The Sunset Strip needs no introduction. It is, after all, one of the most infamous stretches of pavement in the entire world. Stretching roughly from Crescent Heights to Doheny, this mile and a half conglomeration of bars and restaurants and hotels and music venues defines this city more than anything else. Frankly put, it’s a complete sh*show.
And though its days as the American rock n’ roll epicenter are sadly long gone, The Strip still lives up to it’s debaucherous billing. Except nowadays, most of it all sucks. However, for every overpriced rooftop restaurant or dumb club you just waited two hours in line to get turned away from, there’s a fantastic spot up the block ready for your night of mayhem. So put on your fancy shoes and get ready to throw down. Here’s how you do the Sunset Strip right.
A few years ago, an LA kid opened a non-descript restaurant next to his parents’ Thai spot on Sunset, and quietly changed the whole d*mn game. Surprise - it’s Night + Market. One of the best restaurants in the entire city and your first move when it comes to all things eating (and drinking) on The Strip. Sure, Night + Market’s spice levels aren’t for everyone, but nobody’s complaining about that back patio and those towers and towers of Chang Beer you just ordered.
Sometimes you just have to say “f*ck it”, take that Fireball shot, and ride the bull till dawn. We love Saddle Ranch with every fiber of our heart because it knows exactly what it is - a rowdy, throw down of the kitschiest country variety. You’re going to make out with someone with a Monster energy drink tattoo and they’re going to ask for a ride to Pomona in the morning. But you’re not even mad, because it’s exactly what you signed up for. Party on, lovers.
In the land of sky-high rooftop bars and unneeded infinity pools, The Den remains a relatively low-key (and low to the ground) drinking option on The Strip. We’d be lying if we said it didn’t get bro-tastic on the weekends, but who cares? You didn’t wait in line, or pay cover, and those fire pits out front just got way more exciting after that shot of tequila you just took.
For however gaudy everything on the Strip is, Sushi Park is the exact opposite. Located on the 2nd floor of a run-of-the-mill strip mall, this no nonsense sushi joint sits easily amongst of our city’s best. Omakase at the bar is the way to go, but don’t dare take your phone out of your pocket, because photography is strictly banned. This is serious sushi, and it’s time to go all-in.
Is there a restaurant that embodies the essence of The Strip more than Church Key? We think not. The large, trendy spot right in the heart of the action is definitely a scene, but the attendees of your big group birthday dinner will thank you. Because at the end of the day, the food at this kinda sorta dim sum restaurant is accessible and good. And you just snagged your third alcoholic popsicle and are FEELING IT.
We love Pearl’s for several reasons, most of which have everything to do with how skilled they are at getting us hammered. They have a fantastic cocktail menu, a solid beer list, and a daily Happy Hour where everything starts at $5. And come weekend brunch, there’s an at-table mimosa kit situation that gets dangerous quickly. And of course, a fantastic patio to experience it all in.
When it was announced that Yatai, the beloved dive Asian tapas joint, was changing its concept, diehard fans mourned the loss of yet another hidden spot on The Strip biting the dust. We come bearing good news. Roppongi is now open and it’s essentially the same thing. There are definitely some new menu items, but all your old favorites (hello, spicy tuna burger) remain. And so has that insane weekend Happy Hour with 50% all sushi and all $5 bamboo sake your Saturday night can handle.
Let’s not forget Sunset was once home to the most important music scene in the country. While those days are behind us now, the holy trinity of The Whiskey, The Roxy, and The Viper remain, each with their own long and extremely infamous history. But when it comes to present day, The Roxy remains the best place to get whiskey-hammered and listen to live music. Nobody has a more consistent lineup and better sound than this enduring icon.
So you’ve rounded up the guys and it’s time to go big. BOA is where you’re headed. On the far western edge of The Strip sits this glitzy steakhouse continues to crank out quality cuts of meat in an area not necessarily known for its restaurant-longevity. You’ll order the Caesar salad and the rib-eye and watch Sofia Vergara get in and out of a car. And you’ll love every second of it.
Just when you think you’ve got The Strip figured out, Rock N’ Reilly’s delivers the somehow always fun Irish pub vibes and saves your night. This is where you go when you’re completely done waiting in line at Skybar and some Euro-bro just asked you how much an Uber is to The Bellagio. Time for some whiskey shots, fish and chips, and a little back patio that gets wild in a hurry.
The tiny taco spot right at the start of The Strip is a chain these days, but its OG Weho location has four letters that the other locations do not: BYOB. In a city that will do anything in its power to stop you from bringing your own booze, Pinches welcomes it with open arms. Combine that with a relaxed vibes and tacos that are always better than you remember them being, your Sunset Strip jumping off point has been found.
Falling into the category of places on Sunset you completely forgot about, Pi on Sunset is a shockingly romantic, low-key, family-run Mediterranean restaurant in the heart of all the mayhem. Come in twice and they’ll know you by name. The food is solid (chicken shawarma pizza is a must), the vibe is casual, and everything on the menu is under $15. Are we even on The Strip anymore?
So is this hole-in-the-wall the brand of high-end sushi found down the street at Sushi Park? Of course not. But it’s still delicious and easy to get into and sometimes you just don’t need 22 cuts of rare fish to enjoy ourself. At Take, you’ll find accessible sushi standards at prices you don’t get anywhere else on the strip. Also, don’t miss that miso soup. It’s one of our favorites in LA. The vibe is bright and festive, and not in the manic way you’ll find on the rest of Sunset.
It’s not hard to see why Ivory is an immediate hit. For one, it’s in The Mondrian and people just love that place. Second, the outdoor patio is what your get-dolled-up-and-have-yourself-a-night dreams are made of. The food is solid and menu is massive, guaranteeing no matter how many picky eaters you roll in with, everyone will be happy. If you need a big-group dinner spot with some glitz and glamour thrown in, Ivory is your spot.