In a Nutshell
Brimming with Hollywood history, the Roosevelt Hotel was and is a place to see and be seen. Since it opened in 1927, the sprawling Spanish Colonial Revival property has hosted the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Montgomery Clift and Angelina Jolie.
The Roosevelt’s innate elegance and its prime location on bustling Hollywood Boulevard make it a go-to spot for tourists and locals alike (it’s a great place for a staycation). Once inside, you’ll find a variety of cool areas in which to sip and sup.
Start and End Your Bar Crawl at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard
The Library Bar is a chic enclave, off the main lobby, with sleek black leather, dark wood and zebra-print accents. Bartender Matthew Biancaniello and staff serve omakase-style--meaning there’s no drinks list.
Instead, they will craft your cocktail based on what you’re in the mood to drink. Biancaniello frequents farmers markets for many of his ingredients, such as sage, arugula, balsamic vinegar, red bell peppers, scallions and cilantro. He also uses chunky cubes of Névé ice, designed to dilute slowly and not interfere with a drink’s flavor.
For a breath of fresh air and a change of scenery, venture outside to the Tropicana Bar and a bit of lounging by the expansive pool area--which by night is secluded and romantic. A highlight there is one of the selections from the champagne bar: Veuve Clicquot with St. Germain liqueur.
On the Roosevelt’s mezzanine level, you can unwind in the Spare Room. That's also the location of the hotel's bowling alley (get it, 'spare?'). Actually, it is so called because it was an extra chamber before Med Abrous and Marc Rose transformed the space. They created a 1920s-inspired gaming parlor and cocktail lounge with cozy seats, soft lighting and arched windows overlooking the street below.
Beverage director Naomi Schimek has developed seasonal menus and house specialties, including herbal-infused liqueurs. If you decide to bowl, you’ll don a pair of handmade George Esquivel Oxfords and keep score on a chalkboard.
You can also drink and eat in the Roosevelt’s two casual restaurants. Public Kitchen, a loft-like dining room with a three-sided marble-topped bar, serves “elevated comfort food,” such as veal pot roast and duck/foie gras meatloaf. A ceiling mural, uncovered during the room’s renovation prior to its 2011 opening, is a nod to the past as are family photos from executive chef Tim Goodell.
Should you require yet more comfort--a Guinness-spiked milkshake and a mighty burger, perhaps?-- Goodell’s 25 Degrees is open 24/7; happy hour is daily from 3-6 p.m. French toile wallpaper, chandeliers, red leather and mahogany lend a stylish, playful vibe. The name '25 Degrees' refers to the temperature difference between a medium-rare and a well-done burger.
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Jacqueline Fitzgerald is a Los Angeles based writer who runs her own website Film Noir Blonde.