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You turn down a dark alley, slipping between two brick warehouses. You see a door, nothing special, just a black door. You open it and walk inside. You hear the faint squeaks and squawks of a '20s-era brass band. Take the staircase down a flight, and the jazzy horns get louder. At the bottom is a giant iron furnace, nearly the size of a small home. (The club is inside the Higgins Building, site of the first privately owned power plant in the country, and many of the fixtures survive.) A poolroom is just beyond the main bar, where you stand. You order a lavender bourbon, a special of the house. You have arrived at the Edison. Despite the deep, dark recess of the Edison's location below street level, it's cozy with oversize club chairs and swanky leather sofas dotting the room. Retro cocktails include a Charlie Chaplin, a boilermaker, even a fresh gimlet and two menu pages' worth of single-malt scotch. Thursdays feature live music; on Fridays and Saturdays, the tempo picks up with regular DJs on the decks. There's a dress code - no torn jeans or ratty tennis shoes; if you're going to play the part, you should look it too. It's a small price to pay to enter a time machine.
The drink is called the Chin-Up, which seems inadequate as solace, halfhearted as a name. It blends Beefeater's gin and Cynar, a peculiar digestif containing cynarine, the active ester that gives the artichoke its odd aftertaste. It is finished... More »
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I love Edison. Edison is a really fun vibe. It's clubby but you're not body-to-body smashed. They also have really great cocktails. The music is really great. I always go to Edison when I'm in LA. It's very fun.
If you make your way down Harlem Place, past the man in the fedora guarding the door, and step into the caverns of the Edison on a Wednesday evening, you will find yourself head-deep in Roaring-'20s Berlin. A quartet of flapper girls adorns the stage while contortionists spiral from the ceiling to the floor to the chairs to the bar. Characters like Candy, a redhead with décolletage bejeweled in strawberry cotton candy, sit casually on the banquettes. A man in stripes paints a portrait of his lady friend, a circus escapee draped over a black leather chair. The barman removes his hat momentarily to dish out absinthe cocktails and applejack shots, served in vintage-style take-home bottles to extend the entertainment long after the show ends. The perma-packed Edison enlisted the help of the Lucent Dossier cabaret company six months back to jump-start its weeknights, and after a brief hiatus, the players have returned by popular demand. Their weekly appearances have been dubbed "sensual vaudeville," a sexy reconstruction of a time when everybody was looking to escape from their suit and tie. As you crawl out of the foggy underground and back up to street level, you feel as though you've escaped away to another world entirely. And for $15, it sure beats dinner and a movie.—Sara Lerner
Visionary and renovator extraordinaire Andrew Meieran is responsible for giving a wake-up call to Los Angeles. "I fell madly in love with the Higgins building the day it won the award for ugliest, dirtiest building by the L.A. Times in 1995," he says. "I saw a mixture of the future and the past. Inside there was so much detail worth saving. It is the ultimate in adaptive reuse." Built in 1910 by copper baron Thomas Higgins, the building once housed Occidental Petroleum, Clarence Darrow's... More »
If you make your way down Harlem Place, past the man in the fedora guarding the door, and step into the caverns of the Edison on a Wednesday evening, you will find yourself head-deep in Roaring-'20s Berlin. A quartet of flapper girls adorns the stage while contortionists spiral from the ceiling to the floor to the chairs to the bar. Characters like Candy, a redhead with décolletage bejeweled in strawberry cotton candy, sit casually on the banquettes. A man in stripes paints a portrait... More »
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