The Place: Suede Bar & Lounge, 404 S Figueroa St., Suite 102, Los Angeles; (213) 489-3590.
The Hours: Monday through Friday, from 4 to 8 p.m.
The Deals: $4 well drinks and house wine, $4 draft beers, $4-$6 appetizers.
The Digs: Tucked inside of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, Suede Bar & Lounge screams romance and Valentine's Day, with red lighting, couches, and pillows throughout. After you take a long walk through the hotel, with guests eyeing you through the lobby, you'll find friendly waitresses in skimpy Vegas style get-ups, and a bouncer who is refreshingly welcoming and smiley. From the street entrance, Suede appears large and flashy, but once inside, the small bar is much more intimate.
The Verdict: Judging by its exterior, Suede seems like a red-rope situation. Au contraire. It's a nightclub with strict dress code, minus the Hollywood attitude. And the T.I. theme song "Bring Em Out" streaming on the bar's website pretty much sums it up. The line to enter the bar/club is small, even during peak hours, but the DJ's House jams are big and loud (think Top 40 remixes). The happy hour menu is fairly standard. Nothing fancy--well drinks of your choice, about 6 draft beers (and bottles) including Blue Moon, New Castle, and Stella Artois. Food items are what you'd expect from a hotel bar--butcher's plate, cheese plate, ahi tuna tartare, etc. Valet parking at the Westin is $7, which is a pretty good deal for downtown. Recession Mondays are your best bet, with $3 drinks and appetizers from 4 p.m. until closing. So, if you are jonesing for a vodka-soda after work, with Snoop Dog rapping in your ear, this is the place to be.
Overall Grade: C+
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