We had finally reached the last city on our roadtrip: Los Angeles, a place I’ve been looking forward to visit for a long time. Due to the size of the city and because we, of course, wanted to do the most of our four nights here we decided to split the stay into two parts: Downtown and Venice Beach. Stay tuned for the Venice Beach which will be in a separate post! 🙂
In Downtown we stayed at Ace Hotel (same as in Seattle and Palm Springs, kind of our favourite hotel chain). We arrived just after noon and I must say that the hotel didn’t disappoint. Ace never does. It is located in United Artists old film studio on Broadway, which has been renovated into a really cool hotel, complete with restaurants and a rooftop bar, with beautiful views over the LA sky line.
After a quick lunch at the hotel restaurant we set out to explore the Downtown area, walking the classic streets of the Fashion District, the Jewellery District and the old Theatre District. Two highlights were the Last Bookstore, which is a really cool book and record store selling all kind of stuff you probably can’t find anywhere else, and the Grand Central Market, a large food market with food from all over the world.
We then headed to Silver Lake, which is a kind of a trendy and “hip” area north of Downtown, close to Hollywood. Sunset Boulevard runs through Silver Lake and along it lies a lot of cool little stores, cafes, restaurants and bars. We had a nice “fika” at Intelligentsia Coffee and then we discovered a spice shop, Spice Station, hidden away in a garden on a back alley to Sunset Boulevard. They have teas, salts, spices, etc from all over the world, so Madde was of course in heaven.
As it was a really nice afternoon we decided to walk Sunset Boulevard back towards Downtown, passing a lot of cool stores on the way. We stopped for a snack at a India-Mexican fusion restaurant, where we had nacho masala poppadoms, very good actually.
Eventually we reached Echo Park, where we had some beautiful views over the city and the palm trees while watching the sunset.
We ended the day with dinner at Umami Burger, a Japanese burger restaurant, where we both had their tuna burger. Very delicious. After that we had drinks at the hotel rooftop bar, before going to bed to be ready for our second LA day, when we were to relocate to Venice Beach!
Next day started with a nice breakfast at the hotel restaurant, I had the largest potion of pancakes ever (which I suspect is small by American standards), and then we did some quick sightseeing in the Garment District. Pretty cool to see street after street, with store after store just selling all kind of fabrics. We also managed to squeeze in a vist to the Flower Market, before jumping into the car to drive west.
We both felt that while Downtown is a cool and diverse area, one or maybe two days is enough to explore it. However, it is a good starting point to reach other parts of LA, such as Hollywood, Silverlake and the beach areas. It also has some nice architecture, especially the old theatres on Broadway. The contrast with the modern skyscrapers of the nearby Financial District was striking.