If you’re looking for a hot spot to sip a cool drink on a warm summer day, Melrose Ave. is the place to go. With a wide range of venues to hoist a tasty summer libation, get ready to raise a toast to SoCal living on Melrose.
Nosh on a Southern Fried Chicken sandwich with house slaw and Chipotle Ranch, or go with cheese pizza or deep fried cauliflower while enjoying a wide range of generous mixed drinks from the basics on up in this convivial bar. This spot is often a before or after spot for patrons of The Groundlings comedy theater next door. From comfy booths to high top tables, there’s room to linger and enjoy tap beers or a Red Bull vodka, or on a sunny day, one of the perfectly spiced Bloody Marys that The Dark Room is known for. And of course, don’t miss making a pose in the bar’s super popular photo booth. That’s picture-perfect.
The Dark Room
7302 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046
Classic cocktails go with a wide variety of tasty eats at this relaxed but hip spot. The beverage menu was crafted by Max Kestenbaum, one of the three founders of the Cocktail Academy. The drink menu includes Peach Don’t Kill My Vibe – which seems like a perfect summer sip made from Stillhouse Peach Tea Whiskey, fresh mint, and fresh lemonade. The Senorita also makes for a spicy summer taste: jalapeno-infused Patron with Citrone orange liqueur and house-made ginger beer. There are punch bowls too, great for a summer party including the Pyrat’s Booty, made naturally with Pyrat rum along with fresh pineapple juice, lime juice, and ginger refreshingly serves 12. Try fresh ceviche, the Parlor’s stacked nachos, or perhaps a slider order or two. There are veggie, turkey, and Buffalo chicken sliders along with the beef, which is Angus.
7250 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046
Described as having the most beautiful cocktails in LA, you’ll find these truly gorgeous drinks in a small, intimate bar located behind the entrance to a hookah lounge. The speakeasy style is as perfected as the drinks. The eponymous Melrose Station combines St. George Green Chile vodka infusion with house citrus mix and a sweep of agave nectar. The Oh Mai Flaming Tai is a potent and perfect tropical twist, made with Cointreau, white rum, and grenadine set ablaze; or enjoy the Afternoon Tea, a delightfully summery drink made with lavender infused gin, crème de violette, egg white, and edible flowers floating alluring atop the creamy beverage. While craft cocktails are the thing here, the tasty small plates gracing the “Our Bites” menu include treats such as yellow tail sashimi, “Salad on a Stick,” flatbreads, sliders, and cheese and fruit plates.
7384 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Seasonal craft cocktails and a sleek and always hopping vibe? That’s Melrose Umbrella Company, which adjoins the hip soul food eatery Barbara Jean. Try a “True Classics” drink or an inventive craft cocktail such as Romance Without Pressure, which allows imbibers a choice of gin, vodka, rye, or pisco with a cucumber twist, passion fruit juice, and grapefruit. The Melrose Mule adds blood orange, lime, and cinnamon into a gingery classic mule. The Highway Hustle is a road best traveled: Fresno pepper infused Altos Blanco tequila meets pineapple Gomme-Kummel liqueur, fresh mango, and lemon. And exemplifying the dynamic international scene on Melrose Ave., it’s the Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: Toki Japanese whiskey, green apple and ginger, Sauvignon Blanc with lime. Quell your hunger as well as your thirst with eats such as a lobster roll with buerre blanc or a warm mushroom salad that adds toasted hazel nuts and farro to the earthy pleasures of sautéed wild mushrooms.
Melrose Umbrella Company
7465 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
The vibe may be decidedly low key, but the stellar selection of fine whiskies are definitely high-brow. Yummy bar snacks include black bean veg chili, nachos, quesadillas, and artisan pizza. Kick back and listen to the rocking juke box or watch a game on one of several TVs or wall projection screen while sampling the 22 beers on draft, or, wait for it, over a hundred different whiskies. Yes, there’s nothing like an exotic 21-year-aged Balvenie Portwood or a smoky Nikka Takesuru on a warm summer night. Can’t decide on your beverage of choice? The ale house suggests flights to sample the whiskey, scotch, and bourbon, featuring one-ounce pours of four different selections. There are whiskey cocktails, too, like the Al Lampone, with Belle Meade, Galliano, rhubarb bitters, and black raspberry liqueur. But non-whiskey drinkers won’t feel left out with drink selections ranging from a Bellini to a Boston Side Car. On the brew side: everything from a Green Flash IPA to a Blue Moon adds color to your draft beer summer.
Snake Pit Alehouse
7529 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046
The name says it all: this fun place doesn’t take itself too seriously, there’s plenty to eat, plenty to drink, and a friendly hangout feel. The iconic gastropub cooks its food over a wood-burning grill and serves up hearty dishes like potato pie and fish and chips. It offers drinks like the Cloak & Dagger, made with Whalers dark rumb, El Dorado rum, lime, and sugar; or the Hanky Panky, crafted with gin, carpano antica, fernet branca, and an orange twist. And don’t miss the 50 Cent Haircut: Sailor Jerry Rum, Coke, and Guinness. Now there’s a pub drink for a summer night. The basic House Pour of Miller High Life with a shot of rye is a good deal, too.
The Village Idiot
7383 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046