Any gallery that’s known for a signature cocktail (vodka with lemonade and rosemary) and rarely has an opening-night reception not hosted by a famous rocker or movie star deserves the top spot in this category. Things may have settled down from the days of fans literally crawling over alley fences to get into Merry Karnowsky Gallery, but lines down the block on opening night are still a common sight. It’s worth the wait, though, because once you’re inside, it’s a whole world of ’80s Soho-style buzz and bling, with high-production-value art that is always challenging, coveted, dark and a little romantic.170 S. La Brea Ave., Hancock Park. (323) 933-4408, —Shana Nys Dambrot

LA Weekly