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DTLA’s new Wayfarer Hotel sports a rooftop bar and a cook-it-yourself restaurant

The Rooftop at the Wayfarer Downtown L.A.
Photograph: Courtesy The Wayfarer/Wonho Frank Lee The Rooftop at the Wayfarer

It’s not as if Downtown has a shortage of rooftop bars, but we can’t think of a better way to welcome spring and summer than by camping out at the latest addition to the sky-high beverage scene.

The neighborhood’s newest gets right down to business: Stationed atop the gleaming Wayfarer Hotel, which opened over the weekend, DTLA’s most recent entrant is simply called the Rooftop, and it’s entering the game with plenty of hanging plants, bulb lights and a fire pit, plus seats in its small pool for maximum lounging with a tiki drink in hand.

While the setting doesn’t look too inspired by the bric-a-brac–heavy likes of tiki legends Don The Beachcomber and Trader Vic’s, the cocktail menu certainly is: There’s a section devoted to tiki classics (a mai tai, navy grog, jungle bird and the painkiller, for instance), while another portion offers house spins on the genre, including a pineapple-infused rum mixed with banana, coconut and citrus, and another still indulges in large-format punch bowls. 

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If you’ve already had your fill of tiki bars in the historically tiki-happy Los Angeles, the Rooftop’s got you covered with wines by the glass and the bottle; frozen cocktails; an all-California craft beer list on draft; a frozen michelada; and a selection of boozy, caffeinated cocktails made with Groundwork coffee.

Some of the food menu leans tropical, too, with a section for daily skewers (including bacon-wrapped scallops; lemongrass shrimp; and lamb with a cumin-and-soy glaze), plus a raw bar featuring smoked-oyster shooters with ponzu, and a spicy seaweed salad. More à la carte bites include tacos, salads, spam fries and a rooftop burger, while those looking to wheel and deal in a relaxed setting can opt for the three-course “prix fixe power lunch.”

Downstairs, the 156-room hotel diversifies its tipples with Lilly Rose, a basement cocktail parlor involving rare spirits, barrel-aged concoctions, light bites and old-timey games (ahem, an old fortune-telling Zoltar machine), not to mention planned live performances such as burlesque and magic shows. 

When it comes to food, DTLA’s Wayfarer is separating itself from the neighborhood’s dining scene with the ground-floor Kitchen, a DIY restaurant where you cook for yourself using recipes and ingredients from the hotel. Like a more public Blue Apron service, you’ll select your meal, then be provided with instructions and pre-portioned herbs, spices, meats and whatever else your dish calls for, then get to work in the fully stocked space. This is also where you’ll be able to catch community events such as a meet-the-winemaker series and cooking classes.

And, of course, the hotel offers an all-day restaurant: The Gaslighter Social Club is a space that winds through the lobby, offering more private nooks as well as communal tables, surrounded by books on the city, and many by L.A. authors. At breakfast, find steak shakshuka; a green eggs and ham omelet featuring raclette; milk-toast bread pudding; and churro waffles daily. For lunch and dinner, look for a range of options, including a chirashi bowl; a $20 bacon-wrapped kobe beef street dog; steak tartare with sambal miso sauce; roasted cauliflower with lime and ricotta; carnitas sliders; and panko-topped mac and cheese.

Catch a glimpse of these concepts, below, then drop by the new Wayfarer Hotel to see them for yourself.

Inside cocktail bar Lilly Rose:

Photograph: Courtesy the Wayfarer/Wonho Frank Lee

 

Photograph: Courtesy Wayfarer

 

A rendering of the Kitchen restaurant:

Rendering: Courtesy Wayfarer

Seating in Gaslighter Social Club:

Photograph: Courtesy the Wayfarer/Wonho Frank Lee

The Wayfarer is now open in Downtown Los Angeles at 813 S Flower St. The Rooftop is open daily from 11am to midnight; Lilly Rose is open Wednesday to Saturday from 9pm to 2am; Kitchen is open daily from 6am to midnight; and Gaslighter Social Club is open daily from 6:30am to 11pm.

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