By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
Dolce, 8284 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 852-7174; Chi, 8401 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 848-3884. Barkeeps keepin' on atthe Burgundy Room. STAR SHOES/BEAUTY BAR/BURGUNDY ROOM Somebody coined “the Cahuenga Corridor” for the stretch of Hollywood where these three bars are planted, but those who bar-hop here on the weekends call it “the Cahuenga Clusterfuck.” A new dance club, restaurant or coffeehouse seems to pop up along the ’Wenga (we coined that one) nearly every week, but you can’t beat this trio of bars for their free DJ nights, many of which also function as after-parties when local rock shows get out. Mix-meister Cut Chemist can be found scratching and patching on Friday nights at Star Shoes (around the corner on Hollywood Boulevard), but in general, we prefer the area’s weeknight promotions. Radio at S.S. on Wednesday night rules with wild conceptual eves (such as monthly truth-or-dare games and skinny-boy burlesque shows), and you never know who you might see behind the decks: Peaches, Carlos D. from Interpol, members of Ima Robot and Junior Senior. The turntable talent at Beauty Bar can be equally stellar. One night it’s Yeah Yeah Yeah’s bassist Nick Zinner spinning obscure garage, the next it’s the Raveonettes’ Sune Rose Wagner with a set of ’50s and ’60s doo-wop after his Spaceland shows. A star of another breed, local designer-photog-It-boy Apollo Staar lives up to his name across the street at the Burgundy Room with his Thursday-night shindig, Rock ’n’ Roll High School. Tattooed kewpie-doll gals and guys rocking sunglasses at night (which at the darker-than-dark Burgundy equals totally blind) revel in Staar’s sleazy mixes of glam, punk and metal. The bar’s New York–dive vibe makes it a refreshing alternative to the polished poshness of Hollywood’s new slew, and it’s still one of the best spots to get your rocks off.
Star Shoes, 6364 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 462-7827; Beauty Bar, 1638 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 464-7676; Burgundy Room, 1621 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 465-7530. THE STANDARD (DOWNTOWN)
The amazing rooftop view. The groovy Austin Powers décor. The White Stripes–esque worker uniforms. The so-shallow-even-drunkards-can-take-a-dip (though we don’t suggest it) pool. What’s not to love about this downtown version of the Hollywood hotel hang? Well, the super-mellow music that the DJs spun when it first opened, for one. Sure, spacey lounge and ambient-chill grooves are fitting in a spot with waterbed pods and a fireplace, but we always longed to hear the rawk, or even some booty-grinding dance jointz amid the skyscrapers. Looks like the Standard is coming around to our way of thinking. They’ve really been mixing it up musically lately, with a new Monday-night rock bash and especially on Sundays, when the purveyors of irony and indie-ness from Cinespace Tuesdays throw their daytime party called Sunday Fundays. Resident Steve Aoki and Frani Chan, along with guests like Peaches, spin everything from Cheap Trick to Hot Hot Heat to the Sugarhill Gang to Michael Jackson (which is still ironic to spin, though in a couple of years it’ll probably just be “old school” again), keeping hipsters in gigantic sunglasses and choppy haircuts shakin’ and bakin’ till sundown.
550 Flower St., downtown, (213) 892-8080. VIDA When Fred Eric (of Fred 62 on Vermont) reigned over this Hillhurst restaurant, it seemed to have identity issues. Was it a hoity-toity boîte serving expensive cuisine or a raging nightclub where Mohawked maulers traded rants at “Punk Rock Karaoke”? Well it was both, but sometimes you can’t have it both ways, ya know? Since he sold the restaurant last year, the place seems a lot more laid back. It still serves food, but the delicious DJ nights are what keep ’em coming. Wednesdays, Tamar Michelle of Love Drug promotes Happenshack, with DJ AveB Blair spinning rock & roll for Silver Lake’s stylin’ vintage-clad scene, while the first Saturday of each month the place becomes the after-party hub for Echo Park Boulevard’s monthly art-show block parties, hosted by the jewelry boutique Han Cholo. The last Saturday we popped in, our pals sunk into a comfy booth to sip martinis in the more mellow main bar while we went into the DJ room, where the curiously named DJ Pube$ spun some sick mixes of funk, rock and hip-hop that were just too irresistible not to move to. The Rolling Stones and Sir Mix-a-Lot mixed, not mashed, into each other followed by some crazy ’80s robot jam. It’s these kinds of all-over-the-place DJ sets that make la Vida truly loca. And we love it.
1930 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz, (323) 660-4446.
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