Where to Stay
Base yourself in the heart of Downtown’s theatre District at the ace hotel Downtown L.a. (929 South Broadway; 1-213/623-3233; acehotel.com; doubles from US$219). hotel Bel-air (701 Stone Canyon road; 1-310/472-1211; hotelbelair.com). Beverly Wilshire (9500 Wilshire Boulevard; 1-310/275-5200; Fourseasons.com)
Where to eat
Follow the Downtown story to Grand Central Market (317 South Broadway; 1-213/624-2378; grandcentral market.com), Wurstküche (800 east 3rd St.; 1-213/6874444; wurstkuche .com), and Church and State (1850 Industrial St. #100; 1-213/405-1434; churchandstate bistro.com). Chef Josef Centeno’s three Down- town dining institutions include Baco Mercat (408 South Main St. Los angeles; 1-213/687-8808; bacomercat .com), which draws on Spanish influences. also try the seasonal cuisine at 39-seat alma (952 South Broadway; 1-213/244-1422; alma-la.com), recently named the best new restaurant in america.
Where to Drink
Perch (448 South hill St.; 1-213/802-1770; perchla.com) provides a bird’s-eye view of the city, while for a more grounded perspective, Villain’s tavern (1356 Palmetto St.; 1-213/ 613-0766; villainstavern .com) serves tipples under a big-top circus tent. In a former power plant find the old-time glamour of the edison lounge (108 West 2nd St. #101; 1-213/ 613-0000; edisondown town.com). and for the city’s largest selection of tequila, stop by Las Perlas (107 east 6th St.; 1-213/988-8355).
Get your Bearings
Take an architecture tour in Laura Massino Smith’s van and let her do all the legwork (1-323/ 464-7868; architecture toursla.com).