Akbar continues to be a top-notch stop for barhoppers — straight and gay alike — nearly 16 years after opening. The exotic spot always has great music pumping, whether from top-notch DJs in the dance room or the killer jukebox in the loungey bar area. There's a cool staff, potent cocktails and a central location with plenty of parking in the neighborhood. For these reasons it's a spot of choice for shows from promoters like drag diva Miss Barbie-Q (Shhhh!), Mario Diaz (Full Frontal Disco) and Selene Luna (Dog & Pony Variety show) on weekends. Whether packed to the gills with femme-y fellows and suspendered butch boys, or smattered with breeders boozing during happy hour, it doesn't matter. This Sunset Junction gem has a keep-it-real zeal that brings people together and keeps them coming back. 4356 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake. (323) 665-6810, akbarsilverlake.com.

—Lina Lecaro

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