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NEWS Volume 42, Number 28

July 15, 2013



Since 1972


CITY LIVING Your local news and entertainment show on DowntownNews.com New Episode Every Monday at 9 a.m.

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2 Downtown News

AROUNDTOWN Wal-Mart Grocery Store To Open Next Month


he grocery options continue to grow in Downtown Los Angeles. After two debuts in July, August will bring the opening of the 34,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at 701 W. Cesar Chavez Ave. near Chinatown, said Rachel Wall, a company representative. The grocery store will employ 65 people and will be on the ground floor of Grand Plaza, a 302-unit senior complex, catty corner from the Ramon Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts. The opening comes despite protests and legal maneuvers from labor groups, certain politicians and others who oppose WalMart’s hiring practices or believe the store will harm nearby mom and pop shops. WalMart joins other arrivals like Smart & Final, which is set for a July 18 opening at 845 S. Figueroa St., and City Target, which debuted at the FIGat7th shopping center in October and includes a grocery section. A smaller independent market, Urban Radish, opened July 4 in the Arts District.

Small Apartments Planned for South Park


July 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

et ready for another batch of South Park apartments, though these are smaller than the norm. Urban Village, an Orange County-based development company, is planning to break ground this fall on a new housing complex. The firm expects a 15-month construction process for a sevenstory, 100-unit building that will have four live/work residences on the ground level. The site, at 1027 S. Olive St., is currently a parking


lot south of Olympic Boulevard. The project, which will be called Urban Village at South Park, is the firm’s first foray into Downtown. Founder Brett Shaves said the company believes there is a hole in the Downtown housing market for smaller, less expensive rentals. Studios in the building will range from $1,400-$1,600, and one bedrooms will go from approximately $1,750-$1,900. “We’re excited about this project because it’s going to bring a new level of entry intro the Downtown area,” Shaves said, referring to residences that average 600 square feet. “We feel like there’s a need for these smaller units.” The project is currently going through plan check.

See ‘Chinatown’ in Union Station


eople in Downtown check out movies at the Regal Cineplex at L.A. Live and the Downtown Independent, and sometimes at al fresco locations such as Pershing Square. This week, however, there’s a highly unusual one-off: a screening of the 1974 classic Los Angeles tale Chinatown at Union Station. A free showing of the film directed by Roman Polanski and starring Jack Nicholson will screen at the historic train station on Saturday, July 20, at 8:30 p.m. The screening, which will take place in the towering old ticket concourse, is a partnership between Metro, which owns Union Station, and the Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles; it is the festival’s closing night film and part of Metro’s celebration of the station’s 75th anniversary. Additionally, the evening holds a Chinatown Summer Nights celebration at Central and West plazas. Doors for the film

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open at 8 p.m. and reservations are required. They can be made at dffla.com.

Starry Kitchen Finds Home in Chinatown


he restaurant Starry Kitchen, which earned loads of fans and a lot of press when it was at the Cal Plaza food court, has a new home in Chinatown. Owners Nguyen and Thi Tran, who for the better part of the past year operated as a pop-up night spot inside Fred Eric’s Tiara Café, will reopen a permanent space on Saturday, July 20, inside the Grand Star Jazz Club at 943 N. Broadway. “It’s going to be just dinner service first. We’re considering lunch in the future,” said Nguyen Tran. The club is currently undergoing a redesign by Patry + Kline, the firm that has designed seven Downtown bars includ-

July 2, 2013

ing Seven Grand, the Varnish and Las Perlas. Tran said hours will initially be from 5-10 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. Starry Kitchen, which started as a supper club in the Trans’ North Hollywood apartment, moved Downtown in 2010 and was a hit with long lines of lunchtime crowds ordering dishes such as crispy tofu balls and the spicy “crack” krab cakes. The couple closed the restaurant in July 2012 due to financial issues that had to do with tax penalties, said Tran. In August, the couple began using the kitchen at Tiara Café for dinner service. That stopped a few weeks ago in anticipation of the move.

Halloween in August


ou’ve heard of Christmas in July. Now add Halloween in August. That will be the case in Downtown, as the inaugural see Around Town, page 37


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July 15, 2013

Downtown News 3

Celebrating 40 Years

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4 Downtown News

Celebrating 40 Years

July 15, 2013

EDITORIALS More Retail Momentum

Urban Scrawl by Doug Davis


owntown Los Angeles is starting to experience a curious retail cliché: Think of it as “another week, another store opening.” It seems that, suddenly, there is a rush of retail activity across the community. Already Ross for Dress for Less and City Target have arrived and plans have been announced for, among others, Zara and Urban Outfitters. It all hearkens back to 2006, when each week seemed to bring the news that a developer was moving forward on a new housing complex (for whatever reason, they usually seemed to be $20 million or $60 million efforts). Although some projects stalled in the recession, many powered forward and ultimately opened, forever changing the face of Downtown. The retail upswing has been going on for a while (last month this page looked at some of the cautions and benefits of the shopping surge). Then the activity ratcheted higher, with three notable arrivals in less than a month. These outlets all appear to fill a niche previously lacking in the community. When combined with some other recent debuts, they add to the vibrancy of a maturing market. On July 4, the upscale food outlet Urban Radish debuted in the Arts District, giving area inhabitants a walking-distance grocery store. The 8,200-square-foot space is only about one-quarter the size of a traditional supermarket, but it has a carefully orchestrated lineup intended to provide Downtown some of the things it has been missing: the cheese counter, for instance, functions as its own specialty cheese store. Fresh produce, a wellstocked meat department and a sandwich stand will also serve as lures to neighborhood workers and residents. Curiously, Urban Radish is one of two markets opening in Downtown in a twoweek span. On July 18, a 24,000-square-foot Smart & Final Extra will debut at 845 S. Figueroa St., a short walk from both Staples Center and the Ralph’s Fresh Fare, which has dominated the Downtown grocery scene since its arrival six years ago. Smart & Final is pretty much a traditional supermarket, one smaller than Ralph’s and with more grocery items than the City Target that opened last October at the FIGat7th shopping center. It also offers some of the bulk items available at traditional Smart & Finals. Expect many area office managers to be patrons. The final part of the trio is something else new to Downtown: Sport Chalet. The 27,000-square-foot store that began selling bicycle, camping and other gear late last month is one of the anchors of the refurbished FIGat7th. Its arrival means those who live, work and visit Downtown no longer have to climb into a car and head to Glendale or another community when it comes to buying athletic supplies. These stores, in particular Smart & Final and Sport Chalet, do careful market research before opening in any community. They examine neighborhood demographics, traffic patterns and other criteria, and only jump when the executives reliably believe they can turn a solid and consistent profit. Clearly, their number crunching tells them that this is the right time to move into Downtown. They are not the only retailers watching the community evolve and looking for the right location. Expect the trend to keep on going.

A Turnaround at the History Museum


he number of attractions in and around Downtown Los Angeles is increasing steadily. There is a growing roster of concert venues and parks, and some older destinations such as Pershing Square have seen an upgraded programming schedule. Last July the County, with a lead from Supervisor Gloria Molina, opened the $56 million Grand Park. It has become one of Downtown’s standout attractions, and this summer it has a lively and varied lineup of activities, including the recent Fourth of July fireworks show. Now the county has recorded its second big success in Downtown in two summers. On Sunday, July 14 (after Los Angeles Downtown News went to press), the county-owned Natural History Museum was scheduled to open Becoming Los Angeles. The 14,000-squarefoot exhibition is the capstone of a seven-year, $135 million renovation of the Exposition Park attraction. Actually, renovation is the wrong word. As Downtown News noted last week, this is more of a reinvention. In less than a decade, a tired facility known for old dioramas and a few dinosaur skeletons has been transformed into a state-of-the-art institution. It will beckon visitors for years and ensure that the museum remains a top-line attraction, one that gels with Exposition Park’s other museums, the California Science Center (also riding high thanks to the arrival of the Space Shuttle Endeavour) and the California African-American Museum. The county and NHM brass who initiated, raised money for and oversaw the transformation deserve an immense amount of credit. The vast majority of the $135 million came from foundations or the private sector (the county and state governments contributed $45 million). NHM President and Director Jane Pisano and her team had a monumental challenge in securing donations during a period in which the economy tanked and charitable contributions across the country shriveled. Clearly, their focus and strategy paid off. Also impressive was the ability to stick pretty closely to a timeline. The plan was launched in 2007, and the following year NHM officials talked about opening the final new exhibit, which came to be Becoming Los Angeles, in 2012. Considering how many projects in the works at that time (around the start of the Great Recession) never opened or were significantly delayed, a completion one year later than anticipated seems like a victory. The upgrade touches on virtually every aspect of the NHM. A historic structure known as the 1913 Building underwent a full

renovation, including seismic upgrading; the Beaux Art edifice with the soaring marble and stained-glass rotunda reopened in 2009 after a two-year fix. It is a fantastic tie to the facility’s origins as the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science and Art. The upgrade also means that the room can continue to be rented out for weddings, filming and other events. It’s a nice additional revenue stream for a museum with an annual $35.6 million operating budget. Perhaps the most important addition occurred two years ago, when the opening of the Dinosaur Hall doubled the paleontological display area, providing 20 large specimens for school groups, families and tourists to gawk at and photograph. In addition to igniting attendance — the number of annual NHM visitors today is 63% higher than it was in 2010 — it set a high bar for the next stages. The additions since then are equal to the Dinosaur Hall. Last month the NHM unveiled a new entrance dominated by a 63-foot-long whale skeleton. It debuted with and connects to the Nature Gardens, a 3.5-acre outdoor area. Going outdoors is an unusual concept for a history museum, and it wouldn’t work in many cities with harsher climates. Fortunately, the plan here, designed by landscape architect Mia Lehrer, has been well thought-out and effectively implemented. The al fresco portion contains 31,000 plants and a pond, as well as a 600-foot-long wall intended to attract bugs, birds and other living creatures. The garden and the entrance are aligned so they face Exposition Boulevard and the recently opened Expo Line. Although the museum won’t likely draw many spur-of-the-moment pedestrians or train riders (people generally plan museum trips well in advance), it is wise to show off the attractive elements to as many people as possible. The challenges at the facility at the southern end of the Figueroa Corridor are not done. There will be opening kinks to work out and a few smaller displays are scheduled to come online later this year. Additionally, fundraising never stops — having new exhibits makes it easier to woo potential donors, but money still has to be secured. Then there is the physical challenges of accommodating crowds that in all likelihood will continue to grow. All these challenges, however, are good things, and it seems that the NHM team is positioned and prepared to meet them. Turning around a 100-year-old facility that showed its age required vision, ambition and follow-through. The modernized Natural History Museum is a great achievement for Exposition Park and for the county.

July 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

Downtown News 5

Smart & Finally Opening Discount Grocer Brings Its ‘Extra’ Concept to Downtown, Debuting This Week by Richard Guzmán city editor


owntown residents and workers in search of groceries have seen their options expand significantly in the past year. In October the City Target at the FIGat7th shopping center opened and upscale market Urban Radish began selling on July 4 in the Arts District. This week the roster is again growing bigger, though in addition to picking up milk, produce and other staples, Downtown shoppers can also grab a 50-pound bag of sugar or a gallon of mayonnaise. A 24,000-square-foot Smart & Final Extra is scheduled to open at 7 a.m. Thursday, July 18, on the ground floor of a recently renovated 1969 building at 845 S. Figueroa St. The store will operate seven days a week from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. and employ about 70 people. The Commerce-based company signed a 20-year lease for the space in the building that was purchased last year by the State Bar of California (which acquired it from parking lot giant L&R Group, which had initiated the renovation). The upper floors will be occupied by State Bar offices. The Downtown Los Angeles outpost of the discount grocery chain known for its bulky items will be larger than the typical Smart & Final, which average about 17,000 square feet. However, the “Extra” in the name applies to more than size. The new Smart & Final will include the bulk provisions targeted to restaurants and other business, but it will be dominated by typical groceries aimed at the Downtown residential base. Store manager Art Cervantes

said about 30% of the stock will be comprised of the bulky goods many businesses, or those looking to throw a big party, are looking for. The Downtown store will also include a coffee shop called the Downtown Grind. In addition to coffee, it will sell sandwiches and salads. Randall Oliver, director of corporate communications for the company, said the new location is a return of sorts for the business. “We did have a presence in Downtown. That’s where the company got its start over 140 years ago,” he said. “A lot has happened in the last five years with Downtown being revitalized, and it’s an excellent time for us to be returning.” While the return is imminent, last week the store still had one big hurdle to clear. Oliver said the company had yet to work out a parking deal with L&R Group, which originally recruited Smart & Final to the building. The company retained ownership of the threestory garage behind the store after selling the structure to the State Bar in November. Oliver said he expects to have an agreement in place by the time the store opens. Smart & Final adds to a growing list of neighborhood supermarkets. In addition to the grocery options at City Target and Urban Radish, there is the higher-end Ralphs Fresh Fare, which opened in 2007 at Ninth and Flower streets. There are also several less familiar options, such as Woori Market in Little Tokyo, and construction continues on a 33,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at Grand and Cesar Chavez avenues near Chinatown. It is scheduled to open next month.

photo by Gary Leonard

Smart & Final employees last week were preparing for the Thursday, July 18, opening of the store at 845 S. Figueroa St.

“Obviously having a variety of options is great for the community,” said Carol Schatz, president and CEO of the Downtown Center Business Improvement District, whose tasks include recruiting businesses to Downtown. While Smart & Final sees profit potential in Downtown, the community has not necessarily been pining for the brand. According to the DCBID’s 2011 Downtown Los Angeles Demographic Study, residents most wanted a Trader Joes to open in the neighborhood. The study found that 92% of Downtown inhabitants said they were likely to shop at a Trader Joe’s if a store opened here (the company has shown no interest in setting up a Downtown shop).

However, some neighborhood stakeholders think proximity will make all the difference, and that area residents and workers will capitalize on the opportunities afforded by a nearby Smart & Final. “I think people are going to shop there,” said Patti Berman, president of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council. “Smart & Final is what you think of when having a party. They will do well with that. There’s a lot of partying going on in Downtown.” Local Fit Berman noted that store officials have changed some of their initial plans to ensure see Supermarket, page 39

6 Downtown News

July 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

Fear of the Lost High-Rises As Six-Story Buildings Proliferate in Downtown, Some Worry That a Golden Opportunity to Build Tall Is Being Squandered by Ryan VaillancouRt staff wRiteR


ew housing projects are under construction all across Downtown Los Angeles. From Chinatown, where the 280-unit Jia Apartments are being built, to Eighth Street and Grand Avenue, where San Francisco’s Carmel Partners are erecting a 700-unit complex, hundreds of millions of dollars are being invested. This activity is giving Downtown boosters reason to cheer: More housing brings more restaurants, bars, entertainment spots and retail. However, some view the residential surge with caution. Certain architects, urban planners and developers worry that parking lot sites that could accommodate high-rises instead are being filled by five- to seven-story, wood-framed apartment complexes encased in plaster. Gone is a chance to create residential density in the part of the city where it isn’t largely opposed by community stakeholders, and where it makes the most urban planning sense — alongside mass transit and jobs. Instead, Downtown is getting the type of buildings that predominate in suburban areas. “It seems odd that as the city grows, the quality of Downtown stone construction is being replaced by sticks and plaster,” said Eric Owen Moss, director of the Southern California Institute of Architecture. “A bigger scale and larger conception is being replaced by a smaller scale and no conception, other than an easy to replicate economic model.” The concern is shared by City Planning Director Michael LoGrande. While he acknowledges that projects like the Jia Apartments and the 280-unit Ava Little Tokyo are adding much-needed supply to a market that currently has an occupancy rate near 95%, he worries that future Angelenos will look back at today’s growth surge and lament that the developers didn’t aim higher. “In some of the areas where we have the most allowable

density, which were intended from 30 years ago to be highrise zones, we’re getting five-story buildings,” LoGrande said. “A lot of the growth that we need to accommodate the future could be on these sites, right next to transit. That opportunity could be lost.” Type One vs. Type Three Several key factors are driving the trend. The first is basic economics: Type-three buildings — those made with wood frames — are significantly cheaper to build on a per-squarefoot basis than steel-framed high-rises. In Los Angeles, buildings that exceed 75 feet are required to implement type-one construction, which relies on sturdier steel and concrete engineering to withstand earthquakes. So, developers are mostly designing projects to stay under the plateau, resulting in six- and seven-floor structures. The higher cost of type one construction means that steelframed residential buildings don’t pencil out financially unless they’re allowed to go tall. According to several developers, type-one structures start to be cost effective in today’s market at about 20 stories. Type-three low-rises cost about $200 per rentable square foot to build. Steel-frame high-rises, depending on the size and design, cost anywhere from $80 to $300 more per square foot, according to multiple developers with experience in both construction types. That means a 150,000-square-foot wood-frame complex would cost $30 million to build. The same building made with steel would cost up to $75 million. Of course, high-rise apartments command higher rents, thanks to the better views and the perceived value in higher quality building materials. It’s no coincidence that the three most expensive rental buildings in Downtown — the Watermark Tower, 717 Olympic and Apex, all in South Park — are high-rises. The key question for developers is whether projected rents and having more units justify the costs of building a high-rise.

photo by Gary Leonard

Holland Partners’ 1111 Wilshire, which opened this year, was originally entitled as a high-rise. It is one of several sites where some say the city should be encouraging more density.

For companies like Holland Partners, the answer, so far, has been no. The Vancouver, Wash.-based developer has built three projects with 488 units in City West. They include the sevenfloor, 210-apartment 1111 Wilshire, which opened this year. The project was originally entitled as a 398-unit high-rise, but was downscaled after the economy soured. The company, which is planning another type-three complex in City West, is no stranger to high-rise construction. It has built more than 40 towers and has three underway in othsee Housing, page 38

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Downtown News 7

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8 Downtown News

July 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

Ritz Condo Sales Hit 85% by Ryan Vaillancourt staff writer


he Ritz-Carlton Residences had a slow start when they opened on the coattails of the recession in 2011, but the 224-unit luxury condominium project has since hit its sales stride. The Ritz is now 85% sold out, including 11 units under contract, said Kimberly Lucero, vice president of sales and marketing for building owner Anschutz Entertainment Group. Thirty condos, most of them two- and three-bedrooms or penthouses, remain available. A steady stream of Asian buyers, primarily from China and South Korea, has fueled sales at the project over the past two years, Lucero said.

“A lot of people want to diversify and pull their money out of their respective country and buy real estate in other markets and the U.S. became a strong market again in 2012,” she said. AEG has courted the Asian market by working with Chinese and Korean brokers in Los Angeles, and through advertising initiatives in Asia. Based on recent sales, Lucero said the average price for a unit that measures around 2,350 square feet is currently about $2.2 million. That translates to $936 per square foot. Recent sales include a 4,281-square-foot condo for $4 million. County sales records show that smaller units can be had for a bit less. A 1,770-square-foot residence sold in March for $1.45 million, or $819 per square foot. A 1,120-square foot

Icons of Downtown LA_Layout 2 10/16/12 4:02 PM Page 1 1 Icons of Downtown LA_Layout 2 10/16/12 4:02 PM Page 1

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The furnished dining room in one of the available Ritz-Carlton Residences, which sit above the rooms of the Ritz-Carlton hotel at L.A. Live. The 224-unit project is 85% sold out.

unit that sold last October went for $840,000, or $750 per square foot. The remaining units available include 10 penthouses, which range in listing price from $3.5 million-$9.3 million. The other 20 condos start at $1.9 million and go up to $4.5 million. Two of the penthouses are completely furnished, and AEG is in the process of furnishing five more, Lucero said. “There’s a lot more of a need for immediate gratification,” she said. “People want to buy and move in as quick as possible.” Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at ryan@downtownnews.com.

