Now in its 15th year, Taz Murtaza and Adam Karimi's cigar hobby has turned into a full-time passion. Located on the western end of Melrose, the V Cut Smoke Shop & Lounge has cultivated a laid-back and refined clientele with, as Murtaza puts it, “a discriminating palate.” Walking into the spot is a little like marinating yourself in cigar smoke, which bears the scent of the medium- to full-bodied cigars they specialize in. V Cut is one of the few cigar shops to receive samples from the manufacturers to try out on their clientele. Making the ambience even better, each month jazz musicians accompany the cigar appreciation evenings. Throw in a game of backgammon, and you've got a perfect evening beneath the acridly rewarding haze. There's no alcohol served, but you can bring your own if you're willing to pay a corkage fee. 8172 Melrose Ave., Beverly Grove. (323) 655-5959, thevcut.com.