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Mama Lion, Koreatown
Mama Lion, Koreatown
Wonho Frank Lee

15 Hottest Cocktail Bars in Los Angeles, June 2017

Warm up at these cocktail bars as the weather cools down

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Mama Lion, Koreatown
| Wonho Frank Lee

As the weather cools down, there is no better way to warm back up than with a smooth libation. Luckily for the denizens of Los Angeles, the city has a wealth of outstanding cocktail bars to imbibe and entertain. And right now, there's no better time to sip on stirred, aromatic cocktails like negronis, manhattans, and old fashioneds (though honestly, those are good any time of year).

Whether you're in the mood for tiki drinks, daytime sippers, or even spiked cereal milk (or beer and wine, if that's your inclination), here now, a guide to where to drink cocktails right this moment in the City of Angels.

Removed: The Corner Door, The Edmon, Pacific Seas, Genghis Cohen, 71Above, Double Take

Added: Mama Lion, SOCA, The Slipper Clutch, Felix, Wabi Venice

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Accomplice Bar

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3811 Grand View Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(773) 983-1359
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Status Kuo has now split into two concepts: Little Fatty, which remains in the former Kuo space, and now Accomplice, which is now overseen by Gaby Mlynarczyk. Accomplice is now a dark, modern cocktail lounge that's ideal for the rather sleepy part of Mar Vista. If you live on the Westside, this place is perfect place for you.

2. Here's Looking at You

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3901 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 568-3573
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Here's Looking at You has come into its own as a cocktail den that more than stands up to the food from chef Jonathan Whitener. The restaurant's recently-launched menu is an ode to Koreatown's past, like the rum-forward Cocoanut Grove with coconut cream, lime, and curaçao.

3. Gwen

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6600 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 946-7512
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Gwen might be one of LA's toughest tables. Luckily those unable to score a golden ticket ($190 for two) can sit on the lovely Sunset Boulevard-adjacent patio or at the bar inside to enjoy sips that come by way of bartender Mitchel Buschell.

4. The Venue

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3470 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010

This underground lair in Koreatown is the weekend (and mid-week) party vibe that the area was always looking for, with classy, sleek environs, bumpin' music, and quaffable drinks designed by journeyman Devon Espinosa. Snack on some terrific bites from Kayson Chong, and hit the karaoke rooms afterwards for late night singing.

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  • 5. Birds & Bees

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    207 S Broadway
    Los Angeles, CA 90012
    (510) 710-6129
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    Barman Marcos Tello consulted on the opening menu of this subterranean hideaway, where big, classic cocktails match the 1950's 'bomb shelter chic' interior. Make sure to spring for the Pat Boone, an almond-infused rye whiskey, sherry, and absinthe mix that's period-piece perfect.

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  • 6. Delilah

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    7969 Santa Monica Blvd
    West Hollywood, CA 90046

    h.wood group is back with this Art Deco-inspired hangout in West Hollywood that takes over the former DBA along Santa Monica Blvd. Like most h.wood spots, expect it to be hard to get into on busy nights, so make a reservation ahead of time. The cocktail program by Matt Seigel and Adam Koral offers new takes on classics drinks. In addition to some very likely celebrity-spotting, Delilah offers live music performances regularly.

    Elizabeth Daniels

    7. Beauty & Essex

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    1615 N Cahuenga Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90028

    One of the most gorgeous (and expansive) new restaurants in Los Angeles, it seems like there's as much lounge and bar space as there is dining room area for this New York City transplant. The drinks are going to veer toward the clubby and sweet, but that's honestly what most people want at places like this, right?

    8. Verlaine

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    8715 Beverly Blvd
    West Hollywood, CA 90048
    (424) 288-4621
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    This lovely dining room was once Dominick's, a legendary West Hollywood haunt. Now Baja California chef Diego Hernandez and the team behind Hinterland in Santa Monica have opened Verlaine. Aaron Melendrez is behind the bar here with composed, creative aperitifs like a pamplemousse creme de mezcal and Aperol drink topped with champagne. There's also a selection of pitch-perfect classic drinks composed of original recipe cocktails.