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he failure to attract discount and wholesale tenants to the $125 million mixed-use Medallion project is looking more and more like a good thing for Downtown residents and workers. John Edwards, president of Raw Inspiration Inc. and California Certified Farmers Markets, who has partnered with developer Saeed Farkhondehpour, said six new restaurants are coming to the Historic Core project. Edwards said leases are expected to be signed shortly for restaurants that include Café Uzes, a 2,000-squarefoot eatery by Tara Thomas of Traxx at Union Station, and Bigmista’s Barbecue. The latter restaurant will be located in a 700-square-foot space Edwards said a lease is also in the works for Bread Bar Bakery, an offshoot of the Century City artisanal bread maker, which will move into a 1,400-square-foot space. Other entities that have signed letters of intent, Edwards said, are The Raw Juicery, Bountiful Bakery and D&D Produce. All currently sell their goods at farmers markets. “We wanted to make sure we had a critical mass,” Edwards said “You can’t get one person coming in with no one else here.” Farkhondehpour and Edwards’ plans include opening a permanent farmers market in a 27,000-squarefoot space in the complex previously intended for a grocery store. Edwards said he expects the restaurants to debut by January. Farkhondehpour opened the Medallion three years ago, with 96 apartments above 200 mostly small retail spaces. As a landlord who owns about 800 retail spots in the Toy District, he planned on marketing that space to similar discount and wholesale businesses. But after only signing about 20 leases in three years, he decided to invest another $4.5 million on upgrades and re-envisioned the project as a higher end restaurant and shopping spot. A restaurant called Simply Salad opened at the Medallion in January and construction is underway for a second location of the acclaimed Sushi Zo. Dr. J’s Vibrant Cafe, a vegan eatery, opened July 11. In April Farkhondehpour said he was hoping to open an eight-screen Alamo Drafthouse. No deal has been signed, and Farkhondehpour recently said talks are ongoing. For Downtowners, one of the most interesting spots will be Café Uzes. Thomas has made a name for herself over the years at Traxx. “The concept doesn’t differ much from what I’ve been doing all along,” she said. “It’s fresh market-based cuisine. We’re going to keep doing what I’ve done since I came Downtown.”

July 15, 2013

Downtown News 9

Celebrating 40 Years


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71. Our store in 18


Smart & Final Returns To Downtown Los Angles Where It All started in 1871.

e trace our roots back to the Hellman, Haas Grocery Co., one of the city’s first businesses and also one of seven names in the first Los Angeles phone directory! From a two-story brick building on Los Angeles Street, Hellman, Haas sold necessities of the day such as flour, salt, patent medicines, rope, sheepherding supplies, chewing tobacco and gunpowder. The store also developed one of the first private label brands in the

Jim Smart & H.D. Fina l

food industry – the Iris label, which can still be found at Smart & Final today. In the early 1900s, J.S. “Jim” Smart, and partner H.D. “Hildane” Final started a similar business, Smart & Final Wholesale Grocers. In 1953, the two companies merged and today we are still dedicated to providing the necessities of everyday life for downtowners. © Copyright 2013 Smart & Final Stores LLC

10 Downtown News

July 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

Carmel Partners Goes Big Why the San Francisco Firm’s First Downtown Project Is a 700-Unit Apartment Complex by Ryan VaillancouRt staff wRiteR

named Downtown mega-development and their vision for the neighborhood going forward.

armel Partners, a San Francisco-based apartment giant, recently planted its first flag in Downtown Los Angeles. It’s quite a flag: Carmel plunked down $63 million for a lot at Eighth Street and Grand Avenue and in January broke ground on a 700-unit housing complex. The firm owns eight projects in greater Los Angeles. Dan Garibaldi, Carmel’s senior vice president of development, talked to Los Angeles Downtown News about the still-un-

Los Angeles Downtown News: How did Carmel get interested in Downtown L.A.? Dan Garibaldi: We’ve been looking at Downtown for a while. Essentially the downturn with the economy chilled our efforts. With the recent upturn and a belief that there’s a shortage of housing and a belief that jobs are coming, we started focusing on Downtown’s underserved market.


image courtesy of Carmel Partners

The still-unnamed development will rise a block south of bustling Seventh Street. Officials with developer Carmel Partners expect the first move-ins to occur in mid-2015.

With Downtown L.A., there are a lot of jobs that already exist and there’s a shortage of high quality housing. There are early movers who did the loft projects as well as some highend projects, but not nearly enough to satisfy the employee population that already exists. Q: What convinced you to make such a big investment on one project? A: There is a huge housing imbalance in Downtown so there is opportunity for demand of lots of different housing types, but what we really like about our site is that we’re kind of in the middle of all the major neighborhoods and amenities of Downtown. We see ourselves as being in the epicenter. Most other sites also don’t have three acres to play with. Most are dealing with a half-acre or a one-acre site and it’s hard to develop a fully amenitized high-end project on that size. We are able to do that given the size of our project. Q: Most apartment complexes of similar size, at least in Downtown, get built in phases of closer to 200 units. Why did Carmel do 700 units all at once? A: We never really debated about whether we’d phase the construction. We’re interested in building it all at one time. I think it just underscores our belief in how strong the Downtown market is going to be. Q: Downtown is in the midst of a small boom in apartment construction. Is there a risk of new supply outpacing demand? A: If you look at the pipeline of deals proposed it’s a daunting number, but we believe a lot of those won’t be built or will be over a long period of time. I don’t see it all being built over the short or medium term. That said, if they all do get built I like our product and our location.

n ow o pe n eroa St.

u 735 S. Fig

Q: Carmel is based in San Francisco, perhaps the strongest real estate market in the country right now. What is driving metro San Francisco’s housing market, and how is it different from what’s happening in Downtown L.A.? A: Primarily what’s driving the Bay Area is there’s a shortage of housing fundamentally. Combine that with job growth. There are a lot of high tech companies and start-ups that are now locating in downtown San Francisco based on some initiatives that the city has passed. But in reality we never catch up in terms of demand in San Francisco. L.A. doesn’t have the same rate of job growth, but keep in mind that with 1% job growth in the Bay Area and 1% job growth in L.A., in L.A. it will be three times as many jobs as San Francisco. It doesn’t take a whole lot of jobs to create a tightness in the market here. Q: Your renderings of Eighth and Grand depict Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior stores on the ground floor. Do you think Downtown could support such high-end retail? A: We have no leases signed, but we’ve had a lot of interest from national retailers. We do believe it’s a strong retail market and we’ve chosen to not sign leases because the further you get along in the process, the more attention you get. In our minds it’s going to come down to what basket of tenants can we pick that best serves our 700 units up above? We don’t know if it’s going to be restaurants, services or food stores. But Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior? No. Our architects just put that there.


et.co l a h c t r o sp

Q: Is the company still in growth mode in Downtown? A: We are still evaluating other projects in Downtown and throughout L.A. There are a lot of blocks in L.A. that are underutilized and that could support additional residential or retail. We see both groups coming in — office too. Q: What’s the target completion date for Eighth and Grand? A: We expect to start occupancy around mid-2015, with completion of the project in late 2015 or early 2016. Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at ryan@downtownnews.com.

July 15, 2013

Downtown News 11

Celebrating 40 Years

360 Degree Views of LA For Your Next Event!

Why not surround your guests with breathtaking downtown panaramas from high atop AT&T Center? AT&T Center offers a host of locations within the center for a wide variety of events. The Penthouse Tower Suites light up the nighttime sky in Downtown Los Angeles. The stunning 32nd floor provides the most spectacular skyline views in Los Angeles and is a perfect location to host a large scale gala, wedding or holiday party. The 30th floor features sweeping panoramic views with a state-of-the-art AV system for your next corporate meeting or seminar. The AT&T Theatre offers a 500-seat venue fully equipped with the latest lighting and sound equipment and is ideal for seminars, filming, musical events, theatrical performances and film festivals. All venues catered by the nation’s highly acclaimed Patina Restaurant Group. We’re in the heart of the action just moments from Staples Center, LA Live and the Convention Center. Contact Courtney Kanner at ckanner@LBArealty.com or 213.741.7403.

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113-455.ATT360EventAd_1.indd 1

Downtown Los Angeles

7/9/13 4:00 PM

12 Downtown News

July 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

All Howls Eve Photos by Gary Leonard


pproximately 900 dogs and their 1,500 human companions showed up at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels last week for the sixth annual Dog Day Afternoon. The Wednesday, July 10, event organized by the Downtown Center Business Improvement District and the Los Angeles Archdiocese is intended to strengthen community ties, giving people a chance to meet their neighbors and bond over their shared interest in pets. Various Downtown pet supply stores had displays, and there were also animal adoptions.

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buying your groceries, filling up your tank, and shopping at your favorite neighborhood store benefits you and your fellow Angelenos? By shopping in the city of Los Angeles you help support local businesses and keep sales tax in the city. This helps pay for neighborhood services such as libraries, parks, animal shelters, street cleaning, police and fire protection. It also helps create and keep jobs in our communities and protects our environment by minimizing fuel usage.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT Your shopping decisions have a direct impact on what happens in your own neighborhood. Why give your sales tax dollars to a city whose services don’t benefit you or your family? Shop LA is about making our life better by doing the things we’d normally do in a way that directly supports our home town.

This summer visit the museums, dine and shop at

El Pueblo Historical Monument, home of the famous Olvera Street. Shop LA! Buy it local, buy it here! Check us out at:

www.facebook.com/ShopLAcity AND www.facebook.com/ElPuebloLA







f o t s Be DOWNTOWN Readers Choice

News n w o nt w o sD e l e g Los An

The votes are in, and the winners are... 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90026 • 213.481.1448

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1264 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90026, • 213.481.1448

A big ThANk you for voting

urth Caffé “Best Coffee” in Downtown LA 2013!

Urth is the only exclusively heirloom & organic coffee roaster in Los Angeles. Come taste the difference. Special promotion as a thank you to our DT LA News readers:

50% off any bag of whole bean fresh roasted coffee

Limited to 1 pound per customer, not redeemable for cash, not valid with other discounts. Expires August 5.

just mention the Best Coffee of Downtown LA News promotion Urth Caffé, 451 South Hewitt St, LA 90013, 213-797-4534 www.urthcaffe.com

14 Downtown News

Best Of Downtown

July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

Downtown News 15

Best Of Downtown

Twenty-Five Years of Downtown’s Best A Quarter Century in, the Variety and Options Are Overwhelming


wenty-five years go by pretty quickly. Come to think of it, so does 40 years. Los Angeles Downtown News is coming to terms with both of those facts. This marks our 40th anniversary year, and this issue is the 25th annual installment of our compendium of the Best of Downtown. We feel old, but in a good, mature, look-how-far-we’vecome way. It’s a record and achievement that is mirrored by the evolution of Downtown: So much of what is covered in this issue, so many of the things people can experience in 2013 in the Central City, didn’t exist 25 years ago. Just think of the restaurants, the bars, the entertainment options, the parks. The list goes on. The progress is a great thing, and it is reflected in the Best of Downtown ballot that we put in the hands of our readers. From May 4-25, more than 3,400 people went online,

choosing winners in 130 categories. We had high-tech, NSAmonitoring tools to prevent electronic ballot stuffing (just joking about the NSA monitoring. We think). The winners were a mix of old, new and in-between. In the most popular category, Best Lunch, readers selected sandwich purveyors Mendocino Farms (who also grabbed Best Fast Service and Best Sandwich/Wrap). Veteran comfort food establishment Engine Co. No. 28 repeated as the Best Business Lunch, and in Best French there was, ooh la la, le flip flop: Last year’s runner-up Café Pinot captured the top honor, pushing 2012 winner Church & State to second place. Seventh Street burger joint The Counter captured the Best

New Restaurant prize (as well as Best Burger), and Water Grill proved that even after an extensive makeover it’s still up to snuff — it won Best Seafood honors. While there were many repeat winners, it wasn’t always the case. MOCA, for years a Best Museum stalwart, was runner-up in 2013, behind the California Science Center. Which all goes to prove what a simple Space Shuttle will do for your popularity (the Science Center also won Best Family Attraction). The Downtown News editorial staff also weighs in on some of the best things happening in Downtown. Check out our rundown of 24 of our favorite people, places and things (p. 26). They include our selections for Best Auction, Best End of an Eyesore and Best Power Player. The sheer variety of winners is striking. It’s also pretty impressive and reflective of the community. We look forward to the next 25 years in Downtown. And yes, to the next 40 as well.

We Have Some Reader Winners A Batch of Downtowners Are Rewarded Just for Voting

“I went into cardiac care because it deals with the most important health problem in our country. St. Vincent looks to the future of heart disease and brings the sought-after model of integrated heart care right here to Los Angeles. It’s a great thing for patients to have so many specialized and experienced physicians in one place.” —James McPherson, MD, MPH, FACS

photo courtesy Bernadette Antle

Best of Downtown grand prize winner Bernadette Antle.

Specializes in Minimally Invasive Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery


hey went online. They considered. They voted. And voted and voted and voted and voted and voted. Now, after all that voting, some of them are being rewarded. That’s the situation with Los Angeles Downtown News’ 25th annual Best of Downtown issue. We opened the polls in the spring, asking Downtown workers and residents to express themselves, and they did so in droves. From May 4-25, 3,460 people answered some or all of the 130 questions on our online ballot. The final number is huge: a total of 206,992 votes were cast. Those who completed a significant portion of the ballot had the chance to be enrolled in a prize drawing, and now we’re giving out the goods. The grand prize winner is Bernadette Antle. She will receive a two-night stay at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel, dinner for two at Noé, $200 cash, dinner for two at Morton’s The Steakhouse, and a Los Angeles Conservancy walking tour. Whether she opts to share any of it is up to her. Antle is not the only one to find that messing around online can pay off big. Christopher Karwowski has won an iPod Mini, and William Halladay, Amber Lynn Wheeler and Alexandra Montana will all receive $100. Since Downtown Los Angeles has become such a big restaurant destination, we also have food prizes. Daniel Niswander, Maryann Martinez and Zoe Dillard will each receive $50 gift certificates to Trader Vic’s at L.A. Live. Susan Leary won a $50 gift certificate for the Palm, a $50 Kasuya gift certificate goes to Molly Brink, and Jaime Wong has earned a $25 gift certificate to Cabbage Patch. Downtown News says a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to go online and cast a ballot. The 26th annual Best of Downtown will take place next summer, and we look forward to what readers will have to say then. We also look forward to handing out more prizes.

Delivering Integrated

Heart Care

St. Vincent Medical Center’s nurses, cardiovascular specialists, cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiac surgeons work together to provide patients with confidence and convenience for their heart care needs. The Cardiac Care team offers the patient a unique integrated heart care experience, by delivering comprehensive heart care all from one location.

Learn more about the Heart Care experience at St. Vincent Medical Center 213.484.7800 | StVincentHeart.com 201 S. Alvarado, Suite 321 Los Angeles, CA 90057

16 Downtown News

July 15, 2013

Best Of Downtown

Best Entertainment BEST MUSEUM California Science Center


Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 S. Grand Ave., (323) 850-2000 or laphil.com A decade after it opened, the WDCH still boasts one of the most acoustically sophisticated designs in the world. It’s a perfect fit for L.A. Phil Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, who just keeps getting better. RUNNER-UP: Nokia Theatre 777 Chick Hearn Court, (213) 763-6030 or nokiatheatrelalive.com

BEST FILM VENUE Regal Cinemas L.A. Live


Conga Room 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 745-0162 or congaroom.com Though it got its start as a salsa-centric club, the Conga Room has branched out into world music, rock and even jazz. But its heart still belongs to salsa: There are free lessons on Saturday from 8-9 p.m. RUNNER-UP: Grammy Museum 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6800 or grammymuseum.org

Thank You DownTown La

BesT of winner 19 Years anD running!


L.A. Film Fest 866-FILMFEST or lafilmfest.com The festival just wrapped its 19th year and fourth in Downtown. It is only growing in size and reputation, giving movie fans access to critically acclaimed filmmakers, industry professionals and emerging talent. Most of it unfolds at L.A. Live. RUNNER-UP: Downtown Film Festival Dffla.com


Downtown L.A. Walks downtownlawalks.com For visitors hoping to see sites, and regulars interested in finding a more scenic way to lunch, this website helps navigate the streets, sidewalks and paths in Downtown. RUNNER-UP: Los Angeles Conservancy 523 W. Sixth St., (213) 623-2489 or laconservancy.org


Ahmanson Theatre 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 628-2772 or centertheatregroup.org With great sightlines and sound, and a solid lineup of plays and musicals, the Ahmanson is the region’s most consistent theatrical provider. For years, the Hot Tix program ($20 seats!) has been the bargain theatergoer’s best friend. RUNNER-UP: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-7211 or musiccenter.org


544 S. Grand Ave., Downtown LA 213-891-0900 | watergrill.com Future Future Reservations Reservations

Photos By Gary LEonard

Pershing Square Summer Concert Series 532 S. Olive St., (213) 847-4970 or laparks.org/pershingsquare Programming includes classic rock cover bands on Thursdays, Friday night films, Saturday night concerts and early evening Salsa Sundays. Best of all, it’s all free. RUNNER-UP: Grand Performances at California Plaza

350 S. Grand Ave., (213) 687-2190 or grandperformances.org


Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 S. Grand Ave., (323) 850-2000 or musiccenter.org Tourists pose for pictures in front of Frank Gehry’s sweeping silver steel seven days a week. The savvy ones know to check out a tour and the hidden-from-the-street garden upstairs. RUNNER-UP: Olvera Street (213) 687-4391 or calleolvera.com


California Science Center 700 Exposition Blvd., (323) 724-3623 or californiasciencecenter.org It was a huge coup to nab the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Come see it, and learn about all the strange features and MacGyver innovations and heroism that make a shuttle journey possible. RUNNER-UP: Museum of Contemporary Art 250 S. Grand Ave., (213) 621-1710 or moca.org


California Science Center 700 Exposition Blvd., (323) 724-3623 or californiasciencecenter.org It’s easy to get there, thanks to the Expo Line stop just outside, and it’s a mere $2 to see the Endeavour. The rest of the huge joint is also pretty impressive. RUNNER-UP: Downtown On Ice (Pershing Square) 532 S. Olive St., (213) 847-4970 or laparks.org/pershingsquare


Regal Cinemas L.A. Live 1000 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 763-6070 or regmovies.com Lively but rarely overrun, these 14 theaters include several with 3D capabilities. The staff is egregiously nice at every turn. They also keep the place spotless. see Entertainment, page 18

July 15, 2013

Best Of Downtown

Downtown News 17


800 W 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017 213.623.2288 | WokcanoRestaurant.com



Happy Hour: 3pm - 7pm Daily Reverse Happy Hour: 10pm - 2am Daily Delivery Available Until 1:30pm DOW




IWXSJ &DOWNTOWN Readers Choice

les Los Ange

ws wn Ne o t n Dow

WINNER Best Asian Fusion

BEST OF DOWNTOWN 2012 WINNER Best Asian Fusion

18 Downtown News

July 15, 2013

Best Of Downtown

Best Drinking

Entertainment Continued from page 16



RUNNER-UP: Downtown Independent 251 S. Main St., (213) 617-1033 or downtownindependent.com

Locals and tourists watch in disbelief as some 20,000 souls descend on the Historic Core every second Tuesday of the month. It’s one big sidewalk party, with some art sprinkled in for fun.


Downtown Art Walk Spring and Main between Second and Ninth streets, (213) 617-4929 or downtownartwalk.org.

