L.A. has lots of bars geared to tourists, sports fans and its wealthy denizens, but here are a few nightspots coveted by locals for their quirky charm.
Redwood Bar & Grill
316 West 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012-3527
Neighborhood: Downtown Los Angeles
Open Weekdays 11am-2am; Weekends 10am-2am
This pirate themed bar in downtown L.A. is close to courthouses and just a block away from the Civic Center subway. The Redwood serves comfort food like fried cheese, sliders, fish tacos, in short, everything to throw you off your diet. But forgot about decorum, the Redwood is a boisterous place, perfect for socializing with old friends or making new ones. The smoking patio near the entrance provides a respite when things get too noisy and crowed inside. Punk, alt-country and garage rock bands play most nights of the week. The Redwood is packed by 11 p.m when a popular band’s scheduled, so commandeer a booth or a stool at the bar to avoid standing in the small enclave in front of the stage. Mixed drinks are strong and a bit pricey.
3172 Los Feliz Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90039-1507
Neighborhood: Los Feliz
Open Daily 5pm-2am
Located across from Griffith Park, the Bigfoot draws a clientele of local hipsters and artists. Don’t let the velvet ropes outside scare you if you arrive on a special event night. The cozy bar has fireplaces and comfy couches to make you feel at home. The deerheads, antlers and bearskins on the wall fool you into thinking you’re in a Wisconsin hunting lodge, not trendy L.A. Bigfoot Lodge specialty drinks include the manly Sasquatch (Wild Turkey, bitters and ginger brandy) and the Girl Scout (chocolate mint Martini). Guest DJs spin tunes several nights a week. There’s karaoke on Monday nights, and an occasional rock band.
901 East 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Neighborhood: Little Tokyo
Open Daily 7pm-2am
The aptly named Bordello resembles a 1920s speakeasy/house of ill repute. Heavy burgundy drapes cordon off a private section decorated with paintings and antique chairs. Lingerie clad bartenders pour shoots and PBRs. The sultry ambiance continues in the main room, where black and white photos of starlets and burlesque dancers line the wall. The Bordello is home to many ongoing burlesque performance groups with names like Whistle Bait and Devil’s Playground. The second Thursday of the month, clubgoers strut their stuff in outrageous and colorful wigs at “Wig Out” while DJs and cabaret artists perform. Cover varies.