I’ve been to LA a number of times, but it was only recently DTLA (Downtown LA) caught my attention. Even though Downtown hotels are usually both nice and affordable, the Downtown area has struggled with a reputation of being less safe than West Hollywood, Hollywood and Beverly Hills, which are usually among my favorite picks.
Besides, Poul once stayed at a Downtown hotel with some friends and had a rather scary experience with a gang of shady guys chasing them down a narrow grind, trying to cut them off. Luckily, they didn’t succeed, and Poul + friends managed to escape.
Though a lot has happened the last couple of years, and DTLA has gone from rather dead after sunset to really vibrant and nice, and I wouldn’t mind staying in that area anymore. Of course there are still some shady neighborhoods (I accidentally ended up in Skid Row one night, not recommended) but overall, it feels safe.
One of my favorite places in DTLA is the Grand Central Market. It dates all the way back to 1917 and it’s a true foodie paradise. Compared to Farmers Market (the one at the Grove), which is also a popular market in LA, Grand Central Market seems bigger and more authentic, and the selection of food vendors is definitely better than at Farmers Market.
There are fresh fruit and vegetables for sale at bargain prices (how about 3 avocados for $1?) and the smell of the ripe produce is enticing. I think passing those stalls with bright-colored fruit and vegetables could make anyone consider going vegan. At least until the smell from one of the Mexican food stalls strikes you, and you take it all back and order carnitas tacos.