Bodega Winebar: Keeping Wine Simple

— by Caroline on Crack


No more Sugar, baby. Not that you were missing it all that much. The $2 dance club on Broadway and Lincoln has been replaced by a very sophisticated venue, Bodega Winebar. Opened just this month and sister to the established location in Pasadena, it’s already quite the hot spot for well-groomed singles.

But here, you don’t have to be a member of the Wine Club or a Wine Spectator subscriber to understand and appreciate their menu. Everything is simply the same price ($8 a glass, $20 a carafe, $30 a bottle) to save you the stress of wondering if you’re cheating yourself by going with the $8/glass wine instead of the $13/glass one.

Also, the menu handily provides a description of each wine’s flavors, i.e. the Graziano Zinfandel from Mendocino is plum, blackberry, raspberry, spicy, full body. I had this one and it was tasty. Even the wine glasses are of the stemless variety, so you can grab hold of your drink instead of having to clasp it oh-so delicately by a stem and worry about it toppling over.

Although Bodega sounds like a winebar for dummies, the 20- and 30-something crowd was pretty sophisticated-looking with men in their dress shirts and slacks and women in stylish, not clubby, frocks. One group was celebrating a birthday, couples canoodled in the dark corners and hipsters lounged and stood around sipping wine.

The lighting was dimmed candlelight low, and there was a mix of long tables and chairs in the main room and plush sofas and ottomans in the corners. The dj stand is located in the same place as it was in the Sugar days in the back but it seems bigger in its enormous wooden Starbucks-counter way. A place is cleared in front of it, apparently for dancing but no one was doing any of that. Instead the music served as jazzy ambience.

I liked this place. It’s bigger than Air Conditioned Lounge and, as I said, simpler. Plus they serve food! Stuff like panini sliders and pizza. Not that I would forsake the A/C, I just have another place to go to if perchance I wanna take a wine tour of West L.A. winebars — Primitivo, The Otheroom, A/C and this.

814 Broadway
Santa Monica, California 90401
(310) 394-3504