From Billy Joel serenading real estate novelists, to Bill Murray serenading Darth Vader, piano bars typically reek of lonely desperation. Sexing things up: Ella.
From the Gallery Bar guys, Ella's a semi-private, bi-level, black-lacquered and mirror-bedecked lounge that aims to provide classy ivory tickling from both accomplished house acts and the occasional signed artist (read: people no longer offering music lessons). The intimate, b&w-tiled downstairs sports a jet-black upright Yamaha, a small stage for jazz/blues/torch singers, and a DJ booth, all under a multi-colored lit ceiling evocative of Willy Wonka's terrifying psychedelic tunnel. For a break from the crooning, walk up to the chandeliered, Tinseltown-chic bar & lounge: floral-print couches and semi-circular red suede banquettes fresh from the '07 Oscars flanking a 15-seat bar, which slings speciality cocktails inspired by post-WWII cinema, e.g., the vodka & muddled grape Daisy Kenyon, and the ginny Mildred Pierce ("if you loved Working Girl...").
Ella's opening Thursday, reservations are referral only, and the door policy is doorman's discretion -- so there's a decent chance you'll be stranded outside with Paul and Davy, who's still in the Navy, and probably still hasn't finished The Duplex Supremacy.