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New Hollywood Reporter Tell-All Story Reveals the Wild 1980s LA Nightlife Scene

Plus an ode to Jonathan Gold, and Liz Johnson’s new gig

The Roots cocktail at NoMad LA
A classic cocktail
Wonho Frank Lee
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.

On the wild side

The Hollywood Reporter has a great nightlife story out this week, and it’s all centered around Helena Kallianiotes, who for years presided over one of the most popular clubs in the city. The namesake spot, Helena’s, was on the corner of Rampart and Temple Street during the rough-and-tumble 1980s, but still managed to attract the monied Hollywood crowds — including A-listers from Prince to Jack Nicholson to Sean Penn. The winding story weaves from door policies at the club to paparazzi trying to sneak in, and ends with Kallianotes herself living for years rent-free at a property that Nicholson himself owned. It’s a wild ride.

The classics anew

Otium launches a new cocktail menu tonight, and it’s all inspired by classic Jonathan Gold restaurant reviews. Each drink takes a riff on a restaurant and the way in which Gold thought about it, turning his prose into something fans of the late writer can actually drink.

On the road

Former Freedman’s chef Liz Johnson isn’t staying in Los Angeles after all. Eater Nashville has learned that the rising star (and Food & Wine best new chef) will be heading east to run The Catbird Seat in Nashville, TN.

Hot chicken arrival

More hot chicken is headed for Los Angeles. This time it’s the Red Chickz, a new setup dropping near the Spring Street Arcade, with plans for a grand opening in January that includes 50% off anyone’s first order of food.

Anniversary time

Spartina on Melrose is celebrating three years of life tonight with a variety of $3 bites and drinks. The party starts at 5:30 p.m. and goes all night, with options like $3 Peroni beers and $3 plates of spaghettini.

Seafood night

Eagle Rock Public House is doing a ton of holiday programming over the next few weeks, including a Feast of the Seven Fishes tomorrow night. The three-hour all-inclusive affair runs $78, and covers seven seafood-heavy courses. Drink pairings for the night can happen too, for an additional cost.