The Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles. (Iwan Baan, Courtesy of The Broad)

A Modern Guide to DTLA: Amid Arts Renaissance, Downtown Is the Star of Los Angeles


Forget about Venice Beach, Hollywood or Play del Rey. Right now, Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) is the place to be.

Cutting-edge museums and art galleries, buzzy restaurants and concept retail shops have transformed what was once one of L.A.'s most avoided districts into what is now among the most exciting neighborhoods in the country. Hop a cheap Virgin flight and follow our guide to a stylish few days in DTLA.

Eat + Drink in DTLA

A vibrant mural by Cyrcle is the centerpiece at Rossoblu.

(Ed Anderson)

DTLA's Italian food game is strong. But beware: So are its drinks.


Inside the Ace Hotel, from the chefs behind Il Pesce Cucina at Eataly L.A., you'll find Best Girl (927 S Broadway), dressed in Art Deco-style trappings and wall murals. Seafood-based dishes and pasta are on order: Go for the daily crudo, a tuna and summer bean salad, and the stuffed paccheri pasta with bitter greens and béchamel. // From the Michelin-starred restaurateurs behind The Sycamore Kitchen and Odys + Penelope comes The Mighty (108 W. 22nd St. #105), a casual all-day eatery serving fresh salads, housemade pastas, focaccia and rotisserie chicken. We recommend the crispy polenta with Peruvian ahi aioli; the spaghetti pomodoro; and pappardelle with Bolognese sauce. // Rossoblu (1124 San Julian St.) is an homage to chef Steve Samson's family heritage in Bolognese cooking. Each recipe here is a journey through the culinary traditions of the Emilia Romagna region. Start with the Swiss chard erbazzone tartlet before moving on to a pasta, including a maltagliati with porcini and pioppini mushrooms or the cappellacci with squash, brown butter and amaretti. The venue is also an art lover's go-to with a mural wall by the two-man artist collective Cyrcle.


Get your Google map ready: DTLA's hottest spots for drinks are practically hidden.

Perennial favorite The Edison (108 W. 2nd St.) is still worth a visit. Housed in an old power plant in a sort-of-remote alley, the cool subterranean nightclub has an industrial-chic vibe and serves artisanal drinks. Tip your bartender for a Splendor in the Glass (mezcal, lemongrass, lime, jalapeno and ginger) or a Dead Man's Hand (High West double rye, George Dickel whiskey, vanilla, coffee bitters, orange zest and burn orange Scotch). Don't miss the burlesque show on Thursdays. // The big tree growing up through the center of the main room defines The Pacific Seas at Clifton's (648 South Broadway), where the stage is set for concerts and dance performances. Art Deco and South Pacific vibes (there's a secret tiki bar!) work together for a vintage-style lounge that's a landmark for the neighborhood. // SF's beloved Mikkeller (330 W. Olympic Blvd.) has been serving international craft beers to Angelenos since January last year. Go get a taste of home (or pretty much anyplace else) with a mighty list of brews ranging from crisp to spicy to funky to dark. // Opened in early 2017 in a basement of an old building on Broadway, Birds and Bees (207 S. Broadway) has made a name for itself among interior design lovers looking toast in style. The rather large venue has 120 seats: Pull up a stool at the bar or sink into an armchair in the lounge.

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