Name Your Poison: New Nightlife Destinations in Los Angeles

Birds & Bees photo by Acuna-Hansen
Catch a buzz at Birds & Bees, accessed through a yellow door at the back of a parking lot.

As night falls across Los Angeles, revelers slip past velvet ropes, sidle up to swanky bars and settle into laid-back pubs. Find the spot that suits your taste among this fresh crop of nightlife destinations.

By Suzanne Ennis and Gillian Glover, adapted from the November 2017 Where Los Angeles magazine

Midcentury Dens

Birds & Bees | Downtown Los Angeles
Catch a buzz at this subterranean speakeasy, accessed through a yellow door at the back of a parking lot. The bar is reminiscent of a midcentury-modern living room—complete with a hanging fireplace—and the drink menu features both midcentury cocktails and concoctions inspired by musicians of the 1950s, including Ella Fitzgerald and Desi Arnaz. 207 S. Broadway, downtown, 213.537.0510.

Lono | Hollywood
A combination of kitsch and sophistication, this tropical-themed 
bar from the team behind Melrose Umbrella Co. marries banana-leaf wallpaper, woven furniture and nautical charm with the glamour of Old Hollywood. A menu of classic Tiki-inspired cocktails and punch bowls pairs with island-style fare. Explore the “luau” platters for four or more, available by reservation with 48 hours notice. 6611 Hollywood Blvd., L.A., 323.848.4475.

Poppy photo by Elizabeth Daniels
VIP Nightlife destination Poppy is open Thursday nights only, so plan accordingly

VIP-Packed Nightclubs

Avenue | Hollywood
Among Tao Group’s hot concepts at Hollywood’s new Dream Hotel is this exclusive nightclub, which draws the young, beautiful and famous Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights (recent sightings include Tyga, Bella Thorne, Kendall Jenner and Blake Griffin). To get inside the velvet-upholstered lair, you’ll need to impress a doorman or nab a table reservation. Not your scene? Visit adjacent Beauty & Essex, which offers a variety of fabulous settings in which to dine and imbibe. 1601 Cahuenga Blvd., L.A., 323.593.7999.

Poppy | West Hollywood
The newest nightclub concept from the H.Wood Group, designed by John Sofio of Built, Inc., will make you feel like you’re Alice and have fallen down the rabbit hole. 
Jared Leto and Katy Perry have partied in the foliage-filled atrium and surreal, librarylike lounge amid role-playing hostesses. Poppy is open Thursday nights only, so plan accordingly. 55 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.855.7185.

Filifera photo by Grey Crawford
Enjoy cocktails, California-inspired snacks and sweeping city views at Filifera.

Sky-High Haunts

Broken Shaker, The Highlight Room, Spire 73 | Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood
In L.A., you can sip drinks alfresco year-round—with a panoramic view, to boot. At downtown L.A.’s new Freehand Los Angeles, Broken Shaker offers handcrafted cocktails on the hotel’s 14th-floor rooftop pool deck. Dream Hollywood’s Highlight Room combines a lounge, pool and grill on the hotel’s rooftop, with views of the Hollywood sign and L.A. skyline. Craving even higher altitudes? Spire 73, the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown’s 73rd-floor rooftop lounge, is the highest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere. Read about them in our dining feature.

Filifera | Hollywood
Enjoy cocktails, California-inspired snacks and sweeping city views at this Kelly Wearstler-designed bar and lounge on the 22nd floor of the Hollywood Proper Residences. Reservations required. 1550 N. El Centro Ave., L.A., 323.786.3762.

Cleansetini photo courtesy of Gratitude
The upscale sister restaurant to Café Gratitude pairs its plant-based cuisine with cocktails like this Cleanstini.

Vegan Venue

Gratitude Beverly Hills | Beverly Hills
If you think vegan dining options are all virtue and no vice, think again: Gratitude Beverly Hills has a full bar and great happy hour led by beverage manager Jon Eiswerth. The upscale sister restaurant to Café Gratitude pairs its plant-based cuisine with cocktails like Spa Water (gin, lime, mint, absinthe and green chlorophyll espuma) and Cleanstini (vodka, lemon, turmeric, ginger, cayenne, maple syrup and micro-filtered water). Hard GT’s Kombucha and organic wine and beer round out the naughty/nice offerings. 419 N. Cañon Drive, Beverly Hills, 424.389.1850.

Delilah photo by Elizabeth Daniels
Indulge in lounge-style bottle service at Delilah, the same place Kendall Jenner celebrated her 21st birthday.

Late-Night Dining Destinations

Delilah | West Hollywood
Kendall Jenner celebrated her 21st birthday at this sumptuous art deco-style restaurant, another Sofio-designed hit from the H.Wood Group. Dine on classic fare like deviled eggs and chicken tenders—and maybe a “Kendall’s Slutty Brownie” for dessert—before indulging in lounge-style bottle service and dancing the night away. 7969 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 323.745.0600.

