La Descarga-Los Angeles

La Descarga-Los Angeles

What: La Descarga

Where: Los Angeles

For: Ages 21+

La Descarga is an exclusive speakeasy in Los Angeles.  Ethan took me here last month, and I’ve heard so many great things about the club that I was super excited to go and check it out.  The club itself exceeded expectations, and it renewed my love for hidden bars and speakeasies in Los Angeles.

Getting In

Guests need reservations to enter the club, and they can be made either on the website or by calling directly.  I suggest that you call at least a week prior to ensure that the club is not at capacity.  There is a small neon sign advertising the lounge.  The entry door sits behind a taco stand and has a single security guard checking for ID and reservations.  After your reservation is confirmed, patrons are led up a stairway to a hostess.  She sits at a simple desk and will welcome you to the lounge.

After your welcome, the hostess opens a closet on the side of the room and pushes aside the coats and dresses on hangars.  This reveals a red velvet curtain.  When the curtain is pushed aside, it leads into the top part of the lounge.  A short hallway and staircase leads guests to the main floor of the bar.  The entire presentation of the entry into La Descarga was exciting and like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.

The Club

The main bar has reserved seating areas and standing room only.  They are known for their specialty cocktails.  There is a smoking room in the back that has a bar that serves standard cocktails.  Bar seating in the back room is on a first-come first-served basis.  Tables are by reservation only, but guests can sit at the table until the party that reserved comes to claim them.  Cigars and cigarettes are allowed in the room since there is ventilation to the outdoors via the roof.

The shows are scheduled hourly and last about fifteen minutes.  When we were there, there was a burlesque show and live band.  The saxophone player came down the steps and played in the crowd, which was unique.  He also coordinated the show with the dancer.  This was one of the best burlesque shows that I’ve seen at a speakeasy.  We ended up spending about 3.5 hours here, and we could’ve spent the entire night here if we didn’t get hungry and decide to leave!  If you have a bigger party, I strongly suggest that you call as early as possible to reserve a table and ensure your party can stay together in the main bar area.

The Crowd

La Descarga is an upscale club with a dress code.  The entire dress code can be viewed online, and security reserves the right to turn guests away at the door if they do not comply with the rules.  Men wore jackets, and all women were in cocktail dresses and heels.  Around showtime, the main floor became shoulder-to-shoulder crowded.  I suggest that you make your way to the main room at least twenty minutes to half-an-hour in advance of showtimes to ensure you have standing room to enjoy the show.

Cost

We ended up spending about $15 per drink, which seemed very reasonable for Los Angeles.  I tried two different specialty cocktails, and both of them tasted amazing.

La Descarga Information

1159 North Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90029

(323) 466-1324

ladescargala.com

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Tony’s on the Pier-South Bay

Tony’s on the Pier-South Bay

What: Tony’s on the Pier

Where: Redondo Beach

For: All Ages/Ages 21+ at Night

Tony’s on the Pier (aka ‘Old Tony’s’) is a restaurant and bar that allows guests to have an amazing seafood meal while sitting on the Pacific Ocean.  I’ve been here a few times, once for the afterparty of a good friends’ wedding and once for a night out in Redondo Beach with Ethan.

The Restaurant

The restaurant is situated on the pier and has large glass windows overlooking the ocean.  It was especially nice that the décor of the restaurant was completely ocean themed.  There were lobster traps, fishing nets and various sea creatures lining the walls.  Tony’s is open for lunch and dinner, and menus are on the website.  We had a pre-fixed course with soup and entrees.  The chowder was amazing, and the clams were perfect.  I really enjoyed the way Tony’s cooked and seasoned their seafood.  It wasn’t too heavy so that we felt extremely full when I was finished, but it left us completely satisfied.

Top O’ Tony’s

If you walk up the stairs from the restaurant, there is a rooftop bar with live entertainment.  The rooftop offers a full bar and a small amount of seating for guests.  The bartenders were very kind and personable.  There was trail mix on each table for patrons to enjoy while sipping their cocktails.  The view of the Redondo Beach Harbor is best from the rooftop. Happy hour is offered during select dates and times (please check the website for specifics).  The live entertainment has always been a great addition to the bar.  Although the area is small, it felt very intimate with the musicians singing and playing their instruments close by.

