tricks, contortionists, trapeze artists, glow-in-the-dark motorcycle daredevils, and more. Don’t expect to see any elephants or lions, as the show has been completely animal-free for the past few years. Catch the extravaganza today at 1pm, 4pm, or 7pm, and don’t miss interactive activities before and after the shows. Another performance will take place tomorrow before the circus leaves town.

Article by Kellie Fell.