Rooftop bars are always a little hard to suss out – especially when you’re just visiting. Will that sky-high cocktail lounge be filled with tourists and overpriced drinks? Is it a raging pool party when all you want is a beer with a view? Or alternatively, will it be severely lacking in liveliness?
To save you the legwork (and elevator rides), we’re taking a look at the best rooftops in Los Angeles. Pay particular attention to downtown LA and Hollywood – two neighbourhoods that are are acing the rooftop game right now, thanks to a steady stream of new restaurant and nightlife openings. Be sure to get in on the action.
8822 Cynthia St, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Two bars, a heated saltwater pool, fireplaces and a crowd of locals – Petit Ermitage is the holy grail of rooftop drinking spots. There’s also a garden that’s recognised as a hummingbird and butterfly sanctuary by the National Wildlife Federation (not your typical environment for a tipple). The cocktails also aren’t typical. Called ‘Spirited Love Potions’, the drinks are made with fruits and herbs from local farmers markets. For a bit of cinema with your spirits, stop by on Monday nights for outdoor film screenings on the Firedeck.
603 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Cocktails don’t get more California-centric than the boba drinks at this West Hollywood bar and restaurant. Walk This Way, for example, combines vodka, lychee, coconut water, lime and the tropical fruit pearls that Angelenos adore. Then again, California Love (rosé mixed with fruit) is another major ode to the state. Clearly cocktail creativity abounds at L.P., which happens to be one of the largest rooftop decks in the city.
3515 Wilshire Boulevard, 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90010
This one’s more of a greenhouse than a true rooftop – it’s also one you won’t want to miss. Located in Koreatown’s Line hotel, this restaurant and bar serves up vegetable-focused eats – including cauliflower tempura, charred carrots in green sauce with parmesan and green curry eggplant – and even fresher drinks. Try the Asian Pear cocktail (ginger gin, dill and mochi) or pick from the ‘Gin & Juice’ menu, which features alcoholic mixes with watermelon, beet, apple, pineapple or carrot.
The Highlight Room
6417 Selma Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Located on top of the Dream Hollywood, this Tao Group rooftop features unforgettable views, delicious drinks and plenty of good tunes by way of regular DJ sets. The Highlight Room is only open to hotel guests during the day, but goes public around 8pm. If you are looking for that rooftop pool party, you’ll often find one here. But heads up: the water-focused bashes are RSVP-only, so be sure to get on the Facebook invite and mailing list now.
448 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
If you were a bird who enjoyed Champagne, live jazz music and French food, Perch would certainly be your resting spot. But, of course, this roost is for the non-feathered variety. Bring your whole flock and enjoy everything mentioned above, plus cosy fire pits and DJ sets, at this downtown LA bistro.