Former Chowhounder here. We’ll be coming down from SF for a night, staying at the Standard downtown. Would love some recommendations for somewhere close to the hotel, since we won’t have a car. Open to anything. Someplace with good cocktails is a plus, but I’d love to hear about standalone cocktail venues as well.
Perch is just around the corner; also Cliftons, but don’t go there for food.
Orsa & Winston
Bar Ama has solid cocktails and fun if not revelatory TexMex. We usually sit at the bar. I’ll second Orsa and Winston.
El Dorado - a new cocktail joint/lounge tucked under the El Dorado lofts @ Spring and 4th.
Baldoria isn’t super close - in Little Tokyo - inventive cocktail program and a menu that makes up in taste what it lacks in focus. The draw here is the space - very sci-fi, minimalist cool. Should be a cheap Uber from your hotel.
I’m very fond of Drago Centro. Only been for dinner, but they supposedly have good happy hour offerings at the bar as well.
Closest restaurants within easy walking distance of The Standard with good cocktails would be Drago. If you want to walk for about 10 minutes or so, then Broken Spanish is a good, if not, better choice for both food and cocktails than Drago.
As to a standalone cocktail venue near The Standard, try The Varnish.
You will be very close to Miro which has a whiskey bar in its basement with a truly insane selection of whiskies (not cocktails though). Some of them are not cheap. The person working the bar is very friendly and enthusiastic.
Also, don’t get the downstairs bar confused with the whiskey den. They’re both downstairs but the whiskey bar is small lounge off the main downstairs bar.
uber to bestia and erb for a night cap.
Welcome to FTC!
Within walking distance, I’d vote for Drago Centro as well. Quality Italian, beautiful dining room.
Seven Grand is also within walking distance, they have an extensive collection. And BS Taqueria is right across the street from Seven Grand, with great gourmet Tacos; I heard their bar program is pretty solid as well.
If you can Uber, the recs on this list like Broken Spanish, Shibumi, Redbird, etc., are worth checking out.
Nothing like Little Sister Downtown in SF.
You’ll be right by the subway so could get to Koreatown fast. Ditto Langer’s.
Not Bestia without a reservation. Very SF-ish except for the ultra-LA crowd.
how is slanted door different than little sister? just wondering, since a slanted door is slated to open down here soon.
the usual advice for is to go right when they open or around 10. if the OP is looking for a Saturday dinner reservation at 7p…yeah that’s not happening.
Not open at night.
Re: Little Sister vs. the Slanted Door
Little Sister’s food is a casual riff on Vietnamese informed by the Chef’s time spent in LA’s Asian melting pot, the San Gabriel Valley. Vuong is a serious chef, though. He’s mastered the classic repertoire and shows the same respect for high quality ingredients as Charles Phan. But his style is bolder than Phan’s and can be more fun than Slanted Door’s precise, bordering-on-fussy style. I like both restaurants very much and definitely recommend Little Sister if you’re a fan of The Slanted Door.
Also: Shibumi is unique - nothing like it in SF as far as I know
I enjoy Slanted Door more for the view of the harbor (and ships) than I do for the food.
And I don’t even really enjoy the view of the water all that much.
What is like Baco Mercat or Bar AMA in SF? Would enjoy trying SF versions of both.
I agree. Little Sister Downtown is more like KronnerBurger, Hopscotch, or the Ramen Shop, or for that matter Slanted Door in its Valencia Street days. Respect for tradition but not a slave to it, first-rate ingredients, precise technique, bold flavors, moderate prices with furnishings, decor, and location to match.
Definitely nothing like Baco Mercat in SF or Oakland, which is one of the reasons I went there three times in one week.
I haven’t been to Bar Ama but the menu seems kind of like Comal’s, which is as much a bar as a restaurant.
All very apt comparisons.
I second Varnish for stand alone cocktails (no food). It’s a “speakeasy” in the back of Cole’s, one L.A.'s oldest restaurants.
Tips: Go early, as it’s small and gets crowded fast. If you drink too much you can slip into Cole’s for the famous French Dip. I don’t eat it, but the Lamb Dip is supposed to be the ticket.
Have a great weekend.
Drago Centro is my favorite restaurant downtown, and it’s a block from the Standard. I would go with a traditional cocktail like a negroni.
For a more cocktail-driven, more fun place, I would try to get a seat at the bar at Bestia (probably the most popular in LA).