Best L.A. Bars for Celebrity Spotting
Go star-spotting at these glam hangouts.
When the stars come out at night in Los Angeles, they favor the crème de la crème of the city’s bars and lounges. Young Hollywood hot spots fluctuate, but these enduring picks are always pretty good bets for celeb sightings. Plus, they’re places where mere mortals can actually get in.
For more on Los Angeles bars, check out T+L's Guide to LA.
The moody décor at this storied hotel lounge (French château meets taxidermist den—note the stuffed peacock and monarch butterflies) pulls celebs into its dark corners. The likes of Carey Mulligan, Lindsay Lohan, Johnny Depp, and Leonardo DiCaprio have been spotted here knocking back classic cocktails and nibbling upscale bar bites like bacon-wrapped bourbon apples.
Hollywood loves its sushi, especially when it comes in as glam a package as this Philippe Starck–designed bar/resto. You might spy starlets like Jessica Simpson, Ashley Tisdale, and Miley Cyrus or leading men like Mark Wahlberg while sipping watermelon cucumber mojitos in the bar or sampling Katsuya Uechi’s spicy tuna beneath the oversize geisha-lip art. Additional locations in Brentwood, Downtown, and Glendale.
This gussied-up former dive bar is a community watering hole within a pretty exceptional (star-studded!) community. Along with Abbot Kinney hipsters and post-beach revelers, you might also spot notables like Laura Dern, Josh Brolin, Ben Harper, and Samantha Ronson as they relax with a beer, shoot some pool, or groove to the lively DJ.
The Polo Lounge
In this refined lounge’s Golden Age heyday, the Rat Pack and young ingenues like Marlene Dietrich and Elizabeth Taylor gathered here for both romance and dealmaking. Deep booths and dim lighting preserve the glamorous Old Hollywood feel, while the current cast of patrons might include Mary Louise Parker, Natalie Portman, or Dita Von Teese.
The Tower Bar
Housed in Bugsy Siegel’s old apartment in what’s now the Sunset Tower Hotel, this retro-Moderne bar/restaurant provides the ultimate in discretion to starry-eyed stars (Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield plus Jen Aniston and Justin Theroux have recently stopped in). Walnut-paneled walls, tuxedoed waiters, a jazz pianist, and vodka martinis keep things classically elegant.