A Disneyland of Drink: L.A. Theme Bars

— by Caroline on Crack

Tokyo bar cocktail
You may not find this cocktail in L.A. but…..

Bored with the same old bar scene? Same old cocktails…same old setup. Inject some fun in your drinking experience. And I’m not talking ordering a drink with an umbrella in it. Check out a theme bar. Forget Geisha House or the Velvet Margarita Cantina. In L.A. there’s so much more. Everything from the standard tiki bar to a hospital theme hot spot.

Beauty Barbeauty parlor

A fun little bar in the middle of the Cahuenga Corridor where you can sip your Prell specialty cocktail (aka grasshopper) while you get a manicure or a henna tattoo. There’s a $10 manicure and martini special on happy hours Thursdays and Fridays. With vintage hairdryers around, you feel like you’re in a 1960s beauty parlor. Yeah, it seems more like a chick bar but surprisingly each time I’ve gone, there have been more men than women, probably with that expectation in mind.

1638 N Cahuenga Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 464-7676
Cross Street: Hollywood Boulevard

Bigfoot Lodgenational forest

Step into the Bigfoot Lodge and you feel like you’re in a Yogi Bear cartoon. Smokey the Bear greets you at the door and the interior is comprised of logcabinlike walls and taxidermied decorations. Grab a seat in front of the fireplace in the back and order up a Toasted Marshmallow cocktail (where your marshmallow garnish is flambed by the bartender). Or try the minty Girl Scout Cookie cocktail. Both are really creamy sweet drinks but part of the Bigfoot experience. And as you can probably tell, this Los Feliz spot is dressed-down casual. You’re in the “woods,” frilly frocks won’t cut it here.

3172 Los Feliz Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(323) 662-9227
Cross Street: Glenfeliz Boulevard

Good Hurthospital ward

Who would have thunk that a hospital-themed bar would work? Even though it doesn’t serve hard liquor (I know, I know), skeptics can soothe their thirst by ordering a Transfusion (a cocktail mixed with soju) from the nurse at the pharmacy bar. You’ll know you’re in the right spot when you see the neon Rx sign hanging overhead. The Good Hurt is a low-key live music venue and the crowd is usually made up of laidback Westsiders.

12249 Venice Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 390-1076
Cross Street: Grand View Boulevard

Good Luck BarChinese opium den

Very dark and swank but low-key. Red walls, Chinese motifs and paper lanterns. This Silverlake bar is a cross between an opium den and a Chinese dive bar. Come for the strong Good Luck specialty cocktail, stay for the cool, hip crowd and eclectic jukebox. You can grab a couch in the opium denlike back room and hang out with your friends or snuggle up to your sweetie.

1514 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027-5516
(323) 666-3524
Cross Street: Hollywood Boulevard

Little Cavebat cave

Owned by the same folks at the Bigfoot Lodge, Halloween is the theme of this Highland Park bar. Appropriately named, you feel like you’re having drinks in a cave as you’re surrounded by foam rocks and bat-shaped cutouts with red bubble lights casting a warm glow on this eastside scenester neighborhood bar. Specialty drinks include the Bat-tini and Count Choc-ula.

5922 N Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 255-6871
Cross Street: Avenue 59

Tiki TiHawaiian beach shack

It wouldn’t be an L.A. theme bar list if I didn’t include this old tiki bar favorite. Small and packed, the best time to go is before 10pm otherwise you’ll end up standing around trying not to spill your Ray’s Mistake specialty cocktail. But do yourself a favor and resist the urge to order a rum drink here. You’ll have more fun ordering a tequila-based drink. The bartender starts pouring the tequila from a bullhead spout and bellows, “Toroooo” inciting the crowd to do the same. Word to the wise: the drinks are very potent but if you get caught in a PDA, you’ll get kicked out.

4427 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027-6017
(323) 669-9381
Cross Street: Virgil Place