Yet More Signs of Cool in Hollywood (& Highland, no less)

Posted by Glenn Gritzner on April 8, 2011

Hello Enthusiasts –

A couple of you have commented on how much I have been writing about life outside of Downtown, but as I said in a previous post, Downtown is more than a place – it’s also an aesthetic, a vibe.  And lately, that vibe has been traveling west.

So in my never ending quest to tell you about cool stuff no matter where it is, I hereby give you B Side at Rolling Stone LA.  Rolling Stone LA is a new restaurant/tourist trap located at the back side of Hollywood & Highland, across the parking entrance from the Renaissance.  The restaurant itself is fine – though, in its attempt to not be the Hard Rock, it weirdly lacks personality.  The food is much better, but except for a few Rolling Stone covers on the wall, the place is definitively not rock and roll.  But you’re not going to Rolling Stone, because you’re (now) in the know.

You’re going down the stairs to Highland, turning right along the wall of the mall and there, a couple of doors up from Lucky Strike, you’ll find an unmarked entrance to B Side, the 45 person capacity, speakeasy style bar/lounge, run by some of the best mixologists in the City.  The operation is overseen by Trish Alley, late of First and Hope and Providence.  (for the record, the cocktails at the main Rolling Stone are top notch as well).  Here’s a picture of Trish in action behind the bar:

And if you want to go on a really cool night, you’ll go on Wednesdays, when guest mixologists from all over the City are running one-night-only cocktail extravaganzas, full of recipes with ingredients like manzanilla sherry, shiso bitters, and jasmine spray (go ahead and try one.  You’ll be the better for it).  The program kicked off a couple Wednesdays ago with Naomi Schimek of Spare Room (which I wrote about previously) and First and Hope before that – Trish & Naomi were both recently featured in an LA Times piece on female mixologists.  Last week was the infamous Marcos Tello.  And a couple days ago was the inimitable Zahra Bates (if you haven’t at least been to the bar at Providence and had Zahra school you on some drinks, you’ve been missing out).  Zahra got some of her friends around the City to contribute original recipes, and the whole thing had a familial, “in the know” feel.  The place is so small that you inevitably strike up conversations with the folks around you, and you can certainly impress your friends by even knowing about it.  (fair warning, it doesn’t open until 9:30, so get your rest).  And even though they’re busy, the bartenders will happily talk to you about the cool drinks they’re pouring, assuming you let them get their work done.  (Trish will likely be down there, too).  Here’s another pic (wish it was less blurry – speakeasies don’t tend to post lots of pictures of themselves online):

So you can actually make a good night out of Hollywood now.  Grab dinner at 25 Degrees or at the new Public Kitchen and Bar, both inside the Roosevelt (or, if you’re a little more ambitious, start at Wood & Vine, on Hollywood & Vine, which will likely be the subject of a future post).  Get an early drink at Spare Room, and maybe even get a round of bowling in, and then head over to B Side for a nightcap.  I know it’s not Downtown, but you’ll feel like it is.  Promise.  (just ignore the two Spidermen, Captain America, and Elvis as you walk from one place to the other)

Happy travels.

B Side at Rolling Stone LA
Hollywood & Highland
6801 Hollywood Blvd.
(door on Highland, up from Lucky Strike)

323.464.4000