By: Maren Swanson • May 8th, 2014
If you've ever been to St. Felix in Hollywood or West Hollywood, then you know these locations have a reputation for being some of the best happy hours in Los Angeles. The food and drinks are great and the happy hour prices are equally superb. So why open an adjacent bar next to their Hollywood spot (The Power Room) when everything is going so well already? I had to find out.
Luke Andres, beverage and food manager of the new Powder Room (formerly of Providence), explained their vision. First of all, the now standing Powder Room used to be a storage space - so why not make better use of it? Seriously though, co-owner John Arakaki and partners wanted a Hollywood concept that expressed an intimate, seventies glam-style lounge. The floor of The Powder Room is even meant to mimic the sparkling concrete streets of Hollywood after a rainy night. The bar is stacked with high quality booze and you can watch a retro flick on the Northeast wall while playing Connect Four and sipping on spiked milkshakes.Spiked milkshakes, you ask? The Powder Room isn't messing around; they even have a $500 spiked milkshake (The Velvet Goldmine) served in a Swarovski crystal glass - obviously not on happy hour, darn. But, back to why I recently became a fan of their happy hour. First, The Powder Room serves happy hour from 7pm - 10pm. Most happy hours stop their happy hour at 7 and then it's over, unless they re-open for a late nigh happy hour. So the fact that they serve their happy hour during the "prime time" is stellar.
The happy hour menu is small, but it yields some quality craft beers (Hoegarden, Acme Pale Ale) for $5, wines by the glass (Lady Lola Pinot Grigio and Septima Malbec) and even a craft cocktail. For $7 enjoy the refreshing Chasing Summer cocktail made with St. George's botanical gin, rosemary-cardamom syrup, lemon juice, soda water and rosemary. If you are a serious craft cocktail lover, than you have to try the One Night in Bangkok (made with Old Overholt Rye whiskey, house made Thai honey and cherry syrup with egg white and lemon juice) - the flavors are well-balanced and the finish is tantalizing. Luke is a mixologist on a mission; he has created a specialty cocktail menu that is thoughtful and sophisticated and he even infuses some of his own vodkas and tequilas.
The Powder Room's happy hour doesn't include food items, but their appetizer menu is practically priced like it is. I could smell the garlic-parmesan fries a good 30 seconds before they were delivered. Fresh Parmesan and chopped garlic covered the crispy warm fries and the portion was generous. They also served us tamale cakes ($5) and Portobello mushroom croquettes with a garlic aioli and a red pepper coulis ($6). The texture of the tamale cake was perfectly dense and soft and the pico de gallo and sour cream were a nice compliment to the sweet corn flavor. We were also pleased that the croquettes came out piping hot and flavorful.
So if you are in Hollywood and looking for a good time…at a bar, duh, then stroll on into The Powder Room for some spectacular cocktails and fun entertainment. In addition to the old movies, they even provide games like Checkers and Jenga. Oh, and ask about The Iron Maiden…
1606 N Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028