Hotel Bartenders Spill Their Local LA Bar Scenes

What are you in the mood to do?
Ugh, I don’t know.
Should we just go for drinks?
Probably.

*Gets to bar*

What are you in the mood to drink?
Ugh, I don’t know.
Should we just go home?
Probably.

If this has ever happened to you, we feel you. To make sure this never happens again, however, we asked some of our friends, also known as the best bartenders at our One Night hotels in LA, where they go for drinks and what they order. Some served us answers straight up, and others on the rocks with a little extra twist.

Jesus Gomez, head bartender of Openaire at The LINE LA

Bar: Wendell, it’s somewhere between a swanky lounge and punk rock dive bar.
Drink: Old Fashioned – Buffalo Trace Bourbon.

Bar: The Normandie Club
Drink: There is passion in every drink made in this dimly lit gem. Get a Mezcal Old Fashioned.

Bar: Employees Only, I used to go to the one in New York. I was so excited to know there would be one opening here. The best thing ever put in a glass.
Drink: Variation of an Aviation or Last Word.

Sam Shendow, general manager at The Native Hotel

Bar: Hatchet Hall in Culver City.
Drink: I love an Old Fashioned and Hatchett Hall always a few different variations that are unique and consistently excellent.

Old Fashioned at Hatchet Hall
Old Fashioned photo via @Hatchethall

Bar: Broken Spanish
Drink: Flor de Vida (or really any of their cocktails).

Bar: Wallflower in Venice, an Indonesian fusion restaurant in Venice that has a truly unique take on cocktails.
Drink: I always end up getting the Smoking Lemongrass (a sweet and smoky Mezcal concoction).

Bar: The Varnish. It’s a secret speakeasy located in the back of Cole’s French Dip.
Drink: Opt-in for the “bartender’s choice” and leave it to the professionals.

Adam George Fournier, bar manager at The NoMad Los Angeles

Bar: The Daily Pint in Santa Monica. This dive bar has one of the largest whiskey selections in the country and you’d never know it until you step inside.
Drink: Grab the spirits list and find a gem.

Bar: Redbird, DTLA. Tobin Shae makes an amazing Martini.
Drink: 5:1 with a Lemon Twist is my preference, partially because I like making bartenders do the math.

Bar: The Accomplice Bar, Mar Vista. It’s my neighborhood bar, literally three blocks from my house, and was voted TimeOut LA’s Best Bar this past year.
Drink: As it’s my neighborhood bar you’ll usually find me with a glass of Whiskey and a Beer yet the cocktail program is incredibly inventive and seasonal.

Bar: Musso and Franks, Hollywood, it is the epitome of Old Hollywood.
Drink: I’ll often start a night here with a Manhattan with a side of Manhattan.

Melina Meza, bartender, Broken Shaker at Freehand Los Angeles

Bar: Bar Clacson
Drink: The Clack Dack.

Bar: Golden Gopher
Drink: A shot of ‘Dirty Bird’ and a beer.

Bar: Pacific Seas
Drink: The Fog Cutter or Pain Killer.

Bar: Rudolph’s Bar & Tea
Drink: Radar Love.

Dan Sabo Director of Food & Beverage at Pali Society

Palihotel Melrose

Bar: Melrose Umbrella Co.
Drink: Mezcali Me Banana

Mezcali Me Banana
Mezcali Me Banana photo via @melroseumbrellaco

Bar: Ronan
Drink: Tiki, Do you Love Me?

Palihouse West Hollywood

Bar: No More Heroes
Drink: Old Fashioned

Bar: Lono
Drink: Jungle Bird

Palihouse Santa Monica

Bar: Old Lightning
Drink: Vintage Mezcal, neat

Devin Childress, lead bartender at the Avalon Hotels

Bar: Blue collar, a great low-lit cocktail bar with bespoke drinks, great music and plenty of awkward Tinder dates if you like people watching.
Drink: The bartenders are very knowledgeable so instead of ordering something off the top of your head, let them ask you a few questions and whip up something tailored for you at that moment.

Bar: Lock and Key, they have amazing cocktails, fat martinis, great bar food (a deep-fried pb&j), and a nice big patio with either live DJs or well-curated music.
Drink: Bartenders there have been in the game for years and are super quick without sacrificing quality. My favorite drink to order there is a Martinez.

Bar: Las Perlas. As a tequila and mezcal fanatic, a kid in a candy shop comes to mind.
Drink: Either a beer and a shot of bacanora or tequila.. or the house’s Spicy Mezcal Margaritas.

Spicy Daisy Margarita
Spicy Daisy Margarita photo via @lasperlasla

Bar: Tiki ti, one of the oldest tiki bars in the world. Super small and cash only, drinks are pricier but you don’t need many.
Drink: Tiki drinks are tiki drinks but my go to is a Mai Tai or Painkiller.

Bar: Viviane, gotta mention my bar! An amazing hideaway in Beverly Hills where you can sit poolside and forget about LA for a while.
Drink: Our new fall cocktail list will roll out this month but drinks you can always get and absolutely should are the Buffalo flower with bourbon ginger elderflower lemon and the Au Mexique with mezcal, yellow chartreuse, kina, Benedictine, luxardo, and lemon.

Ryan Smith, bartender at Petit Ermitage

Bar: Apotheke
Drink: Fools Russian.

Bar: Jumbo’s Clown Room
Drink: Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer.

Bar: Bludso’s Bar & Que
Drink: Bourbon on Ice and all of the BBQ.

Bar: Break Room 86
Drink: Anything made by the girl behind the bar from Texas.

Bar: The Taco Truck on Western and Sunset
Drink: Dollar Tacos, two-dollar cerveza.

“I’m a Simple Man From Texas these things bring me home,” Ryan says.

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