217, an unassuming lounge/club in Santa Monica is one of the best dance spots I've been to in LA. If you love to shake it and don't care about high-profile celebs or being at the "in" place - 217 is the perfect place. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights are best - although it can get pretty crowded. The main room plays hip hip - from trendy to old school to underground. The back lounge area plays trance and techno music, so that you can nod your head to infectious tunes while chatting it up with friends. Drink prices are reasonable and the best part is that the atmosphere is fun and relaxed. Get there before 10:30pm to avoid any lines.
Dress Code: Anything goes - dress stylishly, but you can certainly wear jeans and comfortable shoes. Ladies, I recommend close-toe shoes, because the dance floor gets crowded at times and your feet may get stepped on!
Live music most nights. Not downtown trendy. Up Pico Blvd near the back edge of Santa Monica at 33rd St. Here you find an adult place. Not the 21 year old slit your head with loud music joint.
This place is a cool bar. A full selection of good top shelf booze and OK selection of beers on tap. MMmmm Bass on tap. My wife loves the martini's.
Classy atmosphere and more often than not live music. Sometimes Jazz. Sometimes Rock. Always worth it. Food is good and bar and grill selections. Appetizers and real dinner selections. Basic stuff but with a bit of classy flair. This can make a good Date place. Even if it is a date with your wife and you have to pay for a baby sitter.
You will likely want to stay for one more song and order another round. Then stay for two more songs. Then have to pay the baby sitter extra. But you'll feel good about it.
Good Live Music and Jazz is hard to find. Zac (the owner) does a good job.
You can hear yourself think. You will not have to push your way in and yell at the bar tender like at Harvelles.
Dress Code: There is no dress code but most are dressed with style.
Check the web site out. Find the menu (lft edge of web page) and take a look.
Located close to the beach just South of Santa Monica pier the Library Alehouse is a good place to hang out and down a few pints of ale's.
I am a big fan of amber ale's, especially Belgian style so I like this pub.
The bar area is rather small and cozy, but behind they have a heated patio with more seating. I had their pesto chicken sandwich and that was decent, but with so many restaurants around the area the main draw of this place is definitely the ale's.
This activity is fun in the day or evening, but I prefer spending a more laid back night walking the Promenade and taking in the local characters. Parking is pretty tight so if you don't see something on your first drive around the area it may be best to opt for a parking garage (most are just a couple of dollars).
The Promenade is a pedestrian only street that has shops, restaurants and street performers. Walking down it you get the feel your back in time with the trees covered in lights and the street musicians strumming their guitars. Stop off for a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants, grab a seat on the patio and people watch. It's a nice mixture of locals and tourists just getting out for the night and hanging out. The shops are nice and there are street vendors as well (check out the dog boutique stall... too cute!) There are all sorts of performers trying to get the crowds attention and most of them are quite good at what they do. There are some homeless people who will ask you for money, but none of them seemed agressive and the street is filled with so many people that one never feels unsafe.
Dress Code: Casual
Enjoy the nightlife on this busy street of Santa Monica. Watch the people, the street performers / musicians and the lights...
Heaps of place to dine or have a cup of coffee or even find yourself a bar to party into the night...
There's always shopping at this time of the night.
Get your groove on in this comfortable lounge with good dj's. The place is dark and candle lit and real quiet until the kiddies roll in around 11 and everybody starts dancing...it's real fun!
Dress Code: Wear what you want...every body wears LA hip casual. Then again so does the whole freakin' world now. You know what to wear.
Gotham Hall is a funky cool hangout along the 3rd Street Prominade in Santa Monica. You might overlook it since it's on the 2nd floor & there's only a small sign outside. They offer FREE POOL from 5 - 9pm which brings me in. Large main room with JumboTron sized screen for sporting events or music concerts on DVD. Lot's of overstuffed RECLINER chairs to watch the games from. There's an upstairs w/ more pool tables, a dark, velvet draped chill-out living room. Check out their website to catch some of the feel of this joint..
Dress Code: Casual to Pimpin', whatever you're comfy in.
I'm so glad I get the opportunity to let you all know how freakin' awesome this place is. I've been to just about all the so-called 'hip' clubs in LA, but this place remains my personal favorite.
Very little pretense at the Room. Yeah, there's a line if you get there after eleven, but it's generally a first-come first-serve deal; there's none of the who's who BS. When you do get in, you'll find that the Room is about three things only: drinking, dancing, and hanging out. Drinks are stiff and the hip hop (on Fridays) is off the chain, as they say. If you get there before ten, you can usually snag one of the booths along with wall where you can watch the party unfold during the course of the night.
So, if you're looking for a casual place to hang with your friends- and listen to some great music- check out the Room.
Dress Code: casual
If you've come from the UK to get away from it all, and see the true America, then why not come to this place? It was described by one of our party as "the most British pub he's been to in Los Angeles". I would certainly describe it as one of the most British (officially an Irish bar - aren't they all) pubs I've been to in the whole of America, right down to the extreme volume and crowds near the door (go further in and it's not too bad, just like home!).
They had an unbelievable number of beers on tap as well, including Guinness (and a fairly good pint as well), Stella Artois, Pilsner, Boddingtons, Strongbow, and many others.
One of our party had fish and chips as well, and described them as excellent.
Basically, one of the few places in LA where you can get a decent pint of Guinness!
My best friend Samantha and I checked out Zanzibar on a Sunday night by recommendation. The vibe is Middle Eastern, with plush cushions to flop on as you watch the crowd dance to the beats. The place is pretty crowded on Sunday nights, when the DJ spins underground hip hop and the best mix I have ever heard of Soul II Soul's "Back to Life". On Friday nights, it gets packed and the scene is more trendy. The music is a little more mainstream but with a funky twist.
Dress Code: Don't leave home without your Sean John warm up suit.
I was just at Harvelle’s this Saturday for the first time and loved it. It’s a blues club that reminded me of the Chicago-type blues club. It had a 30ish crowd, with a great live blues band and a dance floor. It wasn’t too crowded, has good seating, interesting 'blues' art, and is friendly. The cover was $10, and the beer was about $4.
Dress Code: Casual