The Crowd

The restaurant is open for all ages, with the rooftop bar reserved for ages 21 and over.  The crowd is quieter at Tony’s, with most guests coming to enjoy the live music and ambiance of the restaurant.  Parking for the restaurant is in a prepaid parking structure east of the pier.  Keep in mind that if you decide to take an Uber or Lyft to the Redondo Beach Pier, cell service becomes extremely spotty (no matter which network), so you’ll have a difficult time getting out.

Cost

Lunch costs about $20 per person, excluding drinks.  Dinner will run about $30 per person, again excluding drinks.  At the top bar, cocktails are about $12 each.  Since Tony’s is one of the few restaurants that overlooks the ocean, the price is definitely paid along with the location and quality of the food makes the restaurant and bar worth the price.

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Tony’s on the Pier Information

210 Fisherman’s Wharf, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

(310) 374-1442

oldtonys.com

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The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker-West Hollywood

The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker-West Hollywood

What: The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker

Where: West Hollywood

For: All Ages

I saw this restaurant on Instagram and told myself that I would have to eat here whenever we were in West Hollywood.  Last weekend, Ethan and I got that chance.  The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker (or BBCM) serves modern Californian cuisines with a European Twist.  They have the most amazing craft cocktails and specialty coffee beverages that you will ever see.

The Restaurant

BBCM is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner daily.  Although we didn’t eat at the restaurant, the food that we saw was very aesthetically pleasing.  Guests ordered beautiful food for brunch, including sandwiches, avocado toast and salads.  When we were sitting at the bar, there was a gorgeous coffee machine at the checkout stand of BBCM.

The Drinks

The specialty cocktails are especially great at BBCM.  The guests next to us ordered a triple flight of mimosas in three different flavors.  The Bloody Mary looked spicy and strong (although it was odd that a waiter was in the back pouring out three of the guests’ drinks into a pitcher and filling the now half-full drinks with Bloody Mary mix instead of alcohol.  Ethan ordered a craft cocktail from the menu, and it was the perfect refreshment to a hot day.

Now, let’s talk coffee!  Most of the coffee came out in mason jars.  The real star of the show were the cappuccinos.  The cappuccino that I ordered came out in about fifteen minutes with the most beautiful artwork I’ve ever seen in coffee.  It was so gorgeous that I didn’t want to drink it.  Although I was pleased with the look of the drink, it tasted very good as well.

The Crowd

There were so many people waiting at the front of the restaurant when we arrived.  Patrons can sit at the bar if they don’t want to wait (understand that the bar seating is highly coveted).  Guests can make reservations online, as there is always a wait for a booth or table.

Ethan said that this was the Instagram models’ paradise.  Not only is the food Instagram-worthy, but the crowd is dressed in new Hollywood glamour.  There is also a new store that recently opened at USC village.  Please check their website for hours of operation.

Cost

The bill came in at $24 for one cocktail and the cappuccino.  Although it’s expensive, I definitely think that it was worth the price for the experience and the beautiful coffee that I received.  I would recommend coming here for the pure experience.

The Butcher, The Baker, the Cappuccino Maker Information

8653 West Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

(310) 360-6900

bbmcafe.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker, please comment on this post!  Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing admin@la-staycation.com

The Lighthouse Cafe-South Bay

The Lighthouse Cafe-South Bay

What: The Lighthouse Cafe

LLL d 13 _2644.NEF

Where: South Bay

For: Ages 21+

The Lighthouse Café is Ethan and my go-to place if we want to eat and enjoy a live band.  Another plus is that it was one of the sets for the movie La La Land.  The vibe is always vibrant when you walk into the café.  The security, hostesses and servers are personable and nice.  It’s a great place to go when you want to have a casual night in the South Bay.

The Restaurant

The restaurant is open until 1:00am every night of the week, which makes this bar the place to go if you want a late-night meal.  The café is open for special events as well (please check the website).  Unfortunately, the aesthetics of the food that comes out is definitely lacking and makes the trays look very sad.  That being said, the food is actually pretty good, and it’s a great environment to eat some American food in.