RUNNER-UP: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival (855) 433-LAFW or lafw.com

The Edison IC VO






Thank you TO all of our guests for your CONTINUED support HE





Best of

Readers Choice

News town own les D Los Ange

News town own les D Los Ange



Best Lounge Bar

Photos By Gary LeonarD

Best Nightclub


Corkbar 403 W. 12th St., (213) 746-0050 or corkbar.com This place still surprises us. The shaggyhaired bartender doesn’t look like he’ll know wine, but he’s a hilarious, nononsense expert. The tucked-away spot doesn’t seem like it’ll come alive with nighttime energy, yet it always seems to do so. RUNNER-UP: BottleRock 1050 S. Flower St., Suite 167, (213) 747-1100 or bottlerock.com


ESPN Zone at L.A. Live 1011 S. Figueroa St., (213) 765-7070 or espnzone.com/losangeles Eat, drink and watch the game on a supersized screen with a bunch of fellow zealots. Or watch another game on dozens of other screens. If your squad loses you can head up to the arcade to blow off steam. RUNNER-UP: Big Wangs 801 S. Grand Ave., (213) 629-2449 or bigwangs.com


Urth Caffe 451 S. Hewitt St., (213) 797-4534 or urthcaffe.com This fresh roasted, whole bean, organic coffee destination has a handy “strong” option for the true caffeine junkies, and it’s chosen with strict quality and ethical standards. So it’s guilt-free, except that you’ve just had four cups and it’s not yet 9 a.m. RUNNER-UP: Spring for Coffee 548 S. Spring St., (213) 228-0041 or springforcoffee.com


For more information or to make reservations please visit us at www.edisondowntown.com or call 213.613.0000 108 W 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Edison 108 W. Second St., (213) 613-0000 or edisondowntown.com Though it’s already several years into what can sometimes be a short-lived L.A. nightlife run, the giant Edison never feels vacuous or generic. Part of that is due to the industrial-gone-burlesque design. Then there’s the fact that there are always surprises, including acrobats, dancers, bands and movie projections.

RUNNER-UP: Library Bar 630 W. Sixth St., (213) 614-0053 or librarybarla.com


Bar 107 107 W. Fourth St., (213) 625-7382 This Historic Core stalwart gets it done with cheap drinks and a neighborhood vibe. If conversation dwindles — and it probably won’t with these price points — listen to the great music or stare slack-jawed at the decor, best described as barfly runs loose at Midwest yard sale and scores big. RUNNER-UP: La Cita 336 S. Hill St., (213) 687-7111 or lacitabar.com


McCormick & Schmick’s 633 W. Fifth St., fourth floor, (213) 629-1929 or mccormickandschicks.com This perennial happy hour spot has weathered waves of competition and recession, endless office birthday parties and the Cosmo. The drinks are good but it really stands out for the happy hour food menu. RUNNER-UP: Public School 612 (Daily Grill) 612 S. Flower St., (213) 623-1172 or publicschool612.com


Seven Grand 515 W. Seventh St., second floor, (213) 614-0737 or sevengrand.la The term “five dollars” doesn’t usually come up in mixology discussions. But during this happy hour, the bar’s brown-liquor wonderments, which may be as fun to watch getting made as they are to drink, are just a Lincoln until 7 p.m. RUNNER-UP: Big Wangs 801 S. Grand Ave., (213) 629-2449 or bigwangs. com


Standard Rooftop Bar — Standard Downtown 550 S. Flower St., (213) 892-8080 or standardhotels.com The pod-filled space that helped kick up Downtown’s nightlife renaissance more

July 15, 2013

Best Of Downtown

BEST Bar Happy Hour Seven Grand

than a decade ago can still raise eyebrows. Expect weird pop-up performances, various states of dress and undress and midnight swimmers. RUNNER-UP: BonaVista Lounge — Westin Bonaventure 404 S. Figueroa St., (213) 624-1000 or thebonaventure.com


Pete’s Café & Bar 400 S. Main St., (213) 617-1000 or petescafe.com A lot of nearby bars are open late, but they

Downtown News 19

BEST Hotel Bar Standard Rooftop Bar — Standard Downtown

don’t have patios that allow dogs, the right amount of sitting space and the neighborhood’s daily gossip. RUNNER-UP: Yard House 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 745-9273 or yardhouse.com


The Original Pantry Café 877 S. Figueroa St., (213) 972-9279 or pantrycafe.com Country-fried steak, eggs, thick grilled sourdough. What hangover?

RUNNER-UP: Nickel Diner 524 S. Main St., (213) 623-8301 or nickeldiner.com


The Edison 108 W. Second St., (213) 613-0000 or edisondowntown.com If you can weather the line, this is quite an evening. Hang out with a well-dressed crowd that, unlike clubbers elsewhere, seem genuinely happy to be inside. RUNNER-UP: Conga Room

800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 745-0162 or congaroom.com


Yard House 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 745-9273 or yardhouse.com There are a dizzying amount of tapped kegs here, but they’re broken up into categories to help you decide. Then there’s the whole sampler situation, in case you don’t feel like deciding. RUNNER-UP: Wurstküche 800 E. Third St., (213) 687-4444 or wurstkuche.com

20 Downtown News

Best Shopping BEST ART, CRAFT & DESIGN STORE FIDM Scholarship Store


Pershing Square Farmers Market 532 S. Olive St., rawinspiration.org, Wednesday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Not every Downtown farmers market has food stands, but this one’s packed with them. It also has the requisite fruit, vegetable, flower and other vendors, all making the day a little more manageable.


RUNNER-UP: FIGat7th Farmers Market 735 S. Figueroa St., (213) 955-7150 or FIGat7th.com


July 15, 2013

Best Of Downtown




DTLA Bikes 425 S. Broadway, (213) 533-8000 or dtlabikes.com Whether you’ve got a handful of CicLAvias under your belt or you’ve been watching from the sidewalk and finally want in on the action, this is the place. Custom made bikes for any lifestyle, and a sweet indoor track where you can test ride. RUNNER-UP: Downtown LA Bicycles 1626 S. Hill St., (213) 745-6783 or downtownlabicycles.com


Pussy & Pooch 564 S. Main St., (213) 438-0900 or pussyandpooch.com There’s a foundational product core of good food and basics, along with accessories and hilarious clothes. The staff goes out of its way to research, and then procure, products and bulk food price options for you. RUNNER-UP: Bark Avenue’s Pet Project 548 S. Spring St., (213) 688-7752 or petproject-losangeles.com




Photos by Gary Leonard

Since 1969

Readers Choice

News town own D s le Los Ange

WINNER Best Menswear – Suits

Suits, sport coats, slacks, formal wear, socks, ties and accessories. The latest men’s fashions in sizes 35 extra-short to 56 extra-long, 40% - 70% off retail. The only California wholesaler of better menswear selling to fine stores around the country.

Open TO The publiC Suits that should be expensive, but they’re not! OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

729 S. Los Angeles St. 1-877-SUITS-4-U • 213-627-9661

FIDM Scholarship Store 919 S. Grand Ave., (213) 623-5821 or thefidmmuseumstore.org Pick up any of the cool, handmade products here and support a school that keeps Downtown looking better, in a sartorial way. RUNNER-UP: Raw Materials 436 S. Main St., (800) 729-7060 or rawmaterialsla.com.


angelo: HOME 847 S. Broadway, (213) 488-9347 or angelohome.com/store The upholstered furniture and cool home accents are either vintage or vintage-inspired, and the prices are surprisingly good. RUNNER-UP: Hammer & Spear 255 Santa Fe. Ave. #101, (213) 928-0997 or hammerandspear.com


The Last Bookstore 453 S. Spring St., (213) 488-0599 or lastbookstorela.com. You can lose yourself on the sprawling first floor of this word wonderland, but do get upstairs to the second floor mezzanine, where the shop’s sea of used books are arranged by color, in huge arcs in old vaults. RUNNER-UP: The Library Store 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7550 or lfla.org/store/


Underground Smoke Shop 548 S. Spring St. #108, (213) 622-0224 Cigarettes, hookahs and shisha, cigars

and incense and a really helpful, sweet staff. Chill in the indoor lounge or take a seat outside and let the people watching begin. RUNNER-UP: 2nd Street Cigar Lounge and Gallery 124 W. Second St., (213) 452-4416 or 2ndstreetcigars.com


Nick Alexander Imports 6333 S. Alameda St., (323) 583-1901 or alexanderbmw.com The place to go for new BMWs. Online reviews and word-of-mouth around town talk of a staff that treats shoppers with respect. RUNNER-UP: Toyota Downtown L.A. 1600 S. Figueroa St., (213) 748-8301 or toyotaofdowntownla.com


Nick Alexander Imports 6333 S. Alameda St., (323) 583-1901 or alexanderbmw.com The pre-owned inventory is kept up-todate online. You can also fill out the dealership’s “CarFinder” form and the staff will go to work for you. Or just wander the aisles. RUNNER-UP: Felix Chevrolet 3330 S. Figueroa St., (213) 290-1925 or felixchevrolet.com


St. Vincent Jewelry Center 650 S. Hill St., (213) 629-2124 or svjc.com At this outpost in the middle of the country’s largest Jewelry District, shiny product is roughly 40% of what it would cost on the Westside. Jewelry shopping goes like this: Start here to get your feet wet, shop around town to do your due diligence, then return to the district and buy. RUNNER-UP: California Jewelry Mart 607 S. Hill St., (213) 627-2831


Buttons and Bows 548 S. Spring St., #112, (213) 622-0648 or buttonsandbowsla.com A thoughtful boutique addition to a street that has enough testosterone from its bars,

July 15, 2013

Downtown News 21

Best Of Downtown



barbers and food. There is a range of vintage and modern designer wares for ladies and gents.

330 E. Second St., (213) 620-1188 or raggedythreads.com

RUNNER-UP: 1 Man’s Trash 655 S. Main St., (213) 840-3654

MOCA Store 250 S. Grand Ave., (213) 621-1710; 152 N. Central Ave., (213) 625-1391, or mocastore.myshopify.com Reasonable T-shirts, cards, baby products and cool art objects created with, or inspired by, the museum’s stable of displays and older stalwarts. Shop onsite or online; proceeds support exhibits, events and collections.

RUNNER-UP: Popkiller/Popkiller Second 343 E. Second St., (213) 625-1372 or popkiller.us


Roger Stuart Clothes 729 S. Los Angeles St., (213) 627-9661 or rogerstuart.com One of the last remaining old-school menswear stores, this spot has outstanding service and prices on the same suits you’ll see at big-name department stores.


1 Man’s Trash 655 S. Main St., (213) 840-3654 There are now chains and a couple of malls in the Central City, so thank the style gods that Downtown’s still got spots like this, stocked by owners who see things their way. Guys come by for blazers, bucket hats and a lot of vintage Gucci. RUNNER-UP: Raggedy Threads Vintage Shoppe

RUNNER-UP: The Library Store 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7550 or lfla.org/store/


FIDM Scholarship Store 919 S. Grand Ave., (213) 623-5821 or thefidmmuseumstore.org The clothes here are donated by local companies and the proceeds benefit the fashion school’s students. Take a few minutes and start hunting for way-cool summery dresses, tanks, fabrics, shoes and jewelry. RUNNER-UP: Buttons and Bows 111 W. Seventh St., (213) 622-0648 or buttonsandbowsla.com


City Target 735 S. Figueroa St., (213) 330-4543 or target.com Not since Ralphs opened have Downtowners nudged one another with such consumer glee. The new City Target has an uncanny telepathy about what loftdwellers need. There is also cheap wine instead of a garden section. RUNNER-UP: Macy’s 750 W. Seventh St., (213) 628-9311 or macys.com






IWXSJ &DOWNTOWN Readers Choice


American Apparel 363 E. 2nd St., (213) 617-7222 americanapparel.net Forget the slithery billboards and focus instead on the leg warmers, classic Ts, skirts and dresses. Plus, American Apparel has forward-thinking color palettes: They were selling bright green a year ago, and neon two years before that.









IWXSJ &DOWNTOWN Readers Choice

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les Los Ange

Best Burger

Best New Restaurant

22 Downtown News

Best Restaurants Best Asian Fusion Wokcano


The Counter 725 W. Seventh St., (213) 228-7800 or thecounterburger.com The Counter bucks all the trends and global cuisine on Seventh Street by getting down to basics, offering build-it-yourself burgers, but with a fresh-faced staff able to talk you into all kinds of combinations and fried sides. RUNNER-UP: The Parish 840 S. Spring St., (213) 225-2400 or theparishla.com


Yard House 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 745-9273 or yardhouse.com It’s like a British pub on American steroids, with curving patios for L.A. Live people watching, solid bar food and a good pregame or post-work vibe. RUNNER-UP: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 745-9911 or flemingssteakhouse.com


Mendocino Farms 300 S. Grand Ave., (213) 620-1114; 444 S. Flower St., (213) 627-3262; 735 S. Figueroa St., (213) 430-9040 or mendocinofarms.com The line of suits coursing out of this eatery can make one briefly consider takeout Chinese. Fortunately, the bandana-wearing staff is as serious about quality as proficiency, and the queue actually moves. It’s well worth the wait. RUNNER-UP: Wurstküche 800 E. Third St., (213) 687-4444 or wurstkuche.com


Morton’s The Steakhouse 735 S. Figueroa St., (213) 553-4566 or mortons.com The two Windy City pals who founded this chain did a good thing back in 1978. The steaks knock even foodies out. RUNNER-UP: Water Grill 544 S. Grand Ave., (213-891-0900 or watergrill.com

July 15, 2013

Best Of Downtown

Photos by Gary Leonard

Best Breakfast The Original Pantry Café


Blue Cow Kitchen & Bar 350 S. Grand Ave., (213) 621-2249 or bluecowkitchen.com The phone-checking Bunker Hill office crowd, not heretofore known for their interest in organic, has embraced this healthy indoor-outdoor spot.

it’s very stars and stripes. And we don’t get to say this often, but try the meatloaf.

RUNNER-UP: Pete’s Café & Bar 400 S. Main St., (213) 617-1000 or petescafe.com



Mendocino Farms 300 S. Grand Ave., (213) 620-1114; 444 S. Flower St., (213) 627-3262; 735 S. Figueroa St., (213) 4309040 or mendocinofarms.com Sometimes spending double digits on a sandwich is worth it. This is one of those times. RUNNER-UP: Urth Caffe 451 S. Hewitt St., (213) 797-4534 or urthcaffe.com


Morton’s The Steakhouse 735 S. Figueroa St., (213) 553-4566 or mortons.com A menu presentation with meat cuts and lobster leads to perfect protein, giant martinis and onion bread. But don’t fill up on the onion bread. RUNNER-UP: Bäco Mercat 408 S. Main St., (213) 687-8808 or bacomercat.com


Library Bar 630 W. Sixth St., (213) 614-0053 or librarybarla.com Amid leather-bound books (they’re real, we checked) and a Sherlock Holmes type den, this petite bar offers a range of small bites, burgers, and a solid beer and wine program. RUNNER-UP: Public School 612 (Daily Grill) 612 S. Flower St., (213) 623-1172 or publicschool612.com


Engine Co. No. 28 644 S. Figueroa St., (213) 624-6996 or engineco.com Comfort food in a converted fire station —

RUNNER-UP: Water Grill 544 S. Grand Ave., (213) 891-0900 or watergrill.com California Kabob Kitchen 141 W. 11th St., (213) 747-9500 or ckkabob.com There are plenty of glorified kabob stands Downtown, but this is something more, something sophisticated. The food here is prepared by people who understand the intricacies of Persian spices and flavors. RUNNER-UP: Sultan Chicken 311 W. Sixth St., (213) 236-0604 or sultanchicken.com


Drago Centro 525 S. Flower St., (213) 228-8998 or dragocentro.com The pastas and proteins, as well as the Italian wine list, are stunning. Several years into the Downtown game, the restaurant has established itself as both a happy hour and a meal center. RUNNER-UP: Colori Kitchen 429 W. Eighth St., (213) 622-5950 or colorikitchen.com


The Original Pantry Café 877 S. Figueroa St., (213) 972-9279 or pantrycafe.com This is a quintessential L.A. diner, with breakfast all day and night, a former mayor as an owner, and all kinds of characters (that’s including the staff). RUNNER-UP: Nickel Diner 524 S. Main St., (213) 623-8301 or nickeldiner.com


Blossom 426 S. Main St., (213) 623-1973 or blossomrestaurant.com This Main Street pioneer has stood the test of time. Sizzling steak for meat lovers, pho for veggies and spring rolls for everybody, along with strong teas and coffees.

RUNNER-UP: Pho 87 1019 N. Broadway, (323) 227-0758


Wokcano 800 W. Seventh St., (213) 623-2288 or wokcanorestaurant.com. This Downtown staple’s menu is like the greatest hits of Asian cuisine. The most popular Chinese, Japanese and Thai dishes are all on one menu. RUNNER-UP: Chaya Downtown 525 S. Flower St., (213) 236-9577 or thechaya.com/downtownlosangeles


Mediterranean City Grill 609 S. Spring St., (213) 489-9555 or medcitygrill.com The falafel, thanks to a home recipe from the Israeli owner, is delicious. The kabobs are a Spring Street staple. RUNNER-UP: Papa Cristos 2771 W. Pico Blvd., (323) 737-2970 or papacristos.com


Pete’s Café & Bar 400 S. Main St., (213) 617-1000 or petescafe.com At Pete’s, people get a little burger and mac-and-cheese obsessed. The more serious entrees, among them short ribs and rib-eyes, are equally delicious. RUNNER-UP: Nickel Diner 524 S. Main St., (213) 623-8301 or nickeldiner.com


Morton’s The Steakhouse 735 S. Figueroa St., (213) 553-4566 or mortons.com The tricks of the trade: An aging interim of 23-28 days, “abundant marbling” and an 1,800-degree broiler. All of it requires people who know and love what they’re doing. RUNNER-UP: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 745-9911 or flemingssteakhouse.com

July 15, 2013


everything here is under $10, and that includes all those Korean sides. Go for rice, miso, cucumber, kimchee, spicy bean sprouts and potato salad. RUNNER-UP: Manna Korean BBQ 333 S. Alameda St., (213) 617-0306 or mannabbq.com


Shabu Shabu House 127 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, (213) 680-3890 If you can get past the wait (and there’s a lot to see in the mall), then a meat lover’s odyssey awaits. Every diner gets his or her own hot pot. RUNNER-UP: Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant 811 Wilshire Blvd., #2100, (213) 236-9600 or takamisushi.com

Bottega Louie 700 S. Grand Ave., (213) 802-1470 or bottegalouie.com Bottega can feel like a circus. Zero in on the pizza chefs in back, calmly twirling dough and working the woodfire, all to turn out perfectly balanced pies. RUNNER-UP: Pitfire Pizza Company 108 W. Second St., (213) 808-1200 or pitfirepizza.com


Water Grill 544 S. Grand Ave., (213) 891-0900 or watergrill.com A few of us fretted about this classic’s menu transformation into something zippier and more bar-ified. We don’t worry anymore: The oysters, scallops and shrimp are amazing, and so is the presentation. RUNNER-UP: McCormick & Schmick’s 633 W. Fifth St., fourth floor, (213) 629-1929 or mccormickandschmicks.com


Saffron Indian Cuisine 505 S. Flower St., (213) 488-9754; 735 S. Figueroa St., (213) 688-1400 or saffronindia.com Saffron got its sea legs in City National Plaza, and now has a second outpost (dubbed Indus by Saffron) in FIGat7th’s impressive food court. Delicious masalas and tikka sauces, good prices and spices, and outstanding naan.


