You want to go out, but bumping bass and sweaty dance floors aren’t the only options for nightlife entertainment. We agree, it is a crazy concept to wrap your head around, but an evening out shouldn’t have to end with your skull in the toilet. Opt for something that’s a bit more intimate, maybe a venue that ‘s situated lower on your nightlife bucket list. If you’re in LA, you’re in luck – we’ve already done the manual labor for you!
Monsoon is a restaurant/bar and lounge club set amongst bamboo-laden poles and Thai chandeliers. The undisturbing musical score for this place can be anything from jazz and R&B to light pop. The food is quite tasty, too--just don't get any on your Sunday best, which you should be wearing when you come into this joint. Unless, there really is a monsoon in the cafe; then wear what you will – it’ll be cool.
The Woods, in the former Lava Lounge space, unearths a lustrous, low-key lounge that caters to an eclectic crowd. With hand-cut cedar blocked walls, tree-trunk tables and elk-antler chandeliers, The Woods feels exactly like… the woods. Until you fold over onto the cozy, chocolate-brown banquettes, you may fear that you’ve lost your way along La Brea. But fear not, there will be cocktails aplenty and a lulled atmosphere to calm your weary soul.
With drinks as big and strong as the dudes on Venice Beach, it is hard to imagine Foxfire Room with an atmosphere that is anything but intoxicatingly relaxed. And it’s a total dive, so its customers don’t expect a whole lot of pretension. Grab your hurricane glass, a dollar - or two - and head over to the juke box. The fellow slouched over in front of the music machine will appreciate your kindness.
Lengthy couches under swanky lamps accommodate Air Conditioned’s wine aficionados with ease. The afro-funk house music provides a surprisingly tranquil backdrop to Santa Monica’s busy streets. Air Conditioned is the perfect venue to take the edge off after a long day at the office. We suggest Wednesday’s - when Happy Hour means a $10 bottomless glass .
The candle-lit interior, stylish furniture, and small dimensions make Hyde a posh, but mellow place to enjoy a cocktail or sushi roll on most weeknights. On the weekends, the club fills to capacity quick and you might end up standing in line for over an hour before cramming in with the other sweaty scene-sters. A small DJ booth in the main room features sets of dance, hip hop, and rock spun by local DJs that caters to the crowd dancing below, but after 10pm, Hyde is not for the claustrophobic.
Without a VIP section or bottle service, S Bar has the average yokels bumping elbows and tipping glasses with Hollywood celebrities and prestige scaling, television newbies. The diversity of the colorful decor applies equally to the clientele because in the S Bar there is no separation, everyone shares the same seats and the same great bar. And in its egalitarian spirit, there is no pressure and worry is not a welcome thought. If you’re looking for a no-bullshit scene, S Bar is it.
Coach and Horses
Coach and Horses is one of West Hollywood’s gems; a casual dive, but a brilliant one at that. The juke box is the main attraction, unless you go for the suave, ‘I’m a hot bartender’ kind of thing. Take a seat in one of the dimly-lit, red leather booths and enjoy the view with a hard-earned brew – or even, a nap. Don’t mind the woman at the end of the bar slurping Sambuca straight up; she’s always there.
Burlesque shows and concerts don’t necessarily scream low-key, (It would be an annoying performance if they did) but for this West Hollywood dig, it seems to work. The venue is intimate, with the gold-walled and chandelier-lit décor to match. 24 K boasts multiple seating areas that feel like private VIP lounges. The crowd here tends to keep to themselves, so if going out to hang-out alone is your thang - then work it, honey.