L.A. Live is an entertainment complex in Downtown Los Angeles adjacent to the Staples Center and Los Angeles Convention Center which opened its first venue, the Nokia Theatre in 2007, which has since been renamed the Microsoft Theatre. The complex is anchored by the 54-story Ritz-Carlton L.A. Live Residences and Hotel and the connected JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live, both of which opened in 2010. The GRAMMY Museum faces Figueroa, while the Microsoft Theatre, home to the GRAMMY Awards, faces the Nokia Plaza across from the Staples Center.
Attempting to give a West Coast Times Square effect, about 25 HD video billboards on six free-standing towers and multiple building facades surround Nokia Plaza. The flow of alternating simultaneous and complementary video advertising creates a colorful light show that plays across the reflective buildings.
Although there are a variety of dining and entertainment options right at LA Live, providing a welcome addition for people attending events at the Staples Center and LA Convention Center, where there was previously nothing, the complex is still somewhat isolated, as there are not great walking routes to connect it to other parts of Downtown LA. However, that is changing all the time and there is close freeway access, a Metro stop nearby and a line of handy cabs day and night.
For a mild diversion, check out the GRAMMY Walk of Fame, which winds through and around LA Live, commemorating the winners in the top four GRAMMY categories since the awards began in 1959.
Entertainment Venues at L.A. Live
The Staples Center, home to the LA Lakers basketball team and LA Kings hockey team
The GRAMMY Museum has exhibits on GRAMMY Winners, music history, making and recording music and more. They also host interviews with music legends that are open to the public.
The Microsoft Theatre has a continuous stream of popular music concerts.
Club Nokia is a live music venue featuring emerging music acts and cultural shows with catering by Wolfgang Puck.
The Conga Room is a Latin-themed nightclub with DJ and live music events. It also includes Boca Restaurant.
Regal Cinemas has a 14-screen movie theater across from the Ritz-Carlton.
Lucky Strike Lanes and Lounge is a combination of bowling alley, nightclub and restaurant.
Restaurants at LA Live
BOCA is a Latin-themed tapas restaurant inside the Conga Room
Fleming's Fine Steakhouse and Wine Bar is a national steakhouse. The L.A. Live location serves 100 different wines by the glass.
gLAnce Wine Bar and The Mixing Room are both full-service bars with small plate offerings in the lobby of the JW Marriott
Katsuya is the downtown version of the hip Hollywood sushi restaurant.
Glance Restaurant uses locally sourced cuisine to create dishes that celebrate the culinary heritage of the region.
Lawry's Carvery is the casual branch of Lawry's The Prime Rib, featuring hand-carved sandwiches and comfort foods.
Live Basil Pizza offers fresh, made to order pizza.
Red Mango frozen yogurt shop
ROCK'N FISH L.A. Live is a spin-off of the successful Manhattan Beach hibachi restaurant.
Rosa Mexicano upscale Mexican cuisine
Smashburger hand-smashed burger restaurant
Starbuck's has free WiFi in case you don't want to pay the internet fee in your hotel. Oh, and they also have coffee.
Tom’s Urban offers "globally inspired, locally sourced, and seasonally influenced cuisine served for sharing."
Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill fronting on Nokia Plaza, is one of three L.A. Live venues serving the renowned chef's organic, farm-fresh cuisine. Club Nokia uses Wolfgang Puck Catering, and
WP24 Restaurant and Lounge is on the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton L.A. Live, with a magnificent view from the downtown skyline to the Hollywood Hills.
The Yardhouse on the "back" side of L.A. Live is a branch of the Long Beach-based bar and restaurant. It has 250 beer taps and a very good food menu.
There are more dining options including an upscale food court at FIGat7th shopping center about 3 blocks away.
Hotels at LA Live
The JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live is the primary convention hotel at L.A. Live with over 800 rooms. Read the Review
The Ritz-Carlton L.A. Live has 123 luxury rooms on the 22-24th floors of a 54 story tower.
Luxe City Center Hotel is a high-end makeover of a former Holiday Inn across the street from L.A. Live.
More Hotels Near LA Live
Figueroa Hotel is a small boutique hotel with a Moroccan theme a block from L.A. Live.
The Ritz Milner Hotel is a basic hotel in a restored historic building 2 blocks from L.A. Live.
O Hotel is a boutique hotel in a restored 1920s building 3 blocks from L.A. Live
Wilshire Grand Los Angeles is an independent hotel 4 blocks from L.A. Live.
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel is 5 blocks from L.A. Live.
The Westin Bonaventure Hotel in the heart of the business district is 6 blocks from L.A. Live.
The Standard Downtown LA is a trendy hotel 6 blocks from L.A. Live.
Hilton Checkers is a deluxe business hotel 10 blocks from L.A. Live
The Millennium Biltmore Hotel at Pershing Square is a landmark luxury hotel 10 blocks from L.A. Live.
Getting to L.A. Live
L.A. Live is on the east side of the 110 Harbor Freeway just north of the 10 Freeway between Olympic and Chick Hearn Ct/11th Street on Figueroa. Because of the freeway interchange, the exits are convoluted, with the street exits on the transition ramps from 110 north to 10 west and from 10 west to 110 north.
From the 110 northbound, you have to merge onto the off ramp for the 10, and take the Pico Ave lane from the off ramp, exiting at Chick Hearn Ct for the Nokia Theatre or Olympic for the Regal Cinemas, Ritz-Carlton or Marriott.
From the 10 westbound, merge with the 110 north, taking the Pico Ave lane from the transition ramp.
From the 10 eastbound, you have to merge onto the 110 north above the Pico exit, so you exit 9th street and come back down.
From the Southbound 110, you take the Olympic Blvd exit and follow the signs for Olympic Blvd West.
More Directions to LA Live
The Metro Red Line from Hollywood or Union Station, and the Metro Blue Line from Long Beach, both stop at 7th and Flower, three blocks north of L.A. Live. The Blue Line also stops at Pico, directly across from the LA Convention Center, a block from L.A. Live. If you're taking the Red Line, it's probably faster to walk than to change trains for 1 stop.
More on Riding the LA Metro
More on Driving in Los Angeles
Parking at L.A. Live
Designated parking for specific venues at L.A. Live, Staples Center and the LA Convention Center can be very pricey. However, there are dozens of public and private lots in the area, so if you don't mind walking a few blocks you can pay as low as $3 instead of $40 to park. I use bestparking.com to get an idea which lots will have the best rates near my downtown destination. Although the prices are not always current, they're usually pretty close. You can also check the L.A. Live Parking Guide and PDF Map of Parking Lots Near L.A. Live or reserve discounted parking in advance.
If you have a smartphone, the Parker app includes information on parking lot openings and open street meters with meter rates.
Just a few blocks away, the Fig at 7th Shopping Center has discounted parking in the evening after 5 pm.