10 of my favorite low-key cocktail bars in LA

The Golden Gopher in Downtown Los Angeles makes a solid Old Fashioned.

The Golden Gopher in Downtown Los Angeles makes a solid Old Fashioned.

I’ll admit it. I love bars with secret entrances. Bars with passwords and hidden doorways and mysterious doormen. Bars like No Vacancy in Hollywood or The Speakeasy in Pasadena get me every time. What can I say? The immersive/site-specific theatre-maker in me just eats that stuff up.

Still, there are times when I just want to sidle up to a cocktail bar that’s all about the cocktails. And I need a few spots in this sprawling city where I can actually have a conversation with someone over said cocktails. Someplace without the novel themes, the dance floors, and the long lines. None of it really matters if the drinks don’t hold up, and at the end of the day, a rock-solid cocktail will always be the main attraction for me. 

So, here are my current favorite spots in Los Angeles if you’re craving high-octane drinks and low-key conversation. I’ve tried to put pins across the map, from DTLA to Culver City to the Valley. Cheers, friends.

10 Cocktail Bars In L.A. You Need To Visit Right Now - on Vinepair