For a culture-oriented flâneur like you, the budget-friendly Kawada Hotel in the heart of Downtown L.A. is the perfect place to post up for a few nights. Fresh from the Civic Center/Grand Park Metro stop, you check into the hotel before dinner. You find Downtown L.A. is pulsating with sharply attired business types en route to happy hour, stylish students from FIDM taking their purse dogs for a stroll, and fast-walking hipsters.
Kawada Hotel recently had a remodel and your room is cute and comfy with a king-sized bed--perfect for sprawling out like a starfish—a desk, and endless cable channels. But you’re not here to watch TV.
You hoof it to the Victorian-era, light-filled Bradbury Building which is the architectural star of one of your favorite movies, the original Blade Runner. You can’t help but be awestruck at the shadow-casting wrought-iron staircases and grand skylight.
But your stomach is growling so you head next door to Grand Central Market, one of the country’s oldest and largest public markets that’s also home to an Anthony Bourdain-approved food court. You've read that it’s considered to be a microcosm of the city—with food from a dizzying amount of cultures that are here in Los Angeles. You cruise past China Café (which has been there since the 1950s), steaming tortas at Tacos Tumbras a Tomas, and the smoked fish at Wexler’s Deli, and opt for some Thai comfort food at Sticky Rice. For dessert, you follow the line streaming from McConnell’s Ice Cream and nab a scoop of lemon ice cream threaded with jewel-like jam.
You head to The Broad museum for a performance by Matmos—the experimental electronic music band is best known for their collaborations with Björk, and for infamously releasing an album with samples from medical procedures like liposuction.
Before the concert you stop by Otium, located adjacent to The Broad. With its cool cube-like steel-and-wood structure and a smattering of plants, the restaurant looks like it fell from a modern painting. You order a mezcal-laced cocktail, and after your second or third drink, fellow Matmos fans bring you in their fold. You agree The Broad building looks like a giant cheese grater, and before you know it, you’re atop the galleries witnessing the musical genius of Matmos sample sounds from their washing machine—it’s weird but also wonderful. And so is this night.
But it’s just the beginning, after falling into your plush bed at Kawada Hotel, instead of counting sheep, you’ll count everything there is to do around you tomorrow: coffee at the hotel’s Cherry Pick Cafe; a tour of Frank Gehry's stainless steel masterpiece, Walt Disney Concert Hall; a ride on the historic Angels Flight funicular; a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA); a sushi sampling along the vibrant streets of Little Tokyo; and after all that walking, a nap on the lawn of Grand Park.
200 S. Hill St., Los Angeles