Mandrake

Bar
Mandrake Breaking through the stereotypes of the usual dive bar, Mandrake offers a simple but oddly chic hangout for an eclectic crowd of artists, hipsters, and art lovers. Los Angeles United States 34.0337669 -118.3761451
3.52 10
Mandrake - Bar in Los Angeles.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Breaking through the stereotypes of the usual dive bar, Mandrake offers a simple but oddly chic hangout for an eclectic crowd of artists, hipsters, and art lovers. A plain “Bar” sign signals what’s to come as patrons step... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    Tu–Th 5pm–midnight, F–Sa 5pm–1am, Su–M 6pm–midnight

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Mandrake Review

The Scene

Breaking through the stereotypes of the usual dive bar, Mandrake offers a simple but oddly chic hangout for an eclectic crowd of artists, hipsters, and art lovers.

Breaking through the stereotypes of the usual dive bar, Mandrake offers a simple but oddly chic hangout for an eclectic crowd of artists, hipsters, and art lovers.

A plain “Bar” sign signals what’s to come as patrons step into a shoebox space decked out in retro 70s blonde-wood paneling and containing not much more than a shiny black backlit bar.

Tattooed sculptors in vintage shirts shoot the breeze with well-coifed gallery hoppers and young professionals, while indie rockers and goth girls settle in with their pretzels and cocktails on the lone wooden banquette and its line of tree-trunk tables.

A sign above the DJ says “No Dancing,” but that doesn't always stop the hipper-than-thou's twenty-somethings from shimmying where they stand as cult movies are projected against the black wall behind them.

A hidden alcove with tufted leather booths inevitably attracts newly formed couples sneaking off for some private time, while those looking for a breather or a smoke, elbow their way onto the cramped patio.

Laid-back and sociable, Mandrake offers a well-curated gallery of fun-loving artsy drinkers that will appeal to anyone interested in both the LA art scene and an upbeat evening out.

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Tip from Jonah:

Best Moscow Mule in the city, hands down. But if you want to get your night started before the sun even sets, stop in for Happy Hour and pair a shot of tequila with a $5 Tecate.

  • Crowd

    Hip young professionals, artists, hipsters, indie rockers, and creative types, early 20s to 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Nightly roster of DJs and live music featuring 80s, hip-hop, and country. Check the website for a schedule of events.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Snack menu includes spicy olives, vegetable grape leaves and prosciutto, and a brie and fig sandwich. Happy Hour daily 5–7pm.

  • Prices

    Snacks $6–$9. Beer $5+, wine $8+, cocktails 8+.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Hip casual: vintage t-shirts and suits, short-sleeved button-downs, old-school sneakers, thrift store dresses, fedoras, designer casual.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Fridays and Saturdays for the biggest crowds.

  • Close By

    Sitting right in the Culver City Arts District, there are myriad galleries to peruse in the area like LAX Art (2640 South La Cienega Boulevard), Blum & Poe (2727 South La Cienega Boulevard), Angles Gallery (2754 South La Cienega Boulevard), amongst others.

Mandrake User Reviews

Average rating:
Eh
Gor G. Jun 3, 2013
Eh, drinks were okay at $5 for beer. Music could've been a lot better. I felt like it was a hit or miss kind of bar, depending on the DJ of the night. This one could play only songs that were on the vinyl records he'd brought. Okay... I requested Cyndi Lauper songs that he didn't have, and then he mentioned having Whitney Houston records. He promised to play them for my group, but as the night was ending, it hadn't happened yet. So I asked again about playing Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody, and he was all, "Yeah, I'll play it," off-handedly. It never happened. Perhaps I am just not hipster enough for this place, but one thing's for sure: I'm over it.
This place was horrifying...
Mars m. Mar 1, 2013
This was the worst experience of my life. I used to come here all the time but during the week. Apparently, some muscle head outside decided to literally yell at my friends and I because one of them was planning to park his motorcycle next to the tree out front where I've seen plenty of people park on many occasions. Everyone from vintage guys and girls to those with scooters. Problem is my friend literally just won an Oscar and we wanted to hit a low key spot to chat and grab a drink. He was rattled as well as his wife and it was unwarranted, rude and sort of pathetic. The fact that this bar would allow such idiocy to represent them is atrocious. I will make it my point to spread as much bad news about this place as possible every chance I get.
Look for Lucy!
Alexis M. Dec 3, 2012
I appreciated the Mandrake. I liked its hole-in-the-wallness. It is a secret place and not in an pretentious way but in an overlooked way. It reminded me of a bar you'd find in Silver Lake. And yet, nothing about it is compelling enough to convince me to return. I can see hitting it after an art showing nearby. It is by far my favorite bar in Culver City. Decor is modern-minimal with wood stumps as coffee tables. There is lots of open space with 2 separate rooms to mingle or engage in an intimate conversation with friends. One of my favorite parts was that it wasn't too noisy. I always arrive early straight from the galleries. They usually have opening receptions on the same night which I like! It's empty at 7:30 but by 9p.m. the dj starts to spin. My favorite bartender there is Lucy. She serves a clean margaritia.
Go for a Drink at the Drake
Bronwyn N. Oct 5, 2012
The Mandrake is as close as I've ever come to having a regular bar within stumbling distance from where I hang my hat on the weekends. The patio area has a Brooklyn rooftop vibe, and I especially like going during the week when it's not nearly as packed and I can sit and hang for hours. In the beginning, it was hard to get service at the bar, mainly because it's so small and so busy on Friday nights, but once the bartenders recognize you, it's much easier to get their attention. The 'drake also projects awesome weird and old school movies (one night it was Saved by the Bell) on one of its walls. DJ music on Friday nights feels a little obscure - random soul and techno, but the vibe's so much fun that it's easy to get lost in whatever jam they're playing.
Fun, hip, and surprisingly unpretentious
Sara G. Aug 10, 2012
I went to the Mandrake expecting not to like it. Some of my more-hipster friends were having a party there and I was a little skeptical. My pre-judgments were quickly squashed. I love this place. It's entirely unassuming outside, and has a very simple layout inside. The bartenders are great, and the prices are pretty reasonable. The screening room area in the back always has something on (which sets a great mood throughout the bar). And the music generally rocks. The crowd is pretty happening, and many are down-to-earth creative-types. It's hard to believe the Mandrake is just a few miles directly south of Restaurant row and more typical LA scenes that can be found at Greystone Manor, The Beverly, etc. Parking is some of the easiest in the city. With nothing else in that block open at night, you have your pick of street parking. Just be careful crossing La Cienega! Check this place out - especially if you find yourself at a small theater or gallery opening on the outskirts of Culver City. Take the party to Mandrake.
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