There's no shortage of bartenders who can whip up an elaborate cocktail at L.A.'s trendiest mixology bars. Of course, most of these suspender-wearing drink slingers take their craft so seriously that it could take all night before you ever get to taste their all-too-precious concoctions. That's simply not the case at Oldfield's Liquor Room, where veteran bartender Robin Jackson ensures there's never a line to order a drink — and it's not because her gorgeously garnished cocktails won't have you lusting for more. It's because she can expertly whip up retro classics — such as the $7 happy-hour special Amoxicillin (rum, lemon, honey and house-made ginger liqueur) — in seconds flat, and with a big smile on her face. A two-time winner of L.A. Times' Spirit of the Times punch competition, Jackson not only invents custom cocktails for her customers but does so with the charm and sophistication of a 1950s starlet and the skillful brevity of the most no-nonsense professional. It's the kind of old-fashioned customer service you simply won't find at those Hollywood cocktail lounges, despite what their lines at the bar might suggest. —Jennifer Swann
10899 Venice Blvd., Palms. (310) 842-8066, oldfieldsliquorroom.com.