    9. Bar Angeles

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    4330 W Sunset Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90029

    This easy-going Silver Lake restaurants has seasonal fare and pizzas to go along with solid cocktails that'll please most palates. Try The Black Lodge, mixing bourbon, Laphroig scotch, Cynar and Montenegro for a rich sipper.

    10. Black Rabbit Rose

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    1719 N Hudson Ave
    Los Angeles, CA 90028

    The Houston Brothers have remade the former Butchers & Barbers into a magic show and cocktail lounge (you need to buy separate tickets for the magic show). Crying Tiger, a Thai and Chinese concept from the Luv2eat Thai Bistro folks is available if you're hungry, while there's a set of magical drinks to sip on before the show begins.

    11. Felix

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    1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd
    Venice, CA 90291
    (424) 387-8622
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    Though the bar isn't very wide here, it's more than capable, with barman Brandyn Tepper at the helm. The ice is perfectly clear, the drinks are approachable and sip-worthy with Evan Funke's Italian dishes, and the vibe is ever so slightly European in a way that only Venice could pull off.

    12. Mama Lion

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    Koreatown has a sleek new cocktail lounge with barman Todd Eames overseeing the clubby sippers like the Alpine Lift, mixing gin, aperol, zirbenze, and white vermouth. The four-sided bar is the heart of the space, but be sure to order some bites by chef Michael Hung.

    13. SOCA

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    14015 Ventura Blvd
    Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
    (818) 301-4300
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    This swanky Valley restaurant comes from the team behind Boneyard Bistro, with an international approach to flavors. The cocktails veer heavily toward gin, which is a good thing if you love tonic. The happy hour itself has six different kinds of gin and tonic, featuring everything from Malfy gin with Fever Tree Indian tonic and shiso leaf to Mahon gin with tonic, grapefruit, and celery leaf.

    14. The Slipper Clutch

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    351 S Broadway
    Los Angeles, CA 90013
    (213) 265-7477
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    Simplicity is key at The Slipper Clutch, a throwback back tucked away in Downtown Los Angeles. You'll find club-style classics like vodka cranberry, bourbon and root beer, and seven & sevens as the highlights on the highball menu.

    15. Wabi Venice

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    1637 Abbot Kinney Blvd
    Venice, CA 90291
    (310) 396-8857
    Visit Website

    The reformed menus at this rather gorgeous Venice mainstay gives the place a completely different feel. The food menu feels very much like the vibe-y Japanese food you'd find in West Hollywood, while the wine and cocktail offerings feel updated for 2017. Step in, hang out, drink up, and enjoy.

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    1. Accomplice Bar

    3811 Grand View Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

    Status Kuo has now split into two concepts: Little Fatty, which remains in the former Kuo space, and now Accomplice, which is now overseen by Gaby Mlynarczyk. Accomplice is now a dark, modern cocktail lounge that's ideal for the rather sleepy part of Mar Vista. If you live on the Westside, this place is perfect place for you.

    3811 Grand View Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90066

    2. Here's Looking at You

    3901 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020

    Here's Looking at You has come into its own as a cocktail den that more than stands up to the food from chef Jonathan Whitener. The restaurant's recently-launched menu is an ode to Koreatown's past, like the rum-forward Cocoanut Grove with coconut cream, lime, and curaçao.

    3901 W 6th St
    Los Angeles, CA 90020

    3. Gwen

    6600 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

    Gwen might be one of LA's toughest tables. Luckily those unable to score a golden ticket ($190 for two) can sit on the lovely Sunset Boulevard-adjacent patio or at the bar inside to enjoy sips that come by way of bartender Mitchel Buschell.

