The Roger Room

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  • Cocktail bars
Critics' pick
0 Love It
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Japanese Maple at Roger Room
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Thug at Roger Room
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Penicillin at Roger Room
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Spiced Mule at Roger Room
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Old Sport at Roger Room
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Roger Room
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Roger Room
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Roger Room
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Roger Room
Los Angeles

This groundbreaking cocktailery from Jared Meisler and Sean MacPherson—who brought you West Hollywood staples Bar Lubitsch and Jones—is small, but the drinks pack a punch. While difficult to find (just head to the Largo, then spot the neon sign for an old psychic parlor), guests feel instantly at home inside the dim-lit spot for mind-blowing mixology. Booze hero Damian Windsor has made this a destination thanks to his menu of more than 20 classic tipples with a twist, like a vanilla-charged Spiced Mule and the habanero-infused Thug—all served in chilled glasses with a signature metal straw and the occasional plastic monkey. Vigilant barkeeps in snazzy black vests are always on hand to shake up a recommended libation or launch an impromptu lesson on Japanese whiskey. Their slogan is "Nothing but the best;" here, it most certainly rings true.

Good for: This laid-back lounge is probably your best bet for reliably excellent swills in the area. After all, we're talking about the old stomping grounds of two of LA's premiere mixologists—Jason Bran and Damian Windsor (Warwick). They've created an impressive program of at least two dozen connoisseur cocktails organized by seven types of liquor, and if that's overwhelming, just grab your nearest barkeep for some pointers. The customer always comes first here, and there's no rush. Heart-to-hearts happen and usually last well into the evening. Just make sure to snag a stool or booth by 8pm, or make a reservation in advance.

The scene: A happy buzz of convivial chitchat is the first thing to hit you once you walk through the red curtain entrance. The crowd is a hodgepodge of casually dressed regulars, buttoned up first daters, and comedians in between their sets next door. It's all of 900 square feet, complete with mirrored ceiling, circus-y knick-knacks, cozy booths and a lean bar. The entire space is bathed in a red-gold glow that lends itself to deep conversation and shameless canoodling.

The playlist: Primarily oldies from funk to rock, but it's hardly detectable. The sound system really takes a backseat to the dialogue.

The bartender says: The full-page menu is good and all, but these bartenders are also masters of their craft, so feel free to throw some ideas or flavor profiles their way and be amazed at what they shake up for you in return. Plus, there are rotating seasonal offerings you just can't miss.

Drink this: A favorite is the superbly made Thug ($13), a spirited concoction of Maker's Mark, Bärenjäger Honey liqueur, lemon juice and a dash of spicy habanero bitters on the rocks. An off-menu must is the Penicillin ($14). It's a perfect balance of soothing honey, lemon, ginger and peaty scotch. Here, it comes with a candied ginger-nibbling plastic cocktail monkey. Come on, that's just adorable.

Venue name: The Roger Room
Address: 370 La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 6pm-2am; Sat 7pm-2am; Sun 8pm-2am

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Erin Kuschner

This has got to be one of my favorite bars in LA, and I've had both the super busy Friday night experience, and the almost empty weekday at 5pm experience. The bartenders are consistently attentive, polite and efficient. The drinks are fantastic and inventive. The atmosphere is sexy but still casual, and you can have an equally great time sitting across the booth from a SO or chilling at the bar by yourself. I only wish it was closer to my house (my bank account doesn't) so that I could visit more often.