It’s without question that Downtown Los Angeles has been undergoing a rapid transformation in recent years, after about a dozen notable starts and stops. The LA Times wrote just last year that the construction boom was the biggest the area had seen since the 1920’s.
Like New York’s Meatpacking District or San Francisco’s SOMA, DTLA has gone from a cluster of industrial warehouses and artist studios to, essentially, a scenester’s paradise. All this change, and the shops, bars and restaurants fueling its new hype, have ultimately brought us to the latest fashionable megaplex: ROW DTLA.
Once known as the LA Terminal Market – where hundreds of fruit and vegetable vendors came to sell their goods back in the 1930’s – the sprawling property (30 acres of contained city blocks) is now a glistening reflection of the nearby revitalization. Outside of being a hub for the nation’s produce, ROW DTLA now has all the stuff we normally trek across town for: locally roasted coffee, interactive art exhibits, of-the-moment boutiques, and abstract furniture that’s yet somehow still comfortable.
We have Mark Rios and his team at Rios Clementi Hale Studios (and New York-based developer Jeffrey Goldberger) to thank for the architectural reboot. While we typically fret at the idea of big money swooping in to transform anything, they were careful to breathe new life into the ROW’s iconic framework, without stripping it of historical charm. It’s not just another outdoor shopping space (a la The Grove or Century City Mall), but rather a collection of independently owned businesses and culinary names we love.
Here we highlight BlackBook‘s particular fave reasons to get down to ROW DTLA as often as possible. Oh, and for the pragmatist in you – now you can also find a parking space/
Debuting just last month, this is the newest concept from the James Beard Award-winning team of San Francisco’s beloved Tartine and Phoenix’s Pizzeria Bianco. Find whatever you’re craving under one roof: a market, a cafe, all-day restaurant Tartine Bianco, the Tartine Bakery…and, for those special occasion moments, private dining room Alameda Supper Club.
Vanessa Lee’s “beauty concept bar” features a mix of Western (botox, fillers) and Eastern (cosmetic acupuncture, facial cupping) beauty practices. A photo of her mom and aunts on the beach in the Philippines in the ‘70s inspired the space’s design: lots of burnt gold, peach, and cream colors paired with wavy textural elements and hints of shimmer. Plus, the facials will leave you glowing for days.
Decorate the home of your dreams with Hawkins NY’s soft linens and artisanal-style ceramics and dishware – all available in of-the-moment color palettes. Lovely.
Curated by owner Whitney Bickers, who moved her shop from Silver Lake to ROW DTLA to be amongst like-minded retailers (and to escape skyrocketing SL rents), Myrtle has no shortage of the looks Angelenos love. Browse drape-y dresses, accessories, footwear, jewelry, bags, apothecary and fragrance – all made by independent female designers.
Find Aussie import Paramount Coffee Project’s second L.A. location here. Expanding on the offerings of their original Fairfax Avenue cafe, the space is the place for strong coffee in the morning and afternoons, and a delicious selection of wines (obviously some from Australia) come evening. (As well as English pea tartines and and sausage hand pies).
Not really the knitting types, we’ve long been meaning to take up the fine art of pottery. Here’s the place to do it – or at least to purchase some from people who are already good at it. Shop an assortment of beautifully handmade things or sign up for a night on the wheel.
Why pick furniture for function when you can have a piece that’s functional and incites conversation. A+R houses some of the most innovative furniture designers, those with lots of umlauts in their names. From awe-inspiring lighting fixtures to futuristic sofas you can still sink into for a night of, well, sitting on the sofa – this is the place to make your home just that much more aesthetically imaginative.