Good Luck Bar: LA
1514 Hillhurst Ave at Sunset Blvd, Los Feliz, Los Angeles CA
By Steph Sherry, Guest Writer
The Place: A kitschy tiki bar meets Chinese love den meets Old Hollywood cocktail lounge. Yeah. It’s a mind fuck. But like...I like it?
The Time: Monday November 12, 9pm. It’s Veteran’s Day and I’m at bar like any good American would be! ...Not really, it’s just my one night off from my serving job (#actorproblems) and I desperately want to manifest some good luck into my life so I figured Good Luck Bar was an appropriate start. That, and my super cool “with it” roommate said it’s “the best” and girl knows her cocktail bars. So with my self help book and positive affirmations in hand, off I go to hipster land, also known as Los Feliz.
The Vibe: No joke--this place is MAGIC. I walk in and immediately I feel like I’m in a movie - you know, one of those beautifully art directed indie romcoms that your friend will swear he knew about first. Hipsters and almost-too-cute couples abound. And it goes without saying: the vibe is very light, fun, and relaxed--we are in LA after all. (The New Yorker in me still can’t get used to it.) It really feels like I’m somewhere underground and cool and alive. A place where anything can happen. Red Chinese lanterns bathe the space in a sexy red glow. It honestly looks like some bastardized version of that Chinese restaurant in “Freaky Friday” with a tiki bar thrown in. Then they added some old Hollywood-style leather booths just to class up the place. Don’t get me wrong - it’s gimmicky, and almost feels as if it’s frozen in time. (I mean hello, there’s an old vintage jukebox in the back.) The aesthetic is SO unapologetically tacky. And yet somehow...it works. It has the quiet confidence of a spot that’s been here for years - that’s because it has, and I can see why. I sit at the only empty seat at the edge of the bar, next to one of the aforementioned almost-too-cute couples, and get ready for some movie magic.
The Bartender: The bartender is oddly ethereal in his own right. He’s a man of few words and few niceties, but it suits him. He is calm and composed while he simply stands there, master of his domain, making flowery tiki drinks for all.
The Drank: The drinks are listed on a diner-style laminated menu (there’s that Old Hollywood flare again) and have entertaining names like “Richard’s Revenge” and “Karate Punch” all listed under the heading “Cocktails to Delight You! $12” The first drink listed was the “Blumberger” which is a hilarious combination of two of my friends’ last names (#jewish), so I couldn’t not get it. The Blumberger is a mix of bourbon, passionfruit, pomegranate, and lemon, AKA the most Steph drink ever. And boy is it good. It’s fruity, well balanced, and not too sweet. They somehow make my old pal bourbon taste like a smooth aged rum and I am all about it. But it’s gone far too soon.
Was I Hit On? No--but like I kind of wish I was? I’m telling you, the meet-cute vibes are on fire at this place. But seriously, no one is going to creep up on you here. It’s a really chill crowd of like-minded millennials basking in all their offbeat hipster glory debating their favorite A24 films and they’d like to keep it that way. I’m happy--I’m on a great date with myself and it is incredibly nice to feel like I’m not about to get sleazed on for a change.
Should You Drink Here Alone? Oh yeah. My self help book and I (no shame) had a grand ole time. Moving to LA was the hardest thing I’ve ever done - and I will insist until the day I die that I hate this garbage city - but part of me loves the feeling of wonder and endless possibility that exist here. So, I’m not giving up yet. And if any place can make you feel destined for success, it’s a bar called “Good Luck.”
Steph Sherry is a deadpan New York Jew trying desperately to find good people and good bagels in Los Angeles. (Word's still out on the bagels.) She is a member of the Advanced Improv Program at UCB and a Woman-on-the-Street Host. She was named the IOWF's "Best Newcomer Actress" for her starring role in the comedic original series "Sensitive: A Webseries" and recently began doing standup at The Nerdist in LA. Loves a classic sour. Hates a sour mix.