It’s no secret that Downtown LA is in the middle of a huge resurgence, especially when it comes to the culinary scene. From stunning rooftop views to basement nightlife, there is no hotter place to be right now. Word on the street is that a Soho House and a pretty huge Grove like mall project are both in the works.
It’s such a contradiction though, because while the Arts District has become something really special with artisans forming a vibrant community all their own, some of the best restaurants are opening their doors just blocks from Skid Row, which can be a hard pill to swallow. I live in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, which means that downtown is just right around the corner by Angeleno terms (actually a 25 minute drive), so it’s easy to pop over for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Here are two favorites for daytime.
Perch has been around for a few years now, located atop the Pershing Square Building, an elevated (literally) French bistro, featuring live jazz and some of the best unobstructed views of the city. Though I’ve been for dinner, it’s especially fabulous for a champagne brunch with girlfriends…case in point my friend Christi’s birthday. We all split their ridiculous ooey gooey million calorie French Toast and then each got a more sensible plate of eggs, pretending the former never happened.
About an hour after breakfast, and I’m already thinking about lunch. My mom came to visit this past weekend for a special girls weekend. We wined & dined, but by Saturday night we were in the mood for something a little more casual and healthy.
Zinc Cafe & Market recently opened and I’ve already been three times for lunch if that tells you anything. I’ve also ordered the exact same thing (hey, when it’s good, it’s good). They are open for dinner and late night drinks as well, so we decided to give it a go.
I love that on the left side, you sit down and a waiter comes to you.
The market side of things has the most adorable home items.
You would never think a place like this would have a bar that stays open until 2am, but they do! Which means you can get really amazing cocktails with healthy, delicious food and feel a little less guilty.
Or you can just cozy up for some “coffee & conversation.”
This particular night, I couldn’t resist their Bloody Mary. I like a little Mary and a lot of olives. Like mother, like daughter!
My nephew Fletcher now lives in L.A. so he came along and brought the laughs!
Zinc is actually vegetarian, but unlike most vegetarian restaurants in L.A., they don’t serve fake meat. They just use really great ingredients…case in point the burrito that I’ve now had three times. Packed with rice, beans, avocado & cheese, you don’t even realize the meat is missing, I swear.
Especially when you order the truffle fries on the side!
Just keep in mind the marketplace closes at 4pm, which means you can only order off the menu rather than from their display of salads and sides. Though it was lovely sitting outside in the night air, I really recommend Zinc for lunch.
With three other locations, I have a feeling, this is the start of an empire.
Stay tuned for the second half for a new downtown restaurant I’m loving for dinner!
Perch Los Angeles, 448 South Hills Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013. 213-802-1770
Zinc Cafe & Market. 580 Mateo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013. 323-825-5381