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This blog came about because I like to explore what Los Angeles – with an emphasis on Downtown – has to offer. For whatever reason, I tend to try places pretty early, and I always have an opinion about them. So my friends started asking me for recommendations, thoughts, ideas about where to go next. Which led to this, The Amateur Enthusiast.

Here’s how we got here: I’ve worked in Downtown since 1993. When I started working here, restaurant options basically consisted of expense-account-only places like Water Grill, or, basically, Carl’s Jr. Happy hour was a cheap hamburger at McCormick & Schmick’s. And you sort of heard about bars in these funky areas like the “Artists’ District”, but nobody had the guts to actually go there.

What a difference a decade makes. Tom Gilmore puts a stake in the ground for cool lofts at 4th and Main – and, just as importantly, opens up a restaurant on the ground floor. Staples Center draws people – and loft developers – to the south side of downtown. Cedd Moses sees a future in Downtown nightlife. Established brands like the Standard and Ralphs make the trek down here. And not really “just like that” – but sort of “just like that” – Downtown is the place to be.

This blog will include anything from new finds to old favorites. It will be everything from specific drinks you should try to whole parts of the City you should check out. I love this City, and future posts will probably be on precisely why that is. And hopefully, maybe, this little undertaking will either create or renew your excitement for this great City and everything it has to offer – which grows and improves every day.