So I’m really starting to think that I bring back luck to the cities I visit…
I mean first it was Vegas with the shooting and now LA with the fires… What is going on in the world!? It seriously pains my heart to hear about these series of unfortunate events and I sincerely hope the best for all those affected in these recent tragedies.
That said, I feel 100% guilty publishing this guide at a time like this, but for those looking for a little (future) fun in Hollywood, Los Angeles, here are some places to hit up as recommended by local friends.
1. The Rosy Oyster
Photo from LAist.
Just launched this summer at the boutique hotel The Hollywood Roosevelt, The Rosy Oyster is a brand new poolside sipping spot with cute AF aesthetics perfect for stepping up your Instagram game.
Photo from LAist.
We found out about this place from our Airbnb host as he was attending a friend’s party there the night we arrived in town. Now this place has terrible Yelp reviews, most of which are complaints about bouncers not letting guests in even when empty. Let’s be real tho, LA is very much a “network” city. Everyone knows a friend who knows someone who knows another somebody and this is generally how you get in places. So yes, we were lucky that our host talked with the bouncer and led us in. If you don’t have any connections, expect there to be a bit of a wait.
Drinks are average – just your typical bar selection – but overall fantastic ambiance. Definitely a fun and flirty spot for girls night out.
2. Tenants of the Trees
Photo from Yelp.
This one technically isn’t in Hollywood, but it’s nearby in Silver Lake.
Here in Vancouver, we don’t have much of a crazy nightlife. Yes, we have clubs and bars but there are only so many of them that after awhile things do tend to get boring. Not to mention the fact that most places close at 2AM. (Helloooooo?!?!?! 2am?!??!?? The night is just starting!)
LA, on the contrary, there are new clubs and new bars constantly opening up and all with very unique characteristics. Tenants of the Trees I particularly enjoyed because it was different. Different than anything I’ve ever really experienced.
They refer to themselves as a “creative compound” that is comprised of three different concepts.
I’ve simply taken this from their website and I don’t exactly remember these three distinct concepts as described but I do recall there were three separate areas/rooms. You have your R&B/Hip Hop room that has electrifying lights. (I’d assume this is Out of Order.) A second room with old school mixes and strong #tbt vibes (Tenants of the Trees). And last but not least, the back that opens up to an outdoor patio with very cute string lights and overall a great place to mingle (Concession).
Essentially you’ve got three bars/clubs in one and you get to enjoy all three for the cover of one. The crowd is diverse, the music is awesome (not your typical top 40 mainstream radio crap), and the drinks aren’t bad as long as you don’t torture yourself with ordering something you don’t have fond memories of like I did hahaa.
Tenants of the Trees left. Concession right.
Friendly reminder that the washroom lines are super long. If you can’t hold it in for a good 30-45 minutes, don’t order too much to drink 😉
3. Houston Hospitality
Run by the twin duo Mark and Jonnie Houston, Houston Hospitality is a brand of perhaps some of the most popular bars and lounges in greater Los Angeles.
Photo from Houston Hospitality.
Piano Bar on Selma Avenue (heart of Hollywood) was the first of many to open. There is no cover, no dress code. Just a simple, chill dive bar where you can grab drinks and enjoy music with a couple good friends.
Music played here include soul tunes by Miles Mosley.
First of many but Piano Bar is unfortunately permanently closed. Only found out after I’ve drafted the post, but I’ll still keep it here on the list because this is where it all started.
Dirty Laundry on Hudson Avenue (West Hollywood) is another Houston fave and is a fun basement bar. It’s tucked away underneath a Hollywood Boulevard apartment and the name is made in reference to the method in which alcohol was smuggled in laundry baskets during Prohibition.
Photos from Dirty Laundry.
The cocktails here are hella bomb and while Whiskey Sour, Hollywood Park (bourbon-based), and Pop Rocks (vodka-based) are all highly recommended, if you are looking to be a little wild and adventurous, try the High Desert (barley-infused & rye-based).
High Desert. Photo by Frank Ishman from Time Out Los Angeles.
The music ranges from 1920s jazz to ’80s throwback but if you’re in the mood for some Hip Hop on a Wednesday evening, be sure to hit up their weekly Cyber Ceremony event.
Pro tip: follow Dirty Laundry on Twitter to find out their secret password of the night.
One other cool vintage bar on Hudson Avenue is No Vacancy. Based in a restored Victorian home, No Vacancy has served as a film set for Lana Del Rey’s latest cover for Complex Magazine.
Lana Del Rey for Complex Magazine. Location: No Vacancy. Friend’s of No Vacancy may notice the reveal of our closest guarded secret. #NoVacancy #NoVacancyLA #LanaDelRey #LanaSummerCover #Complex #Repost @lanadelrey @complex @novacancyla Director @tyleryee | Host @n_c_b | DP @dillon_schneider | Producer @anaelenastan | VFX/Edit @thomasofwilson | Photo Director @damnginab | Cover Photo @timsaccenti | Art Director @suedejury
They are known for their pre-Prohibition era craft cocktails including Gin and Jameson, The Royal Swizzle (Atlantico Reserva rum-based), and The Professor (Bols Genever, Solerno Blood Orange liqueur, aperol and fig bitters).
The Royal Swizzle. Photo by Jacob N. Layman from Time Out Los Angeles.
The Professor. Photo by Jacob N. Layman from Time Out Los Angeles.
Wednesday nights at 10pm are “Porch Sessions” where a new artist or band is featured every week. Other than that, DJs run the show until the late-night live bands take over (blues, jazz, harmonicas).
It can be described as “Hollywood-eque” and although not for everyone, it definitely holds some iconic Los Angeleno charms.
Pro tip: if you’re not on that guest list, you better make sure to show up extra early and befriend the doorman.
I know it seems that the quality of my photos are getting worse and worse in each post but heck ain’t nobody carrying around a 5lb camera to a bar! And truth be told, when you’re really having fun, you forget to even look at your phone, which is why I didn’t get as many photos as I would’ve liked for this post. That said, my girlfriend and I were only in LA for two nights hence we didn’t actually hit up any of the Houston brothers bars. I was recommended to this by my Airbnb host – again (thanks Jon!) Everything is based on reviews I’d read online with the three (technically two) highlighted Houston Hospitality bars being the ones I would for sure hit up next time I’m back. I also strongly believe that music is a very personal preference not to mention “fun” and “best “are relative terms. (This is me justifying my clickbait title when this post should really be named “Two Bars/Clubs We Visited + Additional Research from Google”. Hah.) What I like may not necessarily tickle your fancy but worse case scenario, bottoms up and you’ll have a great time regardless.
Below is the reservation link to Jon’s Airbnb because after a night of splurging on drinks, the last thing you need is to spend more $$ on is Uber. Why not stay close within the Hollywood area!? Oh and Jon’s also a talented director. Although his place will only be available until the end of the month, you could very well be staying in the home of the next Martin Scorsese.
That’s it for this week. Tune in again next time for LA’s must-eats part 2!