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Best old Hollywood L.A. bars

h
HowlinPup Jul 14, 2009 08:28 AM

Heading to L.A. this weekend--is the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills hotel worth it? Also, any recommendations on other old bars that are a classic Hollywood experience?

  1. b
    Burger Boy Jul 14, 2009 08:30 AM

    Here is a good resource for that stuff. http://www.latimemachines.com/

    1. y
      yogachik Jul 14, 2009 08:31 AM

      Polo Lounge is still great. Musso Franks. Dan Tana's.

      Then there are old bars from the music days, rather than film, like PowerHouse and Frolic Room.

      1. Chowpatty Jul 14, 2009 08:49 AM

        The Polo Lounge is expensive, with an odd rich old guy/tacky ladies clientele, but the atmosphere is still good.
        Try the Formosa Cafe. I also like the tiny mezzanine bar at Taylor's Steakhouse, and the bar at the Smokehouse in Burbank.
        And in the music days category, add Boardner's in Hollywood.

        1. l
          latindancer Jul 14, 2009 09:15 AM

          The Polo Lounge's food isn't the greatest in the world (I still enjoy their steaks) but the atmosphere is worth it. The piano player is great and the drinks are consistently good.
          It depends on what you want. The clientele is a mixture of guests, locals and those who live at the hotel.

          1. wutzizname Jul 14, 2009 10:35 AM

            Yes, it would probably help to clarify if you're looking for (and/or okay with) both the upscale old school spots (like the Polo Room you mentioned) as well as the real deal dives (Frolic Room probably being the diviest example so far). Boardner's was one, but they got a pretty decent makeover in the last year or two. Still casual, but not the old Whiskey soaked haunt it once was.

            If you're leaning fully toward the Polo Lounge end of the spectrum, you should also pay a visit to the Chateau Marmont.

            1. Tom P Jul 14, 2009 10:49 AM

              I will second a number of these suggestions: Musso and Franks, Formosa, Taylor's, Frolic Room. All just great. There is also the lounge at The Dresden in Los Feliz. I love Dan Tana's but the bar there is small and usually filled with people eating. I've been meaning to get to The Bigfoot Lodge on Los Feliz, which I've heard has a long bar.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Tom P
                wutzizname Jul 14, 2009 11:00 AM

                Ah yes, I meant to mention The Dresden. Go there for sure.

                1. re: wutzizname
                  r
                  Robert Thornton Jul 14, 2009 03:49 PM

                  Yes, the Dresden is fun. That and Musso and Franks would probably be the two I'd hit in that category.

              2. t
                TomSwift Jul 14, 2009 04:08 PM

                Good suggestions all, but whatever you do Musso & Frank is a must. It oozes heritage, the drinks are stiff and, if you avoid the land mines on the menu, some of the food is really good. Recently I've been favoring the grilled lamb kidneys.

                1. y
                  Yes Please Jul 14, 2009 04:57 PM

                  What about the bar at Mastro's?

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