THE Lesbian Guide to West Hollywood
By Kelsy Chauvin
Sure, WeHo remains a bastion for the gay boys, but the ladies make their own scenes especially by night, when they come out in force for a handful of long-running and new parties that redefine go-go. The Abbey (692 N. Robertson Blvd., abbeyfoodandbar.com) is at the top of the list, anchoring the local club scene. Logo TV once named it “best gay bar in the world” for its diverse male-female mix and extra-spacious layout—in a way it feels like four bars in one, including a sprawling outdoor patio and roomy dance floor. Every Wednesday night, check out the no-cover Girl Bar (girlbar.com) to be dazzled by the array of ladies donning everything from mascara and high heels, to neckties and jerseys.
If it’s a giant club full of well-clad women you’re after, head to Here Lounge (696 N. Robertson Blvd., herelounge.com) for the cover-free Friday Truck Stop Girlz party (herelounge.com/nights/friday). Lipstick ladies and their dapper dates will find no shortage of gorgeousness here. You can also slip across the street for the fairly new Fantasy Fridays party at Robinson (665 N. Robertson Blvd., robertsonweho.com), with a little more of a hip-hop vibe — and a nice change of dance pace that draws pretty, mixed crowd. Saturdays, check out Juicy at Rage (8511 Santa Monica Blvd., theragenightclub.com, $5 or $10 cover) for a pumping dance scene.
There are also a few bars on Santa Monica Boulevard, like Revolver (revolverweho.com) or Eleven (eleven.la), that switch up their gay-boy scenes from time to time with fun lez parties. For the latest tips on where, what and who, visit LosAngelez (http://www.facebook.com/MyLosAngeLez), or the way-gay West Hollywood Visitors Bureau website (visitwesthollywood.com). Or consider something a bit different by checking out the latest plans from Lesbians Attack, a new group that picks an establishment to overrun with sisters for a night (check facebook.com/groups/lesattack, or email [email protected] for upcoming details).
This is the heart of L.A. tourist country, which means hotels for every budget litter the surprisingly hilly landscape. Most line Sunset Boulevard, including the high-end and celebrity faves like The London, The Standard (remember the Sex and the City episode in L.A.?), The Mondrian, and Sunset Towers (home to the annual Vanity Fair Oscar
party). These glitzy spots are sleek and gorgeous, so consider a cocktail by one of their poolside or rooftop bars even if you’re not enjoying their high-styled accommodations.
Right next door to the famous Sunset Towers is the humble Best Western Sunset Plaza (8400 Sunset Blvd., bestwestern.com), with its views and patios looking over the WeHo valley, and relaxing pool surrounded by lush greenery. The Ramada Plaza West Hollywood (8585 Santa Monica Blvd., ramadaweho.com) is another well-located, more reasonable option, with hip, loft-inspired layouts.
The Hollywood Scene
It’s easy to get your bearings along WeHo’s grid of streets, but where can you catch some good Tinseltown gossip and glamour? Look no further than Bikes and Hikes L.A. (8743 Santa Monica Blvd., bikesandhikesla.com) for fabulous bike and walking tours of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and other ’hoods. (They also rent bikes, if you’re not feeling the Los Angeles car culture.)
A little outside of the official West Hollywood district, and outside of the usual old stargazing tours, consider catching a unique history of the film industry with delightful, entertaining (and gay) Philip Mershon’s “deep dish Hollywood history” walking tour (felixinhollywoodtours.com).
Of course, in a happening place like West Hollywood, there’s virtually no end to things you can see and do. In fact it’s easy to visit WeHo for a week or more and still never check out any other neighborhoods — though FYI, queer-friendly Silverlake and Los Feliz, and the sunny shores of Santa Monica and Venice Beach are absolutely worth a visit too.
But the bottom line is that WeHo is a sort of magical place where some of the best worlds have collided to form a delicious, exciting, remarkably happy gay global capital. And you’re invited to the party.