Being on trend, being seen and looking your best are all crucial elements to the nightlife of Los Angeles. With the Oscars coming up this Sunday, that’s true more than ever. Here are five top Hollywood cocktail bars where you’re likely to bump into a few stars as well as a host of well-dressed people looking to be seen.
Like you may expect in a city of stars, fashion is key to succeeding in getting by the doorman at Pour Vous. “Cocktail attire” is a requirement (maybe to keep out the beach bums from Venice a few miles down the road). But with the music seesawing from classic jazz and Rat Pack hits to tunes accompanying the bar’s Paris-inspired burlesque shows, at least your chic self will feel right at home while you sip classic cocktails and concoctions based on French alcohols such as Puff-Puff Pastis and Champs Elysées
Papa would have been proud - a lounge to return to after a long day of safari, fighting in a Spanish Civil War battle or deep sea fishing off the coast of Cuba, all with drinks named after Hemingway’s timeless titles: For Whom the Bell Tolls, A Moveable Feast, The Sun Also Rises, etc. The place to go to jot your first thoughts down about the bullfight you just saw over a cocktail to calm the flow of adrenaline.
Contrary to how it sounds, the Spare Room isn’t where your unemployed, recently-single school mate is crashing while he sorts his life out. “Spare” refers to the bowling lanes smack in the middle of the bar (“Strike Room” unfortunately wouldn’t make any sense but it makes more sense to bowl a strike than a spare if you can handle it after a few cocktails). If bowling isn’t your thing because you can’t participate while holding a cocktail, then you can entertain your table with a variety of other games - Monopoly, Battleship, dominoes… all surrounded by the beautiful people.
Just off Hollywood Blvd you can jump back one hundred years in American history to pre-Prohibition times when bowler hats and what we know now as classic cocktails were all the rage. Owned by the same entrepreneurs that launched the burlesque-inspired Pour Vous, Victorian-speakeasy chic, live modern music, an outdoor terrace with two fireplaces, and craft cocktails are what you’ll find inside if you manage to arrive on an evening when there’s a little vacancy.
If you’re wandering down Sunset Blvd. and feeling a little homesick, then The Pikey should fit the bill. A speakeasy-influenced pub bar is surrounded by American diner-style booths that sit under walls adorned with British paraphernalia. Whiskies, beers and wines are all on the menu that also includes pub grub and a Sunday Roast menu. The cocktails were also made to fit the menu. With drinks like The Guvnor and the Ginger Minge, you’ll feel right at home right in the middle of Hollywood.