When it comes to a night on the town, time is the Angeleno’s hottest commodity. Getting from dinner to concert venue to post-show watering hole can do a number on your wristwatch as much as your wallet, and if you happen to be the evening’s tour guide, your blood pressure and likability are liable to take a hit as well.
Believe me, I get it – your internship at that production company keeps you more stressed than anyone making copies should ever be and you just want to enjoy your time off without having to use senior year calculus to determine when you need to leave each stop to make it to the venue on time.
Friend, you’re in luck.
These are four of the best full-service venues Los Angeles has to offer. With killer in-house food and drink, there’s no more need for time-table Tetris. Each is guaranteed to keep you sane, well-fed, and more than a little buzzed (and one will leave you well-rested).
The Hi Hat, Highland Park
With its billiard tables, exposed brick, and committed regulars, The Hi Hat has all the charm of a dive bar with none of the grime. It’s a favorite for local up-and-comers like TV Girl and LA Witch and regularly hosts podcasts, movie screenings, and benefits.
It may be the preeminent music venue in Highland Park, but it also holds its own among other east side fare. Choose from one of their several bagel schmears (the lox are real lox, y’all) or go for it with the North of York bagel sandwich. My herbivore friends rave about the house-made vegan burgers and I have been known to make a spectacle foundering on the Lord of the Fries.
The Hi Hat is pure LA and the perfect place to find your new favorite band before they play Coachella a couple years down the road. If you’re visiting or just want to up your local-cred, this is where you live, now.
The Mint, Los Angeles proper
An oft-forgotten LA landmark, The Mint is a destination for both fledgling and well-established acts like Schuyler Fisk, The Show Ponies, and Ben Harper. With so many venues mirroring the transience of the city, The Mint is a breath of fresh air. Unmistakably Los Angeles with a dash of southern hospitality, The Mint wants you to kick back, relax, and stay awhile.
Take in the opener while you munch on Calamari Tempura and enjoy a selection from their expansive (for a music venue) wine list. Choose from their menu of southwest and asian-inspired entrees then dance the night away to the headliner.
Theatre at the Ace Hotel, Downtown
If there’s one venue where you can hit the bottle a little harder than usual, it’s this one.
Originally a movie theater built in the 1920s, the Spanish-Gothic theater is attached to the Ace Hotel. While the Theatre itself offers a full bar and snacks, its real gastronomic achievements can be found next door in the hotel at one of its four restaurants.
Have the most trendy progressive dinner known to man and start your evening at LA Chapter for one of their specialty music-themed cocktails (I like the Hazy Shade of Winter). Move on to The Mezzanine for a little communal dining—and the arugula and fennel salad—then head over to the venue for acts like The Milk Carton Kids, Van Morrison, or one of their orchestra-backed showings of classic films. Wrap up your night with dessert and wine at The Upstairs while you take in the city from its best angle: night.
And of course, if you’ve had a little too much fun, book yourself a room at the hipster-beloved Ace Hotel and sleep it off before work the next morning.
Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood (or The Valley depending on your bias)
I really hate to anchor this list with the Bowl, but it’s the Michael Phelps of music venues and I’d be doing you (and America) a disservice if I didn’t.
People love the Bowl for being picnic friendly—you can bring your homemade charcuterie plate and two-buck chuck to almost any event—but one would be remiss never to take advantage of the Bowl’s lavish provisions.
While harkening to the theater cathedrals of eastern Europe, the Hollywood Bowl is more compound than theater. With two restaurants, street food carts, and a bougie grocery store that makes Whole Foods look like it isn’t even trying, you’d have to eat every meal at the Bowl for years to come close to exhausting its options. I recommend the bacon-wrapped dates at The Wine Bar (your pinky will descend by the headliner, I promise) and the Spanish Fried Chicken from Kitchen 22.
Any venues with great menus you love (or just want to wax rhapsodic about the El Cid)? Let us know on Twitter!
Go out tonight, and any night. Jukely is a concert subscription that gives members guestlist access to hundreds of music events – for one price. Whenever you want to go out, you’ll always have something to do. Learn more and sign up at jukely.com.