Beverly Hills may have a reputation for celeb spotting and over-the-top glamour, but James Lawrence discovers a classy bar scene in the Californian city.
“In Beverly Hills… they don’t throw their garbage away. They make it into television shows.” Woody Allen’s acerbic remark may or may not be true, but even the famed filmmaker could not dispute the city’s status as the glamour capital of California – just ask Julia Roberts. A city independent of Los Angeles, with its own laws and regulations, since the early 1920s Beverly Hills has been the entertainment industry’s favourite residential address. The area bordered by the Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards and North Crescent Drive, known as the Golden Triangle, is perhaps the most luxurious slice of real estate in the US.
As such, travellers on a strict budget should look away now, for partying in Beverly Hills inevitably involves joining a crowd of rich, beautiful people as they splash the cash on top-tier food and drinks. Indeed, this famous neighbourhood provides endless ways to lighten your wallet, from bottle service at exclusive clubs to lavish parties at the nearby Playboy Mansion. Dive bars and neighbourhood pubs just don’t cut it here.
However, there is more than bling in Beverly Hills, and bartending is now a respected profession. The cocktail scene is becoming ever more sophisticated and innovative, driven by an explosion of local and international talent. But remember to bring plenty of dollars for valet parking if you’re driving, and don’t forget to dress up, regardless of the venue. Plenty of Beverly Hills destinations have unwritten dress codes and they won’t make a big deal about your sloppy attire – they just won’t let you in. This is the land of Armani, Gucci and Versace, make no mistake.
Click through the following pages to see our top bars in Beverly Hills, California.