9 In Jet Set/ Los Angeles

TYL Guide to the L.A. Arts District

Hauser & Wirth Art Gallery

My old client, Hammer and Spear, first introduced me to the L.A. Arts District four years ago, when they moved to the neighborhood, befriended everyone, and became a design destination and representation of what was to come. They knew the owner of Bestia and could get a table any night of the week, when it was the hardest reservation to snag in town. They met a local photographer—who they later partnered with—to form a printing company that pays homage to the neighborhood. They launched Saint Rita Parlor, a hand-crafted eyewear company made in DTLA, and have since helped propel the careers of other artists and designers with unique perspectives and stories. But this isn’t just a story about Hammer and Spear. It’s a story about why the Arts District has quickly become the most vibrant, creative neighborhood in the country right now. The foundation was built on community.

In a world full of big box retailers and cookie-cutter experiences, DTLA is full of talented individuals who had a vision for creating something local. Read on for a roundup of my favorite independent shops, bars, and restaurants that are all walkable in a city that rarely recommends walking anywhere.

Where to get caffeinated:  Blacktop Coffee

Where to buy yourself some cool eyewear so you’ll fit in downtown: Warby Parker at Alchemy Works

Where to go to make friends and buy something gorgeous for your homeHammer and Spear

Where to go to feel like you’re in the “art world”Hauser & Wirth Gallery

Where to have a vegetarian lunch that doesn’t feel vegetarian (and a cocktail while you’re at it): Zinc Cafe & Market

Where to eat the best meal in LA for under $20 (beer included): Wurstküche

Where to have a cozy dinner: Church & State

Where to brag to your friends that you’ve been: Bavel

Where to satisfy your sweet tooth: The Pie Hole or Salt & Straw

Where to be a pinball wizard: Eighty Two

Where to get a nightcap: E.R.B. (Everson Royce Bar)


Photos by Ashley Burns Photography

PS. A new hotel in Downtown L.A.




  • Reply
    June 22, 2017 at 11:24 am

    I’ve still not been to Bestia, however my better half has been a few times! Poor little ol’ me.
    Tip for Wurstküche is to get 2 small fries (for 2 people) vs 1 large, to stake your claim on which are in fact YOUR fries. Sharing may be caring but those are my fries!

    • Reply
      June 22, 2017 at 11:26 am

      Um You in fact HAVE been to Bestia! But this is why I don’t feel bad going places without you because you never remember when you’ve been lol. And very good tip!! x

      • Reply
        June 22, 2017 at 11:30 am

        Or perhaps it was my robot replacement. Either way, I hope you had a good time. My robot replacement tells worse joke than I do, if you can believe it.

  • Reply
    Sandra Zaninovich
    June 22, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Of course in my universe, not having been to Bestia is a badge of honor, haha! But that Pie Hole place is a different story altogether…looks amazing! And again, your photos make me actually proud to live in LA, since they present it in a way in which I never see it.

    • Reply
      June 22, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      You would LOVE the Pie Hole!! Thank you San! xo

  • Reply
    June 24, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    I actually know someone who was once a bartender at Bestia. I am not sure if she is still there. Small world, reading this very detailed post. I have never really explored LA but hope to one day soon. I will have to refer back to this post. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      June 25, 2017 at 9:00 am

      That’s so cool! Thanks so much for the note 🙂

  • Reply
    June 25, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    I have lived in the AD for over thirteen years and watched it all develop. If anyone wants to spice up their bedroom, my husband makes the finest hand crafted leather floggers anywhere! From soft and fun to hard and heavy every piece is hand cut with intricate weaving and sturdy construction. Follow us on Facebook at Whips by DALLEX. Then come by our studio at Factory Place.

  • Reply
    Leslie Price
    June 26, 2017 at 1:51 am

    I just added The Pie Hole to my LA itinerary for my August trip, so thank you very much for that! Honestly I wasn’t really even looking forward to LA that much, but now that I know there’s pie… 🙂 Seriously, though, your photos are gorgeous!

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