Party Earth Review A time warp back to Prohibition, with a distinctly modern twist, The Charleston attracts a large spectrum of Westside well seekers with classic cocktails, amped-up comfort foods, and music that ranges from live jazz to... ... read full review
2460 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Tu–Sa 5pm–2am, Su 10am–3pm and 5pm–midnight or later
Santa Monica / Westside, Los Angeles –
A time warp back to Prohibition, with a distinctly modern twist, The Charleston attracts a large spectrum of Westside well seekers with classic cocktails, amped-up comfort foods, and music that ranges from live jazz to hip-hop DJs.
An elegant speakeasy vibe pervades the open room, where thick exposed beams punctuate the cozy haze of tiered chandeliers and a tufted white-leather base fronts the sleek mahogany bar helmed by suspender-clad mixologists.
A small stage hosts the near-nightly entertainment, with Tuesdays’ jazz promising a big turnout of savvy drinkers and feisty old couples, which often gives way to