The dynamic downtown area offers a tough, urban alternative to LA’s ubiquitous palm trees and swimming pools. It’s also home to some of the city’s best art galleries and most innovative restaurants.
Kick off the day with a cup of the city’s finest caffeine at Handsome Coffee Roasters. On weekends, pick up ‘Thee Slut’ from the Egg Slut food truck outside – a portable jar of egg, potato purée, grey salt, chives, served with crostini for dipping. If it’s a weekday, venture up the block to enjoy a bowl of house-made granola in the pretty courtyard outside the Daily Dose Café.
Meander around the Arts District, taking in the vivid murals that adorn the area’s warehouse buildings. If your schedule permits, join one of the sporadic public mural tours of the district that are led by the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles.
Wind your way towards the Japanese Village Plaza, stopping to pick up kawaii pencil cases and bento lunch boxes at one of its kitsch gift stores. Then head over to Sushi Gen, where a topnotch sashimi lunch set is just $15.
Head up East 3rd Street, stopping to take in the sights, sounds and smells of the bustling Grand Central Market. Afterwards, swing around the corner to MOCA to peruse a permanent collection of contemporary art alongside an exciting selection of new exhibits.
Downtown is LA’s current culinary epicentre. Take your pick from contemporary Italian at raw industrial space Bestia, fusion cuisine at Bäco Mercat, or an inventive tasting menu at Alma (recently voted the ‘Best New Restaurant in America’ by Bon Appetit magazine).
Time for a nightcap. Warm up with a hot toddy at specialist whiskey bar Seven Grand, or throw back a retro cocktail at glamorous speakeasy, The Edison.