Whether you’re starting the weekend early, ending it late, or taking some time midweek to savor a cocktail or two, here are the best spots to day drink in LA. Raise a perfectly mixed drink to these ideal spots for afternoon lingering, be it by the beach, on a rooftop, or at a spot removed from the workaday world.Read More
The Best Places to Day Drink in LA
1. Moonshadows Malibu
There’s beachside dining and then there’s waterside dining. Moonshadows, with its soundtrack of crashing waves, is the latter. Slip into a booth inside or a table outside, and order the Passion Flower, a cocktail made with vodka, St-Germain, lime, and passionfruit. Or, opt for a Moscow Mule, served in a copper mug filled with Grey Goose vodka, ginger beer, and lime. Nibble your way through a leisurely seafood-focused lunch or brunch.
If you’re going to day drink, you might as well be near the beach. With a view of the palms, beach, and ocean below, Elephante’s balcony pairs well with a cocktail, like the Moscow Mule, made with Grey Goose, house ginger beer, and lime. Open daily at noon (11 a.m. on weekends) with a full menu served, Elephante is just the kind of Santa Monica spot where afternoon drinks can tumble into dinner and then, perhaps, something more.
3. Hotel Erwin
The High Lounge at the Hotel Erwin offers a commanding view of the Venice Beach revelry below and drinks to keep the party going on the rooftop above. The Lifeguard Lemonade, a mix of Grey Goose vodka, lemonade, pomegranate juice, and tropical Red Bull is made for turning lazy summer days into hot summer nights. The lounge is open at noon weekdays and 10 a.m. on weekends.
4. The Strand House
There’s not a bad seat in the house at this oceanside Manhattan Beach spot, whether upstairs in the restaurant or downstairs at the bar. A round of O’Mules, a citrus-y twist on the traditional Mule with Grey Goose Orange vodka, lime, ginger beer, and orange bitters is just the thing for the whole table as you mull over beach-appropriate eats like lobster rolls, grilled shrimp salad, and wood-fired pizzas.
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5. Simonette Restaurant
Culver City’s hip boutique hotel, the Palihotel, is an excellent place for a daytime rendezvous. Slip into the French bistro-style digs replete with charming courtyard and order up something day-drinkable and refreshing like Grey Goose and soda, flavored with either watermelon, lemongrass, or birch — a true upgrade to your usual vodka and soda. You won’t go hungry with a menu of French favorites including a nicoise salad, moules frites, and profiteroles.
6. Cecconi's West Hollywood
When you want to linger in West Hollywood, Cecconi’s is a primo place. Both the patio and airy dining room are perfect for an early-in-the-day Pesca Y Finocchio. The sophisticated drink mingles Grey Goose vodka, crème de peche liqueur, fennel, ginger, and soda — a good match for fried olives, zucchini fritti, and burrata off the all-day menu. It’s about as close to Italy as you’ll find on Melrose, and it’s open at 8 a.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. on weekends.
7. E.P. & L.P.
The West Hollywood duo of E.P. and L.P. offers creative Asian-influenced food, yes, but there’s also L.P.’s stunning rooftop view of the Hollywood Hills and Sunset Strip. On weekdays it opens at 5 p.m. (on weekends it kicks off at noon), allowing you to watch the sky turn from blue to pink to inky blue-black. Cocktails with rock ‘n’ roll names such as Kickstart My Heart — a combination of Grey Goose vodka, watermelon, agave, lemon, and rhubarb — are available by the glass or pitcher.
8. Melrose Umbrella Co.
With a mysterious name, vintage decor, and surprise back garden, Melrose Umbrella Club adds just the right amount of intrigue to your day drinking repertoire. Open at 10 a.m. daily, it starts as a coffee bar, but is there ever a wrong time for a cocktail? Not with a bar program serving homemade tinctures, syrups, and tonics. Your best bet for a daytime drink is the Collins cocktail, made with Grey Goose La Poire, rosemary honey, douglas fir liqueur, lemon, and fresh soda.
9. Broken Shaker at Freehand LA
A jewel in the crown of the 13-story Beaux Arts-style building housing the Freehand hotel, Broken Shaker knows a thing or two about afternoon rooftop relaxing. Get into the groove with the L.A. Bae, made with Grey Goose vodka shaken (naturally) with the bitter French aperitif Suze, banana liqueur, açai granola orgeat, and lemon juice. For perfect afternoon nibbles, there’s guac, crispy shrimp tacos, a grain bowl, and more. It opens at 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. on weekends. The pool, sadly, is hotel guests only.
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Befitting its location near major LA arts institutions, Otium delivers beauty in its airy courtyard next to the Broad museum, on the plate, and in the glass. For afternoon refreshment, ask for the Post Melon, a combo of Grey Goose vodka, cantaloupe, hops, sparkling wine, and a touch of fleur de sel. No matter if you pair that cocktail with something off the lunch, snacks, or brunch menu, you’ll want to stay awhile and soak up the charm.