Whether accompanying singers of all descriptions or filling the room solo with inviting music from different genres, shiny pianos that sit stationary in certain Los Angeles establishments are not only appreciated, but are often the reason residents and visitors alike flock to these popular places. Following are five of the best piano bars available and open to all in the City of Angels.
1760 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
This Los Feliz mainstay hearkens back to its opening back in the mid-1950s when sing-alongs at neighborhood restaurants were commonplace. Now a reinvented version is intermittently on hand at this popular east side establishment where you not only can work out your pipes as you’re accompanied by the best, but on open mic nights, you can also bring your own charts so you’ll be comfortable with the material you’re about to perform before showing off your amazing vocal skills.
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St., Suite 301
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Jazz riffs played on ivory keys are always a huge joy at the Blue Whale, a quasi-underground estate hidden in a Little Tokyo shopping center. Dining options tend to be cleverly named, like Live Evil, which is carmelized onion and gruyere covering Angus beef sliders, while cocktails cover the gamut, from the Absolut Ruby Red-based grapefruit gimlet to the Plymouth Gin-based Lychee Gin Fizz.
The Bar & Lounge at Hotel Bel-Air
701 Stone Canyon Road
Los Angeles, CA 90077
A grand piano takes center stage at this Hotel Bel-Air retreat that emulates an exclusive (and updated) Art Deco club. Classic cocktails and casual Wolfgang Puck fare in mini Mediterranean-inspired dishes as well as sensational artisanal cheese choices are served as professionals tickle the ivory to help set this refined scene that draws in all kinds of customers — some famous, some infamous and some neither.
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Paoli’s Pizzeria & Piano Bar
21020 Ventura Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
At this popular Valley outlet, order the house favorite — pizza Alfredo done Chicago style. Then, add to that a soothing drink of you own liking while getting ready to use your vocal chords to the best of your ability. Even if you don’t hit the right note, the piano player on hand will have your back as you warble to the tunes that you love to share. If you want to get a stranger to help you stay on tune, just ask. Plenty of takers are sure to take you up on your proposition.
6429 Selma Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Last, but definitely not least, is the articulately dubbed Piano Bar, the fifth choice on our list. This heart of Hollywood hangout somewhat resembles a down-low New Orleans jazz joint. Once the quintessential dive bar, this simple and comfortable place has grown up to be the perfect outlet for a piano-backed foray, often featuring guest artists like Nike Mosely and West Coast Get Down and Brother Sal, who perform with finesse and then some. There’s no cover charge here and no dress code either. The management likes to cater to its neighborhood folk and does so in spades.
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