The creative new cocktail lounge is tucked into the movie-star themed Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills Hotel.
1. It’s helmed by chef Brandon Boudet and Warner Ebbink, who preside over Dominick’s in West Hollywood and Little Dom’s in Los Feliz. MiniBar is a cozy new drinking establishment just above their classic diner 101 Coffee Shop (seen in Entourage and the film Swingers) on Franklin Ave. It’s a 32-seat lounge, housed inside the movie-star themed Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills Hotel (which has reasonable rooms if you need to sleep it off).
2. There are eight house specialty drinks. They include off-the-wall concoctions such as Alpine Hippie Juice (herbal liqueur and cassis), Regal Beagle Twinkle Toes (greyhound, sloe gin fizz and kir royale), and Godfather 101 (Scottish whiskey, rum and amaretto).
3. You can have also order beer, wine, and standard cocktails. The “Pick Your Poison” menu offers twists on the Rusty Nail (This Old House), gin martini (The Bernard) Manhattan (The Melvin) and the self-explanatory Fuzzy del Navel and Harvey Wallbanger.
4. The 1970s-chic music. Rod Stewart, Iggy Pop and Air Supply may come from the sound system, but they never overpower the room, thanks to the carpeted floor, and wood panel and upholstered walls.
5. Design. Handsomely appointed by Shawn Hausman, the creative force behind the Chateau Marmont and four Standard hotels, MiniBar has all the vibe of an old school cocktail joint done up in black, red, wood and brass, with all the amenities: swiveling lounge chairs on castors, nail-head-studded black vinyl stools and hooks under the bar for your bag.
6. Lighting. The 1960s-style sconces and the sensitively dimmed overhead spots aimed at the shiny black bar and gold-topped tables bounce flattering light on your face. Bonus points for having plantation shutters over the street-facing windows, so street lights and sunshine don’t make you squint—and no one can see you day drinking.
7. Speaking of windows: If you like to see and be seen, there’s a table that overlooks the back entrance of the 101. Not to name drop, but on a recent visit, Chris Pratt and Anna Farris were in one of the diner’s back booths.
8. There’s valet parking. And because it’s located in a mostly residential area, you might even find a free spot on the street. After, take the five-minute walk to the nearby groovy magazine, record and book stores, and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.
David A. Keeps is on the Los Angeles beat for Travel + Leisure. The host of Ovation TV's "Art and The City," he writes regularly about travel and design. Follow him on Twitter at @davidkeeps and Instagram at @davidkeepsinsta.
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