Our Critics' Picks


The Hollywood Studio Bar & Grill

6122 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Best Of
This intimate live-music bar and restaurant is tucked into the Gower Gulch mini-mall, which was once the stellar nexus of early Tinseltown history. These days, the club presents a similarly stellar assortment of top-flight jazz musicians, as well as comedy, blues, flamenco and pop showcases. Presented by Dolores Peterson, the club's signature weekly open mic features such redoubtable jazz vets as pianist-leader Karen Hernandez, bassist Tony Dumas and drummer Ralph Penland backing up sometimes heavy surprise guests. And yet, located at the busy intersection of Sunset Boulevard and the aptly named El Centro Avenue in the heart of Hollywood, the room's vibe is convivial and calming instead of brassy and showy. Booths along the wall and small tables on the wooden floor face a low stage wedged in the corner, where the performers hover palpably close to diners. Black-&-white photos of legendary musicians are framed on wood-paneled walls, while the booths are adorned with elaborate touches like semi-circular, inverted-pyramid-shaped Art Deco-style lamps. The cover and minimums vary but are generally low, with some drinks and entrees priced moderately higher. Chef Juan Mercado's continental menu includes favorites like spinach quesadilla, gazpacho and the salmon mango salad. The restaurant has a small outdoor patio, and, in a true Hollywood rarity, free parking in the mini-mall's lot. Full bar.

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