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Milk punch with cognac, bourbon, and rum at Kato.
Milk punch with cognac, bourbon, and rum at Kato.
Wonho Frank Lee

12 Hottest Cocktail Spots in Los Angeles, Summer 2022

Sip LA’s newest drinks at these restaurants and bars

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Milk punch with cognac, bourbon, and rum at Kato.
| Wonho Frank Lee

It’s basically summer in LA for half the year, which means warm days and breezy nights in the Southland. The city’s cocktail situation remains compelling even with a stunted pandemic period that saw numerous shutdowns and reopenings, to say nothing of current pressures like staffing and increased costs. The LA bar scene has not only excelled it’s innovated in the face of adversity, with creative bartenders across the city gaining inspiration from LA’s global outlook. Here now, the hottest new cocktail spots to check out in LA. And for a list of essential cocktail places in LA, check out this guide.

Added: Bar Moruno, Kato, Ryla, Camphor, Selva, Fanny’s, Pijja Palace, Nostalgia

Removed: The Grant, Ella, Wyman Bar, Winston House, Celestina, Belles Beach House, La Boucherie, Bar Lis

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Desert 5 Spot

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6516 Selma Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 410-6370
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It was only a matter of time before the laid back vibes of Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, and Yucca Valley descended upon Los Angeles. This indoor-outdoor music venue and rooftop lounge is one of Hollywood hot new cocktail hangouts, with strong drinks and live bands most nights.

A light orange cocktail with an orange rind inside of a clear glass, with wood and greenery beyond.
Cocktail from Desert 5 Spot at the Tommie Hotel in Hollywood.
Tommie Hollywood

2. Grandmaster Recorders

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1518 N Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 963-7800
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The 1970s are alive again at Grandmaster Recorders’s 71 Studio Bar, tucked in near the entrance of this multi-faceted space that also has a full Italian-Australian dining room and rooftop lounge. This side lounge has its own drink menu and semi-open dance floor and more private back area that was once a recording studio.

71 Studio & Bar at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, California.
71 Studio & Bar at Grandmaster Recorders.
Wonho Frank Lee

3. Bar Moruno

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3705 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 546-0505
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Already packed, this Silver Lake Spanish restaurant has veteran barman Dave Kupchinsky designing the drinks. The smoked salmon martini is a wild take on the salty-briny dirty martini while the other cocktails veer toward the tonic varieties one would expect at a Spanish establishment.

A light green and tall ceilinged bar inside of a new restaurant at evening.
Cocktail bar at Bar Moruno in Silver Lake.
Wonho Frank Lee

4. Pijja Palace

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2711 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

This sports bar and Italian restaurant gains infusions of Indian flavors throughout the menu, including the cocktails. The busy Silver Lake spot is a boisterous place for drinks, with games blaring on TVs and sometimes even over the speakers. The colorful daiquiri rendition gets a hit of tangy tamarind while the Painkiller variant gets a bit of guava.

A cocktail with rum, juice, spices, and a lime slice.
Pata-quiri cocktail at Pijja Palace.
Emra Visuals

5. Ella

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9360 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

The Sixty Beverly Hills has a totally revamped downstairs restaurant and bar managed by the Umbrella Hospitality team, one of the city’s best overall cocktail bar owners. Drinks at the bar are modern renditions of classics, like a kimchi Bloody Mary or a flaming cocktail of tequila, golden beet, and orange.

Ella’s cafe in Beverly Hills
Bar and cafe area of Ella in Beverly Hills.
Wonho Frank Lee

6. Fanny's

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6067 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 930-3080
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Julian Cox has put together the drinks at this impressive space in Mid-Wilshire’s Academy Museum of Motion Pictures inspired by, of course, movies. The Black Panther drink has cachaca, black currant, and meyer lemon “air” while the LA Confidential mixes vodka, black mission fig, cassis, and bitters.

A bartender uses tweezers to finish garnishing a drink.
Bartender garnishes a drink at Fanny’s.
Wonho Frank Lee

7. Camphor

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923 E 3rd St Suite 109
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 626-8888
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The bar is always a busy place at Camphor, with European-inspired drinks like a Provence martini that costs $30 but has enough booze for two drinks with its signature iced sidecar and herbaceous flavors. Chartreuse lovers will find one of the city’s most extensive menus here as well.

