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Rhythm Room, Downtown
Wonho Frank Lee

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Downtown LA’s New Basement Bar Is a World War II-Era Party Bunker

The return of a classic underground lounge

Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Step back into war-era Los Angeles today with Rhythm Room, a Downtown basement newcomer that is reviving one of LA’s beloved long-gone names. For decades Rhythm Room was a classic cocktail bar that catered to urbanites, returning soldiers, and anyone in between, but the entire Hayward Hotel that housed the bar fell into disrepair by the 1970s and was ultimately shuttered for years. Now the Rhythm Room is poised to bring the underground lounge back into action.

That all starts with the dim, inviting decor crafted by owners Cindy La and Vincent Vongkavivathanakul, where midcentury touches meet industrial chic. There’s no natural light here, just warm bulbs that accent open brick walls, cement support beams, and plush leather furniture. There’s even old actual stadium seating, along with wooden barstools and benches and sturdy metal two- and four-tops.

The rest of the space is packed with games galore, from pool tables to chess boards to darts. A run of ping pong tables anchor one end of the room, while a dark, curving wooden bar acts as the main drinking focal point. There are more finishing touches to come and loads of finer historical details from the first Rhythm Room days to get right, but the bar is open now for evenings only, beginning at 6 p.m. and running through 2 a.m.

Rhythm Room
206 W. 6th St.
Los Angeles, CA

Rhythm Room Wonho Frank Lee


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