23 L.A. Hotspots for Your Quarterlife-Crisis Birthday (and Then Some)

7:00 AM 11/10/2016

by Brian Porreca

This isn't just any map, it's a guide to the stomping grounds for millennials all over Tinseltown. Keep reading for THR's 23 go-to spots for young Hollywood as well as 4 "So Over It" places.

Hollywood Millennials Reveal 23 Favorite L.A. Hotspots - illo -H 2016
Illustration By Todd Detwiler

The hallmark of a cool hangout for L.A. millennials? Jokes live stand-up producer Robbie Ezratty (The Super Dank Show), 24, "If you walk through an apparatus other than a door to get in" (like at Davey Waynes, where one enters through a refrigerator).

Uncool: If you run into your boss (like at WeHo's The Nice Guy, now skipped in favor of newer sister Delilah); have to duck handsy Trump-like execs (Bootsy Bellows); or the venue "is trying way too hard to be New York," says fashion buyer Sarah Tarika, 25 (Catch LA). Places still close at 2, so 20-somethings head out no later than 11:30 p.m., taking Ubers, which have usurped designated drivers. And millennials won't be caught dead at Soho House past 1 a.m., making sure to be on their way to better hotspots like No Name, Nina Dobrev's go-to, or Mother's Auxilary, where you need a digital key for entry. 

With reporting by Mia Galuppo, Bryn Elise Sandberg, and Ramona Saviss.

  1. 1

    The Bungalow

    Past the atrocious line, this beachy Santa Monica outpost "just feels like an awesome house party rather than a bar," says Veep guest actor Arvin Lee, 25. But when Owen Wilson is the coolest person there on Halloween, its cachet may be sinking fast.

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    The Victorian

    Insiders advise skipping the wait at Bungalow and hopping over to the somewhat shorter line here. Don't be caught in the disco-lit basement, as most assistants at ICM Partners, Gersh and UTA make sure to be seen on the front patio.

  3. 3

    James' Beach

    Order a drink at sister venue Canal Club across the street to get a stamp that enables you to skip the line for this two-floor Venice venue with a surfer vibe. Chainsmokers and cast-offs from The Bachelor franchise (a millennial obsession!) pack the downstairs bars. People who actually dance hit the upstairs bar.

  4. 4

    Butcher's Daughter

    "It's the epitome of all things cool: Instagrammable food, flawless interior design and more than one avocado toast on the menu. Take your main girls for an early brunch to snag a table since reservations are a no-no," says Hannah Hamilton, 23, a geofilter specialist at Snapchat, of this bright Venice spot.

  5. 5

    Petit Ermitage

    The elegant WeHo garden rooftop is preferred by ICM Partners' Nathalie Didier, 26: "A balmy night, sipping on a Love Potion Number 3 — you feel like you're in the South of France."

  6. 6

    Mother's Auxilary

    The secret bar behind Hollywood's famed Estrella requires a key to get in — or, rather, a photo of one on your phone that changes every weekend and sometimes nightly. And yes, the rare-for-L.A. douche-free vibe makes it worth the hassle of entry.

  7. 7

    The Den

    This 7-year-old West Hollywood hangout with an outside patio has maintained its grungy allure, says associate casting producer Molly Cohen, 24. "Karaoke on Wednesday is a must. Make sure to order an El Campeon mezcal and sip it on the patio, pinky out."

  8. 8

    The Hudson

    Consider this traditional, East Coast-style bar for brunch, networking drinks and Saturday night out in WeHo with friends — insiders recommend ordering a Huddy from the bar on the dance floor by the tree. Rumer Willis is a regular.

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    For drinks and live music, this art deco WeHo hangout will "transport you once you walk in the door, with a space reminiscent of the golden age at the Cocoanut Grove," says ICM's Didier.

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    Packed-in young industry professionals "scarfing down specialty cocktails and avocado toast" frequent this dark, cavernous WeHo haunt, says Levity Entertainment Group executive assistant Olivia Ghersen, 25. "Host your quarterlife-crisis birthday rager there."

