With California looking toward a full reopening in mid-June, Los Angeles cocktail spots and restaurant bars have the chance to serve their liquid specialties once again. In the past year-plus, there haven’t been that many new standalone cocktail bars, though bars placed front and center inside restaurants have continued to come online even if they weren’t able to accommodate actual patrons sitting on stools (until recently). LA’s cocktail scene has never had a more challenging period than the past year, but bartenders and professionals are eager to get back to shaking and stirring. Here now, the 12 hottest cocktail spots to check out that have opened (or reopened with a completely new look) in recent months.Read More
12 Hottest Cocktail Spots in Los Angeles, June 2021
Sip LA’s newest drinks at these restaurants and bars
1. The Brig
Longtime Venice dive bar the Brig has received an interior overhaul on busy Abbot Kinney, with operators Dave and Patti Reiss adding restaurateur Jared Meisler (Roger Room, the Friend, Nueva) to create the third iteration of this storied watering hole. House cocktails like the Bantamweight include passionfruit and aperol with prosecco, though classic shot-and-a-beer options remain on the menu for that friendly neighborhood approachability.
2. Bull & Butterfly
Heidi and Alan Jackson (Lemonade, Jackson’s) are back in the formal sit-down restaurant business with this gorgeous modern steakhouse in a new Playa Vista space. Cocktails veer toward new takes on classics, like a smoked thyme old fashioned and tequila sunrise tinted with beet syrup.
Beverly Hills has a great modern Mexican destination in Mírame, with chef Joshua Gil’s Baja-style fare wowing the ritzy neighborhood with deep-fried snapper and fresh ceviches. The cocktails are also worth checking out, featuring plenty of agave and even Mexican whiskey in refreshing, shaken form.
4. Bar Bohemién
With a wonderful breezy rooftop deck in Culver City’s Citizens Public Market, beverage director AC Baker (Simonette, Tao) and bar manager Deandre Jackson (Marco Polo Silver Lake) have built an elegant set of drinks, including the Nirvana, which mixes Uncle Nearest 1856 whiskey, lemon cordial, Averna, and black lemon bitters.
West Hollywood has a scene-y new Spanish-inflected restaurant with a massive outdoor dining area, plus indoor seating with midcentury modern vibes. Drinks are refreshing and easygoing, like the passionfruit-flavored Weekend in Palm Springs, mixing vodka, lime, orange, and feijoa.
With a Mediterranean-influenced dining room that doesn’t change too much from its days as Jaffa, Theia serves fresh cocktails in space filled with thumping electronic dance music and approachable Greek cuisine.
As the newest outpost of Ivan Vasquez’s budding empire of Oaxacan restaurants, Madre in West Hollywood has the same commitment to stellar agave-based cocktails and expansive mezcal selection.
8. All Season Brewing Company
A massive indoor-outdoor space with a focus on craft beer and large-scale bar games, the former Firestone Building on La Brea serves solid takes on familiar cocktails using quality ingredients, good booze, and well-made ice. Mezcal palomas come from the draft while the sazerac and penicillin are much better than they need to be in a laid back setting like this.
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Los Angeles, CA 90038
With a gorgeous New York City-inspired space, wraparound bar, and wonderful, colorful drawings, Gigi’s is already the see-and-be-seen place for Hollywood insiders. Drinks by bartender Courtney Rose have a classic look but show more creativity in the glass, like the clementine, grapefruit, and vermouth rouge-infused La Parisienne.
10. Johnny's Pastrami
One of the latest interiors from antique-oriented designer Matt Winter, this bar adjacent to West Adams’s Johnny’s is one of the hidden gems of LA’s cocktail scene.
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11. Cha Cha Chá
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Mexico City import Cha Cha Chá has opened a grand rooftop location in Arts District, with bars both inside and out in the open air. The lush environs are the perfect place to sip on cocktails designed by Bryan Tetorakis throughout the warm LA summer.
12. Brooklyn Ave Pizza Co.
Boyle Heights’s Brooklyn Avenue Pizza Co. is an ode to the cultures in the neighborhood’s history from chef Mario Christerna, who grew up in the area. Christerna tasked bar veterans Lauren Corriveau and Matthew Belanger to construct flavorful drinks like the elote old fashioned or boozy guava-jamaica agua fresca.