Rooftop Bar in L.A. Defines ‘Swanky’

Ashley Chang

Living a champagne life on a beer budget won’t fly at the swanky Los Angeles Rooftop Bar, located high above downtown at the Standard Hotel, 550 Flower St. Here, patrons pay to play.

With the almost unavoidable $15 valet parking service and the $20 entrance fee Friday and Saturday nights, expenses start mounting before you even get to the door.
After surviving the long lines and the even longer wait, take the elevator up to the 13th floor, where you will be greeted by security guards, incoherent chatter and throbbing music.

Featuring a stellar panoramic view of sprinkled city lights, the Rooftop Bar exudes chic with its contemporary decor and sophisticated clientele. From a vantage point high above the city, the well-heeled clientele drink poolside under the stars or cozy- up inside one of the candy-red water bed pods.

“The people here can be really pretentious and the bartenders can be rude,” said Raul Cordova, a 26-year-old USC student, “but I come here for the view.”

Female patrons flaunt their little black dresses with matching purses, while the men charm in dress shirts and designer jeans. Here, college students with money to burn and young professionals away on business can rub elbows, all looking for a good time.

Though the dance floor may be small, in no way does it lack energy or big crowds. With a DJ tucked away in the corner playing the likes of MGMT and the Black Eyed Peas, you can dance alongside those who clearly spend some time choreographing their moves or with others who bravely dance to their own beat.

The Rooftop Bar is all about attitude and affluence and does not treat gently those who are timid or shy. If alcohol-fueled courage is needed to jump start your dancing shoes, be forewarned: it will come with a hefty price. At $8 a pop for a Stella Artois or $15 for a modest apple martini, drink sparingly. You have liquid gold in your hands.

If dancing is not your forté, seating areas are plentiful and just as lively. There is also a huge projector that screens old movies on the side of a neighboring building.

With an incredible view of downtown Los Angeles, a sexy rooftop pool, and an even sexier water bed cabaña, the Rooftop Bar is an experience to be had.