5 amazing drinking spots you can't miss in Los Angeles
Whether you're looking for wine, craft beer or something stronger, the City of Angels has got you covered
One of the best writers in the world once said that Los Angeles is the 20th century's incarnation of Renaissance Florence, because 90% of modern culture comes from it. A town the size of a country, bigger than Singapore and Malta combined, and it is more populous than the next four cities in California put together.
Everybody is constantly going everywhere, and there's a thousand different versions of LA. There are glamorous beaches and surf beaches and skyscrapers and hillside wood cabins. LA can do anything from hipster to grunge to high street and it is big, wide and fluid. One of the quirkiest facts about it is that what we Europeans think is Los Angeles is not actually part of Los Angeles, only a part of LA County/LA metropolitan area, which is not exactly the same thing. Santa Monica is LA County, not LA. Same with Long Beach, Venice Beach and Beverly Hills.
Photo by Ann Kathrin Bopp on Unsplash
I love LA for its diversity and you can find the same diversity in the nightlife and bar scene. So what I thought I'd do is list five drinking spots I like in Los Angeles and the Los Angeles area.
Perch, rooftop lounge in Downtown LA
Downtown LA started changing in the 20s, when the city began playing catch up with New York. It's currently going through a renaissance that started in the 2000s. It went from being "no place to go" to the "place to be" in a matter of years.
Perch LA is a rooftop bar in Downtown. It's located near Pershing Square, a major underground station, and it sits on the 16th floor with a 360 degree view of Downtown LA. There are several other rooftop bars worth mentioning in this area, including the rooftop at the Standard Hotel, but Perch gets my vote because it's cozy and carefully thought out in terms of decor. It also has an amazing vibe to it and great cocktails and that, when all is said and done, is what really matters.
Seven Grand, whiskey bar in Downtown L.A.
ph: Seven Grand
This is heaven for whiskey enthusiasts. No matter what type of whiskey you prefer, whether you're into Scotch or Bourbon, single-malt or blended, this is the place for you.
Seven Grand is located in Downtown Los Angeles and it features live music, pool tables, signature cocktails and an impressive selection comprising over 120 varieties of whiskey. It has four locations, the other three being San Diego, Denver and Austin, but the Seven Grand in DTLA is the one that started it all. In 2014, they expanded the LA location with the addition of another whiskey bar, called Jackalope, which is basically a speakeasy-style backroom inside the Seven Grand itself, specializing in Japanese whiskey. While you're at it, you might want to check that, too.
The Craftsman, Bar and Kitchen in Santa Monica
Santa Monica, home of iconic Santa Monica Brew Works, has infinite possibilities when it comes to dining and craft beer, so there are plenty of places to choose from. My favorite is The Craftsman Bar and Kitchen. That's because A, I love the low lighting and B, they've got a great selection of beer including my personal go-to beer, Lagunitas.
Furthermore, good lighting makes all the difference in the world when it comes to interior design after dark and, crucially, vibe and ambiance. It has to feel comfortable and warm but not too intimate, and well lit without being obtrusive. They got it just right at The Craftsman and, as you can see from the picture, the decor is pretty cool, too.
Southland Beer, brewery in Koreatown
the place had 5 or 6 refrigerators just like this one full of different beers
Southland Beer is a craft brewery and shop located in no-account plaza on South Western Ave in Koreatown, Los Angeles. There's an unassuming sign but the place is partially hidden from view especially when the plaza, which is also a car park, is packed with stationary vehicles. Be careful not to miss it because it's worth it.
This is what you'd call a "hidden gem" if you're a beer person because it has an amazing rotating selection of canned, bottled and tap beer. It's phenomenal and they top it all up with charcuterie and cheese boards, and both gourmet and classic pub food.
Baja Beach Bar, Mexican-themed Margarita bar in Hollywood
ph: Baja Beach Bar
Let's start with the bad news because the Baja Beach Bar is not actually on the beach. Disappointing, I know. Baja Beach Bar is actually on Hollywood Boulevard, a stone's throw from Ripley's Believe it or Not museum and the Wax museum, and it's famous for the happy hour and its huge 36 oz (1064 ml) Margarita glasses.
They've got a dozen TV screens showing multiple sports at the same time and upbeat vibe. The food is also great, mostly consisting of traditional American fast foods like burgers and fries, or Mexican cuisine like tacos and nachos.