In anticipation of NACW 2015, we’d like to share our favorites in downtown Los Angeles

February 10, 2015

The next NACW will take place in downtown Los Angeles this April and we’re very excited to welcome delegates to our hometown. In addition to the Reserve’s main office, downtown Los Angeles is home to many top notch sights and treasures, such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles Central Library, and Grand Central Market. To get you excited about joining us in downtown LA, we’d like to share some of our favorites in the neighborhood. Please feel free to contact us for additional information or recommendations! And please feel free to share your favorites in the comment section below. Thanks!

Max:

Sixth Street Tavern

Sixth Street Tavern

  • Favorite sandwich: The BBQ Pork Banh Mi from The Sandwich Shop on 6th Street, just around the corner from the Biltmore
  • Favorite breakfast: The Original Pantry Café, at the corner of 9th St and Figueroa. If it’s crowded, sit at the counter
  • Favorite casual beer bar: Casey’s Irish Pub, Grand Ave just south of 6th Street
  • Favorite craft beer bar: Sixth Street Tavern
  • Favorite business lunch: Blue Cow Kitchen, up the hill on Grand Ave
  • Favorite dinner: Mas Malo (Mexican), 7th Street between Grand and Olive

Further afield:

  • LA Farmer’s Market: 3rd Street and Fairfax Ave, 10-15 minutes from downtown
  • Griffith Observatory: In Griffith Park, Google it. Stellar views of the LA basin, and you can learn science things.
  • Hermosa Beach Pier: Get the beach vibe. Plan for a long walk and then lots of food and drink options. Bring flip-flops and sunglasses, regardless of weather.
Stephanie:

Grand Hope Park

Grand Park

  • Favorite park: Grand Park is a nice downhill stroll from the Music Center to City Hall; the big fountain is especially nice at night
  • Favorite place to walk around: Little Tokyo has cool shops, restaurants, the Japanese American National Museum, MOCA-Geffen
  • Favorite historical spot: Olvera Street, a good place to buy a leather purse, Day of the Dead skull, some dulce, or a Los Doyers t-shirt, and take a tour of the Avila Adobe, the oldest standing residence in Los Angeles
  • Favorite view: View from the revolving L.A. Prime restaurant on top of the Bonaventure
  • Favorite lobby: the very Moroccan Hotel Figueroa
Rob:

G&B Coffee

G&B Coffee

  • Favorite coffee: G&B Coffee
  • Favorite gastropub: Wurstkuche
  • Favorite restaurant: Orsa & Winston
  • Favorite bar: Cole’s/Varnish
  • Favorite Japanese: Izakaya Honda-Ya

Outside of DTLA

  • Favorite Chinese food: Newport Seafood (San Gabriel)
  • Favorite café: Casbah Café (Silver Lake)
  • Favorite gastropub: Beer Belly (Koreatown)
Rhey:

Peddler's Creamery

Peddler’s Creamery

  • Favorite street art: Parking by Banksy (Broadway & 9th)
  • Favorite place to wander: The Last Bookstore – used & new books, interesting finds (signed Miranda July book!), even a dollar section upstairs
  • Favorite photo op spot: on top of the ice cream-churning bicycle at Peddler’s Creamery, yes they let you sit on top and take photos. Great spot for delicious organic vegan ice cream. And if you can pedal for 20 minutes at a steady pace, you can sign up for a pedaling-churning session and receive a free scoop of ice cream in return.
  • Favorite pie spot: Pie Hole – they offer not just sweet pies, but savory pies too, like chicken pot pie, kale & mushroom pie, steak & ale pie
  • Favorite taco spot: Guisados
Teresa:

casey's

Casey’s Irish Pub

  • Best happy hour: Casey’s
  • Best whiskey bar: 7th and Grand
  • Best rooftop cocktails with a view (and also a good happy hour): Takami Restaurant
  • Best Happy Hour (food) w/ great sports viewing: Bunker Hill Bar and Grill
  • Best Divebars: La Cita, Down and Out (Couldn’t pick one 😉
  • Best tacos: Grand Central Market!!
  • Best coffee: Spring for Coffee – it’s literally in the Biltmore (entrance on Grand) and it’s SOOOO good!
Sarah:

