This Weekend’s L.A. Guide: Mario Lopez, Andrew McCarthy, & Wolfgang Puck

Look up, Angelenos… it’s not a bird or a plane, but the sun finally emerging from this bizarre cold front. This only means you have no excuse to check out the awesomeness abound this weekend.

Friday
Chocolate and Mario Lopez-lovers need to make a beeline to See’s Candies Grand Opening party at The Grove, where the candy company is opening shop. Locals may know this iconic chocolatier for producing handmade candies for more than 90 years now. Owner Charles See actually opened his first See’s Candies Shop here in L.A., using his mother Mary See’s recipes, and now everyone can get a taste of what the buzz is all about. The grand opening festivities will include complimentary candy samples and a prize wheel. You know you love those things. Best of all, Mario Lopez will be present to make all this fun for adults, too. It’s an all-day affair starting at 11am for those who truly have a sweet tooth (for the candy, people!).

Saturday
The L.A. Times Travel Show is going on all day, which means you can get a bunch of information and free shizzle at booths from all over the world. It’s kind of like visiting dozens of exotic countries under one roof. Some booths to look out for is the emerging country of Ecuador and all the fun stuff AirBerlin is doing. Rat pack actor-turned-travel-writer Andrew McCarthy is going to be present if you’re into that.

Sunday
While it’s no Comic-Con, the LA Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention is still guaranteed to wet the pants of comic book and sci-fi fans. Geek out the entire afternoon with comic book dealers and a bunch of other nerds meandering the booths while looking for dates or, more realistically, getting all the scoop of what’s new and relevant in the industry. Bonus: The Walking Dead‘s Danai "Michonne" Gurira and Laurie "Andrea" Holden will be making appearances. Oh, and Edward Furlong, if you need to see what a person looks like post-heroin abuse.

Because you’re going to avoid the general Hollywood area, shack up at Hotel Bel Air. Not only did they whip up some creative, Oscar’s themed cocktails (like The Red Carpet with Ketel One Citron, Cointreau, lemon juice, simple syrup and splash of raspberry puree) but special bar bites are part of the occasion. Wolfgang Puck is creating dishes he served at the Oscar’s after-party for the past 19 years, so you’ll get to eat up like a celebrity. Live Academy Award viewing is at the bar. 

Andrew McCarthy Is Back & This Time He’s an Award-Winning Travel Journalist

I always liked Andrew McCarthy in the Brat Pack movies. He played the sweet guy caught up with the wrong crowd, a crowd that was usually led by James Spader (see Pretty In Pink, Less Than Zero). McCarthy always had a warmth to him: The WASP with a heart of gold; the smiley leading man in a cast of scowlers (Judd Nelson, where are you now?); the slightly hipper version of Emilio Estevez. But after the eighties McCarthy’s career took a turn for the C-list. His lost-boy looks evaporated and he appeared in a bunch of catastrophic failures. His downfall culminated in an altogether unsettling performance as a pedophile-rapist in Law and Order: SVU. But it looks like McCarthy’s had us all fooled. All this while, he’s had a second career of sorts as a travel journalist. Not only that, but he’s just won the prestigious 2010 Travel Journalist of the Year award.

Apparently McCarthy has been writing regularly National Geographic Traveler, Bon Appetit, and a bunch of other places. He’s searched for soda bread in Ireland, written about going back to the wilderness after a friend’s death, and ranked the beaches in Maui. As far as I can tell, he’s actually a pretty decent writer. So cheers to you, Andrew McCarthy, for proving that child stars don’t have to end up as crackheads and/or reality show fuckups. In honor of this special occasion, here’s a pretty fantastic McCarthy video tribute. Enjoy!