Dirty Laundry

Bars, Lounges Hollywood
 (Photograph: Frank Ishman)
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Photograph: Frank IshmanHollywood Park at Dirty Laundry
 (Photograph: Frank Ishman)
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Photograph: Frank IshmanHigh Desert at Dirty Laundry
 (Photograph: Frank Ishman)
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Photograph: Frank IshmanHigh Desert at Dirty Laundry
 (Photograph: Frank Ishman)
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Photograph: Frank IshmanDirty Laundry
 (Photograph: Frank Ishman)
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Photograph: Frank IshmanDirty Laundry
 (Photograph: Frank Ishman)
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Photograph: Frank IshmanDirty Laundry
 (Photograph: Frank Ishman)
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Photograph: Frank IshmanDirty Laundry
 (Photograph: Frank Ishman)
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Photograph: Frank IshmanDirty Laundry

Finding this subterranean drinkery is not going to be easy, mainly because it's literally underneath an apartment building down an alley off buzzing Hollywood Blvd. It doesn't get more "speakeasy" than that. But wait until you get inside. Dirty Laundry—a reference to the laundry basket method of smuggling alcohol during Prohibition—is an idyllic man cave of requisite leather booths, bookshelves, dark wood paneling and "SEX." To be clear, "SEX" is just a neon sign that greets guests at the entrance. That's not to say blatant PDA is forbidden—just name-dropping, "trout pouts" and belching. Simply put, you are better off drinking. Bar Manager Nicolas O'Connor (Teddy's, Apotheke) and his pedigreed, suspender-wearing crew behind the stick should be reason enough. This is some next-level mixology, with drinks like Pop Rocks-garnished mint juleps and bacon Manhattan slushies. You know, the usual.

Vitals

Good for: Forget your troubles and descend into a den of untold revelry. Alluring nooks abound at the once-rumored personal speakeasy of silent film actor Rudolph Valentino. Those itching to dance can head straight to the back of the handsome, low-ceiling, dim-lit space; for a more intimate experience, secure a spot for two in the Valentino room, complete with its own private bar and cozy banquettes. Don't forget about the cocktails: adventurous types will get a rise out of the High Desert, an absinthe-rinsed Sazerac that is set on fire.

The scene: It's all about keeping up with appearances here, so dress smart and know the password (Hint: Follow @DirtyLaundryBar). It's pretty standard for the Houston brothers (No Vacancy, La Descarga and, more recently, Good Times at Davey Wayne's)—and also worth the extra effort. And hey, at least there's no cover charge. Inside, a gregarious crowd mingles on the dance floor while imbibers chat up obliging mixologists around the bar. The atmosphere is pure gaiety. Tip: Skip the lines and get there early; you won't regret it.

The playlist: An amplified mix of music—from 1920s jazz to throwback '80s. Keep in mind that the party starts late, so it's the DJ's mission to keep guests dancing all night long.

The bartender says: Don't miss Dirty Laundry's many rooms for all occasions—smoking, dancing, flirting. There's even one behind a fake bookshelf in the Valentino room, which is almost exclusively reserved for special events. By the way, the Valentino room was originally intended for a barrel-aged cocktail venture that never took off.

Drink this: Of the eight swills, standouts include Hollywood Park, made with bourbon, mint, cactus pear, lime juice, club soda, and the clincher—a Pop Rocks garnish, as well as the Envy, a concoction of Kaffir lime-infused vodka, aloe vera, matcha green tea and fresh lemon juice, guaranteed to awaken your taste buds. Punch service is a must for larger groups: There are exactly four "solutions" on the menu, including the Dirty Devil Punch, which combines pineapple-infused tequila, cognac, black currant, lime and agave nectar. You really can't go wrong with quality mass booze.

By: Danielle Jacoby

Posted:

Venue name: Dirty Laundry
Contact:
Address: 1725 N Hudson Ave
Los Angeles
90028
Opening hours: Tues-Sat 10pm-2am
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Hollywood's hidden gem. This bar is underground and reminds me of cave-like bars you would find in Paris. Decor is prohibition-era. Can get really overcrowded on weekends, however, bartenders are always friendly and smiling!