Best clubs in Hollywood: The hood's top party spots
Check out our list of the best clubs in Hollywood, from music-driven megaclubs to more under-the-radar picks.
Photograph: Courtesy Avalon
Flashy Hollywood can often get a bad rap from serious music lovers. But our list of the best clubs in Hollywood is the cream of the party-spot crop, whether you’re looking for a chill after-hours locale to wind down with a cocktail, a vibrant gay party laced with free drinks or a massive dance getdown where pretense is checked with the coats. Read on, Hollywood party people.
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One of the newer clubs in Hollywood, Sound has quickly made a name for itself among serious househeads and music lovers by delivering high profile acts that were doing dance music well before EDM hit the top 40. Sure, the new space has the markings of a typical Hollywood super club scene: 8,000 square feet of playspace with a sunken dance floor and elevated DJ booth, fancy 3D mapping visuals and a custom Funktion One sound system. But where it emerges ahead of other Hollywood clubs is its focus on the music (hence the name)—not by flaunting celebrity patrons or by playing into the hottest bottle service contest. Acts like Stanton Warriors turn out a Monday night crowd at Social—the 17-year-old landmark party has just set down roots at Sound—and burners find a second home at the club’s Friday party, where face painters, neon-clad dancers and green screen booths bring the spirit of La Playa to LaLa Land. The 500-capacity crowd basks in perks such as burlesque dancers, impromptu celebrity visitors and a frequent 4am closing time, all without the overcrowded feeling of a mega-club.
- 1642 Las Palmas Ave
King King descends from a legendary, smoke-filled Chinese restaurant on South La Brea Avenue that used to host everything from acid jazz bands to DJ-driven parties that felt as illicit as they were artistic. It was a place of reprieve from a (then) metal-heavy Hollywood. The red-lit Hollywood reincarnation is larger and more mainstream but is still billed an intimate, single-room space, complete with backdoor entrance, that retains its Chinese heritage via lucky red and black decor. The King King has become a go-to space for cabaret, theatre and live music performances, but we love it most for the DJs and electronic music nights it features. Legendary house music pioneers like Miguel Migs and Mark Farina drop in to play house and Detroit techno sets at stalwart parties like DJ Marques Wyatt’s Deep and West Coast Soul Events. Of course, the music comprises only half of what makes a magical night out: King King has a friendly staff, wallet-friendly covers, and a rare-in-Hollywood, come-one-come-all inclusive door policy (Dude rolling solo? Come on in. Not-so-svelte house music lover in a t-shirt and sneakers? You’re good to go). Hence, the crowd it attracts keeps an old legend energized with packed dance floors and friendly vibes.
- 6555 Hollywood Blvd
By the sheer look of the place, Lure has the makings of another slick Hollywood club, where bottle service and bodycon dresses spur a sit-and-stare vibe. Consider the pulsating LED walls, galaxy of glowing moonlike orbs that hover above the dance floor, gorgeous honey-lit VIP bar and elevated DJ stage—all framed in a massive open room where everyone and everything can be seen. Then, venture out to the expansive patio, where you’ll find winding, white tufted banquettes in cabanas framed by green, living walls. The hostesses are remarkably hot, and beautifully lit palm trees and footbridges over ponds also disorient— it feels more like a 5-star resort than a Hollywood club. It almost seems like a trap for big spenders in shiny shirts looking for no more than a little bump and grind. But Lure is also where some of the best DJs and acts are throwing down, both for the Thursday nights' Luresdays and for Fridays' Private Label. This summer alone, world-class DJs and acts like Viceroy, Poolside, The Rapture’s Luke Jenner, Bixel Boys and LCD Soundsystem’s Nancy Wang have all killed with their sets for Private Label alone. Beneath its beautiful façade, Lure is all about the beat. No cultural ground is being broken, and it can be expensive, but the casual and sexy LA vibe is certainly in full bloom.
- 1439 Ivar Avenue
Live music fiends used to get their fix by entering The Sayers Club via an unassuming hotdog shop. But SBE has commandeered the former Green Papaya to make for a more grown-up precursor to The Sayers experience: the Front Room. It’s fashioned after a neighborhood bar and lounge—the kind of place where you can order a woodfired pizza or a mean old fashioned. But the gunmetal tin-tile covered walls, which are punctuated with framed guitars, serve as a not-so-subtle tell: serious music lies just beyond its back wall. The actual club is a place where cozy Turkish rugs are piled atop hardwood floors, and whiskey leather couches, exposed brick walls and industrial touches make for a cozy (and exclusive) mancave away from home—well, if that man cave happened to belong to the most connected music buff in town. In this case, that buff is Jason Scoppa and he rules the musical roost. Famous for orchestrating Bardot Sessions, now Sessions at The Sayers Club (in which both up-and-coming and world-famous musicians play cover tunes), Scoppa has recently selected Hollywood progeny Rumer Willis to perform a weekly residency on Tuesdays and is reviving a new incarnation of his Sunday Jazz Night (which he originally brought to the famed Green Door). Of course, it’s the performances from beloved groups like The Black Keys, impossible-to-see-outside-of-an-arena musicians like Prince and actors like Emmy Rossum that seal The Sayers fate as the best little room in Hollywood to catch major—and sometimes unexpected—talent.
- 1645 Wilcox Ave
You know those grimy basement parties where you used to dance your face off during your raver years? That spirit lives on at Dim Mak Studios. For many, the gritty vibe, alleyway entrance and graffiti-covered stairways may be a little too hardknock. But for those seeking hear-'em-before-they-break live acts and DJ talent, a monster sound system and parties with a hyped crowd of young, creative types, Dim Mak Studios is the place to let loose. Helmed by DJ Steve Aoki, who created the Dim Mak lifestyle brand (which also includes a record label, events arm, t-shirt and accessories line and a surprising number of followers who brandish Dim Mak tattoos), the space delivers progressive one-off parties and its weekly “Dim Mak Tuesdays,” which has hosted an impressive roster of genre-spanning talent including Daft Punk, Skrillex, Lady Gaga, Bloc Party and Uffie in its nearly decade-long tenure.
- 6356 Hollywood Blvd