By David A. Keeps
June 06, 2014

Edgy studios and industrial-chic restaurants outnumber palm trees in L.A.’s Arts District, on the southeastern corner of downtown. Here’s how to tap into the new energy.

Follow the Shepard Fairey and Kim West street murals to find the Box, mixed-media star Paul McCarthy’s contemporary exhibition space. Look for an international roster of experimental filmmakers and performance artists. 805 Traction Ave.

Raan Parton kicked off Third Street’s renaissance with his urban men’s-wear shop Apolis in 2012. At Alchemy Works, he showcases a more breezy SoCal style: surf photography prints, French Armor-Lux sweaters, and a rare 1959 Fiat convertible. 826 E. Third St.

Interior-design buffs comb Hammer & Spear (pictured) for antique furnishings (steamer trunks; Percival Lafer armchairs) and limited-edition artisan goods (Faribault Woolen Mill blankets; Saint Rita Parlor eyeglasses). 255 S. Santa Fe Ave.

Grab a tea-infused gin cocktail and step onto the patio for live folk music at Villains Tavern, a gothic-meets-groovy dive bar with Mexican tile floors, mirrored cathedral windows, and shuffleboard. 1356 Palmetto St.

The neighborhood’s creative types get their caffeine fix at Handsome Coffee Roasters. Former World Barista champion Michael Phillips maintains a purist ethos, pouring espressos and coffee strong and straight—no sugar or soy milk. 582 Mateo St.

At the perennially booked Bestia, located in an erstwhile warehouse, chef Ori Menashe cures salumi and bakes sourdough pizzas in a 900-degree wood-fired oven. Feeling adventurous? Try the chicken gizzards or spaghetti with sea urchin, and save room for the bittersweet-chocolate budino tart. 2121 E. Seventh Place

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