Sometimes you feel like making a scene in Hollywood (or Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, or wherever the day takes you). Sometimes, you don’t. Heaven knows that there are new, stylish places cropping up all the time where we can drink the trendiest cocktails and show off spiffy outfits as well as reliable dive bars around town to meet friends for a brew. But what about something in between—a place with top-notch food and cocktails where you can just be yourself?
Though the founders of Luna Park in San Francisco and Los Angeles have the whole cocktail lounge/foodie establishment thing down, they’ve thrown something new and wonderful into L.A.’s bar and club scene. Henry’s Hat, the most interesting watering hole to hit Hollywood in a long time, manages to bring together a home-y, light-hearted neighborhood atmosphere, 14 ESPN-programmed flat screen televisions, swanky cocktails and sophisticated pub grub. No waiting list outside, no (or very little) waiting for food once inside. Just order your food and drink, make yourself home in the lounge or game room, and enjoy.
The menu is impressively creative, even if selections seem familiar at first glance. The strength of the food lies in the execution, from perfect thin-crust pizzas to succulent burgers that would put Fudrucker’s to shame to very grown up variations on mac-and-cheese (with sherry and chili) and ice cream sundaes (the bananas are caramelized). On the flip side, thirsty patrons will delight in the seasonally-driven cocktail program and wide selection of craft beers.
1735 N. Vine St. Hollywood. 323.462.3000. The historic Hollywood Palace reopened after a colossal makeover into Hollywood’s newest and hottest mega-club. The revamped nightspot has retained its old-Hollywood grandeur and attracts clubgoers with a diverse roster of concert performances and club nights.
8171 W. Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood. 323.650.0575. Just steps away from the legendary Château Marmont hotel, this sophisticated bar has been a celebrity hangout for years. The stylish décor and romantic ambiance attracts a nightly coterie of Hollywood’s movers and shakers.
1638 N. Cahuenga Blvd. 323.464.7676. A beauty parlor has always been a place where women could meet and gossip. Throw in a few cocktails and you’ve got the perfect party place for LA’s “beautiful people..
901 E. 1st Street 213.687.3766. Bordello flirts with the notorious past of its infamous location as the oldest bar and brothel in Downtown LA, by reflecting its legendary status as a theater of the unusual and provocative.
1515 Abbot Kinney. 310.399.7537. This local favorite is a secret no more. The fabulously modern lounge is a posh watering hole without the attitude. The Brig is a favorite of laid-back locals and Hollywood heavyweights alike.
3357 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles. 213.385.7275.
So cheesy it’s cool! If you’re tired of the Hollywood scene, then this buried treasure is for you. If the tacky nautical décor doesn’t win you over, then the “food and grog” might. The crowd is an entertaining mix of cool young artsy types and old those who look like they might have been regulars since 1956.
1651 Wilcox Ave. Hollywood 323.461.1400. Cliquish club Moulin Rouge style.
2460 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310.828.3304. Red sexy lounge with lingerie-clad cocktail waitresses.
1623 1/2 N Cahuenga Blvd. 323.461.204. An essential music venue with headliners such as Sia, Gary Jules, Gomez, Imogen Heap, Rilo Kiley and John Mayer.
8029 W. Sunset Blvd. Hollywood 323.656.4933. Exclusive spot for friends and friends of friends of Sam Nazarian and Brent Bolthouse.
6202 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles. 323.957.1066.Celebrities galore enter through the back alley entrance and party through the night in the minimally décorated space. On the periphery of the Hollywood nightlife, the club is for those in the know.
2939 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles 323.660.2276.Intimate and upscale wine bar.
@ Canter's Deli
419 N. Fairfax Ave. 323. 651.2030. Yes,
its an odd place. Yes, the waitresses look old enough to have
been extras in Gone With The Wind. And yes, the regulars
tend to be, for lack of a better description -- a bit wacky. But
darn it, once the Cape Cods start flowing and the live music gets
going around 10 p.m., everybody becomes family. Bar open nightly
until 2 a.m. and the deli 24 hours.
6555 Hollywood Blvd. 323.960.9234. A solid establishment in the LA bar/club scene since 1988.
6608 Hollywood Blvd. 323-785-5000. Once Fredericks of Hollywood - now a multi-floor Asian-deco chic mega venue.
8623 Melrose Ave. West Hollywood. 310.360.0066.
Neighbor to the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, this Melrose spot provides a sleek space for almost any occasion—from a date to happy hour with co-workers. Retro style.
1645 Wilcox Ave. 323.962.7712. A swank
New-York style Cuban bistro and bar. This two-story playground for
the elite boasts a sophisticated decor and beautiful clientele.
A patio, a fireplace and the fab mojitos are added incentives.
453 N. Canon Drive, BH, 310.550.5707. An establishment for grown-ups, as opposed to twenty-something scenester hangout or destination for the ladies who lunch crowd or old guard executives.
1650 Schrader Blvd. 323.960.3300. Luxurious lounge by nightlife impresario David Judaken.
665 N. Robertson Blvd. West Hollywood. 310.358.9191.
Housed in the former Moomba space, this WeHo restaurant/club feels rejuvenated. The décor is minimalist, with clean linen tablecloths and leather booths. The patio and dance floor areas are always lively.
8401 W. Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood.
323.848.3884. After a $7 million dollar renovation, the Hyatt is hip again, and it’s the rooftop pool and bar that is responsible for the comeback. Enjoy unbeatable views of the Sunset Strip and the L.A. basin while sipping a sophisticated cocktail.
Roof Bar at the Standard Downtown
550 S Flower St. 213.892.8080. The sky’s the limit at this one-of-a-kind hotspot. Nestled atop the Standard Downtown Hotel, the bar boasts a 360 degree view of the downtown skyline and a fancifully modern décor.Info
6021 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Hollywood’s 20,000 sq. ft. mega-club, for live performances, dancing, and late-night lounging. The well-appointed and spacious outdoor patio is a highlight.
1714 Vermont Ave. Los Angeles. 323.661.6163. Fashionable eastsiders sip and nibble at this sophisticated restaurant/bar in Los Feliz. The vaulted ceilings, beautiful patrons and attentive staff make this spot a favorite among those in the know.
8852 Sunset Blvd. 310.358.1880.8852
Sunset Blvd. 310.358.1880. Steady crowd of chic-slummers. The main
attraction is the intimate stage and dance floor which has hosted
everyone from the Black Crowes and Keanu Reeves garage band,
1200 Alta Loma Rd. 310.657.I333. Whiskey Bar
It’s small and heavily guarded by doormen, but the tiny hotel bar which sits inside the Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas is a favorite.Info