“What goes around comes around,” applies in spades to the newly updated and very classy Los Angeles Athletic Club. The recent rush of new restaurants and bars to the area is surely a boon for the stately LAAC, poised since 1912 on the corner of Seventh and Olive in the heart of the Historic Core. With Mas Malo, Seven Grand, Bottega Louie, and the newly relocated Mo-Chica a literal stone’s throw away, the Club is well situated to enjoy the neighborhood changes that are afoot.
Although The Club is private, dues are reasonable and members have access not only to the spacious athletic facilities and indoor pool but also to The Club’s several restaurants and bars. The Game Room (Formal Dining), The Grill Room (breakfasts, lunches, dinners), The Main Bar and Duke’s Sports Bar are all clustered on either the 2nd or 3rd floor, with a sandwich/smoothie shop up on the 8th.
The Main Bar possesses one of the finest happy hours in downtown (Mon-Fri, 4:00-6:30) with complimentary hors d’oeuvres (5:00-7:00) and discounted prices on select beers, wines and cocktails. Paneled in wood with Remington-style bronzes on tables and oil paintings on the wall, the pace is decidedly unhurried and pub-like, making for a great place to watch the game or enjoy some quiet conversation.
The beers run the gamut from macro-brewed bottles and taps such as Bass, Corona and Budweiser to interesting selections like Hitachino’s White Ale, a selection from Redland’s Hanger 24 brewery, and the signature IPA from Green Flash in San Diego. Wines are similarly arrayed and the selection of scotches and whiskeys is solid for a smaller bar.
The food shows care in its preparation and presentation, a bit more modern than some of the true time-machines on this site, yet not veering into unwanted experimentation as, after all, this is a traditional club. Happy hour hors d’oeuvres change daily with the most hearty selection on Wednesday afternoons (a carving station with a rotating selection of roast meats complete with sauces and rolls).
All told, the Los Angeles Athletic Club makes for a pleasant place to relax with friends while enjoying some fine drink and tasty food. If you know a member, it is well worth the visit.