Where To Drink When You Book The Job
10 bars where you should celebrate after you finally book the part.
After two years of over-priced acting classes and humiliating auditions in every casting office in LA, it happened. You finally got the call. You booked the part. Whether it’s for a network lead or a non-speaking 5-hour Energy commercial, the feeling of pure elation is exactly the same. And now, it’s time to celebrate. Whether you’re the kind of person who wants to drink till 3am with every person in your contacts or just have a quick glass of wine with your roommate, here are 10 great spots to celebrate finally booking the part.
It’s hard to eat well when you’re waiting for your big break. Get the rest of The Actor’s Guide To Eating & Drinking In LA here.
Little do your friends back home know, voiceover parts pay the best in the business, so your new World of Warcraft contract is definitely something to be celebrated. If you’re looking to get a little rowdy in a quintessentially LA environment, go to the Dresden. The iconic bar/restaurant in Los Feliz predates the dinosaurs, and while a night of guzzling “blood and sand” cocktails is always a win in our books, the reason you’re really here is the live music. Sadly, Marty Roberts from the iconic cabaret duo, Marty & Elayne, passed in January 2022, but even so, a night at The Dresden will always be a memorable one.
This is a game changer. The objectively terrible pilot you shot in the spring just got picked up by CBS, and now you’re officially a network actor. Time for Sunset Tower. The iconic hotel bar on the Sunset Strip is where you go to commingle with old and young Hollywood, drink strong cocktails, and gossip about publicists. If that sounds like a nightmare to you, know that it’s not nearly as intimidating as it sounds.
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Musso & Frank Grill
There are a handful of places you can go in LA for an Old Hollywood feel. None compare to Musso & Frank. Yes, the oldest restaurant in Hollywood (it opened in 1919) is a bit of the tourist trap and the food isn’t all that great, but strolling up to the bar and getting a few rounds of lethal martinis is an essential LA drinking experience. Most of the bartenders have been there for decades and their stories are far more interesting than whatever your roommate is complaining about today.
Now that you’re a working network actor (it’s just a co-star role, but who cares?), it’s time to start drinking like one. And that means you need a reservation. Head to Old Lightning, the speakeasy behind Scopa Italian Roots in Venice. Here you’ll find a tiny room that has one of the largest collections of rare liquor in the country and looks like a mix between a 1960s airport lounge and your uncle’s basement. There is a regular cocktail menu, but skip that and opt for one of the tasting flights. You’ll name your price (generally $50 and above) and they’ll build around that. It’s not a bad price point for sipping mezcal from a distillery that closed in the ’70s.
You’re obviously excited that you booked that Nike print campaign, but you also have zero interest in a never-ending bar crawl. Grab your always-home roommate and go to Bar Covell. This wine bar in Los Feliz is one of those rare places where wine snobs and people who put ice cubes in their chardonnay co-exist and have a great time. There’s no wine list to speak of. Instead, you describe what kind of wine you’re in the mood for, and they’ll pour you tastes until you land on one you like. It’s unpretentious, lively, and you’ll also probably be home by 10pm.
Located across the street from Sony Studios in Culver City, this 80-year-old dive bar has been an industry staple for years and is home to one of the best karaoke situations in town. On Thursday through Saturday, people start lining up early (sign-ups start at 7:30pm) to get very drunk and sing loudly into a microphone. Whether you’re in the market for a live performance or not, this place is guaranteed to be a fairly unhinged night with excellent people-watching.
photo credit: Jakob Layman
You finally booked the role of your dreams, but it’s at a regional theater in upstate New York which means you’ll be gone for the next four months. Give yourself a proper LA goodbye and invite everyone you know to El Coyote. The classic Mexican restaurant on Beverly certainly doesn’t have the best food in town, but you’re here to drink too many margaritas, flirt with the sassy servers, and stumble out a few hours later wondering how you’re going to get through four months in upstate New York.
Located in the heart of theater row on Santa Monica Blvd. is Broadwater Plunge. This bar (inside of a building that houses four other theaters) is basically there to get local actors as drunk as possible. After letting it slip at rehearsal that you booked a small role in Fast and The Furious 93, the entire cast has rallied and now there’s a whole line of tequila shots waiting for you at the bar. Godspeed.
In Sheep’s Clothing
In Sheep’s Clothing is a Japanese record bar in the Arts District. If you’re unclear what that means, expect to come here and drink a lot of very good whiskey drinks and listen to vinyl records, both of which someone put a lot of thought into. The modern space kind of feels like you’re in a thermal spa, but there are a bunch of tables and big booths for you and your friends to take over. Also, there’s a black leather couch along the wall that might be the most comfortable couch we’ve ever sat in.