Provence cocktail with Mulholland vodka, infused with French olive oil and herbs de provence, pear eau de vie, Dolin Blanc vermouth, and saline at Camphor in Los Angeles, California
Provence cocktail at Camphor.
Wonho Frank Lee

8. Fia Steak

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2458 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(424) 355-5437
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Tucked into the side of Fia, Fia Steak is the meatlover’s destination in Santa Monica, with stellar drinks by Gabriella Mlynarczyk, including an amazing milk punch and a salty cucumber dill martini with a bump of caviar.

Cucumber dill martini with caviar at Fia Steak in Santa Monica.
Wonho Frank Lee

9. Kato Restaurant

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777 S Alameda St Building 1, Suite 114
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 797-5770
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Austin Hennelly has put together arguably the most ambitious fine dining cocktail bar menu at the newly reopened Kato in Downtown LA. Refreshing tonics like the Garden Tonic infuses seasonal herbs while the Lemon Drop blends yuzu with Suntory Haku vodka, shaken and poured over rice milk and crushed ice. The three-liquor milk punch, with cognac, bourbon, and rum with brown butter and five spice is a showstopper as well.

Cocktail from Kato.
Cocktail from Kato.
Wonho Frank Lee

10. Nostalgia Bar and Lounge

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1326 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 450-4989
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Santa Monica’s Nostalgia looks and feels like a casual neighborhood spot, but there’s some fantastic eats and cocktails at this Santa Monica newcomer. Cannabis chef Chris Sayegh recruited Bradley Fry to develop throwback and new cocktails after managing bar menus at Long Beach’s Michael’s Restaurant Group and the defunct Bernard’s Bar in Chicago. There are delicious drinks along with ample theatrics in the form of gravity bongs — without cannabis — that releases smoky vapors from Fry’s favorite ingredients like rosemary or passionfruit. —Mona Holmes

Bar with barstools.
Bar at Nostalgia in Santa Monica.
Nostalgia

11. Ryla

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1220 Hermosa Ave
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
(424) 247-9881
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Blending Japanese elements to bar menu, Ryla in Hermosa Beach could be the best place for quality cocktails at this oceanside town in the South Bay. The Grandma’s Cigarettes is a version of a Penicillin with tea-infused Suntory Toki and smoky Laphroaig scotch.

Gin fizz with chamomile infused gin, egg white, St. German, honey, lemon.
Gin fizz with chamomile infused gin at Ryla.
Wonho Frank Lee

12. Selva

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4137 E Anaheim St
Long Beach, CA 90804
(562) 343-5630
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Long Beach’s busy Selva restaurant has a popular cocktail bar as well, sporting South American-inspired drinks. A well-shaken pisco sour or burro de piña with Colombian vodka, ginger, and pineapple make for refreshing entrees to the comforting fare by chef Carlos Jurado.

A corner peek into a bar with checkered tile flooring.
Cocktail bar at Selva in Long Beach.
Wonho Frank Lee

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1. Desert 5 Spot

6516 Selma Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
A light orange cocktail with an orange rind inside of a clear glass, with wood and greenery beyond.
Cocktail from Desert 5 Spot at the Tommie Hotel in Hollywood.
Tommie Hollywood

It was only a matter of time before the laid back vibes of Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, and Yucca Valley descended upon Los Angeles. This indoor-outdoor music venue and rooftop lounge is one of Hollywood hot new cocktail hangouts, with strong drinks and live bands most nights.

6516 Selma Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028

2. Grandmaster Recorders

1518 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
71 Studio & Bar at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood, California.
71 Studio & Bar at Grandmaster Recorders.
Wonho Frank Lee

The 1970s are alive again at Grandmaster Recorders’s 71 Studio Bar, tucked in near the entrance of this multi-faceted space that also has a full Italian-Australian dining room and rooftop lounge. This side lounge has its own drink menu and semi-open dance floor and more private back area that was once a recording studio.

1518 N Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

3. Bar Moruno

3705 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
A light green and tall ceilinged bar inside of a new restaurant at evening.
Cocktail bar at Bar Moruno in Silver Lake.
Wonho Frank Lee

Already packed, this Silver Lake Spanish restaurant has veteran barman Dave Kupchinsky designing the drinks. The smoked salmon martini is a wild take on the salty-briny dirty martini while the other cocktails veer toward the tonic varieties one would expect at a Spanish establishment.

3705 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

4. Pijja Palace

2711 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
A cocktail with rum, juice, spices, and a lime slice.
Pata-quiri cocktail at Pijja Palace.
Emra Visuals

This sports bar and Italian restaurant gains infusions of Indian flavors throughout the menu, including the cocktails. The busy Silver Lake spot is a boisterous place for drinks, with games blaring on TVs and sometimes even over the speakers. The colorful daiquiri rendition gets a hit of tangy tamarind while the Painkiller variant gets a bit of guava.

