Food & Drink

The 14 Most Beautiful Bars in LA

Jeff Miller Published On 11/06/2015 Published On 11/06/2015
Luke Gibson

Though you can find beauty in almost every bar if you spend enough time in it, it takes a special type to wow you even before you've started drinking. But these 14 bars do it, be it through smooth lines, beautifully carved wood, or views that make your jaw clang against your knees. So check them out and consider spending a little time in each before everything starts looking pretty.

Also, quick note: we tried to avoid "restaurants with a beautiful bar" in favor of actual bars, so please don't start yelling at us asking where Faith & Flower and Gracias Madre are, OKAY?!!? Thank you. And now on to the bars.

Luke Gibson

Pour Vous

East Hollywood

It's no surprise this French-themed bar -- with its ornate chandeliers, exposed brick, and fireplace (not to mention the, uh, full-sized train outside) made the list: it's operated by the same dudes as the intricately designed Break Room '86 and Good Times at Davey Wayne's, not to mention...

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

Dirty Laundry

Hollywood

We once called it the sexiest bar in LA, and you know what? We trust ourselves. It's underground, darkly lit, there are sexy wood walls, sexy hidden-away tables, and it's even got the word "sex" on one of the walls, dammit.

No Name

Mid-Wilshire

*Sigh* We're still not allowed to take pictures of this leather-entombed semi-private room with a bar made from old guitar amplifiers. So just trust us when we say that it even has a room in which the wallpaper changes colors based on the light, and it's damn beautiful. 

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

Sassafras

Hollywood

We've told you many times about this bar in Hollywood that literally took a southern home and rebuilt it piece-by-piece inside the bar. And this is us, telling you again. 

La Cueivita

La Cuevita

Highland Park

There is something quite alluring about the mix of curtains and brick and chandeliers and tequila and tequila and tequila and...

Nest

Nest

Downtown

Everything about this top-floor bar at the Ritz Carlton (attached to Wolfgang Puck's WP24) is intended to be a jaw-dropper: the view is stunning, the bar itself immaculate, and the seating designed like, uh, nests, with slatted dividers giving just the right amount of privacy.

Flickr/Mrarteest

The Observation Bar

Long Beach

This Art Deco lounge on the Queen Mary is no recreated nouveau-chic version of the original Queen Mary lounge: it IS the original Queen Mary lounge, with nearly everything just as it was in the 1930s, from the tables to the fresco above the bar. IT'S LIKE YOU WERE THERE. 

The Spare Room

The Spare Room

Hollywood

Even without the immaculately maintained bowling lanes, this bar upstairs at the Roosevelt would be a contender thanks to its massive doors, beautiful banquettes, and handsome liquor lockers. But then throw in those lanes (pun very much intended) and you're looking at a bar with beauty to... spare (can't... stop... punning).

Love Song

Love Song

Downtown

Unfairly pigeonholed as "that bar next to the Regent," Love Song is actually that BEAUTIFUL bar next to the Regent: though it's brand-spanking-new, LS is full of creatively curated knicknacks that make it seem like it's been there forever

The Tap Room

The Tap Room

Pasadena

This swanky bar at a swanky hotel (the Langham Huntington) feels almost regal, thanks to the massive couch, meticulously designed tile floor, and oversized chess pieces. And we are ending this writeup here so as to avoid the many chess puns going through our mind.

Ryan Tanaka

The Gothic Bar at Clifton's

Downtown

Is it a surprise that one of the most beautiful bars in LA is in the most beautiful new restaurant/bar/museum/insane building in LA? No. It is not.

The Edison

The Edison

Downtown

This OG of the fancy-cocktail revival may be almost a decade old (!) but it is still potentially the most damn handsome bar in all of LA: the gargantuan venue used to be an actual power plant, which means it still maintains some of that turn-of-the-century industrial charm that gives it a unique old-school cool. More than that, though, it's one of the only bars in LA that actually enforces dress code rules, meaning everyone in there is going to look almost as good as the bar. 

Eveleigh

Eveleigh

West Hollywood

We're going to make one restaurant exception for this Sunset Strip mainstay, since so many people meet there for drinks. Once you're there, you have two choices: the front bar, which makes it seem like you're drinking in a gorgeous cabin, or the back bar, which makes it seem like you're drinking at a gorgeous cabin's outdoor bar. Basically, there is no wrong answer. 

Christine Solomon

Melrose Umbrella Co.

