Whilst the City of Angels is known to be a hotspot for film types and celebrities, there are also a great deal of book-themed experiences to be had in Los Angeles. Right around the corner from LA’s best bookshop, The Last Bookshop, is another literary haven. Library Bar in Downtown LA is one of the coolest bars this city has to offer with their book-themed cocktails and gourmet burgers. Keep on reading to find out more…
Although Library Bar sits right under a neon sign with its very name, at street level, you could very well pass this place by as its rather inconspicuous. But draw the curtain back and you will find a dimly lit room with a large bar area and plenty of seating for both couples and groups.
If you’re drinking alone, take a seat at the bar. If you’re on a date, grab one of the sofas next to the bookcase. If you’re with a group of friends, grab the large table by the door. There’s truly something for everyone here.
Upon first entering the bar, it looks just like an other bar in LA. A wide bar area and a television playing the latest sporting match up above. However, keep walking in and you’ll see that there’s a cosy seating area with sofas and stools.
Lining the entire wall here are bookshelves – a book lover’s dream! There’s tome upon tome of hardback books and the centre piece features a bust of one William Shakespeare as well as some small portraits of other literary giants.
What to Drink
There are three signature cocktails to choose from, which are aptly named Tequila Mockingbird, Blackberry Bramble and This Side of Paradise. Of course we opted for all three and they couldn’t have been more different from each other.
Tequila Mockingbird, named after To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, is a fiery substance that packs a punch. This cocktail consists of tequila, blackberry pink-peppercorn shrub and lime. It’s definitely only for those that like a bitter and spicy concoction as even the glass comes peppered with a sort of chilli salt!
Blackberry Bramble is a much fruitier cocktail that comprises of absolut vodka, blackberry and lemon. It’s still pretty bitter but after a sip of Tequila Mockingbird, this stuff tastes delectable.
Finally, we tried This Side of Paradise, named after the novel of the same name by F Scott Fitzgerald, is a taste of tropical oasis. Made with pineapple rum, passion fruit and lime, this is for those like a fruity cocktail mix. Definitely my favourite out of the three signature cocktails!
Of course, there are lots of other drinks options apart from these three signature cocktails including the classic cocktails and a selection of beers and wines. I couldn’t resist ordering a Hemingway Daiquiri from the classic cocktail section and this one turned out to be my favourite out of the four we tasted.
The Hemingway Daiquiri is quite similar to This Side of Paradise as it has a pineapple rum base too. It’s mixed with grapefruit cordial and is wonderfully sweet with a small hint of bitterness – just how I like my cocktails. It’s served in a tall cocktail glass making this the coolest out of the four we tried.
All of the above are made with an ample serving of alcohol so drink responsibly!
What to Eat
If you’re mostly here for drinks and nibbles then there’s a wide range of appetisers that you can order directly from the bar. Think cheese boards, chicken bites, hummus and pita and even charred brussels! Most people in England reserve brussel sprouts for Christmas so I found it quite amusing to see these on the menu of a trendy bar in LA.
For your main course there are four gourmet burger dishes on offer and I opted for the “Fancy Burger”. And they weren’t kidding when they said it was fancy… Truffle tremor goat cheese in a burger? Yes please!
Meanwhile, my friend ordered the fried chicken sandwich. It sounds simple but this burger did wow me and if I had to choose, I’d definitely go for the fried chicken sandwich over the Fancy Burger! Maybe it’s the secret sauce? Who knows, but it tastes damn good.
On the side we opted for both the house fries and the garlic fries (one serving definitely would’ve been enough for two!) and both were delicious. The latter are a little more special and extra yummy though they did fill me up very quickly I found it hard to manage both the fancy burger and the special garlic fries!
All in all, Library Bar LA is definitely one to check out for bookworms and cocktail aficionados in LA. The setting oozes luxury and the drink and food choices are a notch above similar establishments in the downtown area. It’s the perfect place to pass an evening, surrounded by hoards of books and the bar staff will keep you entertained all night.
630 W 6th St #116a
3pm – 2am
Average cocktail $12
Many thanks to Library Bar LA for hosting me for the evening! Special thanks to Michael, Maurianna and Jordan for making this happen.
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Hazlitt’s Hotel London: A Luxury Literary Hotel
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