Downtown Dream: Day

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.

Perch Sign

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.

Girls at Brunch

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.

Pershing Square


Christi Candles
Happy birthday, Christi!! (sh*t, when did we get so old ;))…

Zinc Downtown LA

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.

Zinc inside
Yet on the right side (front porch not shown), you order at the counter and seat yourself without any fuss.


The market side of things has the most adorable home items.

And an entire wall of some of the absolute best cookbooks!


Including…Ottolenghi! ???

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.

Dave at Zinc

Right, babe?

Coffee and Conversation

Or you can just cozy up for some “coffee & conversation.”

Zinc Bloody Marys
This particular night, I couldn’t resist their Bloody Mary. I like a little Mary and a lot of olives. Like mother, like daughter!

Fletcher at Zinc
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.

Walking into Zinc

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

Downtown Dream: Night

6 thoughts on “Downtown Dream: Day”

  1. I will always bring the laughs… and the fabulous French wines. ???? Excellent piece on downtown LA! I’m looking forward to Part II.

  2. Suzie Shoucair

    Your mother is beautiful and (other than the eye color and hairstyle) you look exactly like her!!!

    On another note, I almost hate to read your newsletter updates because I end up drooling through the descriptions of scrumptious dishes. How DO you stay so slender and eat like that? Thank you for the pictures…at the very least, I can live vicariously through your excellent coverage and try to envision eating those yums myself while staying relatively normal weight!!!

  3. Sandra Zaninovich

    Why is everyone in your life so ridiculously good-looking?! I tried to go to Ottolenghi yesterday but got into London too late :-(. Coming back home today, sad to say, but will definitely try Zinc, it sounds so up my alley, if I can ever motivate myself to get so far east :-). And can I tell you how thrilled I am with your all-veg post?! Thank you, thank you!!! You da best! xoxo

  4. Perfect evening to be outside, scrumptious food and drink, and the company and conversation couldn’t have been better! Can’t wait for my next downtown LA experience.

  5. Loved this, as usual, and I especially seeing your beautiful mother and my good friend in your piece!!!!!!!

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