A mini waterfall burbles while a stand of trees plays chorus, their leaves riffling in the breeze. The name of this verdant patch at the DoubleTree by Hilton may be aspirational, but three stories above the downtown streets of Little Tokyo, Kyoto Gardens is pure urban fantasy. Especially when you’re strolling the path with a mojito in hand (as the sign says, the space is intended for guests and patrons only). » 120 S. Los Angeles St., downtown, 213-629-1200.
Fugetsu-Do Sweet Shop
Longevity has hardly propelled the Japanese confectioner into the glare of L.A.’s culinary radar, even though it’s been selling its soft, chewy mochi (rice cakes) and manju (bean cakes) for 109 years. Only internment during World War II interrupted the Kito family’s operation of the Little Tokyo storefront, where a glass case presents you with delicate creations that range from pink to yellow to glistening brown. As time collapses, you’ll ask yourself what took you so long to come here. » 315 E. 1st St., Little Tokyo, 213-625-8595.
Warner Bros. Theatre
The movie marquee-style sign outside is your first clue this wasn’t always a jewelry bazaar. Bijoux vendors hawk their wares in a room adorned with gilt scrollwork and oval ceiling coffers left over from the site’s days as a Pantages theater. Debuting in 1920, the venue became the Warner Bros. Downtown Theatre during the Depression. Mosey past display cases and you’ll find another kind of bling: a grand proscenium framing the void where Gold Diggers of Broadway once played. » 401 W. 7th St., downtown.
Photographs courtesy (1) newsroom.ucla.edu, (2) malibuhindutemple.org, (3) bauerpottery.com, (4) you-are-here.com.