An art and food-filled day in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA)
The one place I requested my boyfriend (a native Los Angeleno) take me to was The Broad museum, specifically to see Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room in DTLA. Like Houston Street in New York, The Broad is a person's name and isn't pronounced the way you think. It actually rhymes with "road." The museum gives guests free entry, and reserved tickets can be made online if you book far enough in advance. When I checked, they were booked two months out! Since we went during the week (on a Thursday), we only had to wait 30 minutes in the line outside.
To our disappointment, we realized we had to sign up for the exhibit at a separate kiosk where we'd get our time slots for, wait for it... 45 seconds of viewing. Our estimated wait time was 3 hours and 45 minutes! Madness. Continue reading below on how we occupied our time waiting to see the incredible Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room.
Related reading: Why I Changed My Mind About LA
During the time we visited, The Broad only had other artworks in the second floor gallery. The museum itself is an incredible work of art with individual windows letting in light. The main way to get to the second floor is to take the escalator up, which passes through the molded ceiling. The museum houses roughly 2,000 works of postwar and contemporary art from around the world, and is a must for anyone who loves artists like Jeff Koons, Cy Twombly, Takashi Murakami, and Kara Walker. Although The Broad is one of the smallest museums I've visited, the carefully curated collection held my interest for quite a while!
To keep ourselves occupied until our time slot for the Infinity Mirrored Room, we walked 10 minutes downhill towards the Grand Central Market. On our way, we stumbled upon Angel's Flight. The mini railway, only 298 feet long, was built in 1901 and transported passengers up and down Bunker Hill. It was refurbished in the 90s and relocated a half-block south to where it is now.
Grand Central Market
Everyone, and I mean everyone, told me we had to eat at Grand Central Market in DTLA. It's a playground for all foodies with ramen, tacos, pizza, paella, juices, oysters, and more. I've been to a lot of different food markets before such as Reading Terminal Market, Smorgasburg, and UrbanSpace Vanderbilt, but this one impressed me with the ease of getting our food. We didn't have to wait in any huge lines, and the space itself wasn't insanely crowded. I'm sure on weekends it's a lot more crowded, but at lunchtime during the week, it was great. Below are food items we split to save both money and room in our stomachs!
Gaucho from Eggslut
Seared wagyu tri-tip steak, cage-free over medium egg, chimichurri, red onions and dressed arugula in a warm brioche bun
Fried Chicken from Bombo
Boneless thighs with crisp Downtown fried potatoes, spicy vinegar, Persian cucumber yogurt dressing, pickled radish, and cucumber
Drop Acid Popsicle from Press Brothers Juicery
Cucumber, apples, arugula, lemon, cilantro, parsley, habanero peppers, and ginger
Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room
We didn't think we could physically eat anymore, so we called it quits and slowly made our way back towards The Broad. On the way, I happened to check my phone and saw a text from the museum telling us our time slot was coming up and we had only 10 minutes to get back. We speed walked/ran back to the museum. Remember to keep your entry ticket, so you can skip the line outside.
We waited around 5 minutes for our turn in Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room, and boy was it incredible. The area surrounding the walkway is filled with water to maximize the space. Make sure you have your phone and/or camera ready since you'll only have 45 seconds in the room! Also, don't forget to relax and soak it all in. We both felt anxious because of the time limit, but it ended up feeling longer than we thought – just enjoy the art!
Did you know that one of the locations for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is just across the street? You can check off another museum easily without even leaving DTLA. Because of timing, we weren't able to visit the museum, but on Thursday's, the museum is free from 5pm to 8pm.
If you have access to a car, you need to drive around the Arts District! It's only 10 minutes away from The Broad in DTLA, and searchable on Google Maps. Street art is one of my favorite forms of art just because of the creativity, the environment the art is placed, and the emotions I feel jumping off the walls. The artwork is hidden down random streets, so don't give up! There are plenty of hidden coffee shops, stores, and restaurants to explore. While walking around, we just felt an air of exclusivity without the pretentiousness.