A complete remodel from owners Beau Laughlin and Brett Cranston (the Churchill, Clover) reveals a fresh feel and upgrades galore—a spacious white marble-top bar, comfy new industrial-craft stools, newly upholstered banquettes and Edison lighting—to the Hudson’s lofty, wood-beamed, homey space. New seasonally appropriate cocktails have arrived as well—ten quaffs of craft spirits offer plenty of fresh citrus, herbs and warm-weather fruits. If you’re lucky enough to have Jenn or Jason behind the bar, they maintain great conversation while whipping up delicious drinks. There are also eight draft beers, 11 bottle selections ($4-$8 on tap, $14-$20 for pitchers) and a number of red, white and sparkling wine options by the glass—try a crisp and fruity Rhone Valley 2011 Listel Rosé ($9). Happy hour (4-7pm daily) gets you $3 drafts, well, wine and $6 snacks from chef Conrad Woodul. His gastropub fare satisfies across the board. We love the crispy chicken sliders served on soft mini-buns with aioli and housecured pickles.
Good for: A weeknight dinner, pre-dinner cocktail or nightcap. Call ahead for a table or secure a place at the bar while you wait. Admire an incredible, vintage map of Paris over a pint of draft beer. There's also an unobtrusive TV sandwiched between top-shelf spirits for game-day satisfaction.
The scene: A positively attractive WeHo crowd come dressed to be seen, from bespoke suits and crisp, white button-downs to faux-hipster garb (i,e. designer t-shirts and torn jeans). Though not the focus, join in on the camaraderie (and cheering) of serious basketball or soccer games.
The playlist: DJs spin Thursday through Sundays while the soundtrack—rock, hip-hop—on other nights is more background noise.
The bartender says: Valet parking ($6) in the adjacent Bank of America parking lot makes for an easy option off this busy Santa Monica Blvd strip.
Drink this: Seasonal cocktails (all $11) to order include the Hit & Run with the best serrano infusion we’ve tasted around town with Milagro silver tequila, passion fruit, lime and agave. Another must-try is Giant Steps: Made with Akvinta vodka, lemon, strawberry, agave, basil and Prosecco, it's the perfect summertime aperitif.