We're not saying we've been everywhere, but Eater's been to a lot of places in this town. And we still feel confident saying that The Edison, the new downtown nightspot in the historic Higgins building, is the most unique, sexy, attractive, must-go-every-night spot in LA. We're sure we'll regret this for fear of never getting in with ease again, but there is absolutely nothing like it around, and it puts every contrived, overly designed hot spot to shame. Owner Andrew Meieran had a vision of utilizing this space after he had 20 feet of water pumped out, and it works. The opening party was bursting at the seams by the time we got there on Friday night, so after a short wait in an art gallery next door (with free booze, albeit crappy wine), we were escorted to the door. Nothing could've have prepared us for what we were about to see...
First, to get to the door, we had to walk down a nondescript alley on the side of the building. For us, it was obvious where the party was, but in general, look for China Bistro's red awning in the same building, and it's just to the right of that. When we entered Edison, we noticed an amber, almost sepia glow to the place. We heard some jazz, then some James Brown. A string of lights spiraled down a deep staircase, as we walked, jaws dropping, we almost tripped over ourselves, so enamored with the place. The first thing we saw was a huge wall of metal doors and handles with a walkway at the top. What is that? (It was a furnace.) Turn left, and a square center bar topped with the best light fixtures we've seen in ages was packed, but moving. Off to a corner, black-and-white movies flickered on a giant video screen. Beneath that, we could barely make out the huge black pumps stoicly sitting in a back room. It was a never-ending space of twists and turns, and each corner revealed a new secret.
Art Deco-style leather chairs were tucked under the low-ceiling generator room in one direction; Gothic thrones were secretly stowed behind that big metal wall in another. Between two large bar areas, leather banquettes; unobtrusive, yet perfect for seeing the scene. Oh look! A pool table! And steel... lots and lots of, we guess, iron pumps and industrial-looking things throughout. Beautifully painted frescoes on the walls look as if they melted into the cement canvas over time. Everyone touched everything throughout the night; no one believed it was real. Even the trash cans are cool.
We missed the specialty cocktails and food on Friday, but H.C. Foodie didn't. (The menu is online). Edison is open for dinner Wed-Sat, and walk-ins are welcome. Meieran's people told us that the goal isn't to be one of "those" places with the lists and the lines, you know the type, but rather an adult, laid-back place with good music (live and from the well-chosen jukebox). If he can keep true to that promise, this will undoubtedly be the best spot in LA for years to come.
· Edison is one cool mothereffen bar. Stop. [Eater LA]
· Eater Inside: The Edison [Eater LA]
· Special Foodadventure #27: Edison Bar [LA & OC Foodie]