La La Land

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone filmed many scenes over four days at The Lighthouse Café.   If you go outside, you can witness an iconic scene with the two characters standing next to each other in front of a neon sign advertising the Café.  I loved that the movie included jazz and the special lighthouse stained glass in the background.  An interesting thing is that the Lighthouse still has one of the clocks from the movie in the restaurant that (apparently) the director has been trying to get back. Another interesting tidbit is that the Hermosa Beach chamber teamed up with Hollywood two years ago to transform the Hermosa Beach Pier into a La La Land-themed pier.  They played jazz music and allowed guests to take Instagram-worty pictures on the pier.

The Bar

The Lighthouse Café is the best place to go if you’re interested in listening to Jazz in Hermosa Beach. Security checks ID after 9:30pm and gives you a stamp for in-and-out privileges.  There is sometimes a cover charge of $5 to $10 per guest depending on which live band is playing that night.  There is a small dance floor in the middle of the tables.  Tables and booths for dining line the outside area of the bar and there are many spaces to sit at the bar tables if you’re interested in getting up close and personal with the bartenders.

The Crowd

The age range for the guests varies.  Many times, groups meet here to celebrate birthdays.  A great thing is that the bands generally come into the crowd during breaks and dance with the patrons.

Cost

The Lighthouse Café is very affordable.  Drinks range from $6-$15 each.  Happy hour is available daily (please check the website for more information).  Dinner rang in at about $12 to $16 per plate, which is a steal in Hermosa Beach.  We will continually come back to The Lighthouse Café for dinner, drinks and dancing.

The Lighthouse Cafe Information

30 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

(310) 376-9833

thelighthousecafe.net

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Skyloft-Laguna Beach

Skyloft-Laguna Beach

What: Skyloft

Where: Laguna Beach

For: All Ages/21+ at Night

I’ve been going to Skyloft since I turned 21 (I grew up in Orange County).  The most recent time we stopped by was for my 10-year high school reunion in May of this year. It is not only a great American restaurant with rooftop seating, but it turns into a club at night with live bands, a dance floor and huge main bar.

The Restaurant

Skyloft is on the second floor of a building in Laguna Beach.  It includes the entire second floor of the building and the rooftop deck.  Half of the second floor is dedicated to restaurant seating.  Patrons can walk upstairs to the roof for outdoor restaurant seating that has heaters at night when it gets cooler by the beach.  Guests can go to Skyloft for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Happy Hour.  A kids’ menu is offered for the littlest diners.  Food is an eclectic mix of American food, and menus can be acceded on Skyloft’s website.

The Main Bar

The Main Bar is on the main level and has 12 TVs throughout the room.  Décor is modern and clean, and the bar is three hundred-sixty degrees accessible.  Barstools surround the bar with cocktail tables and small lounge areas lining the walls.  A large selection of craft beers on tap along with a full bar are offered.

Nightlife

A security guard starts checking identification at the entrance of the restaurant starting at 9:00pm.  In the room attached to the main bar on the main level is a stage area.  Every Tuesday night there is a comedy night.  Cocktail tables for standing room along with sit down seating are around the stage and dance floor area.  Small booths for parties are on two sides of the walls. Live music is offered on the main floor six nights per week.  The dance area gets busy later in the night on Fridays and Saturdays.  The upstairs outdoor area is open during the night, and guests can go up to get some fresh air before resuming dancing the night away.

The Crowd

The crowd is more dressed up in true Laguna Beach Style.  A mix of younger and older patrons come to Skyloft, and Skyloft shuttles give free transportation to guests within a 3-mile radius of the restaurant.  Beach attire is not allowed.

Cost

Lunch and dinner costs approximately $20 to $25 per person (excluding drinks).  Lunch combos are offered at specific times (please check the website).  Happy Hour is 3:00pm until close on Monday and 3:00pm to 6:00pm from Tuesday through Friday.  Late Night Happy Hour is offered Sunday through Wednesday from 10:00pm until close.  Tuesday Comedy Night Tickets are $20 for VIP seated tickets and $10 for standing room tickets.  Drinks cost $12 to $15 per drink depending on what is ordered.

