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
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Completed in 1927, this cavernous theater remains LA's preeminent superclub. Avalon’s nearly 100-year run is a feat in itself—how on earth does such a space maintain its staying power? Most likely, by offering exclusive perks you can’t find anywhere else. To start, Avalon is the only club in LA to have a 24-hour license. That means a non-stop offering of weekend-long fiestas, and a bar that re-opens at 6am to reward those who danced all night. The club also has a stronghold when it comes to booking global DJ phenoms (Sasha and Marcus Schultz West Coast residencies were both forged here). Factor in its sheer size and its custom sound system—which delivers one of the most delightfully chest-thumping experiences in LA—and you’ve got a legendary space that’s ready to party whenever you are. Check out Saturday’s Avaland for powerhouse and trance EDM sets by full-time touring DJs like Paul Van Dyk, Beat Service and Lazy Rich. Play with the pop tarts at Tigerheat, the Thursday night jam for the 18 and over, polysexual set. Or hit up Control for more underground-driven house and drum and bass sounds from the likes of DJs Justin Martin, Photek and UZ. There's nary any trance, so leave the glow-sticks at home. And bring earplugs: the venue boasts the best sound system in the city, a floorshaking EAW Avalon Series set-up that cost a cool $1 million.
- 1735 N Vine St
Legendary restauranteur and nightlife impresario Victor Drai once again tantalizes Angeleno taste buds with his newest offering: Restaurant and club Drai's Hollywood. Located 12 stories above it all, with floor-to-ceiling windows, balconies, a party-friendly pool scene and panoramic views of the famous Hollywood skyline, guests can dance and dine underneath the stars (and among them) atop the roof of the newest addition to the W Hotel family. On weekend nights, the club serves as LA's little Vegas, filled with out-of-towners getting down to crowd-pleasing hits. During weekend daylight hours, DJed pool parties make for a more light-hearted scene. But on Sunday nights, the space sheds its weekend-warrior vibe in favor of a cool crowd, amazing underground DJ talent and, still, some of the best views of Hollywood.
- 6250 Hollywood Blvd
Though just a few months old, the driving forces behind this new club in the old Vangaurd space are collaboration and versatility. SBE Entertainment and Insomniac (creators of the rave-tastic Wonderland and Electronic Daisy Carnival festivals) join forces to create sleek and expansive spaces (an SBE trademark) and book both emerging DJ talent—like Conner Cruise—and high-profile EDM artists (something Insomniac’s been doing for years). The result is a three-room, 20,000 square foot space featuring the epic Funktion One Sound System, a 300-foot performance zip line for aerial stunts and Hollywood’s largest LED wall. Those looking to downshift and desensitize can find respite on a tree-lined patio illuminated by simple strands of party lights and watched over by a giant Buddha. Though this major production of a club may not seem like the type to forgo bottle service and a glam crowd for a general admission and open dancefloor format, versatility is found in different club nights, making it not only the latest place to pop bottles in booths, but a bonafide space to sweat it out to EDM festival trance and house headliners like DJs BT, Dash Berlin, Eric Prydz, Thomas Gold and Dirty South.
- 6021 Hollywood Blvd
Located above dance powerhouse Avalon is its far classier sister lounge, Bardot. Decorated to look both upscale art deco and laid-back Moroccan harem, this intimate venue typically draws an attractive mix of hipsters and young Westsiders. The intimate spot makes for the perfect after-the-after-party landing pad: neither sprawling warehouse nor dank drug den, this 300-capacity, indooor/outdoor space is a sweet setting to nurture your fragile after-hours party state into sunrise. Drop in for one-off parties that run from 4am to 7am (at that hour, crowds can’t afford to be pretentious and Bardot is as welcoming and good natured as they come). Catch the sunrise over the Capitol Records building via the club’s retractable roof or join the party at a more reasonable hour, with Friday’s Frenzy party (which brings veteran house DJs like Hipp-E and Halo) and the long-running School Night! on Mondays. No matter the hour, Bardot attracts a musically educated, no-judgments crowd. Drinks are good yet pricey, and bouncers are relatively friendly considering the central Hollywood location.
- 1737 Vine St
While this club space is neither particularly notable in size or aura, it’s the Tuesday night parties that make the place rise above the Hollywood heap. Luke Nero and Andres Rigal create a kickin’ gay party with Evita, which brings out a very friendly and frisky crowd and boasts special guest hosts like the one-and-only Amanda Lepore. Their secret to party excellence? Killing the cover charge, throwing the occasional album release party (like for The Pet Shop Boys’ latest) and offering an hour-long open bar that puts vodka and bubbly in the hands of every fashionably early and dressed-up attendee. Resident DJ Josh Peace provokes the crowd so daftly that vogue-ing competitions ensue, making this one of the most fun club nights in Hollywood.
- 1650 Schrader Blvd