Neighborhood Bars & Nightclubs
7702 Club (7702 Santa Monica Blvd.; 323-654-3336), with its brooding, dark environment, is offset by the bars suspiciously energetic 24-hour-a-day clientele.
7969 (7969 Santa Monica Blvd.; 323-654-0280), formerly known as Peanuts, was recently renovated, due to fire, but evenings like "Sin-a-Matic" and "Michelles XXX Topless Revue" forge fearlessly on.
Barneys Beanery (8447 Santa Monica Blvd.; 323-654-2287) is where frat boys sing bad karaoke Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays so buyer beware. Otherwise, a huge selection of beers from all over the planet.
Club Brasserie (1020 N. San Vicente Blvd., in the Bel Age Hotel; 310-854-1111) features live jazz Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Listen while dining Caliterra (Californian meets Italian) style.
The Comedy Store (8433 Sunset Blvd.; 323-656-6225) is where many funny guys and gals, including Jim Carrey, Robin Williams and Richard Pryor, began their ascent to comic fame.
Doug Westons Troubadour (9081 Santa Monica Blvd.; 310-276-6168) is the humid-as-hell, all-ages music venue that packs em in. But if youre under 21, you literally cant get out till the shows end some sort of safety thing.
Dublins Irish Whiskey Pub (8240 Sunset Blvd.; 323-656-0100) is where television sets reign ubiquitous. Downstairs is a trashy sports bar, but the upstairs changes pace for private parties, being more refined with its soft lighting, a cream-colored pool table and casual contempo décor.
The Factory (652 N. La Peer Drive; 310-659-4551) is an industrial, gleaming-silver, outer-spacy, color-mutable club that hosts DJs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
The Gardenia (7066 Santa Monica Blvd.; 323-467-7444) serves up both dinner and a slice of cabaret. Dinner 710 p.m., showtimes 9 p.m. nightly, in a New Yorkstyle setting.
Gold Coast (8228 Santa Monica Blvd.; 323-656-4879), lovingly referred to as "Vaseline alley," is also touted as the "best bar with the best music ever!" One will occasionally spot the panty-sporting habitué within the packed male sphere.
Goodbar (9229 Sunset Blvd.; 310-271-8355) is a trendy nightclub where one can find UCLA students, industry types, the Lakers and a preponderance of little black dresses.
House of Blues (8430 Sunset Blvd.; 323-848-5100), on whose hallowed walls perch an odd country/urban/New Guinea/naif/eclectic collection of artwork, is the famed venue where one can dine, drink, hear some rock, hip-hop, jazz, pop, etc.
Hunters Cocktail Lounge (7511 Santa Monica Blvd.; 323-850-9428) is where homecoming and drag queens mingle. Its a neighborhood bar with a Native American and gaming theme. Also sells nuts and Cracker Jacks.
J. Sloans (8623 Melrose Ave.; 310-659-0250) two floors contain typical sports-bar gear, banners, jerseys, televisions and precariously placed hanging decorations wagons, sleds, wheels, etc. like right above your head. Managements changed, so perchance the cops wont be there 24-7, like they were in those good-old-but-raucous days.
Key Club (9039 Sunset Blvd.; 310-274-5800) is an über-futuristic nightclub with computer monitors on the floor, in mirrors, and in red and glowing elevators so you wont miss one iota of the show. Theres a cage for bikini-clad, whipped dancers, "intelligent" lights, and bathrooms stocked with shampoo and Tootsie Pops. Its also a three-and-a-half-star restaurant, and a music venue for various DJs and the likes of Limp Bizkit, Def Leppard and Sarah McLaughlin.
LunaPark (665 N. Robertson Blvd.; 310-652-0611) has an intimate downstairs cabaret that hosts alternative musicians and offbeat comedians who joke of cornrowed pubic hair and the oxymoronic juxtaposition "PCH/Malibu gangsta posses." Upstairs, there are a few bars and dancing spaces, an outside patio and a chic dining area.
Mickys (8857 Santa Monica Blvd.; 310-657-1176) is home to shirtless bartenders, lights and swirling visuals. Thong-clad male dancers work the tables of mostly clothed, similarly swaying patrons.
Miyagis (8225 Sunset Blvd.; 323-650-3524) is a three-tiered testament to sushi and its obvious counterpart, dancing. Dancing on the tables is allowed and expected.
Mother Lode (8944 Santa Monica Blvd.; 310-659-9700), with its nod to all that is feminine with the "mother" moniker, is not really inviting the fairer sex to make themselves cozy. This is definitely an all-dude bar.
The Normandie Room (8737 Santa Monica Blvd.; 310-659-6204) is a small neighborhood bar that boasts bartenders emphatic about the slogan "No Homophobes, No Heterophobes and No Assholes."
The Palms (8572 Santa Monica Blvd.; 310-652-6188) is beholden to those Euro discos across the sea. Its a lesbian bar in which you can dance, shoot pool, drink and dodge the lone drunken man wholl shamelessly repeat the line "Is she bothering you?"
Rafters (7994 Santa Monica Blvd.; 323-654-0396) has an amateur drag-queen gong show the first Saturday of each month, karaoke Wednesdays and Sundays, and a piano bar Fridays. Well-lit and a little classier than the Boulevards eastern bar brethren, but girlies be damned, this is a mans bar.
Rage Restaurant and Bar (8911 Santa Monica Blvd.; 310-652-7055) is at night bathed in the clubs visual projections, video screens, flashing lights and topless dancing males.
Rainbow Bar & Grill (9015 Sunset Blvd.; 310-278-4232) crams rock-star photos and paraphernalia all over the walls. One can eat a full dinner until 2 a.m. and hope to spot some hungry rocker Slash, say, or David Lee Roth.
Revolver (8851 Santa Monica Blvd.; 310-659-8851) is a typical video bar typical in the sense that a bubbling waitress will pass out petite vials of something unidentifiable, while the entire male clientele stands dead center mesmerized by the myriad of diva-singing video screens.
The Roxy (9009 Sunset Blvd.; 310-276-2222) is a timeless rock venue with some territorial, aisle-clearing guards who really love their job. Theyre loud shouters: "Dont stand too close! Dont block the aisles!"
Spike (7746 Santa Monica Blvd.; 323-656-9343) has a self-proclaimed "cute" bartender who serves a few nights a week in this disco-lit, industrial/leather wasteland. Headless white torso busts are non-strategically scattered throughout its S&M mirrored expanse.
Tempest (7323 Santa Monica Blvd.; 323-850-5115) deserves its gale-alias: Later in its nightclub evening after dinner has been served hip-hop and house music have been known to whip certain folk into a frenzy.
Trunks (8809 Santa Monica Blvd.; 310-652-1015) is a haven for men who know and will debate where along Santa Monica Boulevard to find all the fresh-and-young and old-and-washed-up porn stars.
Ultra Suede (661 N. Robertson Blvd.; 310-659-4551) is an ultra-40s lounge that holds promos such as an 80s night, a girl bar, and the monthly Taboo, a fetish evening fabulously full of black vinyl, stiletto heels, laced thigh boots and gimp/gas masks.
The Viper Room (8852 Sunset Blvd.; 310-358-1881) is smaller than one imagines the notorious club co-owned by Johnny Depp would be. Industry types and international tourists abound.
Whisky a GoGo (8901 Sunset Blvd.; 310-652-4202) proves that The Doors, The Germs and Guns N Roses have something in common. And you can generally trust the place to rock.
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