Wine bars? We have wine bars in L.A.?
Seriously, we must have a few, but I haven’t been anywhere that I would characterize as a wine bar. I think that unlike New York, we don’t have the foot traffic to support wine bars, where people are just going to drop by on their way home at night.
They have a very comfortable lounge area at Cut in Beverly Hills, where it is attractive to sit and you can get decent nibbles, but the wine seriously sucks. I’d stick to hard liquor at that place. Nice place to hang out, so long as you don’t want wine.
I wouldn’t call it a wine bar, but at Eataly in Century City, you can buy a bottle at the Pizza & Pasta bar area and then rather than sitting at the bar, which can be crowded, you can take your wine and glasses and sit wherever you want in the store and nibble to your heart’s content on Roman pizza or sandwiches from the sandwich takeout or desserts from the dessert takeout. You can also do it by the glass, but if I am with enough people, I’d rather grab a full bottle at the bar and take it somewhere else in the store. I’ve never done it, but so long as you have somehow procured wine glasses and you have a corkscrew, you could do the same by buying a bottle at the Eataly wine store. I find the Italian wines on offer at Eataly surprisingly drinkable and they have a good selection of amaro.
Del Frisco’s at the Century City mall has an inner sanctum champagne lounge (you have to specifically ask to be taken there). It’s over the top gorgeous in a kind of Texas way and they have a great selection of champagne. Last time I popped in, it was kind of dead – more of a place for a quiet business meeting or a romantic assignation than a fun lively place to hang out.