There’s something wildly refreshing about The Know Where Bar, a no-frills establishment that bills itself plainly as a place for "beer, wine, sparkling, & small bites." Many of the bars that have opened for business in and around Tinseltown by some of LA's elite bar collectives offer up themed experiences designed to look like bordellos and lived-in mansions (think: No Vacancy, Sassafras). But none of that is present at this wholly minimalist watering hole (on Hollywood Boulevard, no less). Simple, elegant lighting barely illuminates the intimate space—a rectangular room with suede couches, coffee tables and a long, light-wood paneled bar. It's a homey refuge from Hollywood.
Good for: Local residents who live within walking distance and are tired of the craft cocktail scene, lines out the door and over-priced quaffs. Come after dinner with friends for rounds of sangria or late night with just your creative thoughts—who knows, maybe you and your friends will reinvent yourselves as the next generation of beat poets.
The scene: Gents sport a jeans-and-T-shirt look, while the gals are fashioned in urban flirty layers of lacy material. Goblets of wine make way for tumblers of beer and sparkling wine and beer cocktails. Groups huddle together and chew the fat about nothing in particular. On weeknights, the place is dead, but it picks up on weekends, and it's likely the quiet laid-back atmosphere won't last long given the location at Hollywood and Wilton Place.
The playlist: There's a jukebox with a twist: A bookcase with an array of vinyl records, which patrons are welcome to pick through and drop on the turntable. The selection is curated by the owners—lots of blues, blues-rock and rock and roll.
The bartender says: The tin ceiling is pretty damn cool, for anyone who pays attention to that stuff.
Drink this: There’s a simple menu of global wines, beers and housemade sangria. A small selection of rustic wines run $8 to $12 a glass and spirit-less "mocktails" are $7 to $12. Try the bright, light-bodied, fruit-forward 2011 Rickshaw Pinot Noir from California ($10) or go beer-centric with the Heller Moritz ($7)—Hefeweizen, topped with sparkling wine, garnished with a slice of lemon. There are six taps pouring forth mostly California brews like Golden Road Hefeweizen ($6) and Racer IPA ($6). The peach, orange and apple sangria is topped with sparkling wine and is really a run-of-the-mill batch, nothing to shout home about ($7).