Upstairs at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles – 929 South Broadway, Los Angeles – Situated a top the landmark 1927 United Artists building, this hip in-door-out door lounge offers an urban sanctuary in the heart of Down-town L.A. (DTLA). The stylish Moroccan-themed decor comes from local design collective Commune, with a concrete pool inspired by the late artist Donald Judd’s residence in Marfa. Cocktails pay tribute to neighborhoods like Little Tokyo and Hollywood & Vine, while mouthwatering snacks include California-style avocado toast and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Catch LA – 8715 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood – Since opening in late September, this West Coast outpost of the NYC favorite has become the place to see and be seen in the City of Angels. The sprawling 12,000-square-foot space features an expansive, 340-seat outdoor dining area-complete with a retractable roof for the rare L.A. rainy day-overlooking the twinkling West Hollywood Design District. But it’s the scene inside that offers the most impressive views of all, best enjoyed from a comer banquette over a plate of truffle tuna sashimi.
Mama Shelter – 6500 Selma Ave., Los Angeles; 323-785-6666 – Nestled above the sixth story of Mama Shelter Los Angeles-the first U.S. location of the cult Parisian hotel brand-this lively year-old roof-deck features 360-degree views that stretch from the Hollywood sign to DTLA, and sometimes all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Mama Shelter’s aesthetic takes inspiration from the tropics, with vibrant-hued wooden tables and chairs and a palapa-style bar. The palm tree-lined space serves a Mediterranean menu for lunch and dinner, and has its own outdoor movie screen.
E.P. & L.P. – 603 North La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood – The epic S,500-square-foot rooftop bar-with lush landscaping, oversize deck chairs, a communal fire pit, and prime views of the Hollywood Hills—is one of the top draws at this two-level hot spot, which opened in May 2015. Aussie-Fijian chef Louis Tikaram serves up Southeast Asian small plates like soft-shell-crab bao and organic tofu fries alongside inventive drinks-go for one of his signature bubble tea cocktails featuring fruit-flavored boba pearls. Full dinners can be enjoyed in the bustling restaurant below.
Perch – 448 Hill St., Los Angeles – Floating 16 stories above the cityskyline, this French-style bistroand lounge elevated-quite literally-the downtown L.A. nightlife scene when it opened in 2011. Order the Penicillin-a bibulous concoction of Famous Grouse Scotch, lemon juice, agave nectar, and ginger elixir-and post up by one of the ornate outdoor fireplaces under the stars. -Amanda Eberstein
The Walker Inn – 3612 West 6th St., Los Angeles – A place for serious cocktail enthusiasts, this 27-seat Koreatown den is accessed via a discreet entry behind the Normandie Club at Hotel Normandie. Make a reservation in advance to secure a spot at the seven-person bar, where the Walker Inn’s talented mixologists lead guests through an omakase experience of two or more carefully crafted cocktail courses. The menu changes about every six weeks and always sticks to a specific idea. Previous themes have run the gamut from “Pacific Coast Highway” to “Wet (Hot) American Summer.”
Clifton’s Cafeteria – 648 South Broadway, Los Angeles – After a five-year restoration, the city’s oldest cafeteria-style food hall reopened in 2015 as a multiuse dining and nightlife destination. The newest addition to the historic six-story space is the just-opened tiki bar, the Pacific Seas, up an obscured staircase on the fourth floor. Decorated in a vintage, Polynesian style-think traditional thatch work, a hand-painted mural, and a bar made from a Chris Craft mahogany boat-the kitschy-fun spot features classic tropical cocktails like Mai Tais and Fog Cutters, live performers, and seafood-centric fare.
Doheny Room – 9077 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood – The latest concept from the hospitality wizards at SBE Entertainment, this restaurant-cum-lounge is where the pretty young things of Los Angeles go to let loose. Wednesdays or Saturdays are promoter nights-meaning you should probably know someone if you want to get past the velvet ropes. Once in, grab a table by the tropical wall, order a Delgado Dorado, and soak in the scene.
Beacher’s Madhouse – 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles – After a brief hiatus, this quirky vaudeville-inspired nightclub made its triumphant return to the newly renovated theater at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in October. In addition to the usual cast of zany characters-like the infamous Flying Little Person bartenders-look for new additions, such as a mini Kanye West and sultry burlesque dancers.