The Whisper List: 6 Speakeasy Bars in Los Angeles

The modern speakeasy pays homage to the 1920s when alcohol was illegal. Liquid demand drove underground services and discrete, hidden bars and lounges were born. And why speakeasy? Because it is what bartenders used to politely tell their clients to do, “Speak Easy” aka shut up. 

Almost like a sequel to the times bygone, the speakeasy scene is now as strong as ever, owing to the crowded scene-to-be-scene spots that flock every metropolis.

To gain entrance and avoid unwarranted suspicion, make sure to know your favorite speakeasy spots before they become the next big date spot or tourist escape, plunging their entire nature.  

“The Roger Room”, West Hollywood
Tucked behind a tarot card signage on a dicey street between WeHo and Beverly Hills is the Roger Room, Roger being Yes! For you say yes to anything that the charming bartenders pour, including a signature drink with Japanese liquor and frothy egg whites on which they craft cinnamon shapes, signs and gestures. Make sure to check out the bathroom signage behind the revolver shaped bar.
370 N La Cienega Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048

Funny thing here is that Townhouse is already a bar in Venice’s hipster town. However, in the basement is yet another bar in a bar! One of the oldest bars in Venice, this was a real speakeasy in 1915. For that alone, it merits a visit.
52 Windward Ave
Venice, CA 90291

“The Edison”, Downtown LA
A converted electric plant in the basement of the Higgins Building, this one is complete with vintage hardware that is in juxtaposition with the beyond formal dress code. With its 1920s industrialism décor, this is one big space, with the option to gaze at vintage black and white films projected onto construction walls as you sip a strong cocktail.
108 W 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

“Blind Barber”, Culver City
With a plain entrance to a barbershop, the back of this storefront transforms into a dark and active bar. Unique drinks are juxtaposed with black and white theatre style tiles on a worn floor, speaking of character from the 20s.
10797 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

La Descarga”, Hollywood
A rum based speakeasy in Hollywood, this one makes things swanky. With vintage dressed patrons and a focus on rums, the literal translation of The Discharge will be sure to knock you out of your timezone. Founders of Guatamala have earthen flavors and hints of sugarcane to remind your of the Dominican, with a secret cigar bar further in the dark depths of the back.

1159 N Western Ave
Hollywood, CA 90029

The Varnish”, Downtown LA
Behind the guarded door of Cole’s you’ll find a discrete, dark spot with a swooping chandelier and the musky scent of cologne clad influential folks. Strong cocktails are on point, because if alcohol was illegal, you need that drink to be strong.
118 E 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014

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