Here & Now

Adding to the Art District’s roster of funky, refashioned buildings, Here & Now takes root in a former train depot with a patio overlooking LA Metro’s train yard, which is the closest most Angelenos come to taking the train. Expect an industry-heavy crowd, as local bartenders tend to head here post-shift to take advantage of the late night opening hours (2am, late for LA) and the midnight-nosh menu. Pair sherry-based aperitivos with pork belly fries piled high with American cheese and hot sauce or thick meatball sandwiches over spilling with spicy tomato sauce.

  • +1 213 262 9291
  • Go to Website
  • 300 South Santa Fe Avenue
    Los Angeles
    90013

In Sheep’s Clothing

Hidden inside a pizza spot behind an unassuming wooden door (first on the right when you walk inside) is LA’s first hi-fi bar. Inspired by Japan’s kissaten (audio-focused lounges and coffee shops), the interiors are pretty minimalist with mis-matched mid-century chairs, stacks of vinyl and walls designed to amplify the purpose-built speakers – that cost as much as a car. Dedicated album listening sessions, and a few Japanese whiskies from the impressive back bar, help you unplug from the outside world (read: political chaos) and in turn, plug in to a new sound, artist or album – echoed by the low-key drinking den’s philosophy “to hear more, say less”.

Broken Shaker

We’ve cracked the secret to creating a successful rooftop bar – just paint it pink. Offering a sunnier alternative to Frank’s in Peckham, Broken Shaker is decked out with pink sun loungers and a stellar mural by Luke Pelletier. Mismatched vintage chairs, potted plants and inflatable pineapples for their seasonal pool parties add to the South Beach vibe.

Bar Franca

Set on a fairly nondescript part of Main Street – although the neighbouring Regent Theatre is worth a visit after its facelift – Bar Franca carries all the femininity, flirtiness and finesse of a bar in Paris, Vienna or Milan, with the same pastel-pink walls and creeping ivy interiors. Imported amaro, Campari and Lillet Blanc line the back bar as testimony to its European inspiration, but it’s the Rodeo cocktail that’s shot to the top. A refreshing blend of Cazadores Blanco, cucumber, coconut water, lime and Grand Marnier gives a taste not too dissimilar to a well-made mojito. You didn’t hear it from us, but there’s also a vinyl shop out the back.

  • +1 213 935 8515
  • Go to Website
  • 438 South Main Street
    Los Angeles
    90013

The Edison

The basement of a downtown nuclear power plant gives you absinthe, burlesque and magicians. LA’s first private power plant retains its industrial interior with exposed piping and brick walls throughout. Edison light bulbs flicker as you transcend between rooms clutching a lavender bourbon (it’s the house special) and rub shoulders with a very well-heeled crowd. The strict dress code is almost as notorious as the liquor.

Resident

It’s a bit like your friend’s back yard but instead of charred barbecue items, this Ktchn LA food truck servers up crispy chile verde potatoes and falafel wraps, both of which are ideal for drunken munchies. Plentiful picnic benches and fire pits for when the LA temperature drops below 24C make this is a solid option to have up your sleeve.

Perch

The most beautiful Los Angeles rooftop in our opinion, with blue mosaic floors, creeping vines and rattan furniture making us reminisce about summers spent knocking back sangria in the Mediterranean. Even better, 360 days of rays gives you ample time to kick back and toast to the good life with a moscow mule in hand – the Angelenos drink of choice.

The Varnish

Hidden behind Cole’s, this moody speakeasy is in a league of its own thanks to a merry band of mixologists. Nearing its 10-year anniversary, The Varnish is practically a veteran in Downtown’s growing bar portfolio; this one’s an oldie but a goodie. Place your tipple in the hands of the experts who will create you a bespoke concoction – just specify your poison.

Perch

Broken Shaker

The Edison

Varnish

Resident

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