Café Pinot 700 W. Fifth St., (213) 239-6500 or cafepinot.com Amid olive trees and balmy weather, Pinot is everything you’d think California-French ought to be. There’s even a Francophile foundation layered with a lot of local farmers market color. RUNNER-UP: Church & State 1850 Industrial St. #100, (213) 405-1434 or churchandstatebistro.com


Soi 7 518 W. Seventh St., (213) 537-0333 or soi7la.com In a much more elegant setting than most of L.A.’s Thai joints, see Restaurants, page 24

Good Samaritan Hospital Best Hospital in Downtown Los Angeles for 14 years!

Our doctors have choices on where to practice medicine, so they practice here. With a commitment to excellence and access to numerous clinical trials, research protocols, and cutting edge technology, Good Sam is their hospital of choice. Affiliated with the USC Keck School of Medicine and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospital is home to some of the “Best Doctors in America®.” Visit our website at www.goodsam.org. T


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Best Of Downtown



Readers Choice

El Cholo 1037 S. Flower St., (213) 746-7750 or elcholo.com We’re suckers for the tableside guacamole, the fireplace and the L.A. Lemonade margarita. For L.A. Live, it’s an affordable place to fill up before the game or the show.


The Counter 725 W. Seventh St., (213) 228-7800 or thecounterburger.com The Counter claims there are 312,120 burger combinations available, give or take. If that level of choice is overwhelming, there are delicious go-to’s on the menu that don’t involve the clipboard. RUNNER-UP: Umamicatessen 852 S. Broadway, (213) 413-8626 or umami.com/umamicatessen


Korean BBQ House 323 E. First St., (213) 680-1826 It’s not all sushi, ramen or shabu shabu in Little Tokyo. Most




RUNNER-UP: Gill’s Cuisine of India 838 S. Grand Ave., (213) 623-1050 or gillsindian.com

RUNNER-UP: Border Grill 445 S. Figueroa St., (213) 486-5171 or bordergrill.com



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For a referral to our excellent doctors call 1-800-GS-CARES (1-800-472-2737)

1225 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90017 (213) 977-2121

WINNER Best Hospital

24 Downtown News


not the same. Don’t worry about wearing out the menu, as there are specials and seasonal selections every day.

Continued from page 23 Soi 7 has great sit-down fare. Fortunately you can get out quickly and easily. The best options are the lunch specials

RUNNER-UP: Philippe The Original 1001 N. Alameda St., (213) 628-3781 or philippes.com

RUNNER-UP: Sticky Rice 317 S. Broadway #C-4-5, in Grand Central Market



SugarFish 600 W. Seventh St., (213) 627-3000 or sugarfishsushi.com With Little Tokyo so close, it’s strange that Downtown’s best sushi spot is on Seventh Street. But the famous “trust me” sushi empire is thriving here, where the rules (don’t ask for extra ponzu, and do not utter the words “California roll”) are as great as the fish.

RUNNER-UP: Mr. Ramen 341 1/2 E. First St., (213) 626-4252 or japaneserestaurantinfo.com


RUNNER-UP: Sushi Gen 422 E. Second St., (213) 617-0552 or sushigenla.com



Mendocino Farms 300 S. Grand Ave., (213) 620-1114; 444 S. Flower St., (213) 627-3262; 735 S. Figueroa St., (213) 430-9040 or mendocinofarms.com People taste the tuna melt and/or dip into vegan-land with a shawarma, and they’re


Daikokuya 327 E. First St., (213) 626-1680 or dkramen.com Cheap, lightning fast, brothily delicious and as crowded at 1 a.m. as it is at 7 p.m.

Frying Fish 120 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, (213) 680-0567 Frying Fish is home to sweet, chatty chefs and great sushi. You don’t have to stick to the conveyor belt: Just order some ootoro from the chefs, or ask the ladies in the back for the menu. Ocean Seafood 750 N. Hill St., (213) 687-3088 or oceansf.com Now that Empress Pavilion is no more, Ocean gets a chance to flex its muscle. It showcases formidable Hong Kong dim sum, great honey walnut shrimp and cart ladies who actually seem to be having fun.


RUNNER-UP: CBS Seafood 700 N. Spring St., (213) 617-2323


Yang Chow 819 N. Broadway, (213) 625-0811 yangchow.com Legendary slippery shrimp and 75-cent valet parking. No one’s ever accused it of being the most authentic Chinese eatery, but it’s undeniably a classic. RUNNER-UP: Plum Tree Inn 913 N. Broadway, (213) 613-1819 or plumtreeinn.com


Pete’s Café and Bar 400 S. Main St., (213) 617-1000 or petescafe.com There are three cheeses in this little pot of love: Vermont sharp white cheddar, asiago and goat. It’s comfort food success. RUNNER-UP: Nickel Diner 524 S. Main St., (213) 623-8301 or nickeldiner.com


Blossom 426 S. Main St., (213) 623-1973 or blossomrestaurant.com There’s plenty of steak here, but vegetarians win big, thanks to an assortment of spring rolls, fritters, cold noodle dishes and pho.

prime steaks. Legendary service. Fine Wine • private dining • exquisite menu

RUNNER-UP: Cabbage Patch 520 W. Sixth St., (213) 489-4489 or cabbagepatchla.com


Big Man Bakes 413 S. Main St., (213) 617-9100 or bigmanbakes.com Main Street needed a sweet spot! Chocolate and red velvet options are just the start. Try the Reese’s peanut butter cupcake when they’ve got it. RUNNER-UP: The Pie Hole 714 Traction Ave., (213) 537-0115 or thepiehole.com



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Best of

Readers Choice

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News town own les D Los Ange

News town own les D Los Ange




Best Steakhouse

July 15, 2013

Best Of Downtown

Best Dinner

Best Fine Dining

Downtown | 735 South Figueroa St Los Angeles, CA 90017 | 213 - 553- 4566 mortons.com/losangeles

Big Man Bakes 413 S. Main St., (213) 617-9100 or bigmanbakes.com It’s either the Big Man himself, or one of the hilarious girls he hires, behind the counter. Either way, buying cupcakes here is more fun than other chains. It’s personal.


Urth Caffe 451 Hewitt St., (213) 797-4534 or urthcaffe.com First time visitors may think it’s a mirage or a movie shoot, but this Arts District outpost has become the area’s de facto living room, where locals are guaranteed to run into friends and neighbors. RUNNER-UP: LA Café 639 S. Spring St., (213) 612-3000 or thelacafe.com


Cicada 617 S. Olive St., (213) 488-9488 or cicadarestaurant.com Cicada exemplifies Art Deco fabulousness, with Lalique glass, soft light, and a dance floor that couples have been swirling on seemingly since the 1920s. The Italian cuisine is pretty solid, too. RUNNER-UP: Patina 141 S. Grand Ave., (213) 972-3331 or patinarestaurant.com


Perch 448 S. Hill St., (213) 802-1770 or perchla.com Once you park and get upstairs, you’ve earned a little oasis, and Perch delivers. Inside is for buzz and bar proximity, but the outside is the respite, with breeze and light and very-cushioned chairs. RUNNER-UP: Cafe Pinot 700 W. Fifth St., (213) 239-6500 or cafepinot.com


TASTE FIGat7th 735 S. Figueroa St., (213) 955-7150 or figat7th.com The reimagining of what could have been the city’s millionth subterranean food court has gone off like gangbusters. There’s not a dismissible, expected spot in here. RUNNER-UP: Grand Central Market 317 S. Broadway, (213) 624-2378 or grandcentralsquare.com


Bottega Louie 700 S. Grand Ave., (213) 802-1470 or bottegalouie.com When writing about Bottega Louie, you’re required to comment on the noise. So here it is: It’s loud in there. But it’s also a perfect group spot, with small and big plates, a game staff, and an environment where no one can hear your gossip no matter how good it is.

July 15, 2013

Best Restaurant Decor Cicada

and an enduring genesis story about whether it, or Cole’s, created it first. All hail the French dip. RUNNER-UP: Mendocino Farms 300 S. Grand Ave., (213) 620-1114; 444 S. Flower St., (213) 627-3262; 735 S. Figueroa St., (213) 430-9040 or mendocinofarms.com


Philippe The Original 1001 N. Alameda St., (213) 628-3781 or philippes.com One of the few places in L.A. where suited executives stand alongside uniforms, all to catch a dripping meat sandwich from an aproned counter lady.

RUNNER-UP: Pete’s Café & Bar 400 S. Main St., (213) 617-1000 or petescafe.com


Perch 448 S. Hill St., (213) 802-1770 or perchla.com This is the best way-above-ground dining in Downtown. It’s high enough not to hear the buses, but low enough to feel a part of the city. And you can see all the nature in Pershing Square from here. RUNNER-UP: L.A. Prime 404 S. Figueroa St., (213) 612-4743 or thebonaventure.com


WP24 in the Ritz-Carlton 900 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 743-8824 or wolfgangpuck.com/restaurants It’s a special occasion place, for sure. Gorgeous views, confident swankiness, and Peking duck, fancy bao buns and dumplings. RUNNER-UP: LA Market at J.W. Marriott 900 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-8630 or lalivemarriott.com


Café Pinot 700 W. Fifth St., (213) 239-6500 or cafepinot.com Maybe it’s the fact that there are a lot of weddings here. Maybe it’s the fine Cal-French food and the adept staff. Maybe it’s the quiet, elegant, sunny vibe. You get it. RUNNER-UP: Pacific Dining Car 1310 W. Sixth St., (213) 483-6000 or pacificdiningcar.com


Bottega Louie 700 S. Grand Ave., (213) 802-1470 or bottegalouie.com There is no better spot from which to, in any order, people watch, sip a mimosa or a Bloody Mary, and wear sunglasses indoors. RUNNER-UP: Nickel Diner 524 Main St., (213) 623-8301 or nickeldiner.com


Philippe The Original 1001 N. Alameda St., (213) 628-3781 or philippes.com We like pickled eggs and pie, but show us another sandwich with a Facebook page, reams of food review acclaim,

Downtown News 25

Best Of Downtown RUNNER-UP: The Original Pantry Café 877 S. Figueroa St., (213) 972-9279 or pantrycafe.com


Yogurtland 130 S. Central Ave., (213) 687-0733 or yogurt-land.com With double-digit flavors and toppings that range from candy bar bits to cereal to cookie dough to lychee fruit, it’s almost impossible to screw up at this DIY spot. RUNNER-UP: Pinkberry 332 E. Second St., Suite A, (213) 621-7645 or pinkberry.com

26 Downtown News

July 15, 2013

Best Of Downtown

Best of Downtown Staff Picks

Photos by Gary Leonard

From an Oddity to Secret Yoga to a Power Player, These Are Two Dozen of Our Favorite Things BEST PUBLIC ART

Yoga at the LATC







BEST BUSINESS 2.0 The Medallion

Downhill From Grand Park to Spring Street Park












Colette Miller’s Angels Wings

DTLA Facebook Page Doc Rivers


Piñata District

Metro Charter Elementary School

Tree Growing Out of a Wall on Broadway King Eddy Saloon

Downtown Pedicabs Herb Wesson

Haunted Wilshire Grand

Volunteer With DLANC

BEST PUBLIC ART Colette Miller’s Angels Wings

showed up, including former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and current Mayor Eric Garcetti. It had such an impact that Miller was invited to paint a new pair at the FIGat7th shopping center.—Ryan Vaillancourt


There are numerous online destinations for people hungry for news about Downtown Los Angeles. While we recommend, ahem, downtownnews.com, the DTLA Facebook page (facebook.com/dtla) is a forum where more than 2,000 members cover, sometimes emotionally and with terrible grammar, a uniquely broad swath of community issues. Members can search old threads to find a good dry cleaner, shamelessly self-promote their local business, ask if anyone’s seen Ricky the Pirate lately (and inquire about his health) or lament the latest community problem. It is an unfiltered conversation where people are often sarcastic and occasionally rude, but ultimately insightful.—Ryan Vaillancourt

Like all good street art, Colette Miller’s colorful angel wings appeared without announcement or fanfare. The three pairs of wheat pasted wings on the roll-down doors of the Regent Theater on Main Street were designed so that a person could stand in front of them and instantly appear angelic. Then, Los Angeles Downtown News photographer Gary Leonard invited people to pose with the wings on several weekends. Hundreds

‘Songs in the Key of L.A.’ Exhibit

“Best RestauRant Happy HouR” -Los angeles Downtown news

Los Angeles State Historic Park


Park Plans for the Graffiti Pit


Storytime at the Central Library

Hybrid Businesses

The Departure of Tim Leiweke

Humans vs. Dogs vs. Babies at Spring Street Park

Saigon Plaza


and Rivers is known for having a far more complete coaching approach than the Lakers’ offensive-minded Mike D’Antoni. Winning a championship won’t be easy, but with Rivers on board, pro ball watchers know the Clippers have a legitimate shot, and that’s saying something.—Jon Regardie

BEST AUCTION King Eddy Saloon

Shuttle Endeavour

BEST ODDITY Tree Growing Out of a Wall on Broadway

On Dec. 16, 2012, the venerable dive the King Eddy Saloon closed its doors so new owners could do a renovation. Before the drinking destination on the ground floor of the 1906 King Edward Hotel at 131 E. Fifth St. shuttered, outgoing owner Dustin Croick decided to auction everything inside the bar. Well, he tried. After hours of goodbye drinking, Croick began trying to sell about 100 items, including beer signs, bar glasses, paintings, statues, stools and even a pair of nunchuks that had hung over the bar. Did it work? Not even close! The bar ran out of Pabst Blue Ribbon and the auction started about two hours late. At the end, only about 25 items sold for a total of $200. The most popular item, curiously, was a painting of a trotting white unicorn with a rainbow flowing from its horn, which started at $2. Although some regulars said they had never before seen it at the King Eddy, it fetched $30.—Richard Guzmán

BEST GHOST STORY Haunted Wilshire Grand


The new Clippers coach has yet to helm a game with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in his lineup. Yet the former guard who guided the Celtics to a 2008 NBA title over the Lakers (and lost one to Kobe’s crew two years later) is already paying benefits. Working out a deal to bring Rivers to L.A. to replace the banished Vinny Del Negro helped convince free agent Paul to sign a five-year contract,


Trees traditionally grow from the ground. Just don’t tell that to the ficus at 351 S. Broadway. It emerges from the top of the fivefloor building’s south facing wall. Although no one knows exactly how it got there, Jim Henrich, the curator of living collections at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, theorized that a bird may have dropped a seed in the building’s walls. He noted that the hearty ficus can establish itself almost anywhere with just a bit of moisture. The tree is now about 12 feet tall, but its days are numbered. Developer David Gray is renovating the building and the ficus will eventually have to be removed.—Richard Guzmán

As demolition crews took apart the old Wilshire Grand, some workers felt that not every guest of the hotel had left. Security guards and employees of an auction company that stayed in the hotel at Seventh and Figueroa streets after it closed insisted that the place was haunted. One guard recalls talking to his girlfriend via Skype when she asked who was standing behind him. He had been alone in the room. Others reported hearing a little girl singing on the seventh floor. A Downtown News reporter spent a few hours canvassing the empty hotel and found nothing, but those who did were legitimately spooked. Will the alleged apparitions inhabit the new $1 billion replacement? Let’s hope they can’t afford it.—Ryan Vaillancourt


Exercising is essential, but it can also be expensive, with gym memberships, pricy shoes

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Downtown-Flowers.Net Bringing you freshness & Delight HE





est of BDOWNTOWN Readers Choice

News town own les D Los Ange

WINNER Best Florist

July 15, 2013

and other sport-specific accessories. Of course, it’s possible to get a great workout without spending a dime. One option is the Los Angeles Theatre Center (514 S. Spring St.), which offers free flow yoga classes at 9:30 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. What can you expect? As a recent Facebook post for the offering promised, “gentle twists and mini backbends are on the yoga menu today. Come and partake! It’ll be subtle and sweet.” In an age when an hour of yoga can cost $50, this freebie is a rare community resource. Namaste.—Ryan Vaillancourt


Downtown has the Fashion District, the Arts District and the Toy District, which is far less

Best Of Downtown vide pedal-powered, taxi-like service amidst speeding autos. Now, just like zombies, the pedicab concept is back from the dead. Fourteenth District City Councilman José Huizar in April authored a motion directing the city to study ways to create a pedicab system. The city Department of Transportation is on the job and is looking at a regulatory system to implement a pilot program in Downtown. There’s no timeline yet on when (or if) cabs will start rolling through the neighborhood.—Richard Guzmán


The reign of City Council President Herb Wesson brings up the old Machiavelli question of whether it is better to be feared than loved. Wesson is quick and ruthless in his strikes, as Angelenos learned when a) he orchestrated the snatching of Downtown from Jan Perry’s Ninth District during council redistricting, and b) he unceremoniously dressed down former Mayor Richard Riordan in public. Wesson grabbed the council presidency in 2011 and was unanimously re-elected to the post this month after helping engineer the election of several new members. He has also turned the body into a Sacramento-style machine where public disagreement is limited. Yes, many chafe against the former speaker of the State Assembly, but few dare confront him or criticize him in public, fearing the repercussions. Wesson may not be loved, but he’s cutthroat great at politics.—Jon Regardie


BEST GRASSROOTS PROJECT Metro Charter Elementary School

BEST THING TO CHECK OUT AT THE LIBRARY THAT’S NOT A BOOK ‘Songs in the Key of L.A.’ Exhibit image courtesy Los Angeles Public Library Sheet Music Collection

joyful than it sounds. Unbeknownst to many who live and work in the Central City, it also has an unofficial piñata district. Near the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Central Avenue are more than a dozen stores that all carry colorful piñatas. Some have a few hundred options, while others overflow with more than 1,000 of the party-smashing offerings. Predictably, the choices are far too numerous to count: There are superheroes, cartoon characters, animals, stars and oversized beer bottles. The list goes on and on, and they cost as little as $2.—Richard Guzmán

The Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council has an important role in local civic life: The all-volunteer board votes on land-use and other issues, and their decisions function as formal if non-binding recommendations to the City Council. While DLANC board members are elected, many stalwarts are mere volunteers (in fact, no one gets paid). Unelected DLANC volunteers don’t get to vote, but they can sit on committees and help steer the group’s priorities. Got a particular passion that DLANC doesn’t currently have a committee to handle? You can start your own. Learn more at dlanc. org.—Ryan Vaillancourt

The Downtown revival has given the community almost everything… expect a school lofties will accept for their children. Thus, a group of Downtown parents three years ago said they would create a charter school, and lo and behold, it looks like they’re doing it. The Metro Charter Elementary School is slated to open in September, with 150 kindergarten through second grade students taking classes in a 12,000-square-foot space at the California Hospital Medical Center at 1401 S. Grand Ave. (current occupant the Hope Street Family Center is moving to a new location in August). Plans call eventually to expand Metro Charter to 500 students as the school expands up to fifth grade. Now, with a school, Downtown has everything! Except maybe a water park.—Richard Guzmán


Six years ago, two different entrepreneurs tried to launch pedicab companies in Downtown. However, wary city officials quashed the concept of having people pro-

Two years ago, USC music professor Josh Kun and a team of researchers started digging into the Central Library’s trove of see Staff Picks, page 28

Downtown News 27

28 Downtown News

BEST BUSINESS 2.0 The Medallion

Staff Picks Continued from page 27 50,000 pieces of sheet music. What they found was a revealing portrait of early 20th century Los Angeles, and how Angelenos used music to sell Southern California. Kun is behind the ongoing exhibit Songs in the Key of L.A., which features gorgeous, orange crate-reminiscent sheet music cover art and other artifacts from the library’s collection. View the exhibition in the first floor galleries, then make an appointment and peruse the songbook collection yourself and bring an old tune back to life. There’s also an accompanying coffee table book.—Ryan Vaillancourt

