Downtown, Los Angeles.
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Includes: Little Tokyo and Chinatown.

Although the media has been prematurely heralding the resurgence of downtown Los Angeles for over a decade, it’s not until recently that the area truly started delivering on its promised potential.

For a long time, there wasn’t much to downtown LA other than financial office buildings and skid row, and a daytime scene of bustling lawyers and business lunches that gave way to a ghost town at night.

Today, the still up-and-coming region is home to many of the city’s most interesting and offbeat kitsch bars, good restaurants, and the Frank Gehry-designed Disney Concert Hall, all of which attract a diverse crowd of artsy trendsetters, adventurous locals, bearded and flannel-clad hipsters, and students from nearby USC.

The often playful venues are full of character and authenticity, and run the gamut from flamenco clubs, burlesque shows, retro lounges, speakeasies, and mixology bars to thriving underground, alternative, and afterhours scenes. The atmosphere is remarkably unpretentious with a decided lack of velvet ropes, and at once laid back and edgy.

Also of note is the completion of the long-awaited multibillion dollar entertainment complex LA Live. Adjacent to the Staples Center – home of the Lakers, Kings, and Clippers – the venue offers a variety of bars, restaurants, shops, sporting events, live theater, and concerts for both day and night activity that have helped usher in Downtown’s prominence on the LA social scene.


Where to Go in Downtown LA

  • * Màs Malo Mexican Restaurant / Tequila Bar

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