As LA’s cocktail revolution doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, a stop at Sadie’s Kitchen is a must. The star of the bar—or lounge, rather, located adjacent to the restaurant—is celebrated resident mixologist, Giovanni Martinez. On any given night, loners, couples and groups flock to this Hollywood tavern, hoping to catch Martinez in action, schmoozing and shaking seasonal cocktails on or off the menu. Previously, Martinez served as brand ambassador for Chivas Regal and bartended at Les Deux Estate and Buffalo Club, bringing his cocktail chops to more than satisfy the aficionado and surprise the amateur with drinks that pair well with the restaurant’s New American fare. Grab a comfy seat at the bar—hooray for barstools with backs—or sequester yourself to a banquette and settle in for a good night of people watching.
Good for: Conveniently located, and just far-enough removed, from the Hollywood strip, this is a good stop for dinner and classy cocktails—save the Redbull vodka nonsense for later—before heading out for a night of clubbing. The alfresco courtyard adjacent to the bar offers a comfortable spot for group celebrations as well as some intimate nooks for date nights.
The scene: The restaurant attracts a decisively local crowd of business owners and residents, while the bar fills up—expect a full house after 9pm—with groups making a pre-clubbing watering hole visit. Energetic gatherings of girls in slinky dresses show up with boys in tow, sporting a mish-mash of styles. The one constant is that many know Giovanni and are excited to imbibe with him.
The playlist: On Fridays and Saturdays (and periodic nights throughout the week), DJs hold court, starting around 8pm; though, the general mix possesses a mellow rhythm and beats atmosphere.
The bartender says: The Sip & Savor Happy Hour (Tuesdays through Fridays from 6pm until 8pm) is a fun time to come have a try at cocktail ingredients that may be a stretch for your palate when drinks and snacks are just $6.
Drink this: Go for the tried-and-true “Classics” such as the Bramble ($12), a mix of Bombay gin, fresh lemon juice, crème de mure, fresh blackberries, and then get ambitious with your conversation and see where it leads you. The Michelada 10—mescal, Tecate and a superbly tasty house Michelada mix ($10)—is a hearty drink and a great accompaniment to the Herbed Parmesan Fries ($6), served alongside a tangy dipping sauce. The punches are top-notch. Try the refreshing Kentucky Ninja ($13), made with Japanese single malt whisky, bourbon, fresh lemon juice, lavender, wild honey and bitters. Tuesdays are good nights for wine, as specifically marked items are 50% off the California and French-heavy list where glasses generally run $11-$18—a handful of bottled and tap beer is also available for $8 either way.