Skyloft Information

422 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 2651

(949) 715-1550

skyloftoc.com

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The Comedy & Magic Club-Hermosa Beach

The Comedy & Magic Club-Hermosa Beach

What: The Comedy & Magic Club

Where: Hermosa Beach

For: Ages 18+

Ethan and I have been to the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach on numerous occasions.  At the Club, you can watch comedy headliners performing famous stand up, or you can watch a variety of comedians some and perform 10-minute sets each.  We have rarely seen a magician on stage.

The Club

To enter the club, we always buy tickets online.  There is a calendar where you can see which comedian or magician is performing.  There is also a will-call window where you can buy tickets if there is availability that night.  A security guard checks your reservation and identification at the door.  The club is open Tuesdays through Sundays (check the calendar for special events and show times).  All seats are on a first come, first served basis.  Sometimes we have been able to get great seats in the front of the stage.  Other times we have to share a table with another couple or party.  There are booths in the back for larger groups.  Limited rooftop parking is available, and with the plethora of restrictions on street signs I recommend that patrons take an Uber or Lyft over.  Keep in mind that the club is very dark, so make sure to look where you’re stepping and going.  The table seating on the floor can get packed, which makes it difficult to get up and walk around once you’re seated.

The Food

There is a two item per person minimum in the club.  The two items can be a combination of things (i.e. two drinks, a drink and dessert, two entrees, etc.).  The applewood smoked mac and cheese and hot spinach & artichoke dip are our favorites.  If you order one of these entrees to share, it can feed two people.  Servers come around before the show and during the show.  The check is brought out about 10 minutes prior to the end of the show.  Drinks, Appetizers, Salads, Pastas, Entrees and Desserts are all offered to guests.

The Performers

As the venue states, a variety of comedians and magicians come to this club to perform.  Jay Leno comes almost every Sunday (you can tell by the different classic car that parks in the front of the club on Sunday afternoons.  Ethan and I generally come on the weekend for the 10-comedian show.  Some of the comedians are hit and miss depending on the type of comedy.  Make sure to check the show schedule online to see who will be performing.  Every time we have gone to the Comedy & Magic Club, we have left satisfied with the show.

Posters of Famous Comedians Line the Walls.

The Crowd

The dress code is casual, although beach attire is not allowed.  A strict age limit of 18 and above is enforced, with security at the door checking IDs.  The crowd has always been a great audience for the performer(s).  There’s always one or two hecklers that the comedians have to overcome.  Most people are dressed very casually, as it is just a block away from Hermosa Beach.

Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Cost

Salads run from $16.00 to $19.00,  Entrees range from $19.00 to $30.00, Pastas are from $14.00 to $19.00, with Desserts ranging from $5.50 to $9.50.  Appetizers are $13.50 to $16.00 and   Drinks are $10.50 to $12.00.  The cost for entry into the club ranges from $10 per person to $20 per person depending on the show for the night.  Famous headliners can drive the cost of admission up.

Jerry Seinfield’s Puffy  Shirt

The Comedy & Magic Club Information

1018 Hermosa Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

(310) 372-1193

comedyandmagicclub.com

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The Shade Hotel-Manhattan Beach/Redondo Beach

Shade Hotel-Manhattan Beach/Redondo Beach

What: Shade Hotel

Skydeck

Where: Manhattan Beach/Redondo Beach

For: Ages 21+

Ethan and I came to the Shade Hotel twice, once for New Years and once for Valentine’s Day.  Both times we had a wonderful time and there were many things to do and see.  Unfortunately, we didn’t ever stay at the hotel, but we are planning on doing this for an upcoming staycation.  For New Years, they transformed all of the public spaces into a ‘Moulin Rouge’ theme with poker tables and an outdoor cigar lounge.

Ethan and Me at The Shade Hotel for New Years 2017.

