Cocktail Confidential: A Guide To Los Angeles Nightlife

Neo-speakeasies, reservation-only drinking dens, hidden dance clubs—the hottest Los Angeles nightspots have an air of secrecy. Allow us to let you in on Los Angeles nightlife’s little secrets.

<<prev 7 of 12 next>>

The Varnish

The Varnish
The Varnish

Cole’s downtown is one of L.A.’s oldest restaurants, and more than 100 years after it started slinging French dip sandwiches, the 213 Nightlife group enlivened it with a much-needed, Prohibition-era-glam makeover. Its loft-dwelling hipster clientele is content to sit at a front bar sipping the classic cocktails on offer, but the most coveted seats are through a discreet door at the back of the restaurant that leads to the Varnish. A leader of L.A.’s recent cocktail renaissance, the Varnish helped bring drinks such as the Old Fashioned back in style. Fittingly, an old-school vibe permeates the décor down to the smallest detail. (Yes, your suspendered bartender is taking calls on an antique rotary telephone.) 118 E. 6th St., downtown, 213.622.9999.


Sign up for FREE to receive our exclusive Weekend Roundup!

Get the best things to do in our favorite SoCal spots delivered to your inbox every week

Los Angeles

Orange County

San Diego