The folks who own the Bar down the street bring you low lighting and strains of groovy neo-jazz to establish the vibe at their bistro-style hot spot. The menu is short and simple, with nicely cooked steaks, chicken, and pork chops, most served with a dollop of masheds and sautéed veggies. Pastas include a knockout mac and cheese and a hearty rigatoni Bolognese. Sandwiches at lunch. Open till 3 a.m. At the downtown branch, in keeping with the LA Live-era design scheme, the look is sleek and gray. The menu is identical to the Hollywood location, which is to say it’s composed of fine, if uninspired, preparations of classic dishes: grilled artichoke with citrus aioli (hit), roasted root vegetable salad with lemon vinaigrette (hit), turkey burger on sesame seed bun (miss). Short ribs, strip steak with french fries, roasted free-range chicken, and rigatoni bolognese round out the entrées. One more hit: the front and back patios at happy hour.
Best Bar for Bookworms, August 2010
There are those who use a hardback first edition as date bait on bar terraces, and then there are the authentic bibliophiles. To find the latter, head to Magnolia Hollywood, where a bespectacled loner nursing a St. Peter’s English Ale can be found reading a novel without the aid of a Kindle or an iPad. The cozy couches in the alcove of the dining room lure them in, while the patio offers natural light and respite from the chatter of power lunchers.