Like the city itself, Los Angeles nightlife is spread out. Unlike New Orleans, Boston or Washington D.C. where there is one central location for the local revelers to congregate and feed off each others energy until they burst from their confines, Los Angeles offers decent nightlife throughout the city without cramming everyone into one central booze fest.
Name recognition is big in Hollywood and telling your friends that you partied here will earn you instant credibility. The big nightlife spots include the Bungalow Club, Joseph’s Cafe and Social Hollywood. Although if you can’t choose, why not try The Short Bus, Hollywood’s party bus that takes customers around the city like a booze-cruise on pavement.
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Los Angeles nightlife in Santa Monica features more of the “martinis on a rooftop overlooking the ocean” types of places and folks hoping to bar-hop here had better bring their credit cards and their shiny shoes. Bars in Santa Monica have names like “Veranda” and “Boa” while other neighborhoods in LA still hold dear places like “Bigfoot Lodge” and “Hooters.”
That hot new place
Clubs in Los Angeles generally have a short shelf life and the most popular places become yesterday’s news in as long as it takes for the valet to get your car. Hot clubs attract celebrities and the celebs have to stay at least a week ahead of the paparazzi and celebrity rags. Check with locals and ask around for the local scene’s hottest new places, or follow the beautiful people and you’ll figure it out pretty quick.
There are only two places to where there are enough comedy clubs that comedians can make money doing 15 minute sets of their best material and rush off to another 15 minute set. New York is one, Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles is the other. Comedy clubs come one after another on Sunset, the most prestigious of these being the Laugh Factory. Top comedians work out new material before national appearances and there is usually a house hold name or two on the weekends.
Down the street, the Comedy Store provides a prime time stage for new talent and brings break out comedians to the forefront of the industry. The surrounding area is sprinkled with comedy clubs. In Hollywood the Comedy Union and HaHa Cafe also feature solid comedy shows and Pasadena’s Ice House is one of the longest running and most established comedy clubs in the Los Angeles area. The newest addition to LA’s comedy scene, meanwhile, is the Downtown Comedy Club, which is leading a revival of the area’s nightlife behind the pedigree of Saturday Night Live alum Garett Morris.