Girls nights should be spent having fun, catching up and making memories. All too often, there’s some creeper who lurks in the background all night, nursing his drink and trying to muster up the courage to speak to you and your girlfriends while making uncomfortable eye contact from across the room. We’ve all been there, but you ladies deserve better. You deserve a douche-free environment to cut loose and enjoy a night out on the town. Take a moment to browse through each link for specials, deals or lineups and feel free to share your favorite spots below!
1. Twilight Concerts | The Santa Monica Pier
Running every Thursday night from 7-10pm until September 10th. Its free, you can bring your own picnic and there’s live entertainment. What more can you ask for? It’s a great place to convene with the girls and catch up over some two buck Chuck and finger foods. Catch the concert on the pier or lay a blanket on the sand under the colorful lights of the ferris wheel. Not typically a douche hangout, so no need to be on guard here.
2. The Bungalow | 101 Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica CA 90401
I suppose hipsters would call it a “shabby chic beach house”. The Bungalow has a great ambiance day or night. It feels like more of a friend’s house party than a lounge. I really love the indoor/outdoor appeal of this place. Enjoy a cocktail under the sun on the patio or cuddle up to a cozy fireplace inside. Up for a game? There’s ping pong, checkers and a pool table awaiting you. It’s important to remember there are D-bag high tides here but that’s mostly Friday and Saturday night. Even so I’ll use the term lightly, as it’s still not as dubious of a crowd as most Hollywood hangouts are (with the exception of a few). Try an ‘off-night’ like Tuesday for live music and a more relaxed crowd. Hey, you’ll probably even score a sofa or two under some twinkling strung lights which are pretty hard to come across on the weekend. As far as food and drinks are concerned, I haven’t had a complaint yet.
3. Firefly | 11720 Ventura Blvd. Studio City CA 91604
Their specialty cocktails are delicious and the ambiance is charming. Yelp gives this establishment a $$$ price range but if you’re opting out of dinner, drinks are still moderately priced. Take over one of their overstuffed sofas in the library themed den or take a seat next to the patio fireplace. There are no obvious signs from the front so it’s easy to miss but gives it more of a secluded, “members only” vibe.
4. The Blind Barber | 10797 W Washington Blvd. Culver City CA 90232
Richie (my fiancé) thought it would be fun to take me here for a date night with another couple. Imagine my surprise when he walked us right into a relatively unmarked barber shop. He gave a friendly nod to the hip barber who was man-scaping another trendy fellow’s hair (that’s about as douchey as this place will get) and marched us straight to the back of the shop and into yet another unmarked door. The confusion was real folks. Down a short, dark hallway, a dimly lit room appeared with intimate booths and a bar adorned with flickering candles. This speakeasy-esque bar was a totally unique experience and the food and drinks were so tasty! If you’re a cheese-lover, you must try one of their signature gourmet grilled cheeses, they’re to die for! This is a really intimate space for a girls night out with your closest friends and is just up the road from Downtown Culver City. *Also served here: some serious eye candy
5. Cinespia | Hollywood Forever Cemetery
I am so thrilled that these type of events are catching on. I’ve been a regular at the Cinespia movie nights for the better part of decade and they’re just getting better with time. Pre-show DJ’s spin music as the crowd fills in and appropriately themed photo booths now share the lawn with moviegoers. These days, you’ll need to buy your tickets online in advance for $10-15. On special nights, come in your pajamas and stay overnight for a movie marathon. Bring a blanket, some wine and your favorite snacks and enjoy a movie under the stars. *Don’t worry, you don’t actually sit directly on or next to any graves…unless that’s your thing.
6. Bar Chloe | 1449 2nd Street Santa Monica CA 90401
A cozy atmosphere and fresh specialty cocktails are the theme at Bar Chloe. They also offer a pretty legit happy hour menu that will keep your tummy full and your bank account happy. Another perk: it’s short walking distance to Third Street Promenade and an array of other bars, restaurants and pubs. On occasion, the girls and I will create our own version of a bar crawl and hop from place to place trying one appetizer and beverage per location.
7. Bottega Louie | 700 S Grand St. Los Angeles CA 90017
I can’t help but stop at Bottega Louie any time I’m in DTLA. You can almost say it’s become somewhat of a ritual. I’ve never tasted anything I didn’t like here…and they do it all: signature cocktails, delectable dishes and sinful sweets. The perfect place to start your girls night out for cocktails and a bite before heading into Downtown for a little debauchery. Might I recommend arriving on the earlier side, as they don’t accept reservations. However, they do seat 255 people at any given time so go hang at the bar or order yourself some portobella fries while you wait!
*A little perk for locals or travelers staying in the area: Downtown Concierge offers a free shuttle service inside a limited area of Downtown, Los Angeles. The shuttles operate like a personal chauffeur and will pick-up and drop-off riders anywhere inside the area. They’re ideal for Bottega Louie Guests, locals, hotel guests, large groups and guests wanting to explore downtown. Call 855-450-RIDE for more information or to arrange a pick up.
8. The Hollywood Improv | 8162 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles CA
This place has single-handedly helped me burn more calories than the gym. The Hollywood Improv may not have the curbside appeal that it’s competitors have but their shows don’t disappoint. Tickets are relatively cheap (plus a standard 2 drink minimum) and I can’t say I remember ever waiting in any ridiculous lines..(ahem, Laugh Factory). Catch a case of the giggles with your girls and rest assured that any D-bags that may have made it inside the building will undoubtedly be mocked and ridiculed at their own expense, it’s all part of the fun!