The scorching, sizzling hand of Mother Nature may still be whacking us down, but resistance is not futile! Dodge the diabolical dame by heading downtown for some refreshing multicultural art experiences, and a plethora of delectable cuisine and thirst-quenching beverages!
First, swing by the Latino Art Museum for “Breaking Silence: Puerto Rico Responds with Art,” billed as Southern California’s first Puerto Rican collective art show. Filled with vibrant paintings, ceramic sculptures, enamel, digital pigments, and resin on steel plate mixed media, these works from international artists such as sculptor/painter Julia Rivera, ceramicist Diana Davila, and mixed media creator Eduardo Cabrer, focus our attention on the complex and enigmatic sociopolitical reality of Puerto Ricans as American citizens. Proceeds from the exhibition, curated by Carmen Flores, directly aid the artists in the island territory who lost their homes during Hurricane Maria through CERF+ Responds to Disasters.
The Museum also presents “Neglected Assumptions,” a solo show by Steven Rushingwind-Ruiz, and he'll also be joining the High Spirits Flute performance during the opening reception.
Next, stop off at the Metro Gallery, where longtime Pomona artist Denis Thorp presents his solo photography show of Aztec/Mexica dancers engaging in spiritual expressions of history, culture, and communion with the planet.
Now, round off the evening at one of Downtown’s many New or Improved unique eateries – where you can find something for everyone!
The famous Rookery Ale House and Grill recently moved to a new location – just a few doors down from the original spot – and not only still offers its mouthwatering appetizers (from IPA battered asparagus and pickles to spicy fried potatoes) and burgers (try the “El Iron Tummy” jalapeno, “The Gunslinger” ale reduction and pepperjack, or “The Vegetarian” with garlic alioi, among others) – but now they even have an intimate back patio filled with woodlands ambiance! Don’t forget to try the craft beer, of course, since that’s the Rookery’s specialty, and on a day like today, we’d definitely say the “Beachwood Blendery Dia De Los Mangos” and “North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout” already have our mouths watering.
For some International fare and groovin’ nightlife, check out Fuego Cocina and Cantina for a wild Cuban/Mexican experience, and try their experimental delicacies, as well as traditional cuisine with a twist. The Cantina also offers a wide variety of specialty drinks and entertainment, including a dance floor!
Every Gen Xer and older Millennial (we know you’re really Gen Y!) can find a bit of digital Heaven on Earth retro style at Paradox Arcade + Bar, a wild blast from the past of 1980’s and 90’s classic arcade games merged with craft beer, wine, sake – the perfect spot to toss back a few and get your Galaga or Donkey Kong on!
Fan-favorite Big D's Burgers is opening a new location at 183 W. 3rd St., bringing their famous organic, grass-fed angus burgers and monolithic milkshakes to the Downtown – and for the party crowd, they’re even adding an underground dance bar called The Basement!
The Slumming Gourmet is opening just across Garey St. on Antique Row, which is fantastic news for anyone who wants the “Fancy, without the Schmancy.” Yes, your ballcaps and short shorts are welcome at this posh-light eatery that offers snooty-tooty food without the rudey-rudey waiter dude, including walnut shrimp tacos and kobe beef sliders, which were top faves on the Slumming Gourmet food truck. That’s right, the food truck isn’t going away, but it is getting a home when the TSG opens its first brick and mortar location – that also means you don’t have to hunt them down anymore!
Also coming the Downtown is Dia De Los Puercos, another a food truck and catering business, this time arriving from Covina and featuring an LA Street Culture scene. The bangin’ cuisine features such hits as Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Tacos, the Homie Burrito, Los 5150’s Nachos, Ese Borracho (LA-Style Hot Dog with bacon), and a phat line of unique drinks such as the Agua-Net made with fresh agua de pepino, the OG Flacho y Sas, and the Horchake – an horchata with a kick!