LA. City of Angels. The Big Orange. Finding a great watering hole in any city can be tricky, but in LA it’s even harder. From the myriad of options only Los Angelenos know about, here are our 5 top local tips where to go out in West Hollywood – Partytown in a party town!
Finding a place to go out in LA can be a daunting prospect. With so many options spread out over such a vast area, your odds of finding a good place versus a real dump can look pretty long.
One of our favourite tips for shortening those odds is to ask a local. With a couple of insider tip-offs, enjoying the best hospitality of your new destination becomes much more likely.
If we can, we like to do one better than that and ask a local who’s in the industry. Want a great local restaurant? Ask your waiter. Hunting out the best museum? Ask a gallery staff member.
But best of all, if you’re in a hotel, have a drink at the bar, tip well on the first drink, then grill your wait staff!
We did exactly this in our hotel on our first night in LA recently. It worked a treat.
Not only did we get a short list of five top bars in West Hollywood, we also got the low-down on tipping in the USA – something that can be really tricky if you’re not from here.
Here are our local’s tips for West Hollywood, LA:
1. The Mondrian’s Sky Bar
Yes, this was our hotel bar where all this info was gleaned, but the bar here is still well worth the visit.
Set up above the uber-glam pool of the hotel, this bar serves great cocktails with a stunning view out over LA.
Anyone can come and drink here. If you’re driving, there’s also complimentary valet parking.
The hotel itself is also superb. Check out our review of The Mondrian here.
Sky Bar at The Mondrian
We made a beeline for Pearl’s, keen to check out the Sunset Strip and to see what WeHo had to offer. Up on the rooftop looking down on West Sunset Boulevard, this fun, ’20 style speakeasy.
The vibe is awesome here, even when it’s not too busy, the drinks are great and the burger is… well, it’s my number 1 in our Top 10 Burgers of All Time list. That should give you some indication of how good it is!
Check out our full review of Pearl’s here.
Pearl’s Liquor Bar
3. Rock ‘n’ Reilly’s Irish Pub
Literally downstairs from Pearl’s is Rock ‘n’ Reilly’s. In stark contrast to Pearl’s this is a rough and ready sports bar where real locals come for a drink.
Having said that, they have some great craft beer in the taps and they even have their own whiskey – the ginger rye we tried was delicious!
We sat at the bar and enjoyed a couple of rounds of great drinks while everything happened around us.
We’re not usually into the ubiquitous Irish pub scene, but this one’s great. Full of character and characters, you get the feel of real WeHo right here.
Rock & Reilly’s Irish Pub
More famous for its food than its drink – and even more famous for its venue – Carny’s is in fact an old Pacific train carriage.
It caught our eye as we went past it, but sadly we didn’t have time to check it out. Our source maintained it’s still worth trying; beer and wine’s cheap but go with an empty stomach. They boast the best ½ pounder burger in the whole city.
5. Pink Taco
If you really want to let your hair down, the Pink Taco seems to be where to go. We spotted this place around the same time as we saw Carny’s.
We’re told the Mexican food here is pretty good, but it’s “the (extremely) happy hour” that you want to go for: 3pm – 7pm every day, there are some serious deals to be had.
It’s hard to miss this pink monster right on the roadside – you’d be forgiven thinking it’s a strip club with it’s name and signage, but it’s straight up and well worth a look.
The most amazing yet thing about LA is how things are laid out. Places like Carny’s and The Pink Taco are literally a stone’s throw from the seriously impressive Chateau Marmont.
And if you want more direct contrast, luxuriant, bohemian Pearl’s and the have-a-go feel of Rock ‘n’ Reilly’s are virtually in the same building… it just doesn’t make any sense, which is the beauty of LA I suppose.
And it adds weight to the fact that finding these special needles in this concrete haystack would be pretty much impossible unless you ask a local.
How do you find a new destination’s hidden secrets? What little gems have you found recently thanks to someone’s tip? Tell us in the comments!