    6600 W Sunset Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90028

    4. The Venue

    3470 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

    5. Birds & Bees

    207 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

    6. Delilah

    7969 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046
    Elizabeth Daniels

    h.wood group is back with this Art Deco-inspired hangout in West Hollywood that takes over the former DBA along Santa Monica Blvd. Like most h.wood spots, expect it to be hard to get into on busy nights, so make a reservation ahead of time. The cocktail program by Matt Seigel and Adam Koral offers new takes on classics drinks. In addition to some very likely celebrity-spotting, Delilah offers live music performances regularly.

    7969 Santa Monica Blvd
    West Hollywood, CA 90046

    7. Beauty & Essex

    1615 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

    One of the most gorgeous (and expansive) new restaurants in Los Angeles, it seems like there's as much lounge and bar space as there is dining room area for this New York City transplant. The drinks are going to veer toward the clubby and sweet, but that's honestly what most people want at places like this, right?

    1615 N Cahuenga Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90028

    8. Verlaine

    8715 Beverly Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90048

    This lovely dining room was once Dominick's, a legendary West Hollywood haunt. Now Baja California chef Diego Hernandez and the team behind Hinterland in Santa Monica have opened Verlaine. Aaron Melendrez is behind the bar here with composed, creative aperitifs like a pamplemousse creme de mezcal and Aperol drink topped with champagne. There's also a selection of pitch-perfect classic drinks composed of original recipe cocktails.

    8715 Beverly Blvd
    West Hollywood, CA 90048

    9. Bar Angeles

    4330 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

    This easy-going Silver Lake restaurants has seasonal fare and pizzas to go along with solid cocktails that'll please most palates. Try The Black Lodge, mixing bourbon, Laphroig scotch, Cynar and Montenegro for a rich sipper.

    4330 W Sunset Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90029

    10. Black Rabbit Rose

    1719 N Hudson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

    The Houston Brothers have remade the former Butchers & Barbers into a magic show and cocktail lounge (you need to buy separate tickets for the magic show). Crying Tiger, a Thai and Chinese concept from the Luv2eat Thai Bistro folks is available if you're hungry, while there's a set of magical drinks to sip on before the show begins.

    1719 N Hudson Ave
    Los Angeles, CA 90028

    11. Felix

    1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

    Though the bar isn't very wide here, it's more than capable, with barman Brandyn Tepper at the helm. The ice is perfectly clear, the drinks are approachable and sip-worthy with Evan Funke's Italian dishes, and the vibe is ever so slightly European in a way that only Venice could pull off.

    1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd
    Venice, CA 90291

    12. Mama Lion

    Los Angeles, CA 90005

    Koreatown has a sleek new cocktail lounge with barman Todd Eames overseeing the clubby sippers like the Alpine Lift, mixing gin, aperol, zirbenze, and white vermouth. The four-sided bar is the heart of the space, but be sure to order some bites by chef Michael Hung.

    13. SOCA

    14015 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

    This swanky Valley restaurant comes from the team behind Boneyard Bistro, with an international approach to flavors. The cocktails veer heavily toward gin, which is a good thing if you love tonic. The happy hour itself has six different kinds of gin and tonic, featuring everything from Malfy gin with Fever Tree Indian tonic and shiso leaf to Mahon gin with tonic, grapefruit, and celery leaf.

    14015 Ventura Blvd
    Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

    14. The Slipper Clutch

    351 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

    Simplicity is key at The Slipper Clutch, a throwback back tucked away in Downtown Los Angeles. You'll find club-style classics like vodka cranberry, bourbon and root beer, and seven & sevens as the highlights on the highball menu.

    351 S Broadway
    Los Angeles, CA 90013

    15. Wabi Venice

    1637 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

    The reformed menus at this rather gorgeous Venice mainstay gives the place a completely different feel. The food menu feels very much like the vibe-y Japanese food you'd find in West Hollywood, while the wine and cocktail offerings feel updated for 2017. Step in, hang out, drink up, and enjoy.

    1637 Abbot Kinney Blvd
    Venice, CA 90291

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