Harlem Place Alley, 108 West 2nd Street (@ S. Main St), Los Angeles, California, 90012, United States
Tel: +1 213 613 0000
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Wed-Fri 5pm-2am; Sat 8pm-2am
Style: Lounge bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: Middling
Food: Bar snacks
Created as some sort of mad-cap homage to great inventors, this cavernous, underground bunker has to be seen to be believed. Here, in the basement of the historic Higgins Building lies Los Angeles' first privately owned power station, with the bar, lounge and dance space created around its vintage furnaces, the insides of which are now an intimate drinker's hideaway with heavy drapes, night lights and an old piano.
Descend the staircase 70-feet underground and you'll find the venue arranged among arcane mechanical equipment against bare brick walls and amid homely touches such as Persian rugs and soft lighting. Silent films play on screens high above the main island bar. The DJ station and stage warn of the more full-on late week atmosphere.
Cocktails are at the pricey end of the spectrum, and tend to longer, liqueur-heavy concoctions though there are more flavourful and challenging mixtures (the Carnivale lists aged cachaca, cherry liqueur, almond syrup, hot sauce and lime juice) even if there are less short, spirituous drinks. Worth a visit for the venue alone though.