The best speakeasy bars are hard to find, and DTLA’s newest speakeasy fits the bill… and then some. The Boardroom is neatly tucked under the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and next to Kendall’s Brasserie. Blink and you might miss the door. (Just look for the doorman.) When you do find it, walk inside and step back in time to post-war France. The dim lighting adds a moody vibe accented by the sexy (circa 1945) French décor.
The Boardroom’s drink menu reads like a syllabus in classical literature. With a specialty in craft cocktails, the drinks are inventive, refreshing, and appropriately named after a classic writer or artist. Take the Hemingway for example. Ernest Hemingway spent a large part of the 1940s and some of the late 1950s in Cuba, and he was known to frequent a few local watering holes throughout Havana. His namesake drink is a nod to his time in Cuba and is made with Havana Club rum with bright, tropical notes. The menu also includes namesake cocktails such as Gertrude Stein, William Faulkner, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Even Frida Kahlo makes a menu cameo! Her drink is made with mezcal, of course.
As much as bookworms will love the drinks, Francophiles will get a kick out of the food. With small plates like oxtail poutine, escargot shooters, and chicken pate, you might feel like you’re in a petite café in Paris. If you’re looking for a more substantial dish, have the black market burger. This beast of a burger is topped with French cheese, foie gras, and truffle oil. If you’re not ready for that kind of commitment, you can opt for the beef bourguignon “sloppy jo.” And despite DTLA’s Cole’s and Philippe’s staking their claim on the French dip, the Boardroom serves the “real French dip.”
With an imaginative menu and live jazz music every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the Boardroom is DTLA’s coolest new speakeasy with proper French fare, flowing drinks, live music, and a fun, sexy vibe.
The Boardroom is located at 135 N. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012.