LA Design Festival at ROW DTLA

You know how here are some places you hear about that you’re really not quite certain where they are? Or even what they are? That’s how I felt about ROW DTLA. I kept hearing about this new design hub near Downtown LA. I heard it was home to the super cool Smorgasburg and that it was the new, big thing in LA but I couldn’t figure out where exactly and was and, honestly, what exactly it was. I just knew it was hip. Then I was invited to check out the LA Design Festival and lo and behold it was held at ROW DTLA! Finally, I would figure this thing out!

So, here’s the scoop. ROW DTLA is located at the southern edge of the Arts District and is surrounded by industrial buildings. Actually, that’s exactly what it is – a group of historic, industrial buildings once called the LA Terminal Market, a hub for the area’s produce industry. Today these buildings have been preserved and are now home to restaurants, storefronts and galleries.

In other words, it’s the perfect home for the LA Design Festival.

With limited time I couldn’t fully indulge in this year’s fest but I did manage to check out a few, fun delights. Over the weekend several spaces both indoor and out were turned into impromptu galleries highlighting some innovative, modern design.

As I walked around admiring the sights I saw a sign for the MINI LIVING Urban Cabin. I decided to check it out and soon found myself on a rooftop with an amazing, panoramic view of LA.

Smack dab in the middle was the Urban Cabin sponsored by MINI, the folks behind the pocket-sized MINI Cooper.

The Urban Cabin is a new approach to city living. It’s a tiny home for the urban sophisticate. A little over 160 square feet it’s a sustainable design tailored to the city it’s located in. So, this particular model is designed for the hippest Angeleno.

Is it my thing? Not really. It’s definitely not my design style and is way too small for me to feel comfortable living in. Funny enough, it’s actually designed for a couple to live in. I don’t know about that. For me, it has a long way to go before becoming an actual livable space. But I love the view!

I may have been underwhelmed by the Urban Cabin but I was truly delighted by my meal at Breakfast Club. Breakfast Club is an event that celebrates both design and the culinary arts over a hearty meal. The fest’s breakfast brought together Take Flight Coffee, Ember Mugs, Winsome and Impossible Foods.

Take Flight Coffee, an LA roaster, was served in the Ember Mug – a temperature controlled ceramic mug that you can set via your smart phone.

It’s a fun gadget that really works! My delicious coffee stayed at the perfect temperature throughout my entire meal. Speaking of the meal…

OMFG. Winsome, located in Echo Park, paired with Impossible Foods, a plant based meat substitute, to create an innovative fast food inspired breakfast. The tasty breakfast sandwich was served on a matcha concha that was out of this world delicious. I have got to go to Winsome and grab one or dozen more. It was accompanied by a Pineapple Coconut Chia Pudding that was so fresh and refreshing I found myself practically licking the bowl. Design + food, that’s a movement I can get behind!

This year I dipped my toe in the LA Design Festival and had a fun time. Next year I imagine I’ll dive right in and I can’t wait to see what I discover.




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