Monday, November 29, 2010

Hemingway's Lounge: Havana Cool in Hollywood

Hemingway's Lounge opened up a month ago in Hollywood in half of the former Ivar space, right on Hollywood Blvd. It is decorated as a homage to its namesake, Ernest Hemingway, and has one of the top bartenders in Los Angeles, Alex Straus, behind the bar in addition to having him create the cocktail program.

The lounge has extremely high ceilings which make the room feel even larger.  The walls, including above the bar and on the columns, are covered in books; over 10,000 in all.  One wall is also covered in dozens of typewriters.  Unlike La Descarga, which is styled after Havana during the Hemingway era, Hemingway's is all comfortable writers study, less weathered cantina, although like Descarga, Hemingway's takes reservations.

Straus is currently serving his signature winter cocktails including what has been reported to be a killer eggnog, known as Hemingway's Nog.  While you sip the hot cocktails to warm you up on these unseasonably cold fall nights, there is a DJ spinning to get your juices flowing.  The cocktail menu includes several named after Ernest's literary classics, such as The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea.

Befitting its Hollywood location, Hemingway's comes complete with bouncer and velvet rope, but if you remember to call ahead and make a reservation, you can sail past the guardians with ease and prepare to enjoy your Hemingway daiquiri in this luxe environment.  And if you have too many libations, don't try and run off with one of the books; they are glued into the bookshelves.

Some nights are busier than others and Saturday when the bar is only open from 10 pm - 2 am, Hemingway's attracts the nightclub crowd who may be more interested in a vodka cranberry than a well crafted Manhattan, so plan accordingly.

Hemingways Lounge: 6356 Hollywood Blvd @ Ivar.  Hollywood.  Phone: (323) 469-0040.  Website: 

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