The Hotel

The Hotel is very modern and upscale.  Each time we came here we dressed up very formally and didn’t feel out of place at all.  The hotel itself is only a few blocks from the bustling downtown Manhattan Beach nightlife and main street.  Valet parking is offered at the entrance. There is a rooftop Skydeck with bar and relaxation pool offered to guests.  With the location only 5 miles from LAX, this would be a perfect space for tourists to come and enjoy one of the nicest cities in the South Bay.

Zinc and Skydeck

During the summer there are pool parties on the Skydeck with a $20 cover per person.  The parties include hand-crafted cocktails on the rooftop, and bottle service is optional.   At night, the staff turns on the firepits at the Skydeck, and cocktails are served for guests to sip while lounging on the beautifully decorated deck.  Happy hours during the week are also offered, with drinks ranging from $4 to $8 each.  A DJ is hired on Friday and Saturday nights in the downstairs Zinc Lounge.

There is a main restaurant called Zinc that covers the Terrace and Lounge and offers small plates.  At the Lounge, I had appetizers on a Saturday night and sipped martinis at the bar while watching sports on one of the many TVs.  Cocktail tables and lounge chairs are in the Terrace and Lounge for guests as well.  A small dance floor sits in front of the DJ table.

The Crowd

Many parties seemed to be celebrating birthdays or special occasions.  As I said before, this is a place that you dress to the nines to experience.  The DJ’s music is a mix of Hip Hop, Top 40 and House.

Cost

The New Years party cost $100 per person and included appetizers, a champagne toast, gambling, tokens, etc.  I spent $15 on a small plate of food while sitting at the bar in the Lounge.  If you don’t go for Happy Hour, expect to spend $15 for one cocktail.

Shade Hotel Information

1221 N. Valley Drive, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(310) 546-4995

mb.shadehotel.com

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The Strand House/Strand Bar-Manhattan Beach

The Strand House/Strand Bar-Manhattan Beach

What: The Strand House/Strand Bar

Where: South Bay

For: All Ages/21+ At Night

The Strand House and Strand Bar is the place that Ethan and I like to go to under certain circumstances (a) if there is a birthday/anniversary/special occasion, (b) if we’re trying to impress someone from out of town and (c) if we feel like going to a place that’s upscale and close to the beach.  Keep in mind that each time we come here we expect to spend upwards of $150 for the two of us throughout the night.

The Strand House Restaurant

The Strand House

To enter the restaurant, you check in with a hostess on the first floor where you’re also greeted with floor-to ceiling wine bottles leading you up a staircase into The Strand House. Brunch, lunch, dinner and desserts are served in the restaurant.  I’ve come for lunch and dinner.  For lunch I took a client who wanted to eat on the beach, and we ended up spending about $35 per person (excluding drinks).  He ordered the tacos which were laughably small (think two-bite lunch tacos) that left him feeling hungry.  We actually stopped for fast food on the way back to the office.  For dinner, you can expect to spend $35 to $60 per person (excluding drinks).  We sometimes order the pizza (thin crust and made with fresh ingredients) along with some appetizers to share.  Entrees range from $28 to $95 depending on what you order.

Restaurant Bar

There are indoor and outdoor seating areas at The Strand House.  I only sit outdoors when there isn’t too much wind chill.  Indoor seating offers you a 180 degree view of the Pacific Ocean.  There is also a full bar with bar stools upstairs if you want to just catch a drink and watch the sunset.

Dining Table Set Up

Strand Bar

Cocktails and bottle service are offered on the first floor of the Strand House (called the Strand Bar).  There is a main bar in the center of the venue that gets very busy later on into the night.

Main Bar

A small dance floor is at the opposite end of the entrance.  No drinks are allowed on the dance floor (we were reprimanded for this on numerous occasions).  A DJ booth sits in the corner of the dance floor.  The music is hit and miss here.  Sometimes we go in on a great night when they’re playing a mix of hip hop, top 40 and house music.  Other times we feel like we’re in a wedding reception or at a family reunion (oh well, to each their own).  We usually will end our night here after hitting a few bars on Manhattan Beach’s main street.

The Crowd

At 10:00pm there is security placed at the door to card guests and ensure they are 21+.  Depending on the event and time that you go, there could be a cover charge.  Re-entry is allowed provided that you have a stamp on your wrist or colored wristband (alternates).  There is more of an older crowd here, so this is definitely a place where you can avoid the college students (see: Cost).

