Best Speakeasy - 2012
Next Door Lounge
The only indication that you've arrived at Hollywood's Next Door Lounge is the golden key on a sign out front and a doorman wearing pinstripes and spats. He'll ask you for the password, which you can request via the website (below), but don't worry if you don't have it. He'll let you in if you look like you belong inside, where a plush living room is staffed with waitresses in red flapper dresses and bartenders ready to serve up classic cocktails with a nouveau twist. Prohibition-era silent films play on the big screen, as patrons perch at the bar or settle in at the long, family-style table carved out of raw wood from Mel Gibson's estate. (Seriously.) Local musicians play bluesy tunes against the backdrop of exposed-brick walls and velvety sofas. Everything about Next Door Lounge evokes Old Hollywood glamour, with just the right touch of present-day charm. 1154 N. Highland Ave., Hlywd. (323) 465-5505, nextdoorhollywood.com.