As much as Los Angeles lends itself to being a place of virtue (think green juice and canyon hikes), it is certainly home for its fair share of vice. While days here are best spent soaking in fresh air and sunshine, we love a night tucked into the corner of a bar, sipping on something just a little bit–or, hell, a lot bit–sinful. Herewith, a handful of suggestions on where to do just that.
Those familiar with the New York City cocktail scene will recognize Employees Only, one of a leaders in a boozy genre (EO NYC was once named World’s Best Cocktail Bar). They’ve taken operations West, with a ‘70s-inspired space to satisfy all your naugahyde dreams. There’s food, if you want it, with a menu featuring such meaty treats as marrow poppers and steak tartare. As for the cocktails, you can’t go wrong here. Try the Mata Hari with chai-infused Italian vermouth.
7953 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046
Another NYC cocktail transplant (sensing a theme here?), Apotheke has recently made its way from one Chinatown to another. The Los Angeles outpost makes use of a moody, intimate space inside, but the breezy outdoor patio is where it’s at. Like the New York original, the menu here is inspired by, as its name implies, tastes of the apothecary. Eucalyptus-infused tequila is proven to cure what ails, at least in some circles.
1746 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tramp Stamp Granny’s
An art deco piano bar named Tramp Stamp Granny’s? Only in Los Angeles. This Cahuenga hotspot entertains and delights, as they say, with live music and delicious drinks. It’s a throwback kind of joint with a modern wit, where you can sing along to everything from The Beatles to RENT. If you don’t feel much like participating, simply order your tomato basil cocktail and people-watch from your preferred perch.
1638 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Girl at the White Horse
Since it opened in late 2016, Girl at the White Horse road onto the scene as an It Bar, if there is such a thing. Eschewing the temptation of the Millennial Pink (or, if you’re Pantone, Dusty Quartz) that many establishments so favored, Girl went for something a little peppier, with walls in a glaringly hot Pepto shade. It’s a see-and-be-seen kind of place where the drinks are sort of beside the point–though if you’re into a rosé slushie, you’re in luck.
1532 N Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
When you want to embrace your inner child, but still want an adult drink, Walt’s Bar in Eagle Rock is the spot for you. This arcade dive pulls at your nostalgia heartstrings with a row of pinball machines at the back and a popcorn machine on hand for snacking. Try the sour beer on draft and nibble on a German pretzel. Grown up? Not exactly. But that’s entirely the point.
4680 Eagle Rock Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041
The tiki theme has pervaded for the last few years, and it continues with Lono, a Hollywood Blvd. bar with palms aplenty. Like the scenery, the drinks here follow the tropical theme. Expect classics like Mai Tais and Piña Coladas, as well as in-house specials like the Missionary’s Downfall (rum, crème peche, fresh lime, pineapple, honey, mint) and the Ring of Fire (mezcal, aged cachaca, aperol, fresh lime, pineapple, ginger, habanero, togarashi spice).
6611 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048