I’m a man of many skills, a veritable polymath.

Take walking, for example. Straight up and down,  I’m one of the best to ever do it.

Eating?  All day, err day..and night….and late-night.

So when I heard about Six Taste’s Food Tour of Downtown LA, I knew I’d have the chance to showcase my prowess– not unlike Tiger Woods receiving word of a new Hooters golf course in his neighborhood.

DTLA is experiencing a major revitalization, with residential lofts, art galleries, skyscrapers and marijuana dispensaries displacing the homeless dotting the district.  The increased foot stomach traffic has prompted  the emergence of new eateries, from high-end bistros  to mom and pop, pop-up spots.  Having conducted hundreds of tours in the area, Six Taste has an inside track on what’s cooking downtown.

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Six Taste operates public and private food tours year round throughout Southern California, including Thai Town, Lil Tokyo, Santa Monica and Arcadia.   The name suggests adventure as participants are enlisted in the pursuit of finding the 6th taste (to accompany sweet, sour, salty,  bitter, and umami). You can read Six Taste’s rave reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor.

My tour took place on a Saturday afternoon.  We met our tour guide, Brian, in front of the Biltmore Hotel, across the street from Pershing Square. There was plenty of available parking nearby.

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perfect meeting point as it offers a public restroom.

I participated in a public tour and was joined by a group of 12 other hungry pedestrians.  One person was from Boston, another from Chicago and still another from Florida. The other half of the crew was from Southern California but it was everyone’s first time walking and eating in DTLA. We were excited.

We traipsed through downtown, taking in history (e.g., Which movie used this building as a police precinct?) and mystery (e.g., Why did that hot dog stand smell like weed?). We tasted food at 6 different establishments.  I won’t mention them all by name here, as they are subject to change and it’s fun to be surprised, but I will highlight two treats that remain heavy on my mind.

First, the Early Gray macaroon from Bottega Louie.  I don’t know who Earl is, nor which shade of gray he reps, but this gold-dusted cookie was all that! My problem was deciding how to dig into it.

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Should I open it up, like an oreo, and lick the center…in front of all these strangers?

later deliberator

later deliberator

Nah, that would’ve been undignified.  Licking my fingers after the fact, an examplar of refinement.

During the latter half of our trip, we stopped by at Gelataria Uli and sampled gelato and sorbetto.  I decided on the Jamaica and Mint sorbetto and was swept back to my days as a street performer in Mexico City.  Uli, the store’s namesake, is regularly flipping the script with new flavors. So you have to pop in to see what’s popping…and when you do, scoop me up.

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mexico in a cup

This tour gave me a new appreciation for DTLA and I’d wholeheartedly recommend a Six Taste tour, but only under one condition: come hella’ hungry.

Big Brown Dad

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