Good martinis are deceptively simple, but they can be quite difficult to make for some bartenders. If not made with finesse, you’ll end up with an excessively strong martini or a mouthful of vermouth. The best martini bars in Los Angeles are the ones that specialize in a variety of martini flavors beyond the classics.
Lola’s Martini Bar
945 N. Fairfax. Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
www.lolasla.comWithout a doubt, Lola’s is LA’s number one hotspot for some of the best martinis in town. Lola’s serves up as many as 40 different kinds of martinis, including the Janis Joplin martini, the cinnamon apple martini and the Strawberry Fields martini, just to name a few of the local favorites. Whether you want something extra fruity, super classic or a dessert martini that melts in your mouth, the bartenders at Lola’s will whip you up a concoction you’ll be sure to enjoy.
Nic’s Martini Lounge
453 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
www.nicsbeverlyhills.comNic’s probably has the priciest martinis in LA, but rest assured knowing they are worth every last penny. Larry Nicola, the owner, is said to have introduced LA to its first martini bar and lounge, and has since become the premier destination for top-notch martinis. Nicola even created the VODBOX for premier vodka tastings, offering Angelenos one of the most unique lounge experiences, fur coats included before entering the 28-degree chilled room. If you’d like to see your martini prepared in front of you, then be sure to ask for the VODkART so you can watch your martini made with the utmost style and class. Beware of $10 cover charges.
11780 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
www.thekitty.comDon’t let this dive bar fool you because Liquid Kitty is known for its award-winning martinis. Its signature drink is the Liquid Kitty martini, made with Ketel One vodka and served with a Camel cigarette. The key lime martini is another one of its popular drinks. But beware, these martinis will definitely creep up on you, especially since the drinks at Kitty Lounge are made particularly strong.
1760 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
www.thedresden.comYou may have seen the inside of The Dresden in films like “Swingers” with Vince Vaughn and “That Thing You Do” with Tom Hanks. The venue itself is beautiful with a steakhouse sitting on the left and a classic piano lounge bar on the right. You can enjoy live music seven days a week while sipping on the Dresden’s famous and tantalizing blood and sand martini made with secret ingredients.
3321 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
www.theupperwest.comUpper West may not be particularly known for its martinis, but the bartenders sure do know how to make a tasty martini. Among Upper West’s most commonly ordered martinis are the cucumber, lychee and pepperocini martinis, the latter of which is actually made with tequila instead the usual vodka or gin most martinis are made with. Upper West makes the cut for best martinis in Los Angeles because the appetizers are equally as good.
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Niki Payne is a freelance writer covering all things Entertainment in Los Angeles. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.