BEST END OF AN EYESORE Park Plans for The Graffiti Pit

July 15, 2013

Best Of Downtown

For decades, a very conspicuous blight spot at the northeast corner of First Street and Broadway has marred the Civic Center. The fenced-in site of a former state office building, which was razed after the 1971 Sylmar Earthquake, still contains the remnants of the edifice’s foundation. Over the years it was a canvas for graffiti vandals and a homeless encampment, and today a batch of feral cats hang out there. Community stakeholders dreamed of turning it into a park, especially once the adjacent Grand Park opened last summer. Well, it’s happening. The city worked out a deal last month to buy the land from the state using funds earmarked for park space acquisition. No designs or anything resembling a plan have been announced, but change is underway.—Ryan Vaillancourt

When the $125 million Medallion opened three years ago, developer Saeed Farkhondehpour intended to fill the 200 small retail spaces with discount and wholesale stores like the ones found in the Toy District. Things didn’t work out, and occupancy reached only 20%. So, this year, Farkhondehpour switched tracks, turning instead to a food-oriented program. He has already spent $4.5 million on upgrades and has brought in the restaurants Simply Salad and Dr. J’s Vibrant Café. He is also teaming with John Edwards to create a permanent farmers market and open an array of new spots: On the docket are Café Uzes, a 2,000-squarefoot eatery from Tara Thomas of Traxx at Union Station; Bigmista’s Barbecue, which has earned a following at several farmers market; and Bread Bar Bakery, an offshoot of the Century City artisanal bread maker. Dozens more are expected to follow.—Richard Guzmán

tive and encourage a love of reading and checking out books. They are also free.—Jon Regardie

BEST BLOWUP OF THE PAST YEAR The Departure of Tim Leiweke


Shoppers beware: Once you enter Saigon Plaza, you may never leave, and not because the deals are so good. From the outside, the shopping area at 800 N. Broadway looks like a regular plaza with a few small shops. Once inside, however, you’re in a labyrinth-like territory with a system of Escher-esque aisles flanked by more than 100 stalls. The cavernous maze of commerce is usually packed with people, and no matter where you turn, all you see are more shops down more aisles selling toys, clothes, backpacks, beauty products and even fountains. Eventually (hopefully) you’ll glimpse an exit sign. Run to it, though recognize that the street you emerge onto may be different than the one where you came in.—Richard Guzmán

BEST CHILDREN’S ACTIVITY Storytime at the Central Library

Downtown has an increasing roster of kids’ offerings, many at Grand Park, but nothing compares to the year-round fun of Storytime, which takes place most Saturdays at 2 p.m. The happenings in the fantastic and huge children’s library inside the Central Library are led by a pair of eager librarians who orchestrate an hour-long lineup of stories, songs and a puppet show. The subjects change weekly and are gentle and sweet: Think “Springtime Animals” or “Fruits and Vegetables, Yum, Yum, Yum!” The events, which attract several dozen kids, are interac-

Best Hotel Restaurant Downtown News

Three Stars

Los Angeles Times

Best of the Best Robb Report

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over Anschutz’s decision not to sell AEG. Downtowners were stunned by the departure of Leiweke, who Downtown News once named the Most Powerful Person in Downtown. Today, the fate of Farmers Field is in question and Leiweke is in Toronto, where he is likely convincing Canadians that the seemingly impossible is within reach.— Jon Regardie

Tim Leiweke never ceased to blow Downtown away. The longtime president and CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group made L.A. Live and the Convention Center hotel happen, and he had Downtown believing that, in Farmers Field, pro football would return to L.A. Then in March he dropped a bomb, abruptly walking away from the company and the city, an ugly side-effect of a split with company owner Phil Anschutz

BEST URBAN FAMILY HIKE Downhill From Grand Park to Spring Street Park

Kids have short attention spans and a lot of energy. Address both with a family friendly park-centric hike. Start at Grand Park, where the fountain and splash zone will delight the little ones and give mom and dad a chance to sit and relax. Once the ex-

July 15, 2013

Downtown News 29

Best Of Downtown

BEST COMMUNITY BATTLE Humans vs. Dogs vs. Babies at Spring Street Park

citement of water wears off, walk downhill along First Street toward Main Street to the LAPD headquarters. Head up to the LAPD Memorial and find the seating area that overlooks the lawn fronting Second Street, which has basically become a dog park. Have lunch while watching the hounds play. After lunch, head south on Spring toward the new Spring Street Park, just below Fourth. Let the wee ones cavort on the play structure. That’s one easy walk, three parks and, hopefully, exhausted kids.—Richard Guzmán

Many Downtown dog owners rejoiced at the June 17 opening of the Spring Street Park, heralding the public space, in particular the pet-wooing patch of grass at the northern end. Non dog-owners, however, saw it a different way, fearing that the inviting relaxing area would be far less appealing if it frequently served as a dog toilet. Oh, and what about the children’s playground adjacent to the lawn? Some argued that it isn’t safe for dogs to be roaming around near screaming, unpredictable kiddos. The battle is still raging, mostly via social network forums. A curious aspect to the fight is that, inside the park, all three groups are mostly coexisting happily.— Ryan Vaillancourt

BEST RETAIL TREND Hybrid Businesses

Need new music and a haircut? Or some jeans and a new hair color? No longer must you hit multiple stores, as Downtown is seeing a burgeoning trend of businesses with multiple offerings that may seem mutually exclusive. One option is Artform Studio (701 E. Third St.), where the front room is a record store with racks full of vinyl. The back, meanwhile, is a beauty salon where stylists give haircuts. Then there’s The Well (1006 S. Olive St.). The first thing visitors see is a cavernous space with a sleek white display counter with jewelry, sunglasses and other accessories. There is also men’s and women’s clothing — think designer jeans, dresses, shoes, jackets and purses. Toward the back is a salon with comfortable dark brown chairs and black sinks. Behind the salon is a 2,500-square-foot space that can be rented out for private events.—Richard Guzmán

BEST GO HERE BEFORE IT CLOSES Los Angeles State Historic Park

BEST SPACE CASE Shuttle Endeavour’s Arrival without actually leaving Downtown. The park has walking paths, grassy areas and even some wildlife, if you count the gophers who pop their heads out of holes every once in a while. While adored by its users (including the crowds who check out Hard Summer, the FYF Fest and other concerts), the park will close in January as part of an $18 million renovation that will create a welcome pavilion, a promenade for a farmers market, an amphitheater, wetlands areas and infrastructure improvements such as permanent restrooms. So get your fill of the park within the next few months, because it will be shuttered for a year.—Richard Guzmán


Visiting the park on the edge of Chinatown is a great way to escape the urban bustle



Since the 122-foot-long retired NASA Space Shuttle Endeavor parked at the California Science Center, most of the chatter has centered around the new exhibit, or the shuttle’s 12-mile, cross-city drive. But before Endeavor got hitched to a truck en route to Exposition Park, it rode cross-country, piggyback atop a 747. On Sept. 21, the shuttle flew over the city and zoomed across Downtown, and local workers and residents stopped what they were doing and headed to roofs, parks and other public areas with a view and watched the memorable spectacle. It was only in view for a short time, but few who saw it have forgotten the image of the shuttle on a plane flying across the Downtown skyline.—Ryan Vaillancourt

Although the Downtown dog population continues to grow, there are not many safe and legal places where Fido can run off-leash. The fenced-in dog run at Grand Park is an exception. It’s not huge, but it’s plenty big enough for a group of athletic terriers, spaniels, pit bull mixes, mutts and more to sprint after each other and wrestle on the decomposed granite surface (it’s not dirt), all within the confines of a fence. The park is always stocked with waste bags and there are two doggy-level water fountains. A massive olive tree in the center of the park lends ample shade on hot summer days.—Ryan Vaillancourt




est of BDOWNTOWN Readers Choice

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30 Downtown News

July 15, 2013

Best Of Downtown

Best Miscellany MOST ROMANTIC HOTEL Millennium Biltmore


Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 S. Grand Ave., (323) 850-2000 or laphil.com To this day, Frank Gehry’s landmark is still talked about, even far beyond L.A., as a standout example of American architecture in the 21st century.


a new park and a farmers market that survived the growing pains of its first year. And that’s just Spring! The entire Historic Core seems energized, and the BID, which operates cleaning and safety programs, is one of its cornerstones.

RUNNER-UP: Central Library 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7000 or lapl.org

RUNNER-UP: Downtown Center BID 626 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 200, (213) 624-2146 or downtownla.com



Brookfield Office Properties 601 S. Figueroa St. #2200, (213) 330-8020 or brookfieldofficeproperties.com The powerhouse Brookfield has the Bank of America Plaza, Figueroa at Wilshire, and Ernst & Young Plaza in Downtown. They also do a pretty hefty art/cultural series at their local buildings. RUNNER-UP: Downtown Properties Holdings LLC 818 W. Seventh St., Suite 410, (213) 213-8600 or downtown-properties.com


Historic Downtown Los Angeles BID 453 S. Spring St., Suite #1116, (213) 239-8336 or hdlabid.com Spring Street is flush with new businesses,

Photos By Gary Leonard

BEST-LOOKING BUILDING Walt Disney Concert Hall

Orpheum Theatre 842 S. Broadway, (877) 677-4386 or laorpheum.com This 1926 vaudeville venue is a gorgeously restored event space. Owner Steve Needleman seems to know everyone and cares deeply about what happens to the neighborhood. Joe Satriani plays this month! RUNNER-UP: Los Angeles Theatre 615 S. Broadway, (213) 629-2939 or losangelestheatre.com

BEST DOWNTOWN COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE FIRM Brookfield Office Properties 601 S. Figueroa St. #2200, (213) 330-8020 or brookfieldofficeproperties.com

This firm’s properties, as the website says, “define the skylines of many major metropolises.” Downtown is certainly among them. Things will likely only get better for Downtown once Brookfield’s pending purchase of four former MPG Office Trust towers closes in the fall.

ness manager Downtown and they’ll tell you the same: Everybody uses them.

RUNNER-UP: Cushman & Wakefield 601 S. Figueroa St., fourth floor, (213) 955-5100 or cushmanwakefield.com



Latham & Watkins, LLP 355 S. Grand Ave., (213) 485-1234 or lw.com The firm started in L.A. in 1934 with just a trio of barristers. There are more than 2,000 today, with offices all over the world. They’re big power players in Downtown.







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RUNNER-UP: O’Melveny & Myers, LLP 400 S. Hope St., (213) 430-6000 or omm.com/ losangeles


Los Angeles Self Storage 1000 W. Sixth St., (213) 927-1822 or downtownlosangelesselfstorage.com Ask any big office manager or small busi-

RUNNER-UP: Los Angeles Movers 333 S. Grand Ave., Suite 2500, (213) 596-9683 or losangelesmovers.net

Gensler 500 S. Figueroa St., (213) 327-3600 or gensler.com This architecture behemoth came from Santa Monica to Downtown, because as nice as the beach air is, transit, energy and proximity to projects like Dodger Stadium, Farmers Field and the new Sport Chalet count too. RUNNER-UP: Arquitectonica 818 W. Seventh St. #800, (213) 895-7800


Wells Fargo Several locations, (800) 869-3557 or wellsfargo.com Packing complete banking services, there are branches throughout Downtown. There’s also a Wells Fargo History Museum on Bunker Hill, should you want to more fully explore your bank’s past, or see a real stagecoach, see Miscellany, page 32

July 15, 2013

Best Of Downtown

Downtown News 31

32 Downtown News

Best Of Downtown

July 15, 2013

BEST Adaptive Reuse Residential Building Gas Company Lofts

Miscellany Continued from page 30

BEST Restaurant Meeting Space Taix French Restaurant

COOLEST HOTEL Standard Downtown which is how the bank, in the pre-Internet 1860s, was known to make transactions.

tion with chandeliers, carved friezes and vaulted ceilings.

RUNNER-UP: Bank of America 333 S. Hope St., (213) 613-9579 or bankofamerica.com

RUNNER-UP: J.W. Marriott 333 S. Figueroa St., (213) 617-1133 or marriott.com



Morgan Stanley 444 S. Flower St., (213) 553-3300 or morganstanley.com You can either give this venerable firm your money, or read their cool “Blue Papers” online and pretend you’re giving them your money. They service individual investors with a huge toolbox and an international reach: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities and more. RUNNER-UP: Wells Fargo 333 S. Grand Ave., (213) 253-7166 or wellsfargo.com


Apple One Employment Services 888 S. Figueroa St., (213) 892-0234 or appleone.com Apple One’s Downtown staff is known to place clients quickly, or keep at it until they do. Then they diligently follow up. RUNNER-UP: Act 1 330 S. Hope St., (213) 623-8166 or act-1.com


Vibiana 214 S. Main St., (213) 626-1507 or vibianala.com Barely escaping the wrecking ball, the city’s first cathedral has secularized itself into a spectacular event space with old marble and onyx grandeur on the inside, and a garden courtyard full of king palms and olive trees. RUNNER-UP: Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 S. Grand Ave., (323) 850-2000 or laphil.com.


Millennium Biltmore Hotel 506 S. Grand Ave., (213) 624-1011 or millenniumhotels.com The 1920s-era hotel has five ballrooms, an exhibit hall and an executive boardroom that eschews boxy conference room tradi-

Gas Company Lofts 810 S. Flower St., (213) 955-5700 or gascompanyllofts.com Nice proximity to, well, the core of the Central City. It also has a famously kind staff. RUNNER-UP: Eastern Columbia 849 S. Broadway, (323) 930-3742 or easterncolumbialofts.com


Medici 725 S. Bixel St., (877) 239-8256 or themedici.com The merry-making USC and FIDM students who comprise the tenant majority at this 632-unit complex like the heated pool, the tennis courts, and the easy walk to, well, more merry-making.


RUNNER-UP: Evo 1155 S. Grand Ave., (213) 741-2700 or evo-south.com.


Millennium Biltmore 506 S. Grand Ave., (213) 624 1011 or millenniumhotels.com The venerable property offers up the Gallery Bar and the Rendezvous Court, as well as alcoves and lookouts to induce canoodling. Hey, get a room! RUNNER-UP: Ritz-Carlton 900 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 743-8800 or ritzcarlton.com


Standard Downtown 550 S. Flower St., (213) 892-8080 or standardhotels.com Eccentric room design and gorgeous views — of Los Angeles, and of whomever you’re staying with, thanks to the see-through showers.

RUNNER-UP: Ritz-Carlton 900 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 743-8800 or ritzcarlton.com

Six different rooms that can accommodate up to 200 people, along with no room fees and the knowledge you’re now a part of an L.A. institution’s history.


RUNNER-UP: San Antonio Winery & Maddalena Restaurant 737 Lamar St., (323) 223-1401 or sanantoniowinery.com

Taix French Restaurant 1911 W. Sunset Blvd., (213) 484-1265 or taixfrench.com

July 15, 2013

Downtown News 33

Best Of Downtown

Best Services BEST HOTEL Ritz-Carlton

courtesy of Good Sam

BEST HOSPITAL Good Samaritan Hospital

Photos by Gary Leonard



Ritz-Carlton Spa 900 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 743-8800 or ritzcarlton.com This bright white spa has a full range of massage and beauty services. In between, everybody repairs to the co-ed Sanctuary for sofa time, tea and snacks. RUNNER-UP: The Spa (Omni Los Angeles Hotel) 251 S. Olive St., (213) 617-3300 or omnihotels.com


Neihule 607 S. Olive St., (213) 623-4383 or neihule.com The shop’s flagship always has pampered clients inside, happily sipping beverages. Known for a color, cut and eyebrow magician staff, it’s a full-service salon and urban sanctuary. RUNNER-UP: Salon Pure 117 E. Sixth St., (213) 624-7873 or salonpurela.com



Neihule 512 W. Seventh St., (213) 627-5300 or neihule.com A nail spa that branched off from the Seventh Street shop, featuring a full range of mani/ pedi options and gels, a hoard of colors, and champagne, wine, juice, tea and coffee.

Shoe Wiz 514 W. Sixth St., (213) 688-9699 Months or even years after you’ve had your kicks fixed, if its cobblers see you hoofing down Sixth Street, they wave and remember your name. RUNNER-UP: Shoe Masters 350 S. Grand Ave., Suite A


Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels 555 W. Temple St., (213) 680-5200 or olacathedral.org Catholic or not, you’re welcome just to see the sights. This is a bold interpretation of a modern urban cathedral. Plus, there’s a gorgeous sculpture of the church’s namesake by the late Robert Graham. see Services, page 34

RUNNER-UP: Nails on 9th 127 W. Ninth St., (213) 627-6245



Bolt Barbers 460 S. Spring St., (213) 232-4715 or boltbarbers.com Good barbers and marketing geniuses, these guys understand the neighborhood intimately. To wit: For a $3 “Hairy Beast” card, you get free PBR or root beer. RUNNER-UP: Rudy’s Barber Shop 550 S. Flower St., (213) 439-3058 or rudysbarbershop.com






Thank you, donors. Your generous support provides the wonderful merchandise that fills our store. Thank you, shoppers. Through your purchases, the FIDM Scholarship Store generates funds for FIDM Student Scholarships. Thank you, Downtown News readers! 919 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90015 • 213.624.1200 • fidmscholarship.org

34 Downtown News

Services Continued from page 33 RUNNER-UP: First Congregational Church 540 S. Commonwealth Ave., (213) 385-1341 or fccla.org


Downtown Flowers.Net 505 S. Flower St., (213) 488-2028 or downtown-flowers.net The classics are here, among them longstemmed Ecuadorian roses and compact centerpieces. The shop is also known to cut loose with exotics. RUNNER-UP: Bloomies Flowers and Gifts 515 S. Olive St., (213) 489-9757 or bloomiesflowersandgift.com


Sloan’s Dry Cleaners 330 S. Hope St., (213) 620-0205; 601 S. Figueroa St., (213) 627-5123 This chain services thousands of Downtowners, especially high-rise denizens and hotel guests with delivery fluff and fold needs. RUNNER-UP: Tokyo Cleaners 426 E. Second St., (213) 628-2474


Good Samaritan Hospital 616 S. Witmer Blvd., (213) 977-2121 or goodsam.org. The right kind of hospital for Downtown, and not just because its CEO rides his bike to work every day. Good Sam services all of our demographics competently and kindly. RUNNER-UP: St. Vincent Medical Center 2131 W. Third St., (213) 484-7111 or stvincentmedicalcenter.com


Downtown Dental 255 S. Grand Ave. #204, (213) 620-5777 or downtowndentalla.com Dr. Mungcal has been a mainstay in Downtown for years thanks to his comfortable offices, sci-fi X-ray machines and, most important, quality services. RUNNER-UP: Zen Dental 110 E. Ninth St., Suite B225, (213) 623-1129 or zendental.com


Downtown Live Chiropractic 714 W. Olympic Blvd.,Suite 1001, (213) 744-1099 or downtownlivechiropractic.com Dr. Levon is into the whole well-being enchilada. He’s quick, friendly and proficient, but he can also talk posture, diet and lifestyle. RUNNER-UP: Akimoto Chiropractic Office 712 E. First St., (213) 617-9224


Downtown L.A. Optometric Vision Center 623 W. Sixth St., (213) 628-6291 or downtownlavisioncenter.com Dr. Barnes and her sweet staff get you in and out quickly, explain themselves in a patient way, and can help navigate insurance for routine eye exams, custom contact lenses and Lasik. RUNNER-UP: Robert Shapiro, OD, FAAO

July 15, 2013

Best Of Downtown 555 S. Broadway, (213) 627-5911 or balfourshapiro.com



Los Angeles Athletic Club 431 W. Seventh St., (213) 625-2211 or laac.com Forgetting the bar, the restaurants and the rooftop lounge — activities which tend not to burn calories, it turns out — LAAC is a fantastic gym. The equipment is well maintained, the classes are small and personalized and it has the best pool in Downtown. RUNNER-UP: Gold’s Gym 735 S. Figueroa St. #100, (213) 688-1441 or goldsgym.com


AAA Travel 2601 S. Figueroa St., (213) 741-3111 or aaa-calif.com This gem in a historic building offers travel services, maps and very helpful ladies behind the counter. Don’t go on your lunch hour as it gets crowed, but do go. RUNNER-UP: Liberty Travel 661 S. Flower St., (213) 688-2150 or libertytravel.com


Ritz-Carlton 900 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 743-8800 or ritzcarlton.com The hotel’s brand means that incredible service and amenities are assured. But what’s nice about the Ritz-Carlton Downtown is that all the luxury is complemented by fantastic views and proximity to hundreds of adventures.