Mama Lion | Koreatown
This Koreatown supper club helmed by chef Michael Hung pairs craft cocktails with a continental menu (e.g., oysters on the half shell and smothered tater tots with short-rib chili) against a glamorous backdrop. A late-night menu Tuesdays through Saturdays keeps the fun going till the wee hours. 601 S. Western Ave., L.A., 213.377.5277.

Hayden photo by Katie Gibbs
Head to Hayden for “Golden Hour” between 6 and 7 p.m. for wine and oyster specials.

Wine-Centric Stops

Hayden | Culver City
Led by Ari Kolender, this all-day option at the Platform complex in Culver City pairs a seafood-forward menu with a beer and wine list curated by the young, talented beverage director Anthony Cailan. Small producers dominate the list, and bottles can be purchased for later or—even better—enjoyed on the premises. Go during “Golden Hour,” between 6 and 7 p.m., for wine and oyster specials. 8820 Washington Blvd., Culver City.

Good Measure | Atwater Village
It’s no surprise that this intimate new wine bar/restaurant is garnering praise; it comes from Matthew Kaner of L.A. favorites Bar Covell and Augustine Wine Bar. More than 30 wines by the glass? Family friendly? Yes, please. 3224 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village, 323.426.9461.

Mikkeller DTLA photo by Wonho Frank Lee
More than 60 beers, wines and ciders are on tap at Mikkeller DTLA.

Brewpubs, Beer Bars & Tasting Rooms

Los Angeles Ale Works (LAAW) | Hawthorne
Employees from nearby SpaceX pack LAAW’s tasting room (from founder and head brewer Kip Barnes), which opens onto a sprawling patio served by beer trucks. Try the Space XPA Session IPA and Space XPA-Full Thrust Double IPA, 
named in honor of the brewery’s rocket-building neighbor. 12918 Cerise Ave., Hawthorne.

Mikkeller DTLA | Downtown Los Angeles
More than 60 beers, wines and ciders are on tap at this Danish brewing company’s first L.A. location, which opened in a 100-year-old auto-repair shop early this year. There’s a full restaurant menu and a café open daily, too. 330 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown, 213.596.9005.

The Stalking Horse Brewery and Freehouse | Century City
Cornish fare and craft beers are among the draws at this handsome, British-pub-inspired spot from Artisanal Brewers Collective. Admire the seven-barrel brewing system inside, then plant yourself in the biergarten with a pint and a pastie. 10543 W. Pico Blvd., L.A., 424.832.7511.

Ever Bar Lounge photo courtesy of Kimpton Hotels
Expect live music on Thursday nights and small bites from Jane Q at Ever Bar.

Luxe Lobby Bars

Ever Bar | Hollywood
Live music Thursday nights, views of the Capitol Records Building through floor-to-ceiling windows and small bites from Jane Q restaurant elevate this lofted bar to a bona fide destination. Kimpton Everly Hotel, 1800 Argyle Ave., L.A., 213.279.3534.

João | West Hollywood
Old Hollywood glamour is the vibe at the Jeremy Hotel’s first-floor bar, which boasts generous banquettes and an outdoor lounge where you can sip classic cocktails. Jeremy Hotel, 8490 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.424.1600.

Rudolph’s Bar & Tea | Downtown Los Angeles 
The Freehand hotel gives the standard lobby-bar menu a twist with coffee- and tea-infused cocktails. Pinkies up! Freehand Los Angeles, 416 W. 8th St., downtown, 213.612.0021.

The BoardRoom photo courtesy of Patina Group
Cap off a show at The BoardRoom, located under the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Musical Hideaways

The BoardRoom | Downtown Los Angeles
Thursday through Saturday evenings, this newer French-accented speakeasy adjacent to Kendall’s Brasserie and under the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is the place to cap off a show. Live jazz, tasty bites, festive punch bowls, cocktail flights and drinks named after luminaries including William Faulkner (coconut-washed Four Roses bourbon, demerara sugar, orange peel and toasted pecan bitters) and Frida Kahlo (Ilegal Joven mezcal, aperol, lime and Giffard vanilla) make this spot très sophistiqué. Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.972.8556.

The Peppermint Club | West Hollywood
The H.Wood Group partnered with Interscope Records to create this ’60s-inspired lounge, which has welcomed the likes of Usher, Machine Gun Kelly and comedian Dave Chappelle to its stage. The guest list reflects the onstage star power: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Amber Rose have all partied on premises. 8713 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, 424.335.0575.

Photo credits: Birds & Bees by Acuna-Hansen. Poppy by Elizabeth Daniels. Filifera by Grey Crawford. Cleansetini courtesy of Gratitude. Delilah by Elizabeth Daniels. Hayden by Katie Gibbs. Mikkeller DTLA by Wonho Frank Lee. Ever Bar Lounge courtesy of Kimpton Hotels. The BoardRoom courtesy of Patina Group.



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