Entrance to both The Strand House and Strand Bar

Cost

Lunch runs about $30 per person (excluding drinks) with dinner hitting anywhere between $35 to $60 per person (excluding drinks).  The cover charge has ranged from $10 to $20 depending on the event.  Cocktails are almost all $15 each.  Bottle Service costs from $350 to $800.  I don’t think we have left The Strand House spending any less than $150 on a good night.  Sometimes we can spend upwards of $200 on a special occasion.  If you’re looking for a place to impress visitors that is overpriced and by the beach, this is the place to go.

Strand Bar

The Strand House/Strand Bar Information

117 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(310) 545-7470

thestrandhousemb.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to The Strand House/Strand Bar, please comment on this post!  Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing admin@la-staycation.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exchange Los Angeles-DTLA

Exchange Los Angeles-DTLA

What: Exchange Los Angeles

Where: Downtown Los Angeles

For: Ages 21+

Exchange LA is one of the nightclubs that we enjoy going to with our friends in a large group.  We generally come around 11:00pm to end our night dancing to great music.  We have come here to celebrate special occasions for bottle service and to dance to world-renown DJs.

The Club

Exchange has four floors, spans over 25,000 square feet and contains six full-service bars. Patrons can pay a premium for VIP rooms with bottles and table service.  The DJ booth sits in the front of the club and coordinates with fog and confetti machines that spray into the crowd at designated times.  Valet parking is available, and numerous self-park lots surround the venue.

When we decide to pay for bottle service, it is cheaper to split it among a large group.  The good thing about bottle service on the dance floor is that you have your own designated and roped-off area to dance in.  The bad thing is that it is literally in the middle of the dance floor…meaning that drunk people on the other side of the couches usually sit on the top of the couches or occasionally try to pour themselves a drink from your table.  There is a second-floor mezzanine level that has bottle service options available, however I find it best to be a main part of the action on the dance floor.  Bars can get very busy the later it gets into the night.  Expect to wait each time you want a refill on your drink.  I’ve never been able to walk straight up and back without at least a few people waiting in front of me.

View from the Mezzanine

VIP Rooms

The Sky Loft accommodates up to 35 guests and is an exclusive and posh private space.  It offers a bird’s-eye view of the main dance floor and comes with its own wait staff for guests and is available for private rental.

Sky Loft

The Rockefeller Room accommodates up to 50 guests and can be accessed by the main dance floor.  Some private parties bring their own DJs although you can experience the music from the main dance floor just as well.

Rockefeller Room

The Gallery is on the first floor of Exchange and is generally open when the club is open.  There is a separate DJ and the space accommodates up to 250 guests.  This is the first room that you pass after you pay your cover charge to get into the club.  Each time we have been here the Gallery has been fairly crowded.

The Gallery

The Crowd

Please check Exchange’s website for a dress code, as security has historically been turned away people who don’t abide by the code away at the door.  Most guests dress up in more formal cocktail attire.  Exchange LA also hosts different events where patrons can dress in costume depending on the theme.

Ethan and Me at Exchange LA.

Cost

Valet parking is $15 per car, not including tip.  Bottle Service has cost us $600 for a night which we split among a minimum of 8 people.  Drinks span from $13 to $16 depending on what is ordered.  Each time we have come here, the cover charge has spanned from $10 to $20 per person depending on the nightly events and time that we have entered the club.

Exchange Information

618 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014

(213) 627-8070

exchangela.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Exchange, please comment on this post!  Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing admin@la-staycation.com

The Edison-DTLA

The Edison-DTLA

What: The Edison

The Ember Parlor

Where: Downtown Los Angeles

For: Ages 21+

This weekend, Ethan and I finished our June 2018 Staycation in Downtown Los Angeles, and The Edison was our first stop.  You enter this themed bar through an alleyway and are led down a stairway to a speakeasy in the basement of a business building filled with ornate décor, a burlesque show and silent movies playing on screens.

