Suggest heading to the Hollywood strip for a nightcap and you'll risk losing friends. But keep smiling while they defame your character because just before they take off with you, drop "omakase-style cocktail den." After a pregnant pause, direct them to the Roosevelt Hotel. The fairly small room is richly furnished with opulent dark leather couches, zebra-striped bar stools and an antiqued glass ceiling. What's lacking are props (as in, things to read) which you'd expect at a place called The Library Bar. Instead, the bar is teeming with jars of fresh herbs and an array of spirits, so know the drill: there's no menu, so surrender your taste preferences to the master mixologist who will deftly guide you. Wait patiently as it may take a few minutes for drinks to arrive, but when they do your friends will be so overwhelmed by cocktail perfection, they'll take back everything bad they've said about you and stare into their drink, trying to decipher its magic.
Drink this: Whatever the bartender makes you. These cocktails are so good; they’d leave mixology's Godfather Dale Degroff speechless. The night we were there, the bartender—who we overheard was in with Owen Wilson; this is LA, after all—might suggest Seriously Dangerous ($15) mixed with bourbon, tomato, basil, lemon and agave or a spicy smoky treat of fresh lime, agave nectar passion fruit, pomegranate, mescal and chile-infused tequila ($15). Just say, "Okay" and when he asks which drink you want, say, "Both."
Good for: Discovering your cocktail palate. The perfect place to end a date that’s going well and will go even better if you ask for a "dessert-y" cocktail—cue a twist on meringue: a rocks glass topped with St. Germain foam and egg white. There's also food available from the hotel's Public, and if you are staying for dessert, order the Sticky Toffee Pudding.
The bartender says: They're not so literal here, more metaphorical. The books–are all in the mind.
The scene: A chic crowd of industry types landing deals and in-the-know cocktail-moguls mix with out-of-towners staying at the hotel. When it gets too crowded inside the bar, folks spill out into the spacious lounge and carry-on sizing up their contemporaries.