Ford on the Road Neighborhood Guide: DTLA Arts District

Summer is officially here and Ford on the Road is sizzlin’! Our next destination is the Downtown LA Arts District for Outfest‘s closing night on Sunday July 19. Hosted at the snazzy Ace Hotel, the evening will include a screening of François Ozon’s The New Girlfriend and an after-party sponsored by Finlandia. If you want to make a “Sunday funday” out of it, check out these local spots curated by Arts District local and Outfest Programming Coordinator Ana Souza! 

The Arts District has gotten super popular in the last few years. What do you love most about it?

Ana Souza:
 I love that it’s in an area of downtown that feels very lively, safe and vibrant. There’s a great sense of community and the murals and urban art that surround the neighborhood are absolutely stunning. It’s a neighborhood where walking feels natural and expected, which is not always easy to find in LA.

A yummy morsel from the Pie Hole. (Courtesy of Yelp)

Say you’re bringing at date to the movie and want to grab a treat beforehand. Where’s the best place to do that?

AS: The Pie Hole
 easily has the best desserts in the neighborhood; their selection of homemade pastries and pies is wonderfully decadent. I love their Mexican Chocolate, as well as their Maple Custard, but their seasonal pies are the real gems to watch out for. Sometimes there might be a wait, but it is always worth it!

The wonders of Villians Tavern. (Courtesy of LA Confidential)

Where should people go after the after-party?

AS: Villains Tavern is one of my favorite spots for a night out. The music selection is always great, and often bolstered by live music. There’s a cute patio and the decor in general brings to mind a witch’s potion-brewing lair or a pub where fairytale characters would hang out – it’s very fun. Most importantly, the cocktails are hand-crafted, fresh and dangerous – in the best way.

Let’s say we want something more family friendly, where’s the best place to bring kids?

 The Farmer’s Market every Thursday near Angel City Brewery is always a great place to bring kids and support local and organic vendors while you are at it. They often have food trucks, music, and they also set-up an area for kids to play and engage in interactive activities or art projects.

Artist Katie Grinnan's performance at the LA River. (Courtesy of Dylan Schwartz)

The Arts District has loads of history – like the Theatre at Ace Hotel used to be a famed United Artists movie palace. What’s your favorite historical area?

 I think the LA River is an important historical spot that often gets overlooked or bypassed by the drivers crossing its many bridges. It’s a cool place to explore, either by foot or by taking the LA River bike ride, which runs all the way to Burbank. So many iconic film scenes have been shot here over the years and theClockshop’s Bowtie Project often organizes performances and art exhibits there as well.

Outfest’s closing night is Sunday July 19 at the Ace Hotel. Click here for tickets and more info.