© Les Deux
Recently revamped by restaurant gurus from the Dolce Group (which also owns Geisha House), Les Deux brings a European sensibility to Los Angeles nightlife, banking on the current trend of old-fashioned, intimate lounges. Unique touch: A film reel of classic movies and vintage fashion shows is projected onto the bar wall.
updated 2/21/2007 11:13:33 AM ET 2007-02-21T16:13:33

Krista, a 27-year-old sales manager for an Italian wine company and a staple of the Los Angeles club scene, is gearing up for Oscar week, which promises to be party-heavy.

She spends most evenings working the dance floor at local hot spots Hyde or Area or people watching at newly trendy Winston's. But this week Krista is adding a post-screening Oscar party to her schedule (in an effort to keep the event exclusive, she’s kept the film and locale to herself).

Though the LA social scene grows ever more insider-driven the week before the Academy Awards (studios, agencies and other entertainment outlets host parties all about town), it, much like the city itself, is dominated by the entertainment crowd year-round.

"The entertainment business has always been the heart and soul of this town, which sets us apart [from Miami and New York]," says Brent Bolthouse, a veteran promoter-turned-night club owner. And today's tastemakers in particular are Young Hollywood types (think the Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Ritchie, Paris Hilton set) who bring the shutterbugs and the buzz.

But whether you're there to hobnob with Hollywood’s it-girls and -boys or simply there to rock out with some friends, the LA social scene has something to offer everyone.

See And Be In The Scene
Like many major markets, the turnover for LA nightclubs is brisk. With competition high and popularity a seemingly short-lived notion, posts will often opt to close their doors for a makeover, be it in décor or ownership, as soon as their reputation begins to wane.

Lately, insiders have been favoring laid-back, old school lounges such as Les Deux, though the hotel bar seems to be a perennial favorite as well--particularly hotelier Andre Balzacs' newly remodeled Bar Marmont.

"A few years ago people wanted big, crazy nightclubs, and then it moved into hanging out at hotel bars," says Crystal Meers, LA editor of DailyCandy.com, an online newsletter that lets readers in on what’s hot, new and undiscovered in their city. "Now people want a more intimate setting and more old-fashioned drinks."

One club that seems to have staying power in this increasingly crowded climate is hot spot Hyde, the brainchild of Bolthouse and SBE Entertainment Group Chief Executive Sam Nazarian. The 100-person West Hollywood space leaves little room for grandiose behavior. Bolthouse, who is also behind West Hollywood’s Area, says that Hyde’s continued popularity reflects Young Hollywood's desire for a smaller, more intimate setting.

© Area
Among the newest spots to rub elbows with the La-Lohan set, this 4-month-old venture from nightlife mogul Sam Nazarian and promoter-turned-club owner Brent Bolthouse offers midcentury modern décor, top-shelf liquor and ultramod servers (think white Go-Go boots). Patrons seek refuge in the pop-art inspired patio area.
His well-oiled operations certainly attract young and restless stars, but what advice is there to give to your average Angeleno looking to cross the velvet rope?

Top Tips
Bolthouse recommends arriving early (before 11 p.m.) or making table reservations in advance, while Meers suggests pulling out all the stops when it comes to your appearance (stay on top of trends and no tennis shoes, please)--particularly during Oscar week.

But Krista, our girl about town, says it all comes down to attitude.

"I find that when you have a friendly demeanor and simply ask, 'Can we come in and have a couple of drinks?' the doormen are much more responsive than if you expect to be let in,” she says.

© 2012 Forbes.com


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