You’re another year older and wiser. Celebrate your new wrinkles, er, knowledge, in style. Herewith, the best birthday-friendly spots in town.
Enter through a secret bookcase into your own private lounge, complete with classic muted decor, a wall beer tap, and a personal bartender serving a wide selection of beer and wine.
Sidebar at Covell, 4628 Hollywood Boulevard, at Rodney Drive, Hollywood (323-660-4400 or barcovell.com).
Remind yourself why you heart L.A. at this breezy outdoor winery. Make a reservation for parties of ten or more in the private hillside gazebo, then set up a picnic (take your own or purchase there) and enjoy tastings or bottles of the house selection. Extended summer hours bring live music on weekends.
Malibu Wines, 31740 Mulholland Highway, between Encinal Canyon and Zuma Ridge Fire Roads, Malibu (818-865-0605 or malibuwines.com).
Go early to snag a big table at this divey gem (formerly the infamous Ski Room), or call ahead to save some seats. Expect an impromptu late-night dance party fueled by $3 PBRs.
The Bar, Hollywood, 5851 West Sunset Boulevard, at North Bronson Avenue, Hollywood (323-468-9154 or thebarhollywood.com).
A welcome alternative to embarrassing yourself in front of strangers, SoopSok’s four private rooms ensure that only your nearest and dearest are privy to your (lack of) range.
SoopSok Karaoke, 4070 West Third Street, between South Kingsley Drive and South Ardmore Avenue, Koreatown (213-380-0909 or soopsokkaraoke.com).
A blinking neon martini glass marks the spot at this West L.A. cocktail lounge, where the drinks are stiff and the vibe anything but. Don’t miss the house specialty, the Flying Squirrel, a pomegranate vodka martini sure to make your night one you won’t remember.
Liquid Kitty, 11780 West Pico Boulevard, at Granville Avenue, West Los Angeles (310-473-3707 or thekitty.com).
With live entertainment and designer cocktails served in multiple enchanting rooms, this steampunk subterranean drinking den is a good excuse to slip into a party dress and revel in downtown glitz.
The Edison, 108 West Second Street, between South Spring and South Main Streets, Downtown (213-613-0000 or edisondowntown.com).
Enjoy a dose of Hungarian hospitality from owner Victoria Lelea at this tavern with stiff drinks and free snacks (hot dogs and cookies). Call in advance to save a booth.
Whitehorse Inn, 1532 North Western Avenue, between Sunset Boulevard and Harold Way, Hollywood (323-462-8088).
A password might be required to gain entry, but once you’re inside, this Koreatown saloon is anything but pretentious. Tuck into a dark wooden booth and go crazy with a round of Pimm’s cups and chili cheese fries.
R Bar, 3331 West Eighth Street, at Irolo Street, Koreatown (213-387-7227 or facebook.com).
This classic Hollywood establishment has a chic rear room available for you and your merrymaking brigade. For the after-bash, channel your inner starlet by booking a room in the adjacent Chateau Marmont.
Bar Marmont, 8171 West Sunset Boulevard, at Havenhurst Drive, Hollywood (323-650-0575 or chateaumarmont.com).
Party like you’re across the pond at a rad new British-style pub. For the royal treatment, reserve the back Maharaja room, adorned with gold accents, hand-painted portraits of Indian aristocrats, and red vinyl booths.
The Pikey, 7617 West Sunset Boulevard, between North Stanley and North Curson Avenues, Hollywood (323-850-5400 or thepikeyla.com).
If you prefer your nights out with a side of antique firearms, then this lively lounge, its walls bedecked with 18th-century muskets and pistols, is your watering hole. Birthday boys and girls order beforehand from a special party menu (pizza platters, beef sliders).
The Arsenal Bar, 12012 West Pico Boulevard, between South Westgate Avenue and South Bundy Drive, West Los Angeles (310-575-5511 or arsenalbar.com).
Cozy up to the fireplace or head to the covered patio for cheap suds and a laid-back crowd. Adventure-seekers order a round of the mystery shots and frickles (fried pickles).
The Griffin, 3000 Los Feliz Boulevard, at Boyce Avenue, Atwater Village (323-644-0444).
With front and back patios and a (never gets old) photo booth, this hip neighborhood resto hits the spot. Set menus and party platters make it easy on groups.
Edendale, 2838 Rowena Avenue, between Auburn and Rokeby Streets, Silverlake (323-666-2000 or theedendale.com).
Pair one of more than 30 draft California microbrews with sausage (vegan optional) and a round of darts or board games at this unpretentious Burbank tavern.
Tony’s Darts Away, 1710 West Magnolia Boulevard, between North Orchard Drive and North Reese Place, Burbank (818-253-1710 or tonysda.com).
Roy Choi’s new Caribbean-themed resto is Jamaican us crazy with its ricotta flatbread and pineapple pork chop. Book a big table on the patio or reserve the private Rum Den for your own bar and servers (seats up to 56).
Sunny Spot, 822 Washington Boulevard, at Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Marina Del Rey (310-448-8884 or sunnyspotvenice.com).
The flapper waitresses come bearing classics (Moscow Mule) and original concoctions like the Brass Flower (gin, elderflower, grapefruit, prosecco) at this speakeasy-style lounge. Instead of obvious signage, look for the inconspicuous key painted on the side of the entrance.
Next Door Lounge, 1154 North Highland Avenue, at Lexington Avenue, Hollywood (323-465-5505 or nextdoorhollywood.com).