This breezy spot with one of our favorite patios is a wine bar, yes, but it’s also a hub for some of L.A.'s best food pop-ups, an occasional DJ and event space, and perhaps, above all, a reopening era nexus for wine-and-food loving aesthetes from all over the city. As of summer, it's become a "full on scene," in the words of comedy writer Dave Schilling. "Guys I'm serious. Melody is popping off. It's 90 percent horny," he tweeted as follow-up in June. With a rotating menu full of small-producer and organic wines, it's also one of the best ways to taste your way through some of L.A.’s best new culinary concepts. Depending on the night and pop-up, the crowd can get kind of hectic, so plan accordingly (Melody only takes walk-ins).
L.A.’s bars are still reemerging after a year of turmoil for the city’s entertainment and nightlife scenes—both hit especially hard in 2020—but as of this fall, many have already reopened, in some form or another. And thank god for that. Bars, like restaurants and public parks, give rise to the sought-after sense of belonging and community that characterizes what sociologist Ray Oldenburg called “third spaces.”
Right now, it feels like the thirst has never been more real for connection—a collective frenetic mood that works out well for purveyors of humanity’s favorite social lubricant (sorry, cannabis). L.A. might have cozy dives near the beach, rooftop happy hours with a view of the Hollywood hills, and pricey but delicious concoctions in the swankiest Downtown hotels, but if you’re really asking us, here are the 16 top bars in Los Angeles—for every occasion.
October 2021: While most of our favorite bars are back in action, a number of the city’s best spots are still temporarily closed. With its Hollywood Roosevelt summer pop-up over, we’ve temporarily removed the Spare Room—but eagerly await the reopening of its permanent location. It’s also worth mentioning that all bars, lounges, distilleries and wineries in L.A. County now require proof of vaccination for entry indoors.