Los Angeles Nightlife: Usually the New Year is all about abstemious resolutions. No smoking. No red meat. More exercise. All those things we should be doing the rest of the year, but end up relaxing after about a month or so.
For those of you who want to start the New Year drinking, smoking and…well, other fun stuff, there’s a new Hollywood drinking den to help you ring in 2011 with all your bad habits intact: Hemingway’s.
Named after the manliest bad boy of all time, whose motto was: “Drinking is a way of ending the day,” Hemingway’s is the newest venture from nightlife kingpin Johnny Zander, the man behind Tropicana Bar, Teddy’s and Green door. Forget about finding a trend-heavy cocktail scene here, though. The menu is all old-school style with literary references that make boozing it up here feel classy, like you’re hanging out with Hemingway himself in a friend’s well-stocked private library.
Our favorite thematic design touches include tall bookshelves and pillars holding nearly 10,000 old books scavenged from yard sales and estate sales, plush red velvet banquettes, Art Deco-style chandeliers, an atmospheric enclosed patio, and the dozens of antique typewriters with lines from Hemingway’s works typed out on sheets of paper doing duty as wall decoration.
Go all out decadent with a Moveable Feast cocktail with rye whiskey, sage, lemon, honey and berries; tempt fate with a Death in the Afternoon of absinthe, champagne, muddled berries and sour mix; or live to drink another day with the Sun Also Rises cocktail of gin, chartreuse, basil and cucumber. Then again, Hemingway wasn’t one to mince words, so perhaps just sip a simple take on the mojito called the Old Man and the Sea (there’s no way you’d die of dehydration here, though).
And though you might not have the same celebrity experiences as the husky old writer himself enjoyed—starlet Ava Gardner used to skinny dip in the pool at Hemingway’s Key West home—chances are you’ll find more than a handful of celebrities and industry insiders there on any given night.
At a loss for how to open the conversation? Just tell them about that Great American novel you’ve been meaning to write all these years…and order another cocktail.
6356 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90068
Eric Rosen lives in Los Angeles and writes about food, wine, travel and adventure... usually in some combination of the four. He regularly contributes to Los Angeles Confidential Magazine, Condé Nast's HotelChatter and Jaunted, TravelAge West, Palate Press, Frontiers, Edge and Wandermelon. His work has also appeared in the L.A. Times. When he is not exploring the Los Angeles dining scene, Eri...(Read More)