Late yesterday, Zagat released its annual Nightlife Survey. Nearly 3,000 Angelenos contributed to the results, which touched on more than 500 different venues. Though this is an annual guide, locals seemed to favor the bars and clubs that have stuck around longer than a year. Top Atmosphere went to Chateau Marmont, a West Hollywood fixture, with Shuttters at the Beach and Nokia's L.A. Live rounding out the top three. Downtown's Edison Lounge was voted best "speakeasy." The Abbey won this year's popularity contest, with the House of Blues coming in second. The Peninsula's Hotel Club Bar was voted best in service, with Hollywood Hookah (?) and Pacific Dining Car not far behind.
Zagat is always good at trend-spotting. The survey notes that Downtown is still hot, but Hollywood is even more so with places like Blok, AV and Writer's Room. Harvard & Stone and Pour Vous are noted for their attention to detail, exceptional atmosphere and occasional live entertainment while West Hollywood's Bootsy Bellows gets a nod for its puppet shows.
Perhaps the year's most noteworthy trend is the ever-increasing attention to cocktails. It's the bars and clubs that let their bartenders shine that made this list especially interesting. Zagat says there's been a "back to basics" approach this year and bars dedicated to specific spirits are gaining ground. Neat (Aiden Demarest), Oldfield's Liquor Room, Caña Rum Bar, Las Perlas and Seven Grand are all singled out for their cocktails. [EaterWire]