DTLA by the Numbers
Stephan Horbelt


1. City Hall Observation Deck

Catch the DTLA skyline (for free) in all its glory from the 27th floor observation deck, open weekdays til 5 p.m. 201 Main St., Civic Center. lacity.org

2. Perch
This aptly named French bistro offers delicious food and craft cocktails in a breathtaking rooftop setting. 448 S. Hill St., Gallery Row. perchla.com

3. Bona Vista Lounge
With a name that means ‘great view,’ what did you expect? Even better, the Westin Bonaventure’s 34th-floor lounge revolves! 404 S. Figueroa St., Bunker Hill. thebonaventure.com


If you think of Downtown as a place to work but not call home, think again. DTLA has become the go-to spot for L.A. gays looking to escape the gay ghetto and live a city life of steel and concrete. Plus, despite what you may think, DTLA has all the amenities you need to call any neighborhood home.

1. Grocery Stores

Find your fresh produce and meat at Grand Central Market, or opt for the big-name Ralphs Fresh Fare, which offers everything you’d expect plus fresh sushi and dry cleaning.

2. Pharmacies
Take your pick of CVS, Rite Aid or Walgreens, all of which have DTLA locations.

3. Veterinarian & Pet Services
DSN Vet Clinic offers spay and neuter services, has an online pharmacy and is available for emergency or walk-in service. Bark Avenue offers grooming, boarding, daycare and training.

4. Liquor Stores
There’s no shortage of quaint shops that sell hard-to-find liquors and microbrews Downtown.

5. Gyms
Popular DTLA gyms include Gold’s Gym, 24 Hour Fitness and the gym at Los Angeles Athletic Club.

6. Barbershop
Stop into old-school barbershop Bolt Barbers or L.A. Barber College for a cheap new ‘do or beard trim.

7. Shoe Repair
You’re bound to do a little more walking once you move Downtown, and this neighborhood has you covered.

Originally opened in 1901, Angel’s Flight is one of DTLA’s most popular landmarks, shuttling passengers up and down Bunker Hill’s steep incline. It’s so damn quaint that it makes for a great photo. Suggested filter: Willow

“My favorite spots in DTLA for home furniture and accessories? For that one-of-a-kind custom piece, I recommend (SUB) URBAN Home (101 W. 5th St., suburban-la.com) and Cleveland Art (110 N. Santa Fe Ave., clevelandart.com). If you’re looking for something vintage, I love the L.A. Flea Market (every third Saturday at Dodger Stadium). And for something a bit more mainstream, I always send people to iSquared (758 S. Spring St., isquaredhome.com).” —Paolo Ricartti

Remember the streets of DTLA (from East to West) with this simple rhyme: “From Main we Spring to Broadway, and over the Hill to Olive. O, wouldn’t it be Grand if we could Hope to pick a Flower on Figueroa?”

Think DTLA isn’t safe? The area has eight different Business Improvement Districts, all of which have security patrols on the streets. DTLA is safer than you think!

One of the easiest ways to get around DTLA (besides walking) is the network of buses called the DASH. For 50 cents, you can travel from one end of DTLA to the other. ladottransit.com


1. Eastern Columbia Building
Without a doubt, it’s the city’s coolest body of water, thanks to the gorgeous turquoise clocktower that butts against it. Unfortunately, you’ll have to know someone who lives in the attached lofts. 849 S. Broadway, Historic Downtown. easterncolumbialofts.com

2. Los Angeles Athletic Club
You’ll need a gym membership or a staycation at the attached hotel to appreciate this 25-yard lap pool and its gorgeous stained-glass roof. 431 W. 7th St., Jewelry District. laac.com

3. The Rooftop Bar & Pool
Old faithful for many trendy L.A. residents, at DTLA’s Standard Hotel, you’re looking to see and be seen—with a stunning vista of the cityscape behind you. 550 S. Flower St., Financial District. standardhotels.com

