The Burgundy Room on Los Angeles’ Cahuenga Boulevard is a small, comfortable dive bar amidst the relative street hustle of tourist-heavy Hollywood. The name, so it seems, comes from the heavily-colored deep red bar stools, candles and lighting that accents the interior, and would give the impression that this is laid-back, jazzy bar, but far from it. The Burgundy Room rocks a host of live deejays that spin mostly metal, hip hop, punk and rock inside the dim, tiny space. Crowds can form quickly as lines for the bar get deep, and the long bathroom line can make for even more excruciating waits. The limited floor space also means dancing isn’t likely to take place; locals instead opt to drink and chat with friends over the din of the nearby tunes.
Places like The Fifth might be hard to avoid calling a home-away-from-home. Especially since this home has arcade games, a pool table, and perfectly-execute drinks someone else makes. Complete with a mirrored lounge, leather banquettes, and a unique, rounded bar, The Fifth is a cozy and chic place for a tipple. Behind the bar, the staff uncaps a wide variety of beers, and crafts cocktails and mixed drinks—both on and off the menu.
Inside an unassuming green house, the eponymous owner of Angie's Skin Care plies her skin-nourishing trade. Clients seeking renewal and relaxation flock through the front door, unwinding during facial sessions that cleanse away grime and clear pores. After visages are clean, hydrating formulas penetrate deep into the skin, leaving complexions more youthful and radiant than a newborn glowworm.
Under the ownership of local bar-and-lounge entrepreneur—and probable night owl—Craig Trager, No Bar brings its unique spin on nocturnal life and a speakeasy atmosphere to the NoHo Arts District. Shaded wallpaper and low lighting in the lounge area add to the sultry, intimate ambiance. The sounds of rock, old-school hip-hop, and soul music wafting from a jukebox blend with the clacking of balls in the pool room to further enhance the underground vibe. At the bar, staffers ease guests through the night with five craft beers on tap and specialty cocktails that range from a cherry-mash old-fashioned to the playfully named Bowl of Cereal, which customers must consume using a collectible plastic spoon.
More than 100 whiskeys and a comparable bounty of beers flow at Johnny’s Saloon, an eccentric neighborhood bar that dubs itself a “twisted Cheers.” Opened in 1982, the bar emanates a charm stemming from its appreciation of the rock 'n' roll generation and a rejection of anything that represents the status quo, such as walls. The jukebox is stocked solely with vintage rock 'n' roll and country, steering clear of Top 40 pop and hip-hop, and in the spotless bathrooms, 20 scented lotions keep hands smelling fresher than the Snuggle bear’s dance moves. Though the bar doesn’t serve food, the staffers happily order in from the nearby famous Donuttery and pour libations from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. They serve up single shots of spirits such as Midleton Irish whiskey and Macallan 21-year, but patrons can also purchase a private bottle of liquor that’s held behind the bar under lock and key.
Bowlers on a quest for either recreation or league glory can soak up the retro vibe at La Habra 300 Bowl until at least 11 p.m. every night. On Friday and Saturday, cosmic effects add a festive glow to nocturnal bowling (extra fee), evoking the excitement of outer space without the danger posed by reckless spaceship drivers. The center also offers party packages that furnish groups with lane space and shoes but require partygoers to bring their own cakes.