Culver City, especially downtown Culver City, has seen a rejuvenation over the past several years and is becoming a go-to spot for Westside Angelenos. In terms of the bar scene, you’ll be able to find every option your heart desires. Here’s a rundown of the best.
This chic mixology lounge is appropriately named The Alley, as you must walk down the adjacent alley to access the entrance. With zero street visibility, this Culver City hot spot is easily missed, so be on the look out for the signage from sister restaurant FIN Asian Tapas Bar out front. Must-haves on the menu include the Jicama Fish Tacos and Pepperoni Pizza Dippers, while their most popular, fresh cocktails are 99 Problems But a Drink Ain’t One (mezcal, chipotle, serrano, agave) as well as the Brit favorite London Calling (gin, ginger, combier, Old Fashioned bitters)
A focal point of Culver City, the Culver Hotel historic landmark offers a grand estate feel, complete with high ceilings, vintage armchairs, and classic movie projections. The Grand Lobby’s carefully curated ambiance transforms nightly with live music from up-and-coming artists. Through the lobby and up the stairs, you’ll find the hotel’s magical Velvet Lounge, perfectly reminiscent of a 1920s speakeasy with a twist of Parisian boudoir. It is open Thursday through Saturday after 8pm, with plenty of secluded corners to enjoy an aperitif or bottle service. Popular cocktails include the Boulevardier (14 Bulleit Rye, Campari, Carpano Antica, stirred, in a Martini glass) and the Lavender Collins (Lavender Simple Syrup, lemon juice, Crème de Violette and Vodka).
Nestled behind the storefront barbershop, the backroom of Blind Barber plays host to one of LA’s most clandestine bars. All spirits and house cocktails pair well with the 20 different variations of grilled cheese that have become a staple on the Westside. Must-try cocktails are the Batman (Bombay Gin, St. Germain, Peychauds bitters, lemon, and mint) and the Smoke and Dagger (Jack Daniels, Cointreau, jalapeño, cucumber, ginger, and lemon). Reservations are encouraged on the weekends.
Bigfoot West is one of Los Angeles’s premiere whiskey bars, featuring more than 100 national and international brands. It also has a cocktail program that embraces seasonality and fresh ingredients from the Culver City Farmers Market. The log cabin atmosphere evokes a weekend in the woods, cozy decor and charming taxidermy included. Locals are welcome to imbibe, enjoy live music, play trivia, and socialize on any given night. Popular cocktails include the Bramble (Fords Gin, blackberries, crème de mure, lemon juice, house-made simple syrup, and ginger beer) and XO Hemingway (Mezan XO Aged Rum, Giffard Pample mousse, grapefruit juice, cherry liqueur, and lime juice).
City Tavern Culver City features refined comfort food for lunch and dinner, 22 of the best California craft draft beers on tap, and killer craft cocktails. It also offers Table Tap booths – with a computerized draft beer system – where patrons pour their own beers. City Tavern throws craft beer events with local breweries on Thursday nights and live music on Saturday nights with singer/songwriters. The most popular cocktails include the Bearded Maple (aged rum, pomegranate juice, and homemade spicy bitters) and the tasty Old Fashioned.
Father’s Office is inspired by gastropubs found in Europe. The casual restaurant is known for its wide selection of craft brews – more than 55 local and small-batch options. It is also famous for the renowned Office Burger, hailed as the country’s best burger by the TODAY show and Esquire magazine. Pair a gourmet burger with an Office Martini, a classic Manhattan, or a Hemingway.
Oldfield’s Liquor Room is an homage to decades past — an old-fashioned liquor room offering a comfortable and subdued neighborhood-bar atmosphere. It features clever details such as French bistro barstools, white subway tiles, and artisanal spirits. The menu is inspired by Prohibition-era cocktails and uses spirits and seasonal flavors to add modern twists. For instance, The Wolfsblood is a variation on the classic Manhattan, made with rye whiskey, Dubonnet Rouge, orange liqueur, and Peychaud’s bitters. Another popular cocktail is the Paris 1919, which combines Prickly Pear Brandy, MaurinQuina, dry vermouth, and Maraschino Liqueur.
Public School 310 is a chef-driven gastropub that delivers ‘An Education in the Art of Food and Beer.’ It serves an eclectic American menu featuring seasonal, locally inspired dishes complemented by a rotating beer list. The bar features a vast selection of seasonal cocktails and sommelier-selected wines. In addition to an interesting liquor selection that includes many small batch brands, Public School prepares all of its juices and mixers in-house daily. The most popular cocktails include the Yellow Smoke – fresh pineapple juice, serrano pepper, and Alipus mezcal – and Lavender Vanilla – house-made vanilla bitters, lavender simple syrup, and Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon.
Rocco’s Tavern Culver City features a sprawling bar, restaurant, and outdoor cafe inspired by the classic Italian restaurants and taverns of the East Coast. Rocco’s Tavern serves Italian-style comfort food. The bar features 20 beers on tap and a creative specialty cocktail list that includes the Staten Island Sweet Tea (premium sweet tea vodka, sweet and sour poured over ice) and the Jersey Shore Lemonade (vodka mojito made with mint, lemon wedges muddled with simple syrup, Smirnoff Citrus Vodka, and soda water). It also serves the Rocco Cocktail (a fruity bubble explosion of J. Roget Champagne, Absolut Raspberry Vodka & Chambord Liqueur in a sugar rimmed glass with a cherry on top).
Inspired by the famous Chicago strip, Rush Street is a multi-level restaurant, bar, and lounge in the heart of Downtown Culver City. With two bars, two lounges, two outdoor patio decks, and 15 widescreen TVs, Rush Street hosts a vibrant happy hour and sports scene, a progressive music and DJ-driven 2nd Floor Lounge experience, events, and even film shoots (spot it on HBO’s Silicon Valley and Think Like a Man). The restaurant serves a high-volume New American Cuisine dining program, while the bar offers 10 beers on tap and specialty cocktails like the Mason Jars Rosemary Grapefruit (Tanqueray 10 gin, grapefruit liqueur, lemon, sprite, and fresh rosemary).
Seventy7 Lounge is a neo-classic cocktail lounge neatly tucked in an unassuming alley in the heart of Downtown Culver City. Behind the façade, the space is adorned with crushed velvet wallpaper and dimly lit chandeliers – the perfect venue for an intimate date or secret speakeasy-style party. The weekly entertainment lineup consists of live music, burlesque, and DJs. The bar features a friendly and attentive staff and well-crafted specialty and classic cocktails. Try the popular Strawberry Hinny, a play on a Moscow Mule with vodka, fresh strawberries, mint, lime juice, ginger liqueur, and bitters.