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Barbarella's quirky/sexy decor attempts to capture the mood and imagery -- if not the spacey settings -- of its namesake (the sci-fi flick starring Jane Fonda), and, for the most part, it succeeds. Owner Anat Escher (other property: the Bungalow Club on Melrose) has brought a new kind of atmosphere to the Silver Lake spot formerly known as Zen Sushi. Chandeliers, studded tables and chairs, Pop Art and industrial touches make for a spacious setup that manages to feel cozy even when the place is empty. Historical figures like Abe Lincoln and John F. Kennedy find themselves cheekily juxtaposed with images of Marilyn Monroe and Wonder Woman in the spacious lounge, which includes a totem-like cluster of candles burning under an elaborate chandelier. There's more seating at bar and tables by the large front windows, which open up to a sidewalk patio. Fun, fresh and fruity cocktails including fusion drinks like Ginger Cucumber martinis ($10 for 10 oz.) plus local artisanal beer brews and 24 microbrews from all around the world make Barbarella's "neighborhood bar & kitchen" a great spot to imbibe. Food includes standard appetizer fare like tartar-and-cheese plates. The weekend happy hour runs from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and includes low-price appetizers, burgers and ribs. In addition to an expanded roster of live-music bookings, DJs wax fantastic every week at the no-cover confab Vinyl Thursdays.
Barbarella, the Silver Lake bar that tends to fill up with people who don't live in Silver Lake (what is L.A.–speak for "bridge and tunnel crowd"? Maybe "310s"?) is actually a welcoming spot at the blue-plate-special hour, when seats are plenty, the TVs show cheesy '80s videos you can actually hear, and the lovely tuna tartare is half price. Better still, the 10-ounce martinis are only 6 bucks and come in such silly versions as Key Lime Pie and Creamsicle. Try the Cucumber. 609 N.... More »
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