What to eat and do in Los Angeles
SOME of Los Angeles' best kitchens are downtown, among them Mo Chica (514 West 7th Street) for Peruvian comfort food (melt-in-your-mouth lomo saltado and alpaca stew), and Alma (952 South Broadway), which many critics named one of the best restaurants in the United States last year for its conceptual and locally sourced fine dining.
The budget-friendly Chego (727 North Broadway) dishes up Korean/Chinese/Thai rice bowls with an LA twist, while The Gorbals (501 S. Spring Street) does a different kind of fusion with its riffs on Jewish and Asian dishes, such as banh mi poutine with hoisin gravy.
Finally, there are stalwarts, such as Philippe's (1001 N. Alameda Street), home of the original French dip, a sandwich made with roast beef, pork, lamb, turkey or ham, and a French roll dipped in gravy from the roast; and Fisherman's Outlet (529 S. Central Avenue), which is off the beaten path and the radar of downtown's hipsters, but has locals forming long queues for its well-priced and perfectly cooked seafood.
Also worth a look is the recently restored Grand Central Market arcade (317 South Broadway), which has been in continuous operation since 1917 and is the oldest food hall in Los Angeles.
Some of the best food vendors in the city are gathered here, including Eggslut, which serves up a variety of eggy brioche sandwiches and treats such as the Slut, a coddled egg nestled on top of a smooth potato puree, poached in a glass jar and served with toasted crostini.
Take a walking tour, organised or self-guided, to take in some of downtown's architectural sights. The LA Conservancy (www.laconservancy.org) has a list of tours and other events, including a downloadable route for a (500) Days Of Summer walk that takes you past key buildings from the 2009 movie.
Rates at the trendy Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles (www.acehotel.com/ losangeles), which channels a mixture of modern minimalism and old Hollywood glamour, range from US$229 (S$286) for a small room to US$389 for a loft, not including taxes and fees.
Singapore Airlines flies to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) via Tokyo; round-trip fares for travel this month start at around $2,000 on www.singaporeair.com.