Finally, Hollywood’s red-carpet drought is over and the business of awards season socializing is back. In anticipation, venues in Los Angeles and New York City are primed for entertainment industry celebrations from post-premiere blow-outs to intimate tastemaker dinners. These 10 trendsetting venues provide memorable experiences for all attendees in immersive, highly visual settings. Here’s where to party on, Hollywood.
Downtown Los Angeles’ Level 8 from Houston Hospitality embodies the creative minds of nightlife impresarios and brothers Jonnie and Mark Houston (La Descarga, Break Room 86 and 10 more L.A. nightspots). “With Level 8, you’re transported to different experiences through every door and in every corner,” explains Jonnie Houston. “It feels like a mini-festival because each room has its own vibe” and is designed to touch every sense, he adds. The scope of Level 8 is ambitious: there are eight stand-alone bar, restaurant and nightclub concepts filling an entire floor of the Moxy and AC Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, located directly across from the Los Angeles Convention Center and a block from the Crypto.com Arena and the Peacock Theater, home to the 75th Emmy Awards.
Event producers consider it a one-stop spot, explains Mark Houston. Venues can be booked individually or combined for a progressive flow. Guests can start outside at the Carousel Bar at Golden Hour overlooking Flower Street. With its own pool and visiting mermaids, the setting exemplifies the options available.
A hidden entrance through a library wall leads to Mr. Wanderlust, complete with piano bar, lounge and space for impromptu dancing. Another secret door leads to Lucky Mizu, a modern shabu shabu and sushi restaurant under a room-sized Earth Harp. Also within the 30,000-square-feet of fun are Maison Kasai; Que Barbaro; upscale street eats at the Brown Sheep; and Sinners y Santos, with a DJ booth and performances by masked luchadores, Mexico’s iconic wrestlers. Mother of Pearl, under a wrought- iron gazebo on the outdoor terrace, specializes in oysters and Champagne. Digital mapping and state-of-the-art projection and sound are built into the social environments. Overall capacity is 700.
1254 S. Figueroa St., 8th Floor; level8dtla.com
Style and panache are the hallmarks of every Palisociety property: the 74-room Palihotel Hollywood, in the heart of Sunset Boulevard, delivers eye-catching décor and room to entertain poolside or throughout the coffee bar and lobby. Customized prix fixe menus are from the hotel’s restaurant, Benny’s on the Blvd. Capacity ranges from 83 seated to 308 for a standing reception.
7023 Sunset Blvd.; palisociety.com
Downtown L.A.’s 268-room Hotel Figueroa boasts a rich history of almost 100 years of hospitality and is within walking distance of the Crypto.com Arena and Peacock Theater. Event producers value the 10,000-square-feet of varied space, the towering historic lobby and the pool-facing pavilion, La Casita, with fireplaces and private rooftop. Specialty suites include a Rest and Recovery Suite outfitted with the latest wellness gadgets and programs promoting sleep health. A new menu of non-alcoholic beverages, created with collaboration with Ritual Zero Proof spirits, launches in time for Dry January.
939 S. Figueroa St.; hotelfigueroa.com
Adjacent to Los Angeles Center Studios, the city’s newest music venue, the Bellwether, launched in July from Michael Swier of Teragram Presents, in partnership with indie promoters Another Planet Entertainment. The 1,600-person capacity, multi-faceted space features a custom-lit ballroom with wooden dance floor and wraparound balcony (with private lounge access), an open-air terrace plus bar/restaurant. Sound system is by
333 Boylston St.; thebellwetherla.com
Plant Food + Wine
In July, acclaimed vegan chef Matthew Kenney relocated his Venice eatery to the leafy patio on the fourth-floor outdoor deck of the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, where up to 100 can be accommodated via a buyout. Here, vegetables are center-stage; all ingredients and menu items are plant-based. Satisfying dishes include the butternut cashew nut fundido, flavorful tempeh and energizing smoothies.
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, 300 S. Doheny Dr.; fourseasons.com/losangeles
NEW YORK CITY
The Tin Building by Jean-Georges
For venues and planners, “It’s really how you can offer something unique that no one else can,” explains Trey Thomas, senior VP of event sales at the Tin Building by Jean-Georges (Vongerichten). The 53,000-square-foot, neoclassical structure in lower Manhattan is a myriad of culinary delights, from a food market hall to six full-service restaurants. The versatile location also features a broadcast-ready Tasting Studio, which can be configured per a client’s needs. The sound-insulated space has a demonstration kitchen and full streaming, podcasting and broadcast capabilities. The studio can host 38 seated and 50 for a reception.
96 South St., New York; tinbuilding.com
The Ned NoMad
The landmark Johnston Building, built in 1903, is now home to the 167-room Ned NoMad, part hotel and the Ned private club, both with an air of exclusivity and privacy. Event-central during New York Fashion Week, several spaces welcome non-members. Cecconi’s Nomad (60 standing, 40 seated) terrazzo and glass dining room is a classic backdrop for gatherings; Little Ned, with its mezzanine level, vintage-style bar and moody interior, is a sophisticated choice (120 guests). The exclusive private dining room within the Ned’s Club Upstairs rooftop cupola seats 10.
1170 Broadway; thened.com/nomad
Soho Works 10 Jay
Unlike other Soho House clubhouses, Brooklyn’s Soho Works is open to non-members. The private org’s co-working space is geared towards those in the creative industries. In addition to the dedicated desks and private offices, meeting spaces in the historic setting include two rooms set up for video conferencing and a lounge-style meeting room for six. Views of the East River and Manhattan Bridge are a scenic bonus.
10 Jay St., Brooklyn; sohohouse.com
Moody Tongue Sushi
Looking for a unique culinary experience? Moody Tongue Sushi in Greenwich Village (from Chicago’s Moody Tongue Brewing Company) pairs culinary-forward beer with sushi. Highlights among the 16 signature pours are the pressed Asian pear saison, yuzu ale and the shaved black truffle rice lager. The brewmaster’s tasting menu is the most requested, although event menus are completely customizable. Full restaurant buyouts can host 50 seated in the lively, exposed-brick-walled interior.
150 W 10th St.; moodytongue.com
Townhall at Penn District
The glass-boxed, multi-use Townhall at Penn District, developed by Vornado Realty Trust and managed by Skylight, is slated to open in early 2024. The flexible space can be configured for conferences, screenings, product launches or other large-scale events. “The concept is to be both an amenity for the tenants already in the district but also for fashion, luxury and entertainment brands to do their upfronts, to come in and launch their newest product within floor-to-ceiling glass in the middle of Manhattan,” explains Skylight’s CEO Stephanie Blake. Capacity ranges from 280-300, depending on seating.
2 Pennsylvania Plaza; byskylight.com