In the past decade, Downtown Los Angeles has transformed into a hotbed of eating and drinking establishments catering to the area’s prolific workforce and visitors popping in on the Metro - many looking for those elusive time-sensitive deals. Read on for 20 Downtown L.A. hotspots, new and old, that promise great food and drink experiences that won't break the bank.
Within three square miles, the streets of Koreatown comprise a most eclectic urban landscape where neon signs in Korean mix with various types of architecture providing clues to a multi-faceted history—from art deco to Spanish and Renaissance revival to Moorish and modern. Multi-level shopping malls are markers in between small shops and restaurants, and not everything is as it seems. Among it all are fascinating gems—some truly hidden and others that contain intrigue and wonder.
When the original Don's Beachcomber opened in 1933, Hollywood became the official birthplace of the Polynesian themed Tiki culture reflected in architecture, fashion and movies. Decorated with items that Donn Beach (aka Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt) scavenged from the ocean shores, the bar later known as Don the Beachcomber served “exotic” rum drinks with flair. The island escapism offered by his imaginative Tiki concept and its many imitators flourished for decades before nearly being killed off in the disco era.
Tiki's current resurgence owes a lot to the craft cocktail movement, which recognized the potential in the elaborate tropical concoctions made with house syrups and fresh juices. With a new generation of bartenders leading the way, the L.A. tiki scene is once again thriving, and nothing says summer more than a fancy fruit garnish and a little paper umbrella.
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The popularity of Emmy-winning Rupaul’s Drag Race has brought the art of drag to the masses. Lucky for us, Los Angeles boasts some of the most sensational, celebrated performers in the business, including Mama Ru herself. You can find weekly showcases with immaculate lip-syncing and dead-on celebrity impersonations, punk rock dance parties - even bingo, books and brunch, drag in L.A. does it all.