Venue: Toca Madera
Address: 8450 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.