1318 E 7th St., Downtown
We've admired designer Erica Tanov's bohemian printed separates and eclectic selection of fashion and homewares since we discovered her namesake Berkeley boutique nearly ten years ago. Tanov has that cool-girl knack for finding unexpected items—say, a linen blouse made in India, a pair of edgy Officine Creative black boots, or a set of vintage jewel-colored cocktail glasses. Her bohemian inventory is right at home in its latest location, downtown's vibrant and artsy Row.
767 S Alameda St., Downtown
New to DTLA, Kinto focus on striking a balance between beauty and functionality when it comes to building out the ultimate home cook’s kitchen. In other words, not only will the delicate Japanese pottery and double-wall champagne glasses on offer add pizzazz to your counters but, thanks to Kinto’s obsession with quality, they’ll stand the test of time, too. With the coffeeware collection of carafe sets and porcelain brewers, you’ll navigate your kitchen with the dexterity of an artisanal coffee-shop barista.
727 N. Broadway, Unit 133., Downtown
This quaint bookshop, nestled in the heart of Chinatown, is made for those rare, rainy afternoons in Los Angeles. (Though we’ve been known to use the stacks as a hiding place from the sun, too.) You could spend hours getting lost among the hundreds of curated cookbooks and knickknacks ranging from salt cellars to vintage bandannas all tucked away on the corner of North Hill Street. Not only does it offer an extensive range of unique reads, such as the Portuguese tea magazine Eighty Degrees, but Now Serving regularly hosts book signings and guest speakers with many of the authors whose work lines the shelves. Follow them on Instagram (@nowservingLA) to stay up to date on upcoming events.
777 Alameda St., Downtown
There’s no way to grasp the size and scope of ROW DTLA without seeing it in person, so we won’t attempt to describe this massive conglomerate of industrial structures as anything but WOW. What we can put into words is the impressive the curation of places to eat, shop, work, and just chill. A sampling of restaurants includes San Francisco’s Tartine Manufactory, Japanese food at Hayato (order a bento box), and the flakiest, crunchiest Japanese fried chicken we’ve ever had at chef Kuniko Yagi’s Pikunico. Stores are focused on locally owned businesses, like Erica Tanov, Kinto, Ahlem, and Bodega—arguably the most well-stocked sneaker store in the city. On weekends, the streets are closed off to cars, leaving ample space for kids to shake the willies out. On Sundays, Smorgasburg LA takes over ROW DTLA’a neighbor, the Alameda Produce Market.
845 S. Broadway, Downtown
With Francesco Fucci (formerly of The Row) at the helm, things are about to get a lot more exciting over at Theory, which is quietly shedding any vestiges of its wear-to-work basics past. This new 1,600-square-foot space in DTLA is meant to support the brands fresh new point of view—it will play host to collaborations, new product innovations, and a rotating roster of events. No doubt urban storefront with its the concrete walls, steel columns, and big windows will serve as the ideal backdrop for the luxurious wide-leg pants, car coats, and midi-dresses that Fucci dreamt up for spring 2019.
118 Winston St., 2nd FL., Downtown
Located on an unassuming street, this gallery-boutique hybrid is one of the most delightfully unexpected finds in LA. Owners Jodi and Stephen Zeigler had their first exhibit in 2014 and have since been featuring some of the most compelling works on display in the city. Hosted in a stellar light-filled room, the art covers a wide range, from nostalgic punk rock memorabilia to experimental photography ane mixed media pieces. (Their most recent exhibit featured a stunning collection of rare posters produced by British band The Smiths.) On the other side of the space is the boutique, where the duo offer a well curated mix of wares, from indigo-dyed fabrics to Le Feu de L'eau candles to out-of-print photography books and zines, all of which make ideal gifts.
313 W. 8th St., Downtown
Known for its minimal aesthetic and accessible price point, COS is a destination for streamlined urban pieces for men and women.
MAST Los Angeles
816 S. Santa Fe Ave., Downtown
While they’re best known for their gorgeous (artist-inspired) packaging, Mast Brothers places great emphasis on the art of chocolate-making—as evidenced by the fact that they offer tours of the process itself at each of their stores. The DTLA location is one of the three flagship stores and factories for the brand, which brothers Rick and Michael Mast founded in 2007 (the other two are located in Brooklyn and London). A package of bars makes for a practically perfect—and blessedly TSA-friendly—hostess gift.
826 E. 3rd St., Downtown
Set up in the center of the most walkable stretch of the Arts District, Alchemy Works is the brainchild of Lindsay and Raan Parton (their former Apolis store is now a pop-up within Alchemy) and aims to bring a bit of the coastal lifestyle to downtown. The industrial-style shop doubles as an events space, so there’s lots of room to roam around and admire the hand-picked apothecary pieces, letterpress prints, indy-designer accessories, and more. Also sharing the space is a Warby Parker shop-in-shop and a Blacktop coffee counter. It's Newport Beach location is equally stunning.
Formerly Yes (Closed)
954 S. Broadway, Downtown
Founded on the design principle that less is often more, Formerly Yes (which formerly used to just be online-only), now occupies an airy boutique Downtown—just a stone's throw from the Ace. Much likes its site, the offerings are extremely winnowed down and edited, i.e., you'll find only design classics, like Braun alarm clocks, Japanese platters, and Iittala tumblers.
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