The 22 Best Restaurant Bars in Los Angeles, Mapped

Yesterday we compiled the most important cocktail bars in Los Angeles, places that mainly exist to serve drinks. Today, for Cocktail Week, Eater LA builds a compilation of restaurants that have stellar cocktails, the kind of drinks that you’d be happy to drink in a standalone bar. Instead, because of LA’s rigorous liquor licenses, most places have to serve a full meal with drinks.

Diners benefit because they have the option of starting out at the bar with a delicious cocktail, or they can attempt to pair their meals with refreshing imbibers while having dinner (or lunch!). Here now, the best restaurant cocktail programs in Los Angeles, mapped from west to east.

1 Belcampo Meat Co.

Belcampo’s self-described “farm-inspired” craft cocktail program offers a reliable set of thoughtful libations that come by way of Soigné Group’s Josh Goldman. Here drinks from an extensive menu come topped with things like beef jerky (from Belcampo’s own farms, of course), and are quite a pleasant way to kick off a very meaty meal. —CC

1026 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
 American Restaurant

2 Scopa Italian Roots

Pablo Moix and Steve Livigni certainly know how to craft a cocktail, and it shows at their populist Venice Italian spot. The long bar leaves plenty of room for drinking, but adding a side plate or two is practically a must. —FE

2905 Washington Blvd
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 821-1100
Italian Restaurant,

3 The Tasting Kitchen

Justin Pike has managed this stand-out program for years in Venice with a commitment to quality and nightly consistency. And Casey Lane’s Italian-inflected cuisine works well with Pike’s pitch-perfect drinks.

1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 392-6644
New American Restaurant

4 The Corner Door

Beau du Bois has helmed this stand-out cocktail program since the beginning. The drinks might not have the flash of other programs, but the quality and commitment to consistency are there every night, regarding of who’s behind the stick. From hand-cut ice to well-curated spirits, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Oh, and happy hour drinks are very affordable. —MK

12477 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 313-5810
American Restaurant

5 Sotto

This underground Southern Italian restaurant has had standard-bearing cocktails for years. Though things depend heavy on amaros, the execution and creativity at Sotto is some of the best in town.

9575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 277-0210
Italian Restaurant

6 Gracias Madre

Gracias Madre is the place to enjoy a light meal with something to please just about anyone. More so than the brightly flavored dishes though, you’re here for the outstanding cocktail program that hails from beverage director Jason Eisner. Sip on an archetype of a margarita or go for something a little more wild, like the bong-inspired Up in Smoke cocktail. Either way, it’s destined to be a great night. —CC

8905 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 978-2170
Mexican Restaurant

7 The Church Key

Devon Espinosa oversees the wild and inventive cocktails at this bustling Sunset Strip restaurant. Consider everything from the boozy liquid nitrogen pops to the canned drinks that you have to crack open with (of course) a church key. —MK

8730 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(424) 249-3700
American Restaurant

8 Eveleigh

The drinks (almost) take a backseat to the view at this West Hollywood gem, where casual evening sips are elevated by a team of top-notch bartenders. —FE

8752 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(424) 239-1630
American Restaurant,

9 Terrine

Ryan Wainwright has been doing great things behind the bar. Taking classic cocktails and funneling them through a contemporary lens, Terrine offers elevated drinks like the Counter Point Sling and one of Eater LA’s top ten cocktails of 2015, the Strawberry Puff. —CC

8265 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 746-5130
French Restaurant

10 Petty Cash Taqueria

Few places in Los Angeles are as conducive to boisterous gatherings of friends than Petty Cash, largely thanks to the great drinks being mixed up behind the bar. While it is certainly wise to go for a solid margarita (order it with the good shit!), there are plenty of other standout options, like the Unwed Melon at the Mid-City location and the Rose Jose in the Arts District. —CC

7360 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 933-5300
Mexican Restaurant

11 Musso & Frank Grill

Timeless and classic usually translate to ‘old and forgettable’, but not at Musso & Frank. This longstanding Hollywood haunt is as relevant — and important to the overall cocktail scene — as ever. —FE

6667 Hollywood Blvd, California 90028
(323) 467-5123
American Restaurant

12 Birch

Veteran bartender Gaby Mlynarczyk has transitioned to Brendan Collins’ globally inspired restaurant in Hollywood, serving inventive seasonal drinks. Above all, the drinks here are balanced and perfectly suitable to have with the food.

1634 N Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 960-3369
Tapas Restaurant

13 Providence

Quietly one of the originators of great cocktails in L.A., Providence continues to make top-notch drinks in a small bar just to the right of the entrance that works as a waiting room before people go to have their tasting menus. Or just pop in and have a crafted cocktail at a classy establishment. —MK

5955 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 460-4170
Seafood Restaurant

14 Commissary

What’s better than drinking large batches of inventive cocktails like a line cook out of plastic tubs? The scenery at Commissary at the Line Hotel, for one, which is as stunning as a restaurant can get. —FE

3515 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 368-3030
New American Restaurant

15 B.S. Taqueria

From slightly smoky mezcal options to hearty whiskey drinks with ancho chile flavors, Mike Lay’s B.S. Taqueria cocktail menu does it all. The only drawback might be that there aren’t more seats at the bar to watch the bartenders do their work. —FE

514 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 622-3744
Mexican Restaurant

16 Bar Amá

Bar Ama takes the idea of Tex-Mex fare and elevates it far beyond platters of sizzling fajitas. Here a long list of small plates goes down easy with nicely crafted (and relatively affordable) cocktails that create a convivial atmosphere. When roaming the streets of Downtown during the Art Walk or otherwise, it’s a nice place to pop in for a drink or two. —CC

118 W 4th St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 687-8002
Mexican Restaurant

17 Redbird

With a solid cocktail program built by Julian Cox, Redbird is one of the classiest places to enjoy a beverage in Downtown. Oh, and the elegant fare by Neal Fraser certainly pairs well with the drinks.

114 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 788-1191
American Restaurant

18 Osso

Darwin Manahan has quickly made a name for himself in the cocktail scene. After taking a break from training to be a firefighter, Manahan turned his attention to bartending, and manned the bar at Corazon y Miel then Punch before settling into his current role as beverage director at Cliff’s Edge and Osso. Many of the drinks on Osso’s tight list riff on the classics in a way that plays well with the Southern-tinged bill of fare. Go for the beeswax-infused Portola or the Beaverdusa Punch. —CC

901 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

19 Bestia

This Arts District gem does just about everything perfectly, so it’s no surprise that their bar program, which changes seasonally and always pairs best with a pizza and some pasta, is top-notch as well. —FE

2121 E 7th Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 514-5724
Italian Restaurant

20 Corazon Y Miel

Bell’s homegrown destination Corazon Y Miel is known for inventive takes on Modern Mexican flavors, but their cocktail program is just as fierce. From agave-laced cobblers to horchata and rum combos, this place pushes the limits in the best way possible. —FE

6626 Atlantic Ave
Bell, CA 90201
(323) 560-1776
Latin American Restaurant

21 Sonny’s Hideaway

Highland Park got lucky with this one, as Sonny’s has become a craft cocktail destination without equal for the neighborhood. It helps, of course, that the easygoing menu is just as worthwhile. —FE

Photo Credit: Facebook
5137 York Blvd
Highland Park, CA 90042
(323) 255-2000
American Restaurant

22 Black Market Liquor Bar

Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix have built up a reliable, market-driven cocktail menu in the Valley, which is a boon for imbibers in the 818. The solid cooking by Antonia Lofaso will keep you well fed as well.

11915 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 446-2533
Cocktail Bar
Source: LA Eater