West Hollywood

On the most touristy part of Melrose, this relatively new bar's made a name for itself thanks to its mix of top-level cocktails and a damn good-looking space laden with antique portraits, hanging umbrellas, and seats acquired from a particularly stately train station. 

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Jeff Miller could really use a drink right now. Propose where at @jeffmillerLA on Instagram or @ThrillistLA on Twitter.

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1. Pour Vous 5574 Melrose, Los Angeles, CA 90038 (Hollywood)

Pour Vous is a swanky, velvet couch-laden cocktail bar reminiscent of old Hollywood.

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2. Dirty Laundry 1725 Hudson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

This sexy joint wreaks of pure badass-ery. It's oozing with Almond Old-Fashioned's, zesty tequila drinks, and on-fire absinthe. Oh, and there's a huge dancing section in the back that's hidden.

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3. No Name 432 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (Mid Wilshire)

This bar is almost as exclusive as Soho House. No pictures are allowed once you're inside. If you happen to get in you will be greeted with amazing decor and premium cocktails.

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4. Sassafras Saloon 1233 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90038 (Hollywood)

Sassafras is a cocktail bar located in Hollywood and steeped in a little thing called tradition and a Southern hospitality feel. Barrel aging cocktails is a process that has been used since the 1880s and this modern saloon believes, as you will too, that the results speak for themselves. Get ready for swing time!

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5. La Cueivita 5922 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042 (Highland Park)

This lounge probably makes some of the most beautiful cocktails like their Malditos Secretos as well as featuring live music—the good stuff with trombones and saxophones. This is a nice, intimate spot if you want some relaxing entertainment.

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6. The Nest at WP24 900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015 (Downtown)

With great views of downtown LA, this bar not only has excellent cocktails ( try the pear martini) but has great small plates like the shrimp toast, spicy tuna rolls, and Kimchi fried rice. For dessert get their coconut pandun.

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7. The Observation Bar 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802 (Long Beach)

Located on the Queen Mary, it feels like you are transported back to what it would be like to dine on a ship in the early 1900's. They make your classic cocktails and have savory dishes like their artichoke dip, onion rings, and quesadillas.

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8. Spare Room 7000 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

The Roosevelt Hotel is famous for being haunted, but now it's ready to be your regular haunt thanks to Spare Room. This sleek cocktail lounge/bowling alley stepped up its drink game with the addition of award-winning beverage director Yael Vengroff, who's crafting a menu full of welcome surprises, including a Salt & Vinegar Martini (served with dill potato chips), and a pandan leaf-adorned Lucky Smoke, mixed with Japanese whiskey, rum, banana liqueur, and vanilla.

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9. The Love Song 450 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013 (Downtown)

With great cocktails and appetizer small plates, this bar knows the perfect balance needed for a great bar experience. Try the Pink Lady cocktail and get some of the skewers—meatball and mushroom are the best.

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10. The Tap Room 1401 S Oak Knoll Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106 (Pasadena)

Lobster corn dogs, wagyu sliders, and pork tacos are just some of the delicious finger foods available here to complement the cocktails here. Try out the cough syrup chaser and for dessert their homemade donuts with caramel sauce.

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11. The Gothic Bar at Clifton's Cafeteria 648 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014 (Downtown)

Located in the upstairs of Clifton Cafeteria, this bar has some really creative drinks like the gummy sharks inside jello drink. The decor is very old-fashioned. Walking into this place is taking a step back to old California. It's quite an experience.

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12. Edison Depression Soup Kitchen 108 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (Downtown)

This 1920s-style speakeasy's offering a timely Depression-era deal: cheekily named 35c drinks (the ginny 401k and the bourbon-laced Bail Out), plus free grilled cheese and tomato soup.

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13. Eveleigh 8752 W Sunset, Hollywood, CA 90028

This rustic space has a reclaimed, wood-laden indoor/outdoor dining room with a communal table and sofa-like seating. Their outdoor patio is the real draw, where you'll feel as though you've entered a gorgeous garden party, surrounded by homegrown herbs and vegetables. From land (lamb meatballs) to sea (wild Pacific yellowtail), every dish on Eveleigh's delectable menu is market-fresh and crafted with care.

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14. Melrose Umbrella Company 7465 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

If you're looking for creative cocktails with a speakeasy vibe, then you've arrived at your destination: Melrose Umbrella Company. This buzzy, den-like cocktail bar in West Hollywood specializes in herbaceous iterations of old-school libations. During the day, it turns its focus to coffee, pastries, and sandwiches.

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