12 Unique Things to Do This Weekend, 8/18

Watch competitive eaters stuff their face with Gyoza or get a taste of the city’s best barbeque at Smorgasburg

FOOD: The Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship
As part of the Nisei Week Festival, competitive eaters will vie for a grand prize of $5,000 as they try to break the world record of eating 384 Gyozas in 10 minutes. Go for the contest and stay for other Nisei Week festivities including a needlecraft and kimono exhibition and the Rubik’s Cube Open. More information (August 20-21, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center)

FEST: Tiki Bash at Descanso Gardens
For $75, Tiki fiends can spend a day enjoying Hawaiian dance performances, a themed buffet, and unlimited cocktails. More information (August 21, Descanso Gardens)

FOOD: L.A. Taco Festival
An entire day dedicated to Tacos and a good cause. The free festival will have food trucks like Kogi, MexiCali, and Epic Tacos as well as musical performances headlined by Funky Brewsterz. Donations to the festival will help Jovenes Inc. find homes for the homeless. More information (August 20, Grand Park)

BOOKS: Leimert Park Village Book Fair
Leimert Park Village is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a solid combination of books and celebrities. Stop by to see everyone from Pulitzer Prize winning authors Isabel Wilkerson and Douglas A. Blackmon to Grey’s Anatomy’s Isaiah Washington. More information (August 20, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza)

SPORTS: Los Angeles Rams vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Our Rams are defending their record against the Kansas City Chiefs after a win against the Dallas Cowboys last week. More information (August 20, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena)

ART: The Chocolate and Art Show Los Angeles Edition
Stop into The Vortex this weekend for live body painting, a selection of street food, and sets from various DJs. The best part? Free chocolate. More information (August 19-20, The Vortex)

FOOD: Smorgasburg LA
It’s barbeque week at Smorgasburg, which means you can taste smoky, saucy offerings from the likes of Horse Thief BBQ, Bludso’s Bar and Que, Barrel and Ashes, Old Skool BBQ, and more. More information (August 21, Alameda Produce Market)

FEST: Chinatown Summer Nights
Experience Chinatown through cooking demonstrations, video projections, cultural activities, and (of course) food and beer: head to the craft beer garden for sips from Smog City and Stone Brewing, and grab munchies from trucks like Jogasaki and Fluff Ice. More information (August 20, Chinatown)

BOOKS: Marty Sklar Book Signing
What’s it like to be a Disney Imagineer? Former Walt Disney Imagineering president Marty Sklar jotted it all down in One Little Spark, an insider look at the people who bring Disney magic to life. Sklar will be available for signings. More information (August 21, Walt Disney’s Barn)

OUTDOORS: Summer Nights in the Garden at the Natural History Museum
Spend a night in the garden of the Natural History Museum, where you’ll sip cocktails, try your hand at garden and science projects, enjoy musical performances, and taste the fare from a slew of food trucks. Admission is free, but an RSVP is required. More information (August 19, Natural History Museum)

MUSIC: Echo Park Rising
The all free/all ages east side festival is back with a lineup including Chicano Batman, Bleached, La Luz, and more. More information (August 19-21, The Echoplex)

COMEDY: Comedy Sucks
The variety show heads to the NerdMelt showroom for the first time, its very name a challenge to each comedian on the bill (their job? Prove the title of the show wrong). This weekend’s lineup includes Todd Glass, Everything is Terrible, and Brent Weinbach. More information (August 19, NerdMelt Showroom)