Since all of us walk around with our heads bowed down every second of our lives, staring into glowing screens instead of just looking up and locking eyes with our meet-cute dream-partner who will 100% love us for who we are but also push us on those days when we’re not feeling it, we might as well lean into the utter breakdown of basic humanity and take a bunch of instas. Amiright?
Under-the-radar facades are the epitome of hipster bar coolness. At Everson Royce Bar, a backlit bar and sprawling outdoor space lie right past the minimal Arts District entrance. The well-designed craft cocktail menu is a typographer’s dream, and the drinks themselves are delicious.
2. Pour Vous
There are a couple features one expects of a Jazz Age Parisian-style club—velvet banquettes, a dress list, the occasional burlesque show—and Pour Vous has them all. It’s the ideal place to sit back, drink a Sazerac and watch the well-dressed crowd.
A newcomer to the gorgeous Art Deco Pellissier Building and adjoining Wiltern Theatre, this restaurant and bar is already garnering some serious praise. The impressive dining hall pairs hand-finished glass chandeliers with communal tables and a wrap around bar, giving diners plenty of space to enjoy a cocktail and an order of squid ink fried rice.
4. La Descarga
Old Havana lives on in East Hollywood, complete with live music, salsa-style burlesque dancers and a musty cigar lounge. Musicians pack the overhead balcony nightly, and the standing area frequently doubles as a stage for the occasional stray dancer or sax player.
5. Frolic Room
This Hollywood dive bar has been open since the ‘30s, holding down a hardy crop of regulars and luring customers from the adjacent Pantages theatre at the same time. The kitchy overhead light fixtures, framed pics of famous customers and Al Hirschenfeld cartoon mural bring plenty of faded Hollywood nostalgia.
Play a handcrafted board game while you wait for a turn on the vintage bowling lanes, or simply grab a drink at the elegant bar. Hidden within the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, The Spare Room combines games with drinks for a picture perfect evening.
High vaulted ceilings with exposed beams set the aesthetic of this sepia-toned Melrose mainstay. The bar’s name symbolizes the post-Prohibition cry of “many wet days to come!” and the frequently updated cocktail menu aims to make good on that promise.
Grab a spiked milkshake at The Powder Room, where kitschy videos are projected on the wall and the well-stocked bar is cast in a bright pink hue. The small space isn’t ideal for dancing, but is the perfect spot to catch up with a friend.
10. Mama Shelter
This West Coast branch of the ultra chic French hospitality chain boasts a roof deck with a 360-degree view that spans downtown to the ocean. Call ahead to reserve a table on the rooftop, as they fill up fast.
11. Cana Rum Bar
Sip a Cuba Libre by an outdoor fireplace at Cana Rum Bar, where the live band packs the dance floor and the patio is thick with cigar smoke. This spot is members only, so find a friend or spring for the annual membership, which is only $20 and covers three other guests.
Step off Vine St. and into faux Savannah townhouse at Sassafras, where live jazz bands regularly perform and the cocktails are barrel aged. Check the events listing online to catch a New Orleans style burlesque show.