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Best Of LA: Week Of April 7

36th Annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race - Press Practice Day
(credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

With April in full swing, spring activities beg you to start exploring Los Angeles. From the annual LA Times Festival of Books to a Q&A meal with celebrity chef authors, to a literary death match that will dominate your water cooler talk, this week boasts some great events for book lovers. Get cooking this spring, or just tasting some fabulous beers, at two local restaurants hosting culinary nights. If your engines are ready, be sure to head to the 40th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, rolling into town this weekend. Start your engines, Los Angeles, here's the best LA has to offer this week.

clay oven indian restaurant Chef Geeta Bansal
(credit: Clay Oven Indian Restaurant)

Monday, April 7Pub Night
Clay Oven Indian Restaurant
15435 Jeffrey Rd.
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 552-2851

Owned and operated by Chef Geeta Bansal, Clay Oven Indian Restaurant is hosting their first ever Pub Night, where you can score local and international beers in this limited release. Featured breweries include Cismontane, Allagash, Lost Coast Brewery, North Coast Brewing Company, Manzanita Brewing Company and Belgian ales provided by Global Beers, all offered for a special price of $3-$6 per drink. Small bites of Indian food will be available for pairing from $4-$8 including tandoor roasted bone marrow, braised goat, mussels steamed in beer, spicy lamb stuffed naan, and duck samosas. The event is from 4:30pm - 7:30pm.

Tal Ronnen
(Mohawk Bend & Tal Ronnen)

Tuesday, April 8Authors Worth Celebrating
Mohawk Bend
2141 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 483-2337

Mohawk Bend will welcome Chef Tal Ronnen of Crossroads Kitchen for their April installment of the "Authors Worth Celebrating" Dinner Series, a series featuring authors whose philosophy on food resonates with Mohawk Bend's commitment to celebrating local community and craft. For dinner, you'll enjoy an appetizer duo of grilled artichokes with Caesar dressing and Cream of asparagus soup, tender kale ricotta tortellini with saffron cream sauce, and an oven roasted banana rum cheesecake for dessert. A meet and greet and Q&A with Chef Tal, as well as the option to purchase his book, "The Conscious Cook," will be available. The event begins at 6:30pm and is $35.

fig and olive
(credit: Michael Gardner)

Wednesday, April 9Springtime Cooking Class
Fig & Olive
8490 Melrose Pl.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 360-9100

Get into the spring spirit with a cooking class at Fig & Olive in West Hollywood. Guests will prepare (and then enjoy!) a four-course French Riviera inspired meal with the help of Executive Chef Pascal Lorange (a former celebrity chef), who will also teach about cooking with seasonal spring ingredients and the use of signature olive oil. During the class, you'll learn to prepare a chilled cucumber soup (with mint, lemon, orange, and pink peppercorn), Zucchini Carpaccio, Chilean Sea Bass Papillote, and a tantalizing Apple Tart with caramelized apples and vanilla ice cream. 3pm. $85.

cinema at the edge
(credit: Cinema at the Edge Independent Film Festival)

Thursday, April 102nd Annual Cinema At The Edge Independent Film Festival
Edgemar Center for the Arts
2437 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405

The 2nd annual Cinema at the Edge Independent Film Festival kicks off today in Santa Monica and Venice. The four day event will screen independent films of all genres and gives visitors the chance to enjoy indie films and panels hosted by industry writers, producers, and directors. Films will compete in three categories: narrative feature, documentary, and short film, and audience members can even cast their votes.

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - Day 3
(credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Friday, April 1140th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
Linden Ave. and E. Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90831

The Toyota Grand Prix is rolling back into Long Beach this weekend, running Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The 40th annual lineup includes food, entertainment, and activities for racing fans of all ages, and the INDYCAR series race is expected to include Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Marco Andretti, and Takuma Sata, defending Long Beach winner. The 1.97 mile, 11-turn circuit runs through downtown Long Beach.

Literary Death Match
(credit: Literary Death Match)

Literary Death Match
Largo at the Coronet
366 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90095
www.largo-la.comFor an evening of hilarious and competitive literary adventures, head to the Coronet on La Cienaga for a death match of legendary acclaim. At the Literary Death match, four authors will have seven minutes or less to read their work before three judges. The final battle deciding the ultimate champion is a comical literary winner-takes-all game. Judges include Walter Kirn, author of "Up in the Air," BJ Novak, actor and author ("The Office," "Inglorious Bastards") and Tymberlee Hill, actress ("Drunk History"). The event begins at 7:00pm

USC cheerleaders LA times book
(credit: LA Times)

Saturday, April 12Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
University of Southern California
University Park Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90089

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is back. Head to the USC campus this weekend to meet and greet with your favorite authors, watch live cooking demonstrations from your most admired recipe authors, enjoy film screenings, dance to live music, and much more. Indoor discussions and seminars are offered on a variety of topics, and kids can join in the fun at the children's stage, where some of the best authors in children's literature will be reading their stories, or at the YA stage, where your budding reader can get inspired to a lifetime love of reading.

(credit: LA Puppet Festival)

Sunday, April 13Skirball Puppet Festival
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 North Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049

As the final day of the LA Puppet Festival wraps, head to the Skirball Cultural Center for the Skirball Puppet Festival: A Family Celebration of the Wonders of Puppet Theater. Your family can enjoy live puppet performances, shadow puppets, live music, strolling puppets (pictured), and interactive displays. Inspire the puppeteer in your entire family during your visit and learn tips and tricks for creating your own puppets back at home. 10am.

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Katie Bodell is the Blog Editor for Trekaroo, the largest family travel website in the U.S. She is also a freelance writer, a happy wife to her best friend, and a mom to three sweet California girls. See more on: Trekaroo | CheapOair | Google+ | Twitter.

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