Antique Industrial Decor 

The Theme

The Edison is an eclectic mix of science, art and industry.  The 1920’s theme is apparent from the second you walk in.  A two-story chandelier made of naked hanging light bulbs leads you down two sets of stairs to the bottom floor of the speakeasy.  Women please note that the floor is very slippery, and I felt my heels sliding under me (it’s a wonder I didn’t fall!).  There are urban industrial machines around the restaurant.  Seating areas range from tables to lounge chairs with dim lighting.  Three movie screens line the walls of the dance floor area with silent movies playing.  A DJ booth sits to the right of the stage overlooking a dance floor for guests that stay later into the night.  Even the bathroom area has a working industrial gold sink where guests can wash their hands.  For smokers, there is an indoor smoking area on the first floor where you can bring your cocktails and smoke while sitting in a plush lounge area with shoe shine station.  Large fans pull the smoke out from the room to the outside.  The theme is very well put together, making for a great intimate setting in this hidden speakeasy.

Chest of Absinthe Shots

The Restaurant

You are able to make reservations online or by calling The Edison (information below).  Check the website for times that you can call for a reservation, as there are specific time slots that the restaurant is open to accept calls.  After 7:00pm, there is a food and beverage minimum of $25 per person on Wednesdays and Thursdays and minimum of $50 per person minimum on Fridays and Saturdays.  Please Note that if you get a drink at the bar, it can not be transferred over to your reservation or used as a contribution to your minimum.  We weren’t too pleased with finding this out since we were considering making a reservation for a table.  There is an 18% gratuity that is applied to parties with 6 or more guests.  If you do not have a reservation, there is a cover charge of $10 per person and you are only offered standing room areas.  Dining areas include The Generator Lounge (sit down area), The Music Room, The Ember Parlor, The Game Room, and The Tesla Lounge (all four are for reservation only for private parties).  The Well is a seated lounge area.

Real Generators in the Generator Lounge

Drinks are about $15 each, with specialized cocktails.  There are two bars: the Main Bar (wheelchair accessible) and the Lab Bar.  The food served is American themed, with appetizers starting at $9 and entrees going up to about $40 per person.  There are cost differences for other food offerings, and the entire menu is available on The Edison’s website.  There was a lady dressed as a fairy walking around with a cart that held a box filled with little vials of absinthe shots (not real absinthe, but she swore it was the strength of a high proof tequila).  Ethan and I decided to try it for $11.  It tasted like black liquorice and I ended up giving the small bottle to Ethan to finish since I didn’t like the aftertaste.  The bottle was so cute that I carried it around in my clutch the entire night and it’s now at our home.

Taking the Absinthe Shot

The Show

The show takes places on the stage in The Lab at 10:00pm. 11:00pm and 12:00pm.  Although shows vary  (see the events calendar on The Edison’s website), the bar is known for its burlesque performance.  We were pleased to find that we didn’t need to have a seated reservation to view the show.  We merely walked from where we were standing to the center of the dance floor to watch.  There were four girls dressed in burlesque outfits dancing to four nicely choreographed songs.  The performance was about 20 minutes, and Ethan and I agreed that it was a nice addition to the atmosphere.

Ethan Lounging in one of the Antique Chairs

The Crowd

We arrived here around 9:20pm and it was not crowded.  All of the seating areas were reserved for guests, so it was standing room only.  Although people gathered around the dance floor to watch the burlesque show on the stage, there was plenty of room for everyone.  Groups of people came together dressed in 1920’s garb, which was nice to see.  Most of the crowd was 20- and 30-year-olds.  Please check the website regarding dress code, as the door is able to turn away people who do not abide by the rules of The Edison.

The Shared Metal Sink in the Bathroom

Cost

We paid $20 for admission and $34 for two drinks plus the $11 for the “absinthe” shot.  Overall, we were happy with spending $65 out of pocket for drinks and a show in this speakeasy.  For those making reservations, you should expect to spend a minimum of $100 depending on what type of food and how many drinks you order.  This is a great place that I would love to come back to for a special occasion.

The Edison Information

108 W. 2nd Street #101, Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 613-0000

edisondowntown.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to The Edison, please comment on this post!  Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing admin@la-staycation.com