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Downtown LA Nightlife?

Have a friend making his first trip to LA this weekend. Getting hotel rooms in downtown LA. Taking in the UCLA / CAL football game Sat afternoon going to hang out with the boys. We are both single(heterosexual) professional businessmen but still like to cut loose occasionally. Have heard that downtown LA is starting to change and be more attractive to go out on the town. Need some suggestions on where to dine have cocktails, happening spots. Or do we need to go to the old reliable areas of town. Would appreciate any feedback

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  1. The Edison is worth checking out.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Yup or maybe 7 Grand. Or both. Don't forget to dress nice -- E has a dress code.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        I agree --The Edison is great --very cool atmosphere.

      2. Edison is worth a check-out (the dress code becomes more stringent as the night goes on and the place gets more crowded).

        Seven Grand & the Standard Downtown are also nice. Bonaventure Brewing is also going for a hipper crowd.

        The new place that opened is Takami. Like most other hybrid restaurant-lounge-clubs, I'm sure the food is nothing to write home about, but I'm pretty sure it'll be happening since it's new.


        1 Reply
        1. re: AquaW

          The nightlife side of Takami is called Elevate Lounge. I haven't been but I hear it's hard to get into...

        2. love the Edison, there's a line if you go later; dress code. Also love 7 Grand, very different from the Edison, casual, very low key. The Standard on the other hand is more high key.
          Need to check out Takami.

          1. The Standard or The Edison are good recs, & I'll add in Royale on Wilshire 2619 wilshire boulevard los angeles california 90057 (213) 388-8488, Blue Velvet Lounge 750 Garland Ave, Los Angeles, CA - (213)239-0061, Mountain Bar 473 Gin Ling Way (213) 625-7500, and Firecracker Fridays at the Grand Star Jazz Cafe in Chinatown http://www.uber.com/firecracker.

            It really depends what you want. Personally I prefer downtown when I want less fake hollywood b.s. since theyre still in development/gentrification. This will probably change in the next couple of years though. Unfortunately all the spots are so spread out from each other in DTLA, that its hard to party hop. For a crazy night, Hollywood will do the trick. You can bar hop, meet random people on the streets, check out the ladies, go to Chateau Marmont, Koi, Standard, etc. but don't forget the b.s. factor. Traffic, expensive Valet Parking, Attitude. B.S.

            It all depends what you want. I live here so I want something more chill. However, an LA newbie might want the Hollywood experience.

            1. for dining and great cocktails (not an active bar though)
              blue velvet

              For clubbing (dancing)
              takami (crappy scene)
              j restaurant and lounge (asian invasion)
              Tatou (hoochie 21-year old asian invasion)

              For cool dives
              broadway bar (no food)
              golden gopher (no food)
              Bar 107

              Fun Brewpubs
              petes cafe
              redwood bar and grill
              Royal Claytons

              For kitsch live music

              For awesome beer and good cocktails(chick-free zone unfortunately)
              library bar

              For overall lounges
              7 grand

              For sceney lounges
              Standard Hotel

              Undiscovered Chill lounges
              Orchid Hotel (O for short) lounge for guests. I would recommend staying there. It is the best bargain downtown.

              For dining
              Cuidad tapas night
              colori kitchen
              any of the brewpubs I mentioned
              nic and stefs steakhouse
              patina, cafe pinot, watergrill
              roys hawaiin fusion
              E3rd steakhouse
              any place in little tokyo for that matter

              5 Replies
              1. re: jlrobe

                Wow, a definitive guide to downtown. Nice post.

                1. re: Renault78law


                  that is a partial list. There are more hangout spots. I am waiting for bridge tavern to open! 60 signature beers on tap in the arts district. Now that should be a lot of fun.

                  1. re: jlrobe

                    No kidding - the Orchid Hotel? I'll have to check that out. I'm also eagerly waiting for any updates on Bridge Tavern.

