Nightlife Spotlight: Toca Madera

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Venue: Toca Madera

Address: 8450 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Website: tocamadera.com

Hours: Sun 11 am -12 am, Mon – Thurs 5 pm – 2 am, Fri – Sat 5 pm – 2 am

Best Days: Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays

Tucked away on the edge of West Hollywood lies a very special place. What makes this place so special you, ask? Do they have drinks? Yes they do. Do they have food? You bet. So what makes this spot a cut above the rest?

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First, one must look at all the details to see how they fit together. Toca Madera is nestled on 3rd st and LaCienaga, which puts it the neighborhood of other trendy West Hollywood venues and makes them all an accessible 5-8 minute Uber drive. Toca Madera is a high end Mexican cuisine restaurant and lounge which features a diverse menu of various dishes, from Carne Asada to several unique style of ceviche and everything in between. All food is made with organic and locally sourced ingredients to ensure it’s as fresh as possible. It’s a fantastic place to get dinner, a quick night out snack or go for Sunday brunch. Of course, they also run a special all day Happy Hour for Taco Tuesday. And these Taco Tuesdays also feature performances by special DJ’s and fire dancers. Yes, fire dancers.

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Toca Madera takes the lounge aspect just as seriously as the resonant aspect, so they feature a rotation of various top end DJ’s to keep the music and atmosphere in a constant state of activity. Another factor that aids in this are the specialty cocktails. There are plenty of signature drinks like Margaritas and Old Fashions which they put their own twist on, but they also have some signature in house cocktails that are sure to delight. Our personal favorite is the Agua Fresca, which uses a charred pineapple and cinnamon infused vodka with lemon juice, coconut water and fresh ground cinnamon on top. We could literally drink those all night, but unfortunately Toca Madera can’t serve alcohol past 2 am, like everywhere else in LA.

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The restaurant is laid out in a very unique way, in that the main room has a large marble topped bar in the center of the space. Around the bar are lounge tables, a DJ Booth and a photo booth. In the room behind the main room, there is a wall of decorated skulls lining the back where more tables are. On the second floor of this room is a tree house section, with tables that offer up close aerial views of the back room’s center petrified tree.

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So with top-tier food, drinks and atmosphere, what else could one want? The last missing element is the crowd and staff. The crowd that typically frequents the venue tend to be very internationally diverse and very festive. Unlike a lot of clubs, where people go more to be seen at their tables than mingle, the environment at Toca Madera is very conducive to people mingling and interacting, which can be a difficult trick to foster organically. And the last element is the top notch staff, which miraculously is somehow filled with genuinely cool people from top to bottom. From the busboys to the hostesses, bartenders and managers, the staff are the magic that keeps everything together to create a place where you will have great experiences time after time. Add the fact that they continually add special events and guest entertainers and you have a special place that never offers the same exact experience twice.

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After 3 years of business and a formula that has made they very successful, he’d highly recommend checking this place out. It tops our list as our favorite LA Nightlife venue and after a trip there you’ll be sure to see why.

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Cheers,

-JB

Nightlife Spotlight: Catch LA

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Venue: Catch LA

Address: 8715 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Website: catchrestaurants.com

Hours: Mon – Fir 5 pm – 2 am, Sat – Sun 10 am – 3 pm, 5 pm – 2 am

Best Days: Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays

One of LA’s newest and trendiest places, it’s easy to see why when you experience it. Nestled on Melrose Ave, Catch is located on a rooftop that is conveniently close to the Pacific Design Center.

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Catch is a known celebrity hangout, which is what makes getting a reservation there a bit of challenge, especially if you plan to go at any remotely convenient time within a month. So if you want to check it out, book a reservation now.

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The decor is quite inviting and spectacular, which give the restaurant a very rustic yet chic charm. The drinks are pricey but we’ll admit that they are pretty delicious, so we’ll sip on them with glee while our wallets groan a little bit.

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So how is the food? Like the drinks, it’s pricey but also quite tasty, and we admit we love the crispy shrimp. The menu is predominately seafood, so if you don’t like seafood there are a few options for you but not many.

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All in all catch is a very solid restaurant. While the food and drinks are very good, the true secret to it’s appeal is that it’s a super Instagram friendly venue, with many places that are perfect for selfies and group photos. So from that viewpoint, catch is a very magical place, so hashtag away when you visit.

Cheers,

-JB