BEST CHURCH/SYNAGOGUE/PLACE OF WORSHIP Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

RUNNER-UP: Millennium Biltmore Hotel 506 S. Grand Ave., (213) 624-1011 or millenniumhotels.com


Nick Alexander Imports 6333 S. Alameda St., (323) 583-1901 or alexanderbmw.com Unlike other dealership service departments, these guys don’t charge for services that ought to be free, and flatbed truck pick-up and loaner vehicles are a given, not something to be haggled over. RUNNER-UP: Toyota of Downtown L.A. 1600 S. Figueroa St., (213) 748-8301 or toyotaofdowntownla.com


Downtown Auto Repair & Body Shop 1023 E. Olympic Blvd., (213) 622-8579 Downtowners are picky and frequently need same-day service so they can drive home after work. This shop makes that happen. RUNNER-UP: Downtown L.A. Motors 1801 S. Figueroa St., (888) 854-2969 or mbzla.com


Metro Subway/Light Rail metro.net With the new Expo Line open, we can traverse a better part of the City of Angels on the rails: Long Beach to Sierra Madre; Culver City to East L.A.; and all over Downtown. RUNNER-UP: DASH 100 S. Main St., (213) 808-2273 or ladottransit.com


Pilgrim School 540 S. Commonwealth Ave., (213) 385-7351 or pilgrim-school.org Pilgrim’s a school of the city, focused on

academics and indoor/outdoor fun. It constantly ushers its little charges to MOCA, Exposition Park, cool Downtown neighborhoods like Chinatown, and Disney Hall.

RUNNER-UP: Go Dog LA 1728 Maple Ave., (213) 748-4364 or godogla.com

RUNNER-UP: La Petite Academy 750 N. Alameda St., (877) 861-5078 or lapetite.com/7204

Pussy & Pooch 564 S. Main St., (213) 438-0900 or pussyandpooch.com Patient groomers who understand breedspecific standards, but aren’t above lion cuts, mohawks and tattoos. Plus, there’s a self-serve bath set-up if your pets are more comfortable with you scrubbing them down.


Hope Street Friends 330 S. Hope St., (213) 787-2006 or child-care-preschool.brighthorizons.com This early education center looks after the offspring of nearby law and investment firm employees, but it’s open to community kids too. RUNNER-UP: La Petite Academy 750 N. Alameda St., (213) 202-6230 or lapetite.com/7204


Bark Ave. 545 S. Main St., (213) 748-7485 or barkavela.com The floor staff treats Downtown’s fuzzy children with love and joy. They know names, favorite games and routines. They never just let the dogs out.


RUNNER-UP: Bark Ave. 545 S. Main St., (213) 748-7485 or barkavela.com


Ted Trentman loftlivingla.com A local agent for years, Trentman may know the Central City better than the back of his hand. He knows what’s here, he knows what’s changing and he’s an adroit listener. RUNNER-UP: Laura Silver 1200 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 747-4151 or majorproperties.com

July 15, 2013

Downtown News 35

Best Of Downtown



for your voTes DownTown La!

Best Department store

Farmers Market Best Farmers market (runner up)

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News town own les D Los Ange

News town own les D Los Ange



Best Old-School Restaurant

Best Bargain Lunch Deal

36 Downtown News

July 15, 2013

Best Of Downtown

Great leaders inspire our communities In every community, there are people who can inspire others to work for positive change. True leaders know how to forge a consensus and create a lasting legacy of success. Best of Downtown winners, it’s an honor to recognize you.


© 2013 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. 121947 07/13

SUMMER IN THE CITY SUMMER SOMMELIER SERIES We’re celebrating summer by pulling out some extraordinary wines from the cellar. Join us in this rare opportunity to enjoy tasting flights curated by Sommelier Silvestre Fernandes paired with small bites from Chef Charles Olalia. 5-7PM | Patio August 1 - ‘Pinot Noirs 2000 Vintage’ August 15 - ‘Taste of Shafer’

Hot town, summer in the city. Patina Restaurant Group has created more reasons for you to leave work early and enjoy downtown Los Angeles this summer. Quench your thirst with four unique options.

THE SECRET GARDEN HAPPY HOUR Be enchanted by Maguire Gardens as you sip on handcrafted herb cocktails and enjoy Cal-French small bites by Chef Sydney Hunter. Voted ‘Most Romantic’ and ‘Best French’ by Downtown News ‘Best of’ for 2013 Sunday to Friday | 2:30PM to close $5 Beers, $6 Wines by the Glass, $7 Herb Cocktails

ENDLESS SUMMER SOLSTICE Leave the office early and enjoy our weekly summer celebration with our thirst-quenching cocktails and Chef Megan Logan’s BBQ favorites. Every Thursday and Friday 4-8PM | Patio and Bar Live music on Thursdays. Pitchers of sangria, Moscow mules, tableside martinis, and more.

GET FRENCHY Enjoy French-inspired cocktails and the debut of our new absinthe and pastis menu by Mixologist and Sommelier Paul Sanguinetti. Featuring absinthes from France, Switzerland, and the United States. Please check online for our summer hours of operation.

July 15, 2013

Downtown News 37

Celebrating 40 Years

When Guzmán Met Salad

Around Town

How a Committed Carnivore Fell for a Mess of Greens

Continued from page 2 ScareLA will take place Aug. 10-11 at the Los Angeles Mart at 1933 S. Broadway. The Halloween convention, which will be open to the public, will have interactive exhibits as well as workshops and classes; the latter includes everything from “Haunting on a Budget” to “Sugar Skeleton Making” to the jack-o-lantern themed “Pumpkin Gore.” Among the participants and panelists are figures who have already given Downtown some scares: Film producer David Blum, whose Blumhouse of Horrors filled the Variety Arts Building last year, and Melissa Carbone, who orchestrated the recent Great Horror Campout at Los Angeles State Historic Park. “ScareLA will shine the spotlight on everything that makes Los Angeles the ultimate Halloween destination in America,” said event co-producer David Markland. Tickets start at $25. Tickets and additional information are at scarela.com.


ate a salad. ach, sautéed mushrooms, crispy bacon and grilled steak. I ate a salad and I liked it. I pondered The Buff ($8.25), with Romaine, carrots, There, I said it. It’s hasn’t been an easy thing for crispy onions, celery, jalapeños, buffalo chicken and somea committed carnivore like me to accept or admit, but thing called buffalo sauce. It sounded like a buffalo wing Simply Salad has shown me the green-tinted light. salad to me, and it promised to make me buff, so it was on The tiny spot is on the Main Street side of the Medallion my lists of possibilities. complex (there is a second location in South Park). It However, I went with the Seared Samurai ($10). It opened in January and I couldn’t have cared is made with baby spinach and Romaine, less. To me it seemed like a typical bland edamame, jicama, cucumbers, carrots, crispy health conscious-spot where taste buds go to wontons and seared ahi tuna. I like tuna, so retire. I ordered it and took the plastic bowl with But one day I was in the area, in a hurry wasabi dressing back to work. and starving after about four hours of not It was a big bowl, so I expected the salad to eating. The wait at Pete’s Café for a delitake care of my hunger, but I never expected cious Hellman burger was too long and I it to handle my taste buds as well. I think didn’t see any available tables next door at I actually said “Wow” when I bit into my Bäco Mercat either, where a pork-filled bäco first forkful of greens. I’ve never before said would have hit the spot perfectly. “Wow” when biting into a forkful of greens. So I did the unthinkable for me: I went The texture of the edamame and the crispy into Simply Salad. wontons made me feel like I was having an GRUB WITH I took one look at the menu and almost actual meal. The hint of sweetness from the walked out. But I was impressed by the sheer G U Z M á N jicama was a nice complement. Eating the number of options: There are 65 toppings cucumbers and carrots would have made my and 25 dressings to choose from. mom proud. There’s a pick and choose option, where customers The ahi was thick and tasty. The wasabi dressing wasn’t select a green like spinach, arugula or kale. Then they add spicy, but made its presence known with a subtle aftertaste. toppings such as carrots, mushrooms, kidney beans and It was no bucket of ribs, but it tasted great, and I have to broccoli. admit that eating healthier made me feel good after lunch. Prepared choices include the Cardini’s Caesar ($6.50), I also felt a bit lighter, faster and handsomer. made with Romaine lettuce, croutons and shredded parI’m kind of a regular at Simply Salad now. I’m there at mesan cheese. You can add grilled chicken, turkey breast, least once a week, waiting in the line like a hungry rabbit shrimp or salmon. ready for some greens. Then there’s the Cali Comfort ($8.95), a mix of baby Wow. spinach, grape tomatoes, garbanzo beans, rainbow rotelli Simply Salad is at 334 S. Main St., (213) 935-8048 and pasta and roasted turkey breast. A more meaty choice is 645 W. Ninth St., (213 ) 488-9191 or simplysalad.com. the Steak-Out ($10.50), with Romaine lettuce, baby spinContact Richard Guzmán at richard@downtownnews.com.

Take a Bike Safety Class, Get a Helmet and Lights


s part of an effort to increase bicycle safety in the region, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is paying for weekend classes for newbie or experienced riders. Thanks to a $203,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, Metro is funding bike safety skills sessions that will be taught by the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition. The program was announced last week. For a list of upcoming classes, locations and times, visit metro.net/bikes. Metro plans to reach up to 1,440 people for the classes, and everyone who completes the course will receive a safety manual, helmet and bicycle lights. Participants must be 18 or older and be L.A. County residents. The LACBC will host 30 eight-hour classes, 30 three-hour classes and one advanced seminar. The classes, which will start in a classroom, proceed to a parking lot and finish on the road. As more people in Los Angeles are riding bikes, the region is seeing more accidents. In 2010, there were 25 fatalities and 4,201 injuries in the county. According to Biking in L.A., a blog that tracks cycling injuries, there have been 21 fatalities in L.A. County this year through July 7.

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38 Downtown News

Celebrating 40 Years

Housing Continued from page 6 er cities right now. Tom Warren, the company’s chief operating officer in Southern California, said Holland would consider doing a Downtown high-rise, but only in the right location. “In my view, high-rise is the right product type when we’re building in the most desirable locations, where there’s not sufficient land available and there’s a reason to be right there,” Warren said. Today, the most desirable location, from a rent perspective, appears to be the portion of South Park near Olympic Boulevard and Flower Street, Warren said. In other areas, a premium-priced high-rise might not succeed because there are too many less expensive alternatives, he said. But don’t tell that to Historic Core developers Izek Shomof and Barry Shy. The real estate veterans, who have separately focused on turning old office buildings into modern apartments, are preparing new high-rises. Shy has plans for three structures: at Sixth and Spring streets; at Olympic Boulevard and Broadway; and at Ninth and Hill streets. Shomof, who is moving forward on a 22-story tower at Fourth Street and Broadway with about 400 units, is scratching his head at all the mid-rise construction. He believes type-one not only pencils out today, but that it promises better returns. “High-rises can get more units and the numbers work out better if they go higher and taller,” Shomof said. “I’m just surprised, wondering what is the catch? What am I missing?” More Than Money In addition to cost considerations, highrises bring a more time consuming and expensive city approvals process, even on sites where the zoning allows them. In most of Downtown, developers are technically entitled to build projects with a Floor Area Ratio — the city’s primary density metric — of 13 to 1. That means a build-

ing designed to cover the entire land parcel would be allowed to rise 13 floors. Buildings with a footprint that takes up only half the parcel could reach 26 floors. While 13 to 1 is considered relatively high — most of the city is zoned at 3 to 1 or less — a voter-approved ballot initiative in 1986 halved allowable density citywide. That slashed the Downtown limit to 6 to 1. As part of an effort to circumvent the new law, the Community Redevelopment Agency and City Council in 1989 passed an ordinance that essentially created a pathway for developers to get back to 13 to 1, but only if they agree to provide an array of public benefits. Today, developers primarily get around the 6 to 1 limit through another means: They purchase TFAR — transferred floor area ratio — from the city, which transfers theoretically unused density from above the Los Angeles Convention Center. It is also known as buying “air rights,” and it’s not cheap. The developer of Park Fifth, a mixed-use mega-project north of Pershing Square that died with the recession, purchased 692,888 square feet of TFAR for $3.5 million. Shy and Shomof will both have to buy TFAR (their cost is not yet known), as developer Sonny Astani had to do for his Concerto tower (now the Apex) in South Park. Conversely, type-three projects are relatively easy to permit and they fit within the 6 to 1 density envelope. The added cost and the extra time it takes to navigate the city approvals process for a high-rise scares away some developers, said land use consultant Craig Lawson. “To entitle a high-rise is more complex, there is more uncertainty, there are more hearings and developers don’t like that,” Lawson said. “When I tell them I have a process [to permit a type-three project] that’ll take four to six months, they’re happy. If I say 12 to 16 months, they’ll say, ‘I’m done. I can’t do this.’” Zone Change While market factors may ultimately be the driving force of density decisions, the regulatory challenges to doing high-rises have a bet-

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rendering courtesy of Sonny Astani

Developer Sonny Astani plans to break ground on a 640-apartment complex at 12th Street and Grand Avenue this year. He said high-rises don’t yet pencil out because they have higher construction costs.

ter chance of being altered now than ever. The Planning Department is embarking on a five-year effort to overhaul the city’s 1946 zoning code, and officials plan to spend the first two years focusing specifically on the part of the code that deals with Downtown. LoGrande, who considers the chief goal of code reform to be making it easier for developers to build the kinds of projects that the community desires, said the department could consider implementing minimum density requirements in areas particularly suited for high-rise construction. Minimum density rules would essentially force developers to design a building that would be taller than 75 feet, necessitating type-one construction. Construction costs would then dictate a high-rise. Still, minimum density zones are controversial because they limit what property owners can do with their land. They are generally opposed by property rights advocates.

Developer Tom Gilmore said that instead of requiring high-density in certain locations, the code should merely facilitate high-rises. “You do what the adaptive reuse ordinance did,” Gilmore said, referring to the 1999 legislation that simplified the permitting process to convert old office buildings into housing. “You can encourage a certain type of building by making it easier to build that way.” While the rules could ultimately change, some insist that the market will remain the key driver in construction trends. “Even if there were no cap on density, I don’t know that you would suddenly see an influx of high-rise development, simply because of construction costs,” said Joel Miller, a principal at planning and engineering firm Psomas. Astani, who is looking to break ground on a 640-unit mid-rise at 12th Street and Grand Avenue this year, also sees the trend primarily as market-driven.

July 15, 2013

Downtown News 39

Celebrating 40 Years


photo by Gary Leonard

Mid-rise buildings such as Equity Residential’s Jia Apartments, with their wood frames and plaster exteriors, are cheaper to develop than steel-frame high-rises.

The flood of type-three apartment complexes came in the wake of a recession, when developers are typically more riskaverse, Astani said. Still, he thinks that high-rises will eventually become the new Downtown trend. It just may have to wait, he said, until condominium values and rental rates catch up with construction costs. In the meantime, recently opened projects and those slated to finish in the next two years will deliver some 10,000 new housing units to Downtown. Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at ryan@downtownnews.com.

Continued from page 5 a better fit with the desires of Downtowners. She said that when plans were first presented to DLANC in 2012, the company intended to have a wall facing Figueroa, with an entrance off the street. Objections were raised about the unfriendly interface, and Smart & Final instead built a patio fronting Figueroa, with a second entrance leading directly to the Downtown Grind. “They really listened and made specific changes for Downtown,” Berman said. Schatz said the store will help enliven a portion of Figueroa that has long been a dead zone. The stretch between FIGat7th and L.A. Live has been grim in places and generated little foot traffic, especially after dark. That in turn has hampered the pedestrian experience for those who might walk from the Financial District for a game or a concert. Schatz thinks that just as occurred six years ago with a supermarket, the Smart & Final will activate the street and improve the entire neighborhood. “We’ve seen it with Ralphs,” she said. “There is a constant stream of people coming. The street is alive and that is what is going to happen there in a while.” According to the Smart & Final website, the company began in 1871 when Herman Hellman, Jacob Haas and Bernard Cohn opened a two-story brick building on Los Angeles Street called the Hellman, Haas Grocery Co. It sold “the necessities of the day like flour, brown sugar, salt, patent medicines, rope, sheepherding supplies, chewing tobacco and gunpowder,” according to the site. In 1953 the store merged with another grocery store started in the early 1900s called Smart & Final Wholesale Grocers. Today Smart & Final operates about 250 grocery stores in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada,

photo by Gary Leonard

Smart & Final store manager Art Cervantes said 70% of the 24,000-square-foot grocery store will be stocked with household items geared toward area residents, with a minority of shelf space dedicated to the bulk goods for which the chain is known.

Idaho and Mexico. Before the new store, the closest Smart & Final Extra to Downtown was in Lincoln Heights. A traditional Smart & Final is at 2720 Beverly Blvd., just west of Downtown. Early last week, the produce and meat sections were still empty, but many of the Downtown store’s aisles were already filled with items such as cleaning products, cereal, juices and other drinks. Smart & Final is at 845 S. Figueroa St., (213) 629-0039 or smartandfinal.com. Contact Richard Guzmán at richard@downtownnews.com.