2711 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

5. Ella

9360 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Ella’s cafe in Beverly Hills
Bar and cafe area of Ella in Beverly Hills.
Wonho Frank Lee

The Sixty Beverly Hills has a totally revamped downstairs restaurant and bar managed by the Umbrella Hospitality team, one of the city’s best overall cocktail bar owners. Drinks at the bar are modern renditions of classics, like a kimchi Bloody Mary or a flaming cocktail of tequila, golden beet, and orange.

9360 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

6. Fanny's

6067 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
A bartender uses tweezers to finish garnishing a drink.
Bartender garnishes a drink at Fanny’s.
Wonho Frank Lee

Julian Cox has put together the drinks at this impressive space in Mid-Wilshire’s Academy Museum of Motion Pictures inspired by, of course, movies. The Black Panther drink has cachaca, black currant, and meyer lemon “air” while the LA Confidential mixes vodka, black mission fig, cassis, and bitters.

6067 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

7. Camphor

923 E 3rd St Suite 109, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Provence cocktail with Mulholland vodka, infused with French olive oil and herbs de provence, pear eau de vie, Dolin Blanc vermouth, and saline at Camphor in Los Angeles, California
Provence cocktail at Camphor.
Wonho Frank Lee

The bar is always a busy place at Camphor, with European-inspired drinks like a Provence martini that costs $30 but has enough booze for two drinks with its signature iced sidecar and herbaceous flavors. Chartreuse lovers will find one of the city’s most extensive menus here as well.

923 E 3rd St Suite 109
Los Angeles, CA 90013

8. Fia Steak

2458 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Cucumber dill martini with caviar at Fia Steak in Santa Monica.
Wonho Frank Lee

Tucked into the side of Fia, Fia Steak is the meatlover’s destination in Santa Monica, with stellar drinks by Gabriella Mlynarczyk, including an amazing milk punch and a salty cucumber dill martini with a bump of caviar.

2458 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90403

9. Kato Restaurant

777 S Alameda St Building 1, Suite 114, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Cocktail from Kato.
Cocktail from Kato.
Wonho Frank Lee

Austin Hennelly has put together arguably the most ambitious fine dining cocktail bar menu at the newly reopened Kato in Downtown LA. Refreshing tonics like the Garden Tonic infuses seasonal herbs while the Lemon Drop blends yuzu with Suntory Haku vodka, shaken and poured over rice milk and crushed ice. The three-liquor milk punch, with cognac, bourbon, and rum with brown butter and five spice is a showstopper as well.

777 S Alameda St Building 1, Suite 114
Los Angeles, CA 90021

10. Nostalgia Bar and Lounge

1326 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Bar with barstools.
Bar at Nostalgia in Santa Monica.
Nostalgia

Santa Monica’s Nostalgia looks and feels like a casual neighborhood spot, but there’s some fantastic eats and cocktails at this Santa Monica newcomer. Cannabis chef Chris Sayegh recruited Bradley Fry to develop throwback and new cocktails after managing bar menus at Long Beach’s Michael’s Restaurant Group and the defunct Bernard’s Bar in Chicago. There are delicious drinks along with ample theatrics in the form of gravity bongs — without cannabis — that releases smoky vapors from Fry’s favorite ingredients like rosemary or passionfruit. —Mona Holmes

1326 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405

11. Ryla

1220 Hermosa Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Gin fizz with chamomile infused gin, egg white, St. German, honey, lemon.
Gin fizz with chamomile infused gin at Ryla.
Wonho Frank Lee

Blending Japanese elements to bar menu, Ryla in Hermosa Beach could be the best place for quality cocktails at this oceanside town in the South Bay. The Grandma’s Cigarettes is a version of a Penicillin with tea-infused Suntory Toki and smoky Laphroaig scotch.

1220 Hermosa Ave
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

12. Selva

4137 E Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90804
A corner peek into a bar with checkered tile flooring.
Cocktail bar at Selva in Long Beach.
Wonho Frank Lee

Long Beach’s busy Selva restaurant has a popular cocktail bar as well, sporting South American-inspired drinks. A well-shaken pisco sour or burro de piña with Colombian vodka, ginger, and pineapple make for refreshing entrees to the comforting fare by chef Carlos Jurado.

4137 E Anaheim St
Long Beach, CA 90804

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