Gather DTLA

Gather DTLA

  • Favorite museum: Grammy Museum
  • Favorite yarn/knitting store: Gather DTLA (inside the Last Bookstore)
  • Favorite theatre: the Orpheum
  • Favorite bar: Villain’s Tavern
  • Favorite lunch spot: Grand Central Market
Mark:

Tacos Tumbras a Tomas

Tacos Tumbras a Tomas

  • Coffee: G&B Coffee in Grand Central Market
  • Quick lunch: cabeza and carnitas tacos at Tacos Tumbras a Tomas in Grand Central Market
  • Sandwich (kinda): beef tongue schnitzel bäco at Bäco Mercat
  • Happy hour deal: $5 Manhattan + $5 half-dip & fries at Cole’s
  • Cocktail: Poblano Escobar at Las Perlas
Stephen:

lab

LA Boulders

  • Athletic Pursuits: LA Boulders (LAB)
  • Cheap Eats: Wurstkuche
  • Café: Zinc Cafe
  • Veggie Options: Tierra café
  • Drinks: The Varnish
Rachel:

Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market

  • Favorite lunch spot: Grand Central Market – lots of variety and a great example of classic downtown and “new downtown” coming together. Try a pastrami at Wexler’s Deli or Thai comfort food at Sticky Rice.
  • Favorite rooftop bar: Ace Hotel –  hidden gem on Broadway with an always interesting mix of people (and cocktails!)
  • Favorite bar for a group: The Edison – home to LA’s first power plant, this is a speakeasy-type place with very cool architecture and history
  • Favorite casual dinner spot: Tender Greens – fast, fresh and very close to the conference hotel
  • Favorite dinner spot: Bestia – a little off-the-beaten-DTLA path, but worth the trip to the Arts District for unique Italian small plates in a vibrant, fun setting
Gillian:

Bottega Louie

Bottega Louie

  • Favorite indoor market: Grand Central Market
  • Favorite outdoor market: the Wednesday Farmer’s Market at Pershing Square
  • Favorite sushi: Sugar Fish
  • Favorite cookie: the macaroons at  Bottega Louie’s
  • Favorite happy hour: the Golden Gopher
Gary:

Bradbury Building

Bradbury Building

  • Favorite architecture: the Bradbury Building, the rotunda at LA City Hall, the Ace Hotel, the Children’s Reading Room at the Central Library (and the rotunda there too), and just a bit out of downtown the Mercado Paloma
  • Favorite music hall: Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • Favorite lunch spot: Baco Mercat, Grand Central Market, Daikokuya in Little Tokyo
  • Favorite dinner spot: Bestia, Church & State
  • Favorite taco spot: Guisados (especially the original location in Boyle Heights)
Heather:

The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore

  • Favorite Bookstore: The Last Bookstore. Words can’t describe how awesome this place is. $1 used books upstairs? Yes, please. It’s easy to while away the hours in this store, so plan accordingly.
  • Favorite Hair Salon: Industry DTLA. Not only have I been going to the owner for haircuts for the past 6 years, he now has a new space complete with edgy boutique items designed and made locally.
  • Favorite Theater: The Theater at Ace Hotel. If you have a chance to catch at show here, it’s an experience you will never forget. The completely restored 1920s theater will take your breath away. So many beautiful architectural details, even if the seating is a bit cramped and vertically daunting.
  • Favorite Crepes (breakfast OR lunch!): Crêpe X-press Cafe. Savory or sweet crêpes for breakfast or lunch, any of them can be made gluten free! The salads are also great, and they serve Illy coffee, if that’s your thing. I love the Voulez-Vous and À Bientôt savory crêpes and the classic Crêpe Xpress sweet crêpe with banana, strawberries, and Nutella.
  • Favorite Happy Hour with a View: The Standard Hotel. Lots of seating with great views of the city and a cool, modern vibe.