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40 Downtown News

July 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

CALENDAR CHINATOWN’S BIG BIRTHDAY AND BIGGER CELEBRATION Changing Community Marks 75 Years With ‘Summer Nights’ Events by RichaRd Guzmán

with a population that eventually grew to more than 3,000. During its heyday Chinatown includhen it opened on a sunny summer ed 15 or so streets and alleys. Saturday afternoon in 1938, the mall However, it lacked the political muscle to withat 943 N. Broadway had just eight stand a growing Los Angeles, and the community stores to attract customers. was displaced to make way for Union Station. It may not have sounded like a big deal, but Cheng, who is the museum director and curator in the eyes of neighborhood leaders at the time, at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, it was more than just a plaza and some shops. said that with Union Station arriving, a group Instead, it was the catalyst for the growth of a dis- of businessmen, under the leadership of Peter placed ethnic community. SooHoo, got together to find a place to relocate The space in question, Chinatown’s Central their businesses. Plaza, recently marked its 75th anniversary. This “It was greater than just relocating the stores,” summer honors that, and is also the diamond an- said Cheng. “When they decided to relocate it was niversary of the founding of what to some is still also an opportunity to locate their Chinese culture. “New Chinatown.” It refers to the community Cheng said they found land about a mile away photo by Gary Leonard that was created after “Old Chinatown” was razed from the original Chinatown in what was then Jason Fujimoto, a board member of the Los Angeles Chinatown Corp., stands in Central to make way for Union Station. part of Little Italy. The merchants formed the Plaza. The commercial center opened 75 years ago. The anniversary is being observed in several Los Angeles Chinatown Corp. The organization forms, including at the three installments of the opened New Chinatown and Central Plaza on Now Playing/Starts July 5 monthly Chinatown Summer Nights, which bring June 25, 1938, with a ceremony that included Gov. and create 240 housing units along space for Starry Kitchen. thousands of people to Central and West plazas Frank Merriam and Mayor Frank Shaw. with 20,000 square feet of retail and The Asian fusion restaurant, which 78* an out556DJs, to E IE from for live music, “It effectively gave a place for the Chinese restaurant space. There will also be a spent the past year doing dinner service V O MOB5ILp.m.-midnight M N T ext Dfood B Tfloor, doorCLU dance trucks and craft booths. Americans to rebirth their business at a new loca- 17,000-square-foot plaza, 392 parking at the Fashion District’s Tiara Café, is The second installment of Summer Nights tion and to build upon that,” said Jason Fujimoto, spaces and a physical connection to the now located inside the Grand Star Jazz Text DTNMOVIE to 55678 to Join Our Movie takes place Saturday, July 20. It will include a a board member of the Los Angeles Chinatown Metro Gold Line station. Club in Central Plaza. That marks the Club and be Entered to Win Movie Tickets! “New Chinatown” photo booth with pictures of Corp., which still manages portions of the plaza. “It It is a potentially transformative proj- start of a new chapter for one of the Chinatown circa 1940 (the final Summer Nights became a congregation for Chinese Americans,” ect for the community, and is being ac- original Chinatown merchants. event is Aug. 17). Of the plaza’s eight original merchants, five cented by other developments that are “Chinatown is really going through a No one the Chinatown of to2013 are still General Lee’s, Grand Star, KG bringing additional residents to the area. lot of changes,” said Nguyen Tran, who *Carrier msgpretends & data rates that apply. Reply HELP for help. STOP quit. 4is msgs/month max.operating: Check Our Website for Full Movie Listings LADowntownNews.com anything like the one that existed before the U.S. Louie, Phoenix Bakery and Sincere Imports. Developer Meta Housing’s Metro at co-owns Starry Kitchen with his wife entered World War II. Still, local leaders such as New Age Chinatown Senior Lofts opened at 808 N. Thi Tran. “There’s a lot of exciting stuff George Yu, executive director of the Chinatown While Central Plaza, with its neon-festooned Spring St. in January, creating 123 apart- happening here now.” Business Improvement District, think the com- buildings influenced by traditional Chinese archi- ments for low-income seniors. The 280Yu expects another big crowd for munity today fits in with a changing Downtown. tecture, has remained the symbolic and visual heart unit Jia Apartments is under construction Chinatown Summer Nights this “I think the community is doing really well,” of the community, Chinatown has changed mark- at the southern entrance to Chinatown Saturday. He looks forward to the folks said Yu, whose organization is presenting edly over the years. In particular, the once-concen- on Broadway and Cesar Chavez Avenue. dancing, milling about and just taking in Now Chinatown Summer Nights along with radio sta- trated residential base has spread, Cheng said, with It will open latePlaying/Starts this year. July 12 the community under the bright neon tion KCRW. “You go to Chinatown, goew tosCentral many younger Chinese moving to areas such as the Although Chinatown lost a veteran lights of Central Plaza. ntownN Plaza, you seece a btrue cross-section San Gabriel Valley and Orange County. restaurant last month when the 600-seat “That’s what people think of when om/L.A.Dow of Angelenos.” .c k o o Fa Community Reborn Although the last decade has been a boom pe- Empress Pavilion closed after 25 years in they think of Chinatown, the neon lights According to The Golden Years of Los Angeles riod in Downtown, Chinatown has largely missed business, a pair of restaurants with loyal at night,” he said. “That’s the money Like Downtown News onaFacebook Chinatown: The Beginning, book by Suellen out on the renaissance. Only now are things be- followings have relocated to Chinatown. shot.” & Be Entered to Win Movie Tickets! Cheng and Munson Kwok of the Chinese Historical ginning to change. Roy Choi, who started the Los Angeles Chinatown Summer Nights runs July Society of Southern California, the community beConstruction is set to begin in August on the food truck craze with his Kogi Korean 20 from 5 p.m.-midnight at Central and gan in 1857 at Calle de Los Negros, a 50-foot-wide, $95 million Blossom Plaza project at 900 N. BBQ Truck, in May brought Chego! to West plazas, 943-951 N. Broadway. A block-long alley near El Pueblo Plaza. Broadway, just south Our of Central Plaza.for TheFull de-Movie 727 N.Listings BroadwayLADowntownNews.com in the Far East Plaza. complete schedule is at chinatownla.com. Check Website The original Chinatown flourished, expanding velopment will replace the shuttered Little Joe’s Additionally, the July 20 Summer Nights Contact Richard Guzmán at eastward from the Plaza across Alameda Street, restaurant, one of the last remnants of Little Italy, will herald the return of a permanent richard@downtownnews.com. city editoR



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Celebrating 40 Years

Downtown News 41

Four Nights at The Grammy Museum South Park Institution Has a Packed Lineup by RichaRd Guzmán city editoR


ummer is traditionally the time when things slow down as people go on vacation. That’s not happening this year at the Grammy Museum. Instead, the South Park destination has an incredibly busy month. The activity peaks over the next eight days with four major events, in addition to all the exhibits. “For the first few years [July] was pretty quiet in terms of programs,” said Rita George, deputy director of the museum. “Suddenly, with the relationships we’ve built, there are a lot of things going on.” The busy period in the museum’s 200-seat Clive Davis Theater starts Monday, July 15, with a record release event for stand-up comic Tig Notaro. The Downtown resident’s career was catapulted after a performance last year at the club Largo in which she publicly discussed a litany of personal tragedies. She will take the Downtown stage with Scott Goldman, vice president of the Grammy Foundation. Notaro’s album Live will be released the next day. In the 30-minute performance, she eschewed her usual deadpan jokes, and instead talked about the past four months of her life, in which she was hit with a bacterial infection that nearly killed her, her relationship with her girlfriend ended, her mother died, and the day before she went on stage, she learned she had breast cancer. What followed was a show that influential comedian Louis C.K. famously described on his website as one of the greatest performances he had ever seen. “She’s been on a meteoric rise and we’re thrilled to have her,” George said. Fans of indie rock will get to see one of the genre’s current hot bands on film with the July 18 screening of Mistaken for Strangers. The work looks at The National while on the biggest tour of their career. The film was shot by Tom Berninger, the younger brother of lead singer Matt Berninger, while the band was touring in 2010. “The brothers will be here,” said George. “They’ll talk about the making of the film and open it up for a Q&A with the audience.” The film made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival this year and has received high praise from publications such as the Hollywood Reporter, which called it “brutal, hilarious… unexpectedly honest.” The theater will likely be packed with industry insiders and serious music fans July 19 when the museum hosts Ian McLagan. The British keyboardist was a member of the English rock bands Small Faces and Faces. The acts, which featured Rod Stewart, inspired legions of bands. McLagan has toured and recorded with numerous bands including the Rolling Stones. He has worked as a session and backup musician for Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Melissa Etheridge, among others. “He’s that guy that everyone in the industry knows about and wants to work with, but maybe the average person may not know,” George said. “There will be a discussion and some music from him.” The following week, the museum’s “I Love LA: Celebrating Los Angeles’ Musical Melting Pot” series launches with Run River North. The six-piece Korean American indie band, which has performed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” appears July 23. “They’re on that cusp of taking that next step up,” George said. In other words, see them Downtown before they get really big. The Grammy Museum is at 800 W. Olympic Blvd. Tickets at grammymuseum.org or (213) 765-6803. Contact Richard Guzmán at richard@downtownnews.com.


Chew on the latest restaurant news & reviews. www.DowntownLADining.com

photos courtesy of Grammy Museum

The Grammy Museum’s busy stretch features (l to r) a July 18 screening of Mistaken for Strangers, a film about indie rockers The National, an appearance by prominent session musician Ian McLogan on July 19, and a July 23 performance by Korean-American indie band Run River North.

42 Downtown News

July 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

SPONSORED LISTINGS Friday Night Flicks Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., (213) 8474970 or laparks.org/pershingsquare July 19, 8:30 p.m.: Free movies in the park continue at Pershing Square with Thelma and Louise, the classic tale of two gal pals ditching their old lives, getting into trouble, and rediscovering the strength of friendship. Show The Money Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown, 711 S. Hope St., (818) 907-9977 or vedc.org. July 20, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.: The Valley Economic Development Center wants people to find the money they need for their business with the Access to Capital Business Expo. Network over breakfast with small business owners and attend workshops focused on finding, managing and growing business capital. Connect with bankers and other business organizations and check out the “Loan Pavilion,” where small business owners can get a personal financial assessment. Registration is $10.

The ‘Don’T Miss’ LisT Alive in Chinatown, Symphonic Lawyers and the Return of Adam Ant by Dan Johnson, listings eDitor | calendar@downtownnews.com

To be fair, Downtowners can head north any evening through late August to experience a Chinatown summer night. Those in search of an official, capital letters-worthy Chinatown Summer Night, however, need to point their feet Chinatown way on Saturday, July 20. From 5 p.m.-midnight, Central and West plazas will fill with a variety of activities, some fitting with the neighborhood’s vibe, some less so. Get ready for martial arts demonstrations, crafts, cooking demos, food trucks, KCRW DJs and free live music presented by L.A. Weekly. The family and stroller set usually shows up early, with the hipsters congregating after the sun goes down. At (213) 680-0243 or chinatownla.com.

Monday, July 15 Tig Notaro Grammy Museum, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 7656800 or grammymuseum.org. 8 p.m.: Comedian Tig Notaro is dropping her new album. Not literally. It’s a colloquialism for releasing. Although watching an artist drop copies of their latest album from a few stories up would be entertaining.

saTurday, July 20 Chinatown Summer Nights Chinatown Central & West plazas, 943-951 N. Broadway, (213) 680-0243 or chinatownla.com. 5 p.m.-Midnight: Free music, dancing and a general sense of revelry in this well cherished vernal pastime.

ROCK, POP & JAZZ Blue Whale 123 Astronaut E. S. Onizuka St., (213) 620-0908 or bluewhalemusic.com. July 16: Garret Lang Group. Hint: There’s a guy named Garret in this group. July 17: Mitch Marcus Group. July 18: Matthew Yeakley Group. July 19-20: Mark de Clive-Lowe. July 21: Creative Underground takes it out of the underground and into the mainstream. Bootleg Bar 2220 Beverly Blvd., (213) 389-3856 or bootlegtheater.org. July 15, 8 p.m.: These days it seems like you can’t swing a cat by its tail without hitting a folk-rock band. Bring your finest swinging tabby to week two of Miner’s residency. Note: No cats were harmed during the writing of this entry.

2 Adam Ant is not Johnny Depp. We should make this patently clear, even if there are visual similarities between Jack Sparrow and the frontman of late ’70s post punk/ new wave band Adam and the Ants. On Saturday, July 20, Ant will sashay into Downtown, stopping by Club Nokia to share a little of his garish mixture of pop, punk and heartland noise. Pack a little face paint and braid some jewels or leather into your scraggly black hair and start humming “Goody Two Shoes.” At 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-7000 or clubnokia.com.


We bet you thought you knew what you were doing on Saturday night. Well, guess again! Pershing Square’s throwing a wrench in your certainty with a double bill blast from the past. The show begins at 8 p.m. with British new wave fashion phenoms Bow Wow Wow, who you may remember for their catchy offering “I Want Candy.” Next, the park’s standard of eccentric behavior will see a major overhaul as Johnny Vatos & Boingo Dance Party direct their nonconformist energy toward the odd purple tower by the escalators. The act features some of the members of Oingo Boingo, a band noted for its lack of loyalty to the status quo. The park fills up quick, so arrive early to snag a skanking spot. At 532 S. Olive St., (213) 847-4970 or laparks.org/pershingsquare.

Over at the classical music mouse house, things are getting awfully legal. That’s because the L.A. Lawyers Philharmonic, schooled under the baton of trial attorney and maestro Gary S. Green, are ready to play. The chorus and orchestra have selected a diverse field of music for their Saturday, July 20, show, including pieces by Dvorak, Beethoven, Bernstein and the world premiere of some arias penned by the presiding justice of the California Court of Appeals. In the end, it’s a testament to the range of talents possessed by our legal community, and perhaps a nice gesture toward getting your billable hours decreased. Showtime is 8 p.m. at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., (323) 525-1800 or lalawyersphil.org.

photo by C.B. Lindsay

Friday, July 19 Friday Night Sing-Along W.M. Keck Amphitheatre, 111 S. Grand Ave., (213) 972-0777 or musiccenter.org. 6:30 p.m.: It’s a community tube-sock hootenanny as the Music Center hosts a sing-along to classic ’80s songs. No, that’s not an oxymoron.

photo by Edward Fielding

The ESPYs 777 Chick Hearn Court, (213) 763-6030 or nokiatheatrelalive.com. 6 p.m.: The red carpet will be ablaze with the sporting world’s showiest superstars as Jon Hamm hosts the neo-Roman Circus celebrationism we call The ESPYs.

photo by Michael Kohan


Wednesday, July 17

Thursday, July 18 Judith Kipper at Town Hall L.A. Town Hall Los Angeles Clubhouse, 515 S. Flower St., 16th Floor, 12 p.m.: Kipper, the director of Middle East Programs at the Institute of World Affairs, will look at some of the upheaval in the region. Expect someone to ask about Egypt. Songs in the Key of Los Angeles at Aloud Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 2287500 or lfla.org. 7:15 p.m.: Josh Kun, a USC professor and the mastermind behind the new library exhibit of L.A.-based sheet music, drops by with Grammy-winning band Quetzal. There will be talk. There will be music.

photo by Gary Leonard



Drain the wet stuff from the Watercourt, because on Friday, July 19, at high noon, Chicago’s miscreant marching band Mucca Pazza takes over Cal Plaza. The Grand Performances, uh, performance features some brash uniforms and cohesive sonic dominance. The group’s name translates to “Crazy Cow,” and if you are infected by their show and just can’t stop dancing, then return that night at 8 p.m., when Mucca Pazza share a bill with the 12-piece Romanian band Fanfare Ciocarlia. At 350 S. Grand Ave., (213) 687-2159 or grandperformances.org.

Send information and possible Don’t Miss List submissions to calendar@downtownnews.com.

July 15, 2013

Downtown News 43

Celebrating 40 Years

July 16, 7 p.m.: The effervescence of Madi Diaz might be a bit much for the structural integrity of the Bootleg. July 17, 8 p.m.: Folk singer Katie Boeck is still upset about that time as a child when they paved over paradise and put up a parking lot. July 18-19, 9 p.m.: The White Arrows share striking similarities with Animal Collective. July 20, 8 p.m.: If Jimmy Eat World really dug DEVO, it would equal California Wives. Broadway Bar 830 S. Broadway, (213) 614-9909 or broadwaybar.la. July 18, 10 p.m.: Sorry folks. It looks as if our dear HM Soundsystem has been ousted in favor of “The Late Shift” and its constituent DJ duo F-Cast and VNC. Hopefully all will return to normal next week. Casey’s Irish Pub 613 S. Grand Ave., (213) 629-2353 or bigcaseys.com. July 20, 10 p.m.: Hobart W. Fink, a confused looking indie group with two lead singers. Club Nokia 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-7000 or clubnokia.com. July 19, 9 p.m.: Comedy cover outfit The Dan Band would not miss a date. They will, however, sing like ladies. July 20, 8 p.m.: Adam Ant & the Good, the Mad and the Lovely Posse. But seriously, Johnny Depp stole this guy’s entire look, right? Conga Room 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 745-0162 or congaroom.com. July 16, 9 p.m.: Big Percy’s hosting a launch party with Snoop Dogg, Warren G and hip-hop sprinter Too Short. July 18, 9 p.m.: Dust off your finest pastel polyester shirt for “El romantic de la salsa” Eddie Santiago. Escondite 410 Boyd St., (213) 626-1800 or theescondite.com. July 15, 9 p.m.: Brian Walker gets things started for improvisational stud Yonatan and his bevy of friends. July 16, 10 p.m.: Bunny West and Boom Boom Boom have a strange musical ability to make The Escondite’s stage look as if it could fit into a corner. July 17, 10 p.m.: Lock up your daughters, it’s Smooth Hound Smith and The Ferocious Few. July 18, 10 p.m.: Hunter & the Dirty Jacks will be joined by Kyle McNeill. July 19, 10 p.m.: Trevor Menear and Johnny Moezzi… brothers from other mothers. July 20, 11 p.m.: Charlie Chan & the S.O.B.s are the perfect lullaby for your Saturday binge. July 21, 11 p.m.: If it’s Sunday and the world hasn’t suffered some sort of immense tragedy, you can bank on seeing RT N the 44s at Honky Tonk Sunday. Exchange L.A. 618 S. Spring St., (213) 627-8070 or exchangela.com. July 18, 10 p.m.: Adventure Club, a summer camp for intoxicated adults! July 19, 10 p.m.: Bass Jackers, a pioneering DJ duo and also a viable full time profession east of Los Angeles Street. FIGat7th 733 S. Figueroa St., (213) 955-7150 or figat7th.com. July 19, 7 p.m.: Indian influenced Brooklyn octet Red Baraat and Pervuian fusion boosters La Chamba take the stage. Grammy Museum 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6800 or grammymuseum.org. July 16, 8 p.m.: With a famous name and some furious musical chops, Sarah Lee Guthrie will preview her new album with Johnny Irion. July 19, 7:30 p.m.: Guitar gunslinger Ian McLagan has worked with the Stones, Dylan, Springsteen and Bonnie Raitt to name a few. Come hear what he’s got to say. Grand Performances 350 S. Grand Ave., (213) 687-2159 or grandperformances.org. July 19, Noon and 8 p.m.: Chicago circus punk marching band Mucca Pazza invades Cal Plaza. For the night show, they’re joined by Fanfare Ciocarlia, the apex predator of Balkan brass music. July 20, 8 p.m.: R&B by the bucketload with Rufus and friends as well as the Black Light All Stars. Ham and Eggs 433 W. Eighth St. or hamandeggstavern.com. July 17, 9 p.m.: DIM. July 18, 9 p.m.: Harry Jerkface & Guests. July 21, 9 p.m.: David Gleason. Nokia Theater 777 Chick Hearn Court, (213) 763-6020 or nokiatheatrelalive.com. July 20, 8 p.m.: Be sure to wear your finest tucked up black cowboy hat for Julion Alvarez. Nola’s 734 E. Third St., (213) 680-3003 or nolasla.com. July 15, 7:30 p.m.: Cornelius Herring on piano. July 16, 8 p.m.: Down Home Blues Jam Session. July 17, 8 p.m.: Al Marotta. July 19, 7:30 p.m.: Rat Soup. That sounds yucky to eat. One-Eyed Gypsy 901 E. First St., (626) 340-3529 or one-eyedgypsy.com. July 16: Burlesque-cabaret from Olive and the Mob. July 17: RT N the 44s’ homemade honkytonk.

