7 Rooftops Bars Worth the Trip Across Town
Get a new view on the City of Angels from high above. There’s a rooftop bar for every mood, from the 73rd floor of downtown’s new Intercontinental Hotel to the eye-level view of the Hollywood Sign from a luxury apartment building roof. These are destinations to impress an out-of-towner or just your jaded self, so cheers already.
Best Quiet Little Secret: Filfera
This is a rarefied stretch of cloud up in here: You’re on the top of a residential building called the Hollywood Proper Residences, and the rooftop bar, known as Filfera, asks that you make a reservation before you stop by. Also, the indoor-outdoor space was decorated by celebrity interior designer Kelly Wearstler, so it’s got sexy-elegant inset stone, striped upholstery and a rainbow of liquors lined up against a window behind the bar. Order a lavender-lemon vodka Collins and enjoy a conversation—it’s one of the few area nightspots without a thumping bass line.
1550 N. El Centro Ave.; 323-786-3762 or livehollywoodproper.com
Best Bragging Rights: Spire 73
It’s on the 73rd floor of the new InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, which is touted as being the tallest outdoor bar in the Western Hemisphere (yay, American exceptionalism!). The panoramic views stretch all the way to Pasadena when the weather is clear, but don’t worry: A tall glass windscreen and heat lamps keep you cozy.
900 Wilshire Blvd., 73rd fl.; or 213-688-7777
Best Traffic Jam Antidote: The Rooftop by JG
Get thee to the newly opened Beverly Hills Waldorf Astoria immediately, if not to sleep there, then to have a drink at the bar and see the lights go down over Beverly Hills. Skip the weekends, when it’s packed; weeknights, this is your perfect after-work place to wait out the traffic.
9850 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-860-6566 or waldorfastoriabeverlyhills.com
Best Hipster Watching: The Ace Hotel DTLA
The top of this 1927 building draws in the fashionable crowd, who may be visiting out-of-town friends staying in the hotel or seeing a show at the grand theater in the building. Decorated by trendy celeb favorites Commune Design, the space features an outdoor area inspired by restored Aztec architectural elements and plenty of seating to mingle.
929 S. Broadway; 213-623-3233 or acehotel.com/losangeles
Best to Impress the Out-of-Towners: Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica
During the day and at sundown, the Onyx indoor-outdoor bar has a beachy, casual feel. After dark, when the DJ and dancing start, the place changes to a more sophisticated (i.e., you can’t wear shorts) destination nightspot.
1301 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica; 310-394-2791 or shangrila-hotel.com
Best Exotic Mixology: LP Rooftop
Half the drinks menu nods to the sister restaurant, EP Asian Eating House, just downstairs, such as a white whiskey and Thai tea paired with tapioca boba. Other cocktails riff on the Sunset Strip nearby (the Rock ’n’ Roll mouthwash, for example, blends bourbon, lemongrass, Kaffir lime and ginger). The wraparound wooden bar looks like something from the Hollywood Hills, which is, not coincidentally, what you’re looking across into.
603 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; 310-855-9955 or eplosangeles.com
Best for Funky Hollywood Street Life: Mama Shelter
The multicolored tables and poppy striped banquettes lend a youthful feeling to this sixth–story rooftop, which takes over the roof of the reasonably priced (rooms from $269!) boutique hotel of the same name. Light meals include a make-your-own cheese board with grilled bread, grapes, jam, burrata and prosciutto. A glass (or two) of rose sangria pairs perfectly with that and the view.
6500 Selma Ave.; 323-785-6600 or mamashelter.com