Sunday, July 15, 2012

Where to Drink: Bars, Bars, Bars & Lounges @ Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

The Drinks: Six distinct bars and lounges with very unique cocktails 

The Vibes: Hollywood swag

Good for: Those nights you want to hit the Hollywood scene, but in a more laid-back kind of way

When-to-Go: Any day/night of the week

With-Whom-to-Go: Alone, dates, friends, out-of-town visitors…

The $ Factor: $$: Drinks average $12-$15 across the board

The 4-1-1: Parking options consist of valet, an adjacent parking structure, free street parking, metered and street parking.

I’ll Be Back…: For the Tiki Nights at The Spare Room and Monday movie nights at the Tropicana Bar!

There’s been poolside networking mixers. Post-Oscar late night romps. Nights that disappeared too quickly after spending them in a dance trance. One solo champagne cocktail after being stood up by a date, a few good meals and plenty of memorable cocktails with friends.

And that’s only my history with the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

That’s not even touching on the city’s long love affair here. It was host to first Academy Awards in 1929, the home for Marilyn Monroe, the setting for Entourage episodes and the hotel of choice for scores of celebrities including Clark Gable, Hugh Hefner and Prince.

What amazes me is that regardless the decade, time, day or situation – whether it’s a late night or an early evening, after a crappy experience or before starting a night on town – the Roosevelt Hotel has never let me – or most of LA – down. It’s always had so many bar and lounge options to never disappoint: if you’re looking for a good juicy burger and a refreshing alcoholic shake, 25 Degrees has you covered. Want to dance and dance and dance like it’s 1999, then hit Teddy’s. Outdoor chilling at Tropicana…And, if you don’t like the vibe of one place, you can walk a few feet and have a completely different experience.

I consider the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel one of the best destinations in Tinseltown whenever you’re in the mood to check out the glamorous scene while still having a moderately relaxing time. It’s been around for 85 years, and doesn’t look like it’s leaving anytime soon.

Perhaps I’ll see you at one of its bars in the future!

25 Degrees is the place to go for amazing classic American food and milkshakes. Thick grilled cheese sandwiches, gigantic crunchy onion rings and without a doubt, some of the best burgers in town. My mouth is watering just thinking about them; they’re ridiculously enormous and juicy, topped off with great condiments, like chunky avocado and tangy BBQ sauce. But hands down, one of the best things to order here is a milkshake…with a little kick, of course. I’ve tried about four so far, and they all have amazing flavors; the Guinness with house-made chocolate sauce; the Salty Caramel with chunks of chewy caramel; the Bananas Foster with tons of bananas and subtle hints of rum; and the Night Owl, with Kahlua, Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur and house-made chocolate sauce. Frothy and filling, they’re a great way to beat the heat.







Public Kitchen & Bar is what I’d consider to be the most upscale of all of the Roosevelt Hotel venues. It has a drop dead gorgeous interior that pays homage to old Hollywood glamour. The caliber of its cuisine and the sophistication of its cocktails go hand in hand with the setting, too, as they taste – and look – classy and exquisite. One of my favorites is the St. Germain cocktail, pictured below. With a champagne base, it’s quite light and refreshing, perfect for the summer. I also recommend the oysters. There are several types to choose from, ranging from both the East and West Coasts: Belon, Coromandel, Fanny Bay, Hood Canal, Kumamoto, Malpeque, Phantom Creek, Raspberry Point, Well Fleet, Salt Pond and Kusshi. The ones I've had have always been extremely fresh and delicious.

 




The Spare Room is a bar with a twist…or should I say, a bar with a big bowling lane that takes up half of the space. Classy and comfortably designed, this bar caters to the competitor in all of us, featuring bowling to keep you occupied for hours. If you’d prefer your wedges or loafers over bowling shoes,  partake tons of other games from the comforts of your seat, including chess, Jenga, card games and more. In fact, tables double as a game chest, so you just open sesame and get to playing. It’s also kind of cool to check out the old-school games in the glass displays throughout the room. I was quite impressed with the food, which does creative takes on classics like tater tots, Caesar salads and deviled eggs, and the cocktails come recommended, with flavors that truly embodies the essence from which they’re made.









Library Bar is quiet and dark, with a funky d├ęcor of fur rugs, a roaring fireplace, slanted mirrors and big, oversized black couches and chairs. It’s very sleek in design, but it also has somewhat of a warm intimacy to it. It’s a great place to get cozy and have a good, long conversation with someone without too many interruptions. And of course, the cocktails are some of the best I’ve had, probably anywhere, not just because of the Farmer's Market herbs, fruits and ingredients used, but also because of their inventiveness. I’ve seen bartenders use blowtorches to melt marshmallows onto chocolate-based cocktails. Let’s just say that was an experience I’ll never forget.






Teddy’s is probably the most exclusive of all Roosevelt venues, complete with bouncers, guest lists, velvet rope and throngs of crowds by the door, anxious to be let in on weekends. Hey, I can admit it - there have been a few times that yours truly couldn't even make the cut to get in, due to the strict door policy. But when I have gotten in, I've seen lots of high-profile celebrities and fashionable trendsetting types crammed in there, and let me tell you, it gets crunk. It’s definitely a place to grab table service or to even get your dance on. Or at least, I most certainly do. It’s currently going through a renovation right now, so it’ll be interesting to see how it looks in the future and how – if at all – its vibes change.



Tropicana Pool and Bar is the outdoor bar and lounge. It’s rather serene to walk through lush, tropical foliage that has a few fire pits and secluded sitting areas scattered throughout before entering the main area, where a glistening turquoise pool is the breathtaking center of attention. Soaring palm trees, hotel room balconies, an outdoor bar, lounge chairs, tables and more fire pits next to plush lounge seating are neatly arranged around the pool. Poolside at the Tropicana bar is an ideal place to enjoy these warm summer evenings. And, for the next few months, there will be movies on Mondays night. Check out the website below for more details.






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