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July 19: Trumpet and Will Magid go together like Jenny and Forrest. July 20: Staggering Jack. Pershing Square 532 S. Olive St., (213) 485-1645 or laparks.org/pershingsquare. 7:30 p.m.: The Oingo Boingo nostalgia will proceed with full force as Johnny Vatos & Boingo Dance Party take the mic. Redwood Bar and Grill 316 W. Second St., (213) 652-4444 or theredwoodbar.com. July 15: Way to Go Genius, Sam Vicari, The Ugly Kids and Pastelevision. July 16: Michael Van London and Nick Mayberry. July 17: The Morose Project, Humonstro, Echo & The Sound and Wingard Manor. July 18: Dave Gleason Trio. July 20: Hooray, it’s the return again of The Blasters, along with Heathen Apostles and Savage Gospel. July 21, 3 p.m.: Skip Heller and Friends. July 21: Rational Anthem, Turkish Techno, Lysolgang and Gentlemen Prefer Blood. Seven Grand 515 W. Seventh St., (213) 614-0737 or sevengrand.la.

July 16: If the Makers could change the world, they would be the sunlight in your universe. The Smell 247 S. Main St., alley between Spring and Main streets, thesmell.org. July 17: Corners, Froth and Wyatt Blair. July 19: Spaceships, Snow Wite, Shark Toys and Palm Reader. July 20: Tipsy Fox, The Garden, The Aquadolls and Kim House. Staples Center 1111 S. Figueroa St., (213) 742-7326 or staplescenter.com. July 20, 5:30 p.m.: Latin music super festival Reventon Super Estrella promises that intimate Staples Center experience with each ticket sold.

FILM Downtown Independent 251 S. Main St., (213) 617-1033 or downtownindependent.com. July 19, 3, 5 and 7 p.m., July 20, 5 and 7 p.m., July 21, 8:30 p.m.: Set in Brooklyn on the eve of President Obama’s election, three former members of a once promising hip-hop crew cross paths once again to discover that some things never change. That just about says

Continued on next page

44 Downtown News

July 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

Remembering Bronzeville I

n Bronzeville, a new play at The LATC, the events of Pearl Harbor have just persuaded FDR to sign Executive Order 9066, sending Japanese Americans to internment camps like Manzanar. At the same time, the war’s boomtime economy is drawing blacks from the south for highpaying jobs at Los Angeles factories. When the Goodwins discover a young Japanese American who has refused to leave, the family is forced to deal with their own values as they debate and struggle with doing the right thing. The title, Bronzeville, refers to the name Little Tokyo assumed during WWII when the Japanese Americans were moved out. The play shows this week on July 18-20 at 8 p.m. and July 21 at 3 p.m. At 514 S. Spring St., (213) 489-0994 or thelatc.org.

photo by Tomoko Matsushita

Continued from previous page it for Big Words. July 19, 3 p.m., July 21, 10:30 p.m.: Directed by Jon Wrights, Grabbers tells the story of Ciaran O’Shea, a charming but heavy-drinking local who is tasked with greeting Lisa Nolan, a straight-laced young officer who has just arrived to a small fishing village off the West Coast of Ireland. Hmmmm, could romance possibly be in the script? July 19, 9:30 p.m.: Words of Revolution highlights the musical component of healing in El Salvador. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and a performance by some of the musical acts featured within. IMAX California Science Center, 700 State Drive, (213) 7442019 or californiasciencecenter.org. Explore the remnants and wisdom of an ancient empire in Mysteries of Egypt. Ice and polar bear enthusiasts will likely dig To the Arctic 3D.




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Downtown News 45

Celebrating 40 Years

Experience the gripping story full of hope, crushing disappointment and triumph in Hubble 3D. Pershing Square 532 S. Olive St., (213) 485-1645 or laparks.org/ pershingsquare. July 19, 8:30 p.m.: Because buddy comedies aren’t bounded by gender, Pershing Square will proudly present Thelma & Louise. You’ll learn why to avoid Texas. REDCAT 631 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800 or redcat.org. July 15-21: REDCAT hosts the yearly incarnation of LGBT films and social commentary known locally as the wonderful Outfest. Regal Cinemas 1000 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 763-6070 or lalive.com/ movies. Through July 18 (partial listing): The Conjuring (10 p.m.); Turbo (12, 1:50, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50 and 10:30 p.m.); Turbo 3D (11:20 a.m., 4:20, 7 and 9:50 p.m.); Grown Ups 2 (1:30, 4:30, 7:20 and 10:10 p.m.); Pacific Rim (3:40 and 10:20 p.m.).

THEATER, OPERA & DANCE A Parallelogram Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 6282772 or centertheatregroup.org. July 17-20, 8 p.m. and July 21, 1 and 6:30 p.m.: Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning playwright Bruce Norris presents a tale of a couple in which the woman, Bee, believes she can see the future. Can she? There’s only one way to find out. Through Aug. 18. Bob Baker’s Something to Crow About The Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., (213) 250-9995 or bobbakermarionettes.com. July 16-17, 10:30 a.m. and July 20-21, 2:30 p.m.: Come join Mama and Papa Goat and 100 more of the Bob Baker marionettes for a musical “Day on the Farm.” Think dancing scarecrows and tap dancing bullfrogs warbling “Shine On Harvest Moon.” Call for reservations. Bronzeville 514 S. Spring St., (213) 489-0994 or thelatc.org. July 18-20, 8 p.m. and July 21, 3 p.m.: Set during

World War II, Bronzeville tells the story of an African American family that discovers a young Japanese American unwilling to relocate to an internment camp.

BARS & CLUBS The Association 610 S. Main St., (213) 627-7385. Carved out of the area that used to belong to Cole’s, the bar in front, the Association is a dimly-lit, swank little alcove with some serious mixologists behind the bar. Look for a heavy door, a brass knocker and a long line. Barbara’s at the Brewery 620 Moulton Ave., No. 110, (323) 221-9204 or bwestcatering.com. On the grounds of the Brewery, this bar and restaurant in an unfinished warehouse is where local residents find their artistic sustenance. Fifteen craft beers on tap, wine list and full bar. Bar 107 107 W. Fourth St., (213) 625-7382 or myspace.com/

bar107. Inside the keyhole-shaped door, tough-as-nails Derby Dolls vie for elbowroom with crusty old bar guys and a steady stream of Old Bank District inhabitants. Velvet señoritas, deer heads with sunglasses, a wooden Indian and Schlitz paraphernalia plaster the red walls. There’s no shortage of entertainment, with the funky dance room, great DJs and the occasional rock band. In the photo booth, you can capture your mug in old-fashioned black and white. Open from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week. Big Wang’s 801 S. Grand Ave., (213) 629-2449 or bigwangs.com. Wings, beer and sports: That’s the winning recipe at this sports bar. The Downtown outpost, the third for the Hollywood-based bar, has everything the other locations have, plus a comfortable patio with outdoor flat screens. Bonaventure Brewing Company 404 S. Figueroa St., (213) 236-0802 or bonaventurebrewing.com.

Continued on next page


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46 Downtown News

July 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

Continued from previous page Where can you get a drink, order some decent bar food, sit outdoors and still feel like you’re Downtown? It’s a tall order to fill, but this bar in the Bonaventure Hotel does it admirably. Come by for a taster set of award-winning ales crafted by Head Brewer David Blackwell. Sure, the hotel is vaguely

’80s, and you’ll probably encounter some convention goers tying a few on, but it only adds to the fun. Bottlerock 1150 S. Flower St., (213) 747-1100 or bottlerock.net. Situated on the ground floor of the Met Lofts in South Park, this wine bar features a vast range of bottles from around the world and a price range

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equally as wide. Wines by the glass start at around $8, but if you’re feeling overcome by oenophilia (or just deep-pocketed) there are some first growth Bordeauxs for more than $1,000 for the bottle. And if you don’t get your fill while at the bar, which also features a rotating crop of artisanal beers and a full dinner menu, the bar also sells bottles at retail. Broadway Bar 830 S. Broadway, (213) 614-9909 or broadwaybar.la. Located next to the Orpheum Theatre in the Platt Building, the Broadway Bar’s blue neon sign beckons patrons inside to its 50-foot circular bar. The casualchic spot is based on Jack Dempsey’s New York bar, with low lighting and a dose of ’40s glam. There’s a patio upstairs with nice views, and a jukebox. Caña 714 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 745-7090 or canarumbar.com. In the Caribbean, “caña” is slang for sugarcane. Rum is made from sugarcane. Therefore, Caña serves premium handcrafted rum cocktails in an intimate, elegant environment featuring live Caribbean and tropical Latin music. Casey’s Irish Pub 613 S. Grand Ave., (213) 629-2353 or bigcaseys.com. With its worn brick staircase, tin ceilings and dark wood decor, it’s easy to see how this neighborhood bar and grill still works its Irish charm. Regulars cozy up to the 60-foot mahogany bar with a pint of Guinness and a plate of bangers and mash. Casey’s has a full menu with six beers on tap and a selection of Belgian ales and microbrews. Cole’s 118 E. Sixth St., colesfrenchdip.com. This beloved restaurant saloon has been renovated under new ownership. The great leather booths

and dark wood bar of the old spot remain, but now the glasses are clean. Draft beer, historic cocktails, including what is probably the best Old Fashioned in town, and a short wine list. Corkbar 403 W. 12th St., corkbar.com. If the name didn’t give it away, this South Park establishment is all about the wine, specifically, California wine. Situated on the ground floor of the Evo condominium building, Corkbar serves up a seasonal food menu of farmer’s market-driven driven creations to go with your Golden State pinots, cabernets and syrahs.

MORE LISTINGS Hundreds of listings of fun and interesting things to do in Downtown Los Angeles can also be found online at ladowntownnews.com/calendar: Rock, Pop & Jazz; Bars & Clubs; Farmers Markets; Events; Film; Sports; Art Spaces; Theater, Dance and Opera; Classical Music; Museums; and Tours.



4 WEB: LADowntownNews.com/calendar 4 EMAIL: Calendar@DowntownNews.com

Email: Send a brief description, street address and public phone number. Submissions must be received 10 days prior to publication date to be considered for print.

LUNCH & DINNER M.-F.: 1130am-11pm Sat.: 5pm-11pm (bar until midnight) Sun.: 4pm-10pm

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Los Angeles history is just around the corner Wells Fargo History Museum 333 S. Grand Ave. • Los Angeles, CA 90071 (In the Wells Fargo Center) 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday 213 253 7166 Free Admission © 2013 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC.


July 15, 2013

Downtown News 47

Celebrating 40 Years


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SENIOr APArTMENTS 62 + Studio $873 1 Bedroom $929. 2 bdrm. $1112. Balcony, Full Kitchen, A/C, Clubhouse, BBQ, resource room, Laundry, SEC 8 O.K. Visit GSL SAN LUCAS. com 213-623-2010. CondoMiniUMs/UnfUrnisHed LA SKYPAD Stunning Views 2br/2ba 28th Floor Bunker Hill Tower luxury condo. Many Upgrades. Utilities included. Parking, Concierge, Gym, Pool, Tennis, Market onsite. Unfurnished $2,950/mo. Furnished $3,450/ mo. (409) 771-9540

Condos & Lofts


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alma lam

facebook: L.A. Downtown News Mobile HoMes Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris BEACH HOMES - 2 Affordable GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin 1 bd. - PCH 680 sft. - 200K 310-

567-7836, 600Editor: sft. - $175K ExEcutivE Jon 310Regardie 494-1844. BothRichard Tub/Shower, citY Editor: Guzmán Kitchen, stAFFLaundry, writEr:Pool/Jacuzzi. Ryan Vaillancourt

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Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard

loft/UnfUrnisHed AccouNtiNG: Tara LaPlante

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AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin Nearly Every Make & Model clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, Catherine Holloway sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez Visit us online

old bank District The original Live/Work Lofts

from $1,295 circulAtioN: Jessica Tarr Cafes, Bars, Shops, Galleries, distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles Parking adjacent. Pets no charge


2BD One1BATH copy perDUPLEX-Lincoln person. Heights- $1600 - Brand New Appliances-Granite-In Unit w/dPrivate Patio-Cyn Views-Transit/ Fwy Convenient. 310-745-8446


To lasT weeK’s puZZle

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Cleaning CONCEPTO’S CLEANING Crew. Professional, experienced, cleans apartments, Your number 1 source homes, offices and restaurants. for Loft sales, rentals Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris Call for a quote. 323-459-3067 and development! GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin or 818-409-9183.


Corey Chambers (213) 478-0748 AltaLoft.com DRE#01889449


ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie citY Editor: Richard Guzmán stAFF writEr: Ryan Vaillancourt coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, Kristin Friedrich, Kylie Jane Wakefield


Los Angeles Downtown News Move-in 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 LEASING NOWNOW LEASING phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 Specials web: DowntownNews.com

dirEctor: Brian Allison the Art LOFT expert! TM


AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins

email: realpeople@downtownnews.com

facebook: 5TH &ANGELES LOS ANGELES 5TH & LOS L.A. Downtown News

PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard

Downtown since 2002 AccouNtiNG: Tara LaPlante

UTILITIES PAID! ALLALL UTILITIES PAID! 213-622-1437 213-622-1437

AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin

Bill Cooper clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Bill Catherine CooperHolloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, 213.598.7555 Catherine Holloway 213.598.7555 TheLoftExpertGroup.com sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez


DRE # 01309009 circulAtioN: Jessica Tarr

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MANAGEr: Real Salvador Ingles Voted BESTdistributioN Downtown Residential Estate Agent!

distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla

Fully furnished with TV, telephone, microwave, refrigerator. Full bathroom. Excellent location. Downtown LA. Weekly maid service.

Monthly from $695 utilities paid. (213) 627-1151

Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin

Ad Prices

ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie citY Editor: Richard Guzmán stAFF writEr: Ryan Vaillancourt coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, Kristin Friedrich, Kylie Jane Wakefield

Art dirEctor: Brian Allison (Marketplace and Automotive Categories ONLY) All ads run for 2 weeks. Art dirEctor: • Items under $300AssistANt 12 words, 2 weeks FREE!Yumi Kanegawa Ads may be renewed after ProductioN Rawlins • Items $301 to $500 15 words ANd GrAPhics: $11.50 Alexistwo weeks for 50% off the • Items $501 to $1200 15 words $14.00 PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard original price of the ad. • Items $1201 to $2000 15 words $16.50 • Items $2001+… AccouNtiNG: 15 words Tara LaPlante $19.00 AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, Catherine Holloway sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez

With a circulation of



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©2013 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles. One copy per person.

Furnished single unit with kitchenette, bathroom. Excellent location. Downtown LA. Weekly rate $275 inc.

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Call 213.253.4777 laloft.com ©2013 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles apartMents/UnfUrnisHed and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles.





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All submissions are subject to federal and California fair housing laws, which make it illegal to indicate in any advertisement any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income or physical or mental disability. We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised are available on an equal opportunity basis.


our classifieds get results!

circulAtioN: Jessica Tarr Credit CardSalvador $ Check $ distributioN MANAGEr: Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla

Monthly from $600 utilities paid. (213) 612-0348

Ad Copy: _________________________________________ Los Angeles Downtown News ________________________________________________ 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 web: DowntownNews.com email: realpeople@downtownnews.com

________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ facebook: L.A. Downtown News

________________________________________________ twitter:

DowntownNews ________________________________________________ ©2013 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown

News is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All ________________________________________________ rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles.

________________________________________________ One copy per person.


Restrictions: Offer good on private party ads only. Ads must be pre-paid by cash, check or credit card. Certain classifications excluded. Deadline: Thursday at noon for next issue.

Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin

Los Angeles Downtown News 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 web: DowntownNews.com • email: realpeople@downtownnews.com facebook: L.A. Downtown News

twitter: DowntownNews

ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie citY Editor: Richard Guzmán stAFF writEr: Ryan Vaillancourt coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, Kristin Friedrich, Kylie Jane Wakefield Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard AccouNtiNG: Tara LaPlante

AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, Catherine Holloway sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez circulAtioN: Jessica Tarr distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla ©2013 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles.

One copy per person.

48 Downtown News

July 15, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

The Central City Crime Report

A Rundown on Downtown Incidents, Trends and Criminal Oddities by Ryan Vaillancourt staff writer


n the Central City Crime Report, we survey the recent week in public safety. All information is provided by the LAPD’s Central Division.

King Eddy Kush Caper: A male patron of the King Eddy Saloon was leaving the watering hole at Fifth and Los Angeles streets at 1:25 a.m. on June 30 when a suspect approached, offering “kush” (that’s a brand of weed, folks). The suspect then removed a .38 caliber revolver from his waistband and took the victim’s wallet. He fled southbound on Los Angeles Street. The moral of the story: Just say no to drugs. Tourist Trapped: In what has emerged as a startling trend in Downtown, another tourist was recently assaulted and robbed. On June 30, a woman visiting from Japan was near Los Angeles and Alameda streets at 3:30 a.m. when a man grabbed her by the neck, forced her to the ground, pepper sprayed her and took her cell phone, passport and camera. The woman’s property was later found and returned.

The Other Reason Not to Drink and Drive: An extremely intoxicated man walking toward his car parked near Seventh and Spring streets at about 3:30 a.m. on July 1 dropped his keys. That prompted a man to follow him, then knock him into a wall. The drunk guy lost consciousness, awoke in the hospital and remembered the suspect taking his car. Silver lining: As ugly as it is, it’s probably better than the victim driving that night. Wigging Out: A man wearing a wig and a dress entered a jewelry business at 316 W. Ord St. in Chinatown. S/he pretended to need repairs for a bracelet, then pulled out a gun, grabbed some jewelry on display and escaped in a waiting car. Belasco Broken Teeth: In this week’s installment of the worst people in the world, a man who was at the Belasco nightclub on July 5 allegedly stuffed a dollar bill in a woman’s shorts because she, a patron, was “dancing provocatively.” The woman and a witness confronted the suspect and an argument ensued. The man tossed his drink in the woman’s face, then threw a cocktail glass at her, breaking her top two front teeth. Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at ryan@downtownnews.com.

Downtown, it’s not just big business anymore!

Grand Tower 255 south Grand avenue Leasing Information 213 229 9777

Promenade Towers 123 south Figueroa street Leasing Information 213 617 3777

Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Concierge ~ Pool / Spa / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Gas BBQ Grills ~ Recreation Room

Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Pool / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Covered Parking

Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove, Microwave & Dishwasher (most units) ~ Central Air Conditioning & Heating ~ Balconies (most units)

On-site: ~ Dry Cleaners / Dental Office / Restaurants

Now For Call n Specials Move-I

8 7 7 - 2 65 - 714 6

museum Tower 225 south olive street Leasing Information 213 626 1500

Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove & Dishwasher ~ Central Air & Heating ~ Solariums and/or Balconies

On Site: ~ Convenience Store / Coffee House / Yogurt Shop / Beauty Salon

Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Concierge ~ Pool / Spa / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Gas BBQ Grills ~ Recreation Room

Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove, Microwave & Dish washer (most units) ~ Central Air & Heating ~ Balconies (most units)

It’s our business to make you comfortable... at home, downtown. Corporate and long term residency is accommodated in high style at the Towers Apartments. Contemporary singles, studio, one bedroom and two bedroom apartment homes provide fortunate residents with a courteous full service lobby attendant, heated pool, spa, complete fitness center, sauna and recreation room with kitchen. Beautiful views extend from the Towers’ lofty homes in the sky. Mountain vistas and slender skyscrapers provide an incredible back drop to complement your decor. Far below are a host of businesses ready to support your pampered downtown lifestyle. With spectacular cultural events nearby, even the most demanding tastes are satisfied. Downtown, it’s not just big business anymore. Visit the Towers Apartments today.





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Los Angeles Downtown News is a free weekly newspaper distributed in and around downtown Los Angeles.


Los Angeles Downtown News is a free weekly newspaper distributed in and around downtown Los Angeles.

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