LOCAL LOWDOWNS

Where to Eat, Sleep & Drink in Downtown L.A.

Everyone’s talking about downtown L.A. - including me. Read my guide to the neighbourhood over at Tablet magazine and check out a few of my favourite DTLA spots in the round-up below.

Where to…

EAT

Grand Central Market
Everything from fresh-off-the-griddle pupusas at Sarita’s Pupuseria, to chive and grey salt scrambled eggs on a brioche bun at EggSlut - plus bargain dried chillis and fresh fruit to take home.

Guerrilla Tacos
Slicker than your average, and more pricey too - but so very worth it. Fillings run the spectrum from roasted artichoke with red pepper escabeche to a more traditional Diablo Gulf shrimp.

Baco Mercat
Here, the signature fancy flatbreads act as vessels for all manner of delicious things, from crispy pork to oxtail hash.

Maccheroni Republic
Homemade pasta and perfect risotto served in a tree-shaded courtyard that feels far from downtown L.A. Really reasonable prices and BYOB, too.

Bestia
If you can get a table, Bestia will serve you some of the best cured meats and pasta dishes in town.

Sushi Gen
The $15 sashimi lunch special warrants an hour plus wait.

Daily Dose Cafe
Fantastic sandwiches (The Farmer with Rroasted squash, heirloom potatoes, avocado, heirloom tomatoes, burrata and ancho chili jam is the one you want) and good coffee in an adorable alleyway setting.

Restaurant Komasa
If you can’t get into Sushi Gen/don’t want to wait, then Komasa is your best nearby alternative. Super-fresh and not too expensive.

Alma
Bon Appetit’s Best New American Restaurant of the year in 2013. Say no more.

DRINK

Perch
Views on views on views.

Upstairs Bar at Ace Hotel Downtown L.A.
Post-It sized pool and slightly overpriced drinks, but the sexy rustic Cali chic decor and swooping view across the city make it all worth it in the end.

The Varnish
Dinky and much-loved backroom bar at Cole’s with dimly lit booths and expertly mixed cocktails.

The Lash
Sceney, sparse, and a bit pretentious, but still a reliably cool place for a cocktail and a dance.

“Villain’s Tavern”:
A divey bar slightly off the beaten track, where the drinks and crowd are more polished than you might expect.

The Blue Whale
Lowkey jazz bar hidden in a Little Tokyo mall. What’s not to love?

SLEEP

Ace Hotel Downtown LA
The newest hotel in town, complete with the vibe, staff, and crowd that makes Ace the coolest hotel brand in the world.

The Standard, Downtown LA
24-7 everything (restaurant, gym, room service) plus a rooftop pool that buzzes all summer long.

Air BnB

A lot of the hotels in downtown L.A. are horribly dated - but the area’s Air BnB offering is anything but. Take your pick from a vast array for cheap, private lofts, most of which come equipped with pools and parking.

SHOP

Japanese Village Plaza
The place to pick up everything from a block of sashimi-grade tuna to a game-changing Korean face mask.

Poketo
Satisfy your inner nerd with minimalist stationary and chic storage solutions.

Acne
If you lose your shit over Acne’s perfect leather jackets and highly-covetable knits then you’ll go crazy in the Swedish brand’s new west coast flagship.

Apolis

Well-made menswear with a local Cali slant. The store doubles up as a chic gallery space, too.