                    But yes, downtown is teeming with nightlife options. Here are a few more places to consider:

                    Little Tokyo
                    Far Bar (@Chop Suey)
                    New Otani Hotel (Genji Bar, "Rooftop" Beer Garden)
                    Miyako Hotel (lounge)
                    2nd Street Jazz
                    Haru Ulala (late night eats)
                    Suehiro (late night eats)

                    Hop Louie
                    Grand Star (not just for Firecracker Fridays)
                    Traxx Bar (Union Station)

                    Rough and Tumble bars (or, "Hey, this isn't faux dive. This is a dive!")
                    Craby Joe's
                    King Eddy
                    Hank's Bar
                    (many more along these lines, but this is a good start...)

                    Bars you need to walk down stairs to access
                    Casey's Irish Pub
                    P.E. Cole's Buffet (temporarily closed, iirc)
                    Weiland Underground

                    Happy Hour
                    McCormick and Schmick's
                    Nick and Stef's
                    Carl's Jr (near US Bank Tower - $5 pitchers!)
                    Weiland Brewery (Little Tokyo)
                    Pacific Dining Car (bit of a hike)

                    Hotel Bars
                    Figueroa Hotel (one bar upstairs, the other back by the pool)
                    Omni Hotel Bar
                    Holiday Inn (balcony overlooking Staples Center)

                2. re: jlrobe

                  wow i didn't know about some of these (e.g., the library bar). i'm constantly surprised by how much downtown has to offer.

                  1. re: jlrobe

                    I don't think I would classify the Golden Gopher or the Broadway Bar as dives. More like urban, cool, neighborhood bars his historic settings.

                    I also would recommend the Edison. There is nowhere like it...anywhere.

                    Here is another suggestion. Take the red line to Hollywood and go to Happy Hour at L'Scorpion. They have the best tequila bar and drinks and appetizers are half off. Happy hour is 6 to 8. They have the best margaritas...but I must warn you, they are very strong.....Then go to the Edison...Seven Grand would be great for a nightcap.

                  2. The rooftop bar at the standard is by far the coolest place downtown. Because this is Chowhound, I will also mention that the drinks are well prepared, though expensive. The food is not really worth mentioning but it's acceptable.

                    1. Really appreciate all the responses. I'm a newbie and have really experienced the power of the Hound!

                      1. For a new visitor, the Standard is your safest bet, and if for some reason the scene isn't what you want, the Library Bar is a block away.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ktanji

                          Topping this thread because I always want to hear about some of the new, interesting lounges and restaurants in downtown.

                          Your thoughts on R-23? Cheers.

                          1. re: Liquid Sky

                            R-23 is quite good. It isnt the best sushi in town and I feel Jtown has better non-sushi restaurants that sushi ones. I recommend R-23 because it appeals to the masses but still does a good enough job to satisfy all but the biggest sushi snobs in the region.

                            Mode is a new restaurant that is scheduled to open this week. It is ambitious but I doubt I will go. I think the "lounge" side of it wont be as good as other lounges downtown and the food part of it wont be as good as other downtown places or places in the greater LA area. It seems like it is trying to do a bit of everything when downtown really needs to fill specific needs. Anyhow, its the latest and greatest.

                            Tranquility base is almost open, but again, it sounds like it is a lesser version of hollywood "concepts". Just trying to do too much,so I doubt the food will bring me there.

                            hopefully bridge tavern opens by the end of the year. It sounds like it is going to be a fathers office/york type of place but with even MORE beer. That is awesome. I drove by awhile back and I couldnt tell how close they were to opening. My guess is that it wont be in 2007.

                        2. I am a fan of Seven Grand. If it had some tapas or something it would be perfect. The Edison does have a good happy hour, the only issue there is if you've got a larger party and you haven't reserved an area, you can get booted from you seats by someone who has reserved. I'm told this isn't usually a problem, but occasionally there's a cool group in town for a meeting or convention and that messes things up.
                          Pete's is good for food and drink though the service can be uneven. Next door Banquette Cafe is cool for panini, salad, and a variety of wine or whatever Monica has discovered. Hours can vary, but it tends to be open later after neighborhood art walks.

                          1. Edison is great! Cute little lounge that's relaxing. Plus they have great happy hour! 25 cent martini's!