At Viceroy Lounge, diners await plates of Middle Eastern delicacies in a dining room full of comfy couches illuminated by drop lighting and mirrored walls reflecting revelers. A mutabbal appetizer starts meals with a potent blend of roasted eggplant, garlic, and sesame oil, whereas the shrimp cocktail helps crustaceans fit into a lounge setting without being overshadowed by tuxedoed cephalopods. Filet mignon stacks up on skewers in the beef shish kebab entree, and the chicken lulah kebab pairs minced lean chicken and chopped onion. Alternatively, a soltani entree mixes meats with tomato sauce and garlic yogurt, eerily reproducing the sensation of eating gyros in a Moroccan tomato forest. Beers from brands such as Sapporo, Blue Moon, and Stella Artois accentuate the eats.
Take a seat at Nightlife Lounge for an inviting cafe experience in the middle of Los Angeles Encino. You won't find any low-fat fare here, though, so leave some room to indulge. You'll find lots of space for you and the whole gang to spread out at Nightlife Lounge, which accommodates plenty of large groups. If dining outdoors is your idea of a good time, you'll love the gorgeous patio seating at Nightlife Lounge. Live DJs often entertain the evening crowd while dining. Noise levels at the restaurant can be ear-piercing, so save the t te- -t tes for another night.
Weekend visitors to the restaurant are well advised to take advantage of the reservation system — crowds tend to pack the place on Fridays and Saturdays. Folks tend to dress down at Nightlife Lounge, so keep comfort in mind when heading to the restaurant.
The neighboring lot provides free parking to guests.
Prices are affordable, with a typical meal running under $30.
For centuries, smoking hookah in a caf? has been a way to relax among friends. Lux Cafe & Hookah Lounge adds a touch of refinery to this experience. Dim lighting punctuated by a rim of neon on the ceiling shrouds the room in hushed ambiance, and a music-video DJ projects audiovisual collages onto the lounge?s wall. Seated at sofas, love seats, and magical toadstools around low tables, hookah smokers puff on Starbuzz tobacco flavors ranging from blackberry and tangerine dream to fuzzy naval.
Start a romantic evening with a Dungeness crab cake with aioli, caper, lemon, and coleslaw ($15) and a bowl of the soup of the day ($10). Eye entrees like the soft and succulent roasted half chicken with fingerling potatoes, haricots verts, mixed wild mushrooms, and pearl onions ($24) and the braised short ribs with polenta, Swiss chard, and salsa verde ($25). Complete the circle of life by burying your fork in a slice of key lime pie with guava puree and mango sorbet ($10) or the chocolate chocolate chocolate trio ($16), whose richness is so deadly it was, until recently, banned by nonproliferation treaties. If you've recently cycled through Fraiche and think you've tasted it all, try the new lunch menu. The chopped salad with Italian cured meats, tomato, provolone, and chick peas ($13) and the Moroccan lamb sausage sandwich with harissa aioli ($13) offer just the right noontime spice-kick to erase your morning malaise.
Mixologist Vincenzo Marianella scours the Santa Monica Farmers Market for fresh and local produce. Then he lets his customers decide how to use them. With Copa D’Ora’s make-your-own cocktail program, guests choose from a long list of spirits (Plymouth gin, Buffalo Trace bourbon, Hardy’s V.S. cognac), fresh herbs (basil, mint, sage), jams, organic juices, and vegetables. Then Vincenzo, who studied his craft in Sydney, New York, and London, takes care of the rest, blending it all and filling tumblers, martini glasses, and highballs full of a libation wholly personalized to each patron. He also offers an extensive list of pre-designed cocktails that also bear the mixologist’s distinct liquid signature.
The farmers market doesn't only play a part in the cocktail menu—Copa D'Oro's food is also prepared with the local ingredients. Panini sandwiches on LaBrea Bakery’s sourdough bread and platters brimming with artisanal cheese and Nostrano salami mirror the sophistication of the space. As the LA Times notes, there are no “shrill sorority sisters or high-fivin' sports fans…no DJs, no television.” Rather, plush leather banquettes and lounge chairs gather regally amid soft lighting, exposed brick walls with tasteful works of art, and exposed beams that zigzag above the dining room.
Less than a block from the Santa Monica Pier, Chez Jay Restaurant is a refreshing change of pace from its busy stretch of Ocean Avenue. The friendly regulars come here for the potent cocktails and delicious seafood, surely, but they're also drawn to the cozy environment. Throughout its 55 years, the charming lounge has appeared in several feature films and also served as a hideaway for locals, celebrities, and extras from Cheers.