Libations mixed by talented experts always hit the spot – even more so than cocktails that are just thrown together. With that in mind, the popularity of the mixology trade is hot and heavy in Hollywood, with a number of venues constantly congratulated for work well done. Following are a handful of these type of stellar bars that never disappoint, located in and around the City of Angels. Cheers!
Melrose Umbrella Company
7465 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Talk about creative. Debauch at this Fairfax district bar for the local produce used to add freshness to such memorable house cocktails as Romance Without Pressure and the award-winning Croatian Vacation, the latter served with a tiny rose on top. The latest addition to the menu is devoted to the Old Fashioned, served in many ways, like one offering called the La Brea Yacht Club and based on Plymouth gin mixed with such taste treats as Clear Creek pear brandy and Forbidden bitters. Typical clientele have been called down-to-earth hipsters, but anyone who would enjoy a pleasant atmosphere with the unlikely theme of umbrellas-standing for “many wet days to come” since this liquor lounge was created immediately following the end of prohibition—will love this place.
5574 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Welcome to hipster heaven, Parisian style. This popular establishment with the clever name serves such French-styled grogs as the Moulin Rouge (made with a host of ingredients including strawberry puree and Cervant Rose Champagne) and the Ceci Est Pour Vous (concocted with grapes, Champagne and Christian Drouin Calvados). Expect to dance while you drink and to experience performance art when you visit this cozy place with its glowing fireplace. Visitors may even see dancers that appear through the ceiling and moved to bird-like cages below. Know that while reservations are encouraged, the impeccable dress code (which reads dapper, not sloppy) is typically enforced.
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Located off the lobby of the legendary Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the Library Bar is an intimate outpost where the libations are what drive many people to try this storied cocktail lounge. Newcomers may be surprised to learn there is no drinks menu, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to order up your favorite or try out a new concoction made with some of your favorite flavors. The mighty mixologists on premise can concoct one or many different drinks according to your own particular taste.
7746 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
Opened at the start of 2015, this WeHo retro-style cocktail bar like no other has been transformed into a first-class airline lounge that will definitely appeal to “Mad Men” devotees. Memorable barkeeps are not only talented, but also very friendly. If you’re into a whiskey-based libation, ask for the Lolita or, if you prefer something Templeton rye-based, ask for the Ginsberg. No matter what concoction you choose to enjoy, you won’t be disappointed – by the drinks or by the vintage decor that harkens back to the golden age of travel, like route maps of flight paths and old school stewardess photos.
12808 Victory Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91606
By design, tiki outposts operating in this era are often a bit kitschy, a little divey, and a lot boozy. For sure, crafted cocktails made in these outposts are typically heavy on the sauce, as experienced at Tonga Hut. This NoHo-based bar offers truly exotic specialty concoctions, like the Ginger Flame, described as a blend of “vodka, peach and raspberry with ginger beer and a touch of tartness.” The house Rhumboogie, based with Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, is a given “Whoot” by the establishment. Legendary tiki drinks such as the original Mai Tai and the classic Zombie are also on the extensive menu, while the decor is decked out in the tiki splendor expected from those who embrace the umbrella drink lifestyle. Note: Another popular branch of this original tiki establishment that opened in 1958 at the height of this Polynesian drink culture’s heyday can be found in Palm Springs.