The last few years, Downtown L.A. has often been tagged the hottest neighborhood in the country. With this month’s opening of the Broad Museum, it claims a new title: world capital of oddly beautiful buildings. Where else do you find a Frank Gehry concert hall with organ pipes shaped like elegant french fries (the Walt Disney Music Hall), an alabaster-windowed cathedral that stands up to those in Europe (Our Lady of the Angels), and now the instantly iconic Broad, finally opening after a 40-year wait? Star architect Liz Diller laced the project with trippy details. Visitors are transported floor to floor on cylindrical glass elevators. And sly windows double as peepholes into the museum’s storage vault, filled with the Broad family’s impressive trove of 2,000 works, including pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and Cindy Sherman.
Mistake Room This non-profit exhibition space is focused on bringing in international artists who’ve never before shown their work in LA, such as London-based Colombian painter and performance artist Oscar Murillo. 1811 E 20th St., 213.749.1200
356 Mission Recently the contemporary art gallery—whose mission is simply to have fun—displayed over 300 pieces of cat art by 300 artists, a grouping it called “Another Cats Show.” 356 S. Mission Rd., 323.609.3162
MaRS Located on the east bank of the LA River in a building that once housed an illegal marijuana nursery, the name “MaRS” stands for “museum as retail space.” The gallery plays with the intersection of consumerism and art. You even have to walk through a retail store to get to the work. 649 S. Anderson St., 323.526.8097