  11. 11

    No Vacancy

    With its models, men in black leather jackets, burlesque decor and grand patio, Hollywood's No Vacancy is "Cali as f—," says production assistant Chad Preucil, 23, so bring out-of-town friends to its popular Wednesday nights. Preucil recommends the Gold Rush bourbon drink

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    Conveniently located in L.A., this modern, wood-accented drinks spot ranks No. 1 among CAA and WME assistants, especially on Tuesdays, with 50 percent off bottles of wine. Pizza is also a must.

  13. 13

    No Name Bar

    If you make it past the bouncer at this medieval L.A. lounge (or manage to secure the secret reservation email), you'll likely run into regulars Taylor Lautner, Nicholas Hoult, Supergirl's Tyler Hoechlin and New Girl's Nasim Pedrad, who may be sampling the famed fried chicken. Impromptu concerts have been known to happen, as one did earlier this year with Dave Chappelle and John Mayer. You'll feel like you've made it at 4 a.m. when Dobrev finally is allowed to smoke inside.

  14. 14

    Melrose Umbrella Co.

    Says Stephanie Shannon, 32, of this exposed-brick L.A. space: "It's quiet enough on weekdays for after-work drinks and has a good cocktail list."

  15. 15

    Blue Collar

    With no menu, this Instagram-friendly, chandelier-strewn Mid-City venue has "crazy smart bartenders — tell them what you're in the mood for, and you are guaranteed to get something you love," says Discovery executive assistant Leah Weber, 30.

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    This deluxe health-food spot in mid-Wilshire attracts both glowing (-skinned) fans and accolades. "I've been known to do kegstands of kombucha at the juice bar," says Hidden Figures actor Glen Powell, 28.

  17. 17

    Beverly Hills Hot Springs

    Actress Mae Whitman, 28 (she's played Meg Ryan's and George Clooney's daughters), considers a milky scrub at this K-town spa "my favorite thing in the entire world after a night of debauchery."

  18. 18

    Breakroom 86

    Think of this Line Hotel diner-like bar in Koreatown as something "Ferris Bueller built after a wild trip to Seoul. That's the only reasonable explanation — it's the '80s everywhere," jokes The Weather Man author Sam Hayes, 26. "Dancers in neon. Karaoke booths hiding behind vending machines. Mood cocktails."

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    "Brunch on the Eastside doesn't get better than this, but grab a coffee at the bar before getting in line," says Fox Animation assistant Laura Baltzer, 25, of this Silver Lake restaurant. "The wait is painful, but there's a crispy rice bowl at the other end of that rainbow."

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    "It's a dope venue for intimate shows and themed dance parties," says associate TV producer Rebecca Ozarow, 25, of the Echo Park venue. Check out Funky Soul Nights on Saturdays, says The Mindy Project PA Alden Derck, 23: "Perhaps the only time you'll ever see a hipster get down and boogie."

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    Semi Tropic

    Both Joe and booze are available at the Silver Lake coffeehouse. "The cold brew will give you an anxiety attack," says development coordinator Nikita Lamba, 23.

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    One of DTLA's longest-running restos has more to offer than its French dip sandwich. There's a secret speakeasy in the back, says Bright scribe Max Landis, 31. "I love the 1920s vibe going on right now in downtown L.A."

  23. 23

    The Lash

    "There's always a cute downtown vibe that reminds me of when I used to live in New York," says model Shaun Ross, 25, of the industrial, concrete-heavy space. "The music is super good and very diverse."

  24. 24

    4 'So Over It' Places in L.A.

    Soho House Why pay $900 (if under 27) to drink with an over-50 industry crowd or encounter a cranky Ben Savage, brother of Fred, who hates running into millennial Boy Meets World fans?

    Catch LA The brand-new West Hollywood restaurant with a doorman has quickly gone from cool to drool. Last-minute canceled reservations can spike a first date, as can being shown the door back to the valet and not the upstairs elevator.  

    The Nice Guy No more mister Nice Guy for young Hollywood after an older crowd started to move into this WeHo lounge.

    Tenants of the Trees Though Zoe Kravitz and Chloe Grace Moretz, underage at 19, frequent this Silver Lake spot with its no-photo policy and fog machine, reports of roofies at the inside bar make this a must-avoid, though some insiders still hit the bar outside.