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Making Spirits Bright: Craft Cocktail Bars Near The Pearl

From clandestine speakeasies to Mad Men cocktail lounges and Parisian Art Nouveau salons, Ktown and nearby DTLA are swirling in bars and boîtes to make every spirit bright! Whether it’s Happy Hour after work, a special occasion, or an impromptu gathering with friends, residents of The Pearl have countless options to wet their whistle!

 

The Normandie Club

3612 W 6th Street

Los Angeles, CA 90005

 

Inspired by the moody elegance of a classic cocktail lounge, The Normandie Club serves up creative drinks with a side of atmosphere. Located in the historic Hotel Normandie, this popular Koreatown bar offers an ever-changing cocktail menu, along with a hand-picked selection of wines and bubblies. Fresh twists on old favorites include the Spritz (Blanc Vermouth, Cucumber Water, Douglas Fir Eau De Vie, Clarified Lime Juice, Mint, Fizz), Collins (Blanco Tequila, Pineapple & Lemon Juices, Campari, Cinnamon, Pear Brandy, Seltzer), Bloody Mary (Aquavit, Fresh Tomato, Celery & Red Bell Pepper Juices, Savory Spices, Lemon Salt & Pepper), Daiquiri (Rum, Singani 63, Lime Juice, Crème de Pêche de Vigne, Demerara) and Old Fashioned (Coconut Bourbon, Apple Brandy, Spiced Almond Demerara, Angostura Bitters). Get there early to snag a booth–this place fills up fast!

 

The Walker Inn

3612 W 6th Street

Los Angeles, CA 90005

 

Spirited away from the madding crowd, The Walker Inn is only accessible through a “secret door” toward back of The Normandie Club. Friendly hosts will show you the way, and you simply push a button to the left of the door (a red light will come on) and someone will be right with you. Once inside, guests have a range of exciting drinking options–specialty cocktails and classics, along with a smaller tasting menu priced at $40 per person. Cocktails change frequently, depending on the seasons or the the whim of the creative team. Bar seating is reserved for The Walker Inn Tasting Menu, an adventurous journey that blurs the lines between drink and food (small snacks accompany the cocktails). The Tasting Menu has between six and seven courses and costs $70 per guest. Reservations for the bar and lounge can be made one month in advance. Reservations slots are for 1 hour and 15 minutes and begin promptly at your reservation time, either at 7pm or 9pm. Reservations here.

 

Lock & Key

239 S Vermont Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90004

 

There’s a speakeasy epidemic in town and Lock & Key is one of the best around. Hidden behind a lackluster building with a red door, to enter, you must first pull on the correct door knob, and only one of them actually opens the door. Once inside, you’ll discover a dark, intimate space decked out in black, gold and green, topped off with shimmering mirrored ceilings. Settle into a comfy tuffed booth, or sidle up to the rather long bar, and order up one of their Signature Cocktails with fun names like Razzle Dazzle, Torpedo, Secret Coalition, Old Money, and Joie de Vivre. Dinner menu includes their mainstay Steak & Frites, and shareable dishes like Avocado Toast, Deviled Eggs, Lollipop Chicken Wings, and Southern Fried Chicken Sliders.Table Service Packages are available, based on a $300 minimum per table (plus tax and gratuity.) Maximize your craft experience with a choice of Lock & Key’s Signature Cocktail Punch Bowl, a potent concoction made with fine spirits and fresh ingredients. Reservations here.

 

Dress Code Alert: Upscale casual attire encouraged – t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, shorts (men), sports attire, athletic sneakers, flip-flops are prohibited.

 

The Wolves

519 S. Spring Street

Los Angeles, CA 90013

 

Located in the historic Alexandria Hotel in the heart of DTLA, The Wolves is a breathtaking homage to the Parisian Art Nouveau salons of the early 1900s. The Falls’ Al Almeida and designer Daniel Salin have partnered to create an authentic bar and restaurant environment, with the goal to breed the next generation of creatives. Designed with period antiques from across America, the restaurant boasts the only balcony dining inside and outside on Spring Street. The vibe is elegant yet approachable, with a live performance stage located in the back for vaudevillian theater, performance art, and live music. Whiskey and cocktail enthusiast Kevin Lee makes all the vermouths, bitters, and liqueurs, using seasonal produce and local ingredients to emulate the European originals, but with a distinctive Southern California context. The Wolves offers a full restaurant menu, from Starters (Charcuterie, Baby Arugula and Salami, Cherry Tomato Flatbread with Burrata Cheese), to Mains (Steak Frites, Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese, Chicken Cacciatore) and Sweets (Butterscotch Pudding Crème Brûlée GF, Cashew Cheesecake V &GF). Parking, directions and more info here.