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 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
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 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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org