Beat poet Jack Kerouac proclaimed Los Angeles “the loneliest and most brutal of American cities.” Twenty years later novelist Norman Mailer deemed California’s City of Angels “a constellation of plastic.”
Kardashians aside, one wonders what such critics would make of this very 21st century metropolis and especially the emergence of Downtown Los Angeles, aka DTLA, as a cultural mecca with some of America’s most cutting edge arts institutions and innovative gourmet establishments.
Design minded eyes were all on DTLA late last year with the opening of The Broad, a contemporary art museum with a honeycomb exoskeleton by the acclaimed architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Admission-free, the museum is filled with iconic artworks by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons, as well controversial works by LA artists like John Baldessari and Ed Ruscha. We dare you to walk out of the Takashi Murakami filled gallery without a smile.
Across the street sits Frank Gehry’s stainless steel clad Walt Disney Concert Hall, home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra where 35-year old artistic and music director Gustavo Dudamel has cultivated a rock star following with his flowing locks and captivating conducting.
This once gritty side of town also hosts some of L.A.’s most talked about eateries, including the whitewashed and marble clad Bottega Louie which extends an in-house patisserie and craft cocktail dispensary. We’re also in love with the romantic bistro Church and State and Bestia. This east of downtown warehouse serves you’ll-think-you’re-in-Italy pasta and a grilled whole bronzino fish that regular Gulla Jonsdottir calls the “best dish downtown.”
The Icelandic architect of the soon-to-open Roosevelt Macau Hotel by Hotel G should know. Jonsdottir’s fresh, nature inspired designs earned her the coveted commission to renovate The Hollywood Roosevelt originally built in 1927 along the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the site of the first Academy Awards. This is where we stay until Hotels G opens under the southern California sun.