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Los Angeles nightlife

The Twenties are currently roaring through La-La land, with a slew of speakeasies, such as the Varnish, the Tar Pit, and the Roger Room, offering scenes that hark back to a cooler, jazzier time. If your nighttime adventures include a fair amount of barhopping, you're going to find the sprawling Los Angeles scene pretty frustrating. Then there's the issue of those pesky velvet ropes. The good news? Well, there's something for everyone in this city; you just need to know where to look. Much of Hollywood's nightlife offers a full-on experience complete with top-notch food, celeb DJs, and bartenders who prefer to be called mixologists. Move swiftly, though—in Tinseltown the hot club du jour generally has the life span of a fruit fly. For low-key, rope-free joints, head east to Silver Lake or Echo Park for laid-back favorites such as Akbar. Downtown caters to a slightly more conservative crowd: after-hours bankers and corporate types who frequent cool, albeit slightly gimmicky bars like Seven Grand, a onetime jewelry shop that's now a whiskey-centered watering hole.

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Akbar, Los Angeles

This Moroccan-themed bar on the border of Hollywood and Silver Lake attracts a mixed crowd of casually dressed gays and straights. Often supercrowded, it can...more

Editors' Pick
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Bardot, Hollywood

Bardot is a swank bar/courtyard/tented lounge done up with old-school oil paintings, crystal chandeliers, and plenty of cozy conversation nooks. Start in the...more

Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Catalina Jazz Club, Los Angeles

This dinner club is L.A.'s premier spot for big-name jazz—in the past, the diverse list has included Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Betty Carter, and Tony...more

Editors' Pick
Chez Jay, Santa Monica

This 45-year-old bar and steak 'n' seafood joint right next to the Third Street Promenade is an institution. The place hasn't changed much since Marlon Brando...more

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The Colony, Los Angeles

Colony has an indoor-outdoor scene that aims to bring the Hamptons to Hollywood with a spiffed-up nautical vibe. Decor includes wood-plank floors, hammocks, and...more

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East/West Lounge, West Hollywood

A sophisticated lounge on the spot of the old Revolver, East/West has light bamboo floors and intimate seating on couches and plush chairs. The mixed drinks...more

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The Edison, Los Angeles

The Edison, an Art Deco–inspired cocktail spot housed in a revamped power plant, is what the Machine Age might have been if there were better couches back...more

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Formosa Cafe, Los Angeles

Across the street from the former Goldwyn Studio, this boxy red bar with an ersatz Chinese interior has been a favorite drinking spot for decades. There's still...more

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Frolic Room, Los Angeles

This nicotine-stained serious drinker's bar sits right next door to the Pantages Theatre. Rumpled hipsters sidle up alongside old-timers and knock 'em back. If...more

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House of Blues Sunset Strip, West Hollywood

Not just blues, but rock, jazz, and gospel too. This flagship of the successful chain, whose exterior has been done up like a raggedy tin shack, hosts...more

Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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