4. Hotel Figueroa
Full of charm, this Moroccan-themed hotel has a stunning, quaint pool area. You’re guaranteed to feel as if you’ve left DTLA’s noise and bustle behind. 939 S. Figueroa St., Entertainment District. figueroahotel.com

5. ION Rooftop Pool Bar
Considered by many a hidden gem of L.A., this pool sits on the fourth floor of the J.W. Marriott Downtown. Perfect for summer fun or happy hour drinks! 900 W. Olympic Blvd., Entertainment Center. lalivemarriott.com


Sure, you can walk over to the L.A. Mall (201 N. Los Angeles St.) for lunch with everyone else in the jury pool. Or you can live a little and check out what DTLA has to offer!

1. American Apparel Factory
Check out the sweatshop-free factory that makes all your favorite cotton basics, located right in the heart of DTLA. Find some cheap irregular product at the factory store. 747 Warehouse St., Produce District. americanapparel.com

2. Sassony Arcade
You won’t hear this place described as “classy,” but it’s a retro arcade great for a game of Pac-Man or two. 724 S. Broadway, Jewelry District.

3. Gallery Bar
The bar at the Millenium Biltmore Hotel is stunning, with quite a storied history and veteran bartenders to boot. Of course, we aren’t recommending you get sloshed on your jury duty lunch break, but we wouldn’t blame you if you did! 506 S. Grand Ave., Financial District. milleniumhotels.com

4. Apliiq
Nowhere else can you walk in and customize your own pocket tees, tanks or hoodies like this. 440 Seaton St., Arts District. apliiq.com


Like any city’s Chinatown, our Old Chinatown Plaza, located along Broadway above DTLA, is a vibrant, colorful locale great for snapping pics. It’s also home to some of the best dim sum you’ll find anywhere. Recommended filter: Rise

“A really great men’s boutique is Apolis (806 E. 3rd St., apolisglobal.com). They travel around the world looking for high-end men’s fashion and accessories and co-create specialized items with manufacturers in Bangladesh, India, Peru and elsewhere.” —Charlie Altuna


Believe it or not, DTLA is a great place for Fido and the cats to call home, as evidenced by these favorite destinations of pets and their loving owners.

1. Saslow Dog Park
Busiest right before work and right after the work day, this park isn’t the fanciest. And yeah, your pup is sure to leave a bit dirty, because the park is mostly dirt. But Rover will love it here, which means you will, too. 1004 E. 4th St., Arts District

2. The Standard
One of the city’s trendiest hotels, all rooms here are pet-friendly. Three cats or dogs are welcome for a $100 fee. Don’t let your pets miss out on your DTLA fun. 550 S. Flower St., Financial District. standardhotels.com

3. Pussy & Pooch
You’ll find more than pet food and accessories at this chic pet boutique with a playful twist. Pussy & Pooch also offers a
full-service and self-service bathhouse; “Pawbar,” the in-store pet café; and monthly socials. 564 S. Main St., Historic Downtown. pussyandpooch.com

You don’t have to leave L.A. to feel like you’ve landed in Tokyo, Paris or New York. No currency exchange required.

1. DoubleTree Hotel
Formerly the Kyoto Grand, this Little Tokyo hotel’s half-acre rooftop garden has winding paths, mini-bridges and a waterfall, and it’s a popular spot for weddings. 120 S. Los Angeles St., Little Tokyo. doubletree3.hilton.com

2. Syrup Desserts
Grab a nutella crêpe, a strong cup of coffee and a seat while taking in the bustling nature of our fair city. Open late night. 611 S. Spring St., Historic Core.

3. L.A. Live
It’s L.A.’s version of Times Square, which will draw some and repel others. Chain restaurants abound (though some are still worthy, like Katsuya), as do live music venues, with Staples Center, Club Nokia and the Grammy Museum all within a stone’s throw. 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Entertainment District. lalive.com


1. DTLA Art Walk
You’re missing out if you haven’t ventured Downtown on the second Thursday of the month. It’s a celebration of the area’s galleries, artists, restaurants, bars and shops, starting early (around noon) and running late. Map out your itinerary at downtownartwalk.org.

2. Mustache Mondays
There’s only one place in L.A. for the gays to get rowdy and tear up a dance floor on Monday nights. This weekly party brings in a slew of frenetic guest performers and DJs with indie cred. La Cita, 336 S. Hill St., Gallery Row. lacitabar.com

3. Max Karaoke Studio
Absorb Japan’s culture by indulging in its most fun pastime. Max’s has one of the best songbooks in town—it’s huge—and you can bring in your own food and drink. I encourage you to get sloppy and belt out “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” 333 S. Alameda St., Little Tokyo. maxkaraokestudio.com


Grand Central Market is a no-brainer if you’re looking for international diversity in your grub. It’s been a bustling hub since 1917, and the colors of the various vendors’ offerings make for great snapshots. Suggested filter: Earlybird

CB-1 is my favorite gallery Downtown (207 W. 5th St., cb1gallery.com). Clyde Beswick, the gallery director, consistently brings one great show after another, with artists like Chris Oatey, Laura Krifka, Alexander Kroll and Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia, just to name 
a few.” —Victor Rodriguez


1. Downtown Independent
Expect a hip selection of cult movies, foreign films and quirky events. Don’t forget to check out the theatre’s rooftop patio, a haven for film nerd hipsters. 251 S. Main St., Gallery Row. downtownindependent.com

2. Regal Cinemas
Catch the latest blockbuster at this giant, 14-screen complex. The theater recently announced that all films are only $7 on the first Tuesday of the month. 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Entertainment District. regmovies.com

3. Electric Dusk Drive-In
Catch a flick ‘60s-style—on a parking garage rooftop with carhops taking orders. Don’t have a car? There’s a designated seating area just for you. 240 W. 4th St., Gallery Row. electricduskdrivein.com

Here you’ll find work of local filmmakers alongside curated retrospectives and other interesting exhibits. 631 W. 2nd St., Bunker Hill. redcat.org

DTLA isn’t all urban jungle. Sometimes you require respite from steel and concrete. Here’s where you get it.

1. ‘The Cornfield’
L.A. State Historic Park covers 32 acres of open space on the edge of DTLA, and it’s perfect for biking, jogging or a picnic. It’s also great for a snapshot of the DTLA skyline. 1245 N. Spring St., Chinatown

2. FIDM Park

Grand Hope Park sits in front of the Fashion Institute. Beware: the park’s playground naturally attracts—gasp!—families. 919 S. Grand Ave., South Park

3. Angels Knoll
“A hillside oasis among the towers of the urban jungle,” the benches here were made famous by the film 500 Days of Summer. 356 S. Olive St., Bunker Hill

4. Maguire Gardens
Pop open a book along-side the gorgeous gardens, fountains and pools that surround DTLA’s Central Library. A great place to relax. 630 W. 5th St., Financial District

Just in case your post-work happy hour gets a little out of hand, there are plenty of great Downtown hotels where you can lay your head—for a night or an extended weekend.

1. Ritz-Carlton / J.W. Marriott
Towering above the L.A. Live entertainment megaplex, these high-rise hotels ensure there will be no shortage of daytrips during your DTLA stay. Plenty of restaurants, live music venues and other attractions are steps away. 900 W. Olympic Blvd., Entertainment District. lalivemarriott.com, ritzcarlton.com

2. The Historic Mayfair
Rooms at this 1920s hotel are air-conditioned and affordable—and they come with free WiFi. It’s Old World service for the modern age. 1256 W. 7th St., City West. mayfairla.com

3. O Hotel
This boutique hotel—one of the only in DTLA—has a minimalist, New York feel. While you’re calling the O home, be sure to check out the on-site spa, which offers great deals on massages, facials and mani/pedis. 819 Flower St., Financial District. ohotelgroup.com

4. Los Angeles Athletic Club
It’s known mostly for its fancy athletic and social club, but the hotel rooms here—particularly the club-themed suites—are top-notch and boast great views of the city. 431 W. 7th St., Jewelry District. laac.com


Everyone loves a fountain, and the historic Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain—with its wade-able membrane pool—is a gorgeous specimen, great for a photo. Suggested filter: Walden

“I’ve been living Downtown for years, and it's been great watching things change! I love Uncle John's Cafe (834 S. Grand Ave., ujcafe.com) for breakfast, Baco Mercat (408 S. Main St., bacomercat.com) for lunch, Sugarfish (600 W. 7th St., sugarfishsushi.com) for sushi, Bottega Louie (700 S. Grand Ave., bottegalouie.com) for the scene and Pete's Cafe (400 S. Main St., petescafe.com) for late-night dining.” —Hank Green

There’s always something to do Downtown, whether it’s pigging out after a late night of bar-hopping, indulging in a pre-sunrise breakfast or riding bikes among the area’s historic landmarks. No matter what time of day you find yourself enjoying DTLA, these options are always on the table.

1. The Original Pantry
Since 1924, this place hasn’t closed and has never been without a customer, surviving the difficult years of the Great Depression and WWII by serving generous portions of traditional American eats. An L.A. landmark. 877 S. Figueroa St., Entertainment Center. pantrycafe.com

2. Spring Street Parklets
These brand-new parklets (a term for small parks made from parking spaces) are located on Spring between 6th and 7th. Based on a San Fran model, these are the first to include exercise equipment along with seating areas and a foosball table. Best of all, they’re up for enjoyment any time of day.

3. Pacific Dining Car
Perfect for those in search of a more upscale eatery for odd hours of the day, this popular restaurant—known for its amazing steaks—serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea (3-5:30 p.m. daily), dinner and late-night dishes. 1310 W. 6th St., City West. pacificdiningcar.com

With the amount of people slaving away at day jobs Downtown, it’s no surprise that you can find happy hour specials at just about every DTLA bar and eatery. Here are some of the neighborhood’s best.

1. First & Hope
This classy American bistro offers up $5 bar bites, $5 draft beer and $7 well drinks Tuesday through Friday, from 5-10 p.m. 710 W. 1st St., Bunker Hill. firstandhope.com

2. Octopus
Can’t make it out for drinks right after work? Octopus offers a reverse happy hour (9:30 p.m. to close) with super-cheap specials on everything from appetizers and sushi to beer, sake and liquor. 727 W. 7th St., Financial District. octopusrestaurant.com

3. Engine Co. No. 28
Step into this restored fire station anytime to enjoy happy hour prices. From 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week, you’ll find beer, wine, well drinks and great appetizers for $5. 644 S. Figueroa St., Financial District. engineco.com

4. The Edison
Everyone loves this transformed 1910 power plant (it once supplied electricity to all of DTLA), and even more so weeknights from 5-7 p.m., when select appetizers are $5 and one cocktail is only 35 cents. 108 W. 2nd St., Old Bank District. edisondowntown.com

5. Lucky Strike
Suspend your snooty attitude and give this place a try, either for happy hour or before a show at Staples or Club Nokia. The bowling alley’s Monday through Thursday specials include $3 draft beer and $6 martinis. 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Entertainment Center. bowlluckystrike.com


1. The Fashion District
L.A. residents know that Santee Alley is your best bet for finding designer duds, bags and accessories, but search the rest of the district for great finds as well.

2. The Flower Market
Located on Wall Street between 7th and 8th, many shops in the Flower Market are wholesale only, but others are your one-stop shop for gorgeous cut flowers and greenery.

3. The Toy District
It’s a mixed wholesale/retail area where you’ll find traditional toys (dolls, action figures, video games) and also electronics, silk flowers and who knows what else.


Before the opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the 48-mile L.A. River supplied the city with its fresh water. Now it’s heavily polluted and parts are teeming with homeless residents, but some parts are downright gorgeous, with heavy vegetation and wildlife you wouldn’t expect in the heart of our big city. Suggested filter: 1977

“When I'm looking to grab a drink Downtown, I go to Spring St. Bar (626-B S. Spring St., springstla.com) because I like the craftsman beer selection and outdoor seating. Spring is a busy part of Downtown, and I enjoy the energy and the people-watching.” —Brian Harris Krinsky


1. Pershing Square
This all-purpose DTLA space offers up an ice rink in winter months and acts as a summer stage once things warm up. This summer, bring lawn chairs and picnic baskets to the park for free outdoor music three days each week, with some of the biggest names in pop music playing on Saturday nights. 532 S. Olive St., Old Bank District. laparks.org

2. Grammy Museum
Part of the L.A. Live complex, in addition to the museum’s rotating exhibits (currently Whitney Houston and Columbia Records showcases), catch an intimate performance by a music legend in the 200-seat Clive Davis Theatre. 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Entertainment District. grammymuseum.org

3. Grand Star Jazz Club
A cornerstone of DTLA’s Chinatown, this restaurant/nightclub offers up a crazy mix of live music, from jazz and old-school hip-hop to DJs spinning their own creations. You’re also sure to love the light-up dance floor. 943 N. Broadway, Chinatown. grandstarjazzclub.com

4. The Mayan
With its indigenous-inspired décor, The Mayan makes a dramatic backdrop for any event held here, whether it be a Lucha VaVoom Mexican-style wrestling show, all-night (and morning) circuit party or a raucous rock concert. 1038 S. Hill St., South Park. clubmayan.com

5. The Mezz
Located on the mezzanine level of DTLA’s nearly 110-year-old Alexandria Hotel, The Mezz Bar features everything from live jazz and blues to DJs spinning house, trance and funk. The low ceiling of the bar takes you back to the time of speakeasies. 501 S. Spring St., Historic Downtown. thealexandria.net

With L.A. being such a movie town, it’s no wonder DTLA has played the role of backdrop for many a blockbuster and famed film. Here are four notorious film locations.

1. Olvera Street
The oldest part of DTLA, this landmark area has since been converted into a Mexican marketplace. In 1921, it was featured prominently in Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid. Now an attraction for tourists and locals alike, it’s the place to come for Mexican eats and cultural items.

2. Union Station
With its gorgeous architecture and gardens, it’s no wonder that L.A.’s main railway station has been featured in films including Pearl Harbor, Speed and The Dark Knight Rises. 800 N. Alameda St., El Pueblo. amtrak.com

3. Millennium Biltmore Hotel
Upon its grand opening in 1923, it was the largest hotel west of Chicago. The hotel’s exterior was meant as an homage to L.A.’s Castillian heritage, while the interior—with its frescoes, marble fountains and columns—is a return to Old World charm like no other. Films shot here include Vertigo, King Kong (1976), Airport, Ghostbusters and Pretty in Pink. 506 S. Grand Ave., Financial District. millenniumhotels.com

4. Bradbury Building
An architectural landmark of DTLA, you’ve seen this 1893 building star in films including Chinatown, Blade Runner and The Artist, and also in several music videos. 304 S. Broadway, Old Bank District

Now follow Frontiers and tag us on Instagram! @frontiersLA

 «  Return to previous page
 »  Send to a friend

Leave a comment:

showing all comments · Subscribe to comments
  1. Christopher V. posted on 02/20/2013 06:01 PM
    This was a pretty decent article about DTLA. however it is obviously a sponsored (paid for) writeup.

    The writer left out 4 of the most popular venues often frequented by LGBT'ers. The Ahmanson Theater, The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Disney Concert Hall and Museum of Contemporary Art.

    1. Stephan posted on 02/21/2013 09:47 AM
      @Christopher V. Sorry, Christopher, but I'm afraid you couldn't be more wrong. No one paid for inclusion in my article, and the reason the places you mention are not included in this piece is because they are all CONSISTENTLY covered by this magazine. I wanted to focus on businesses and attractions I haven't covered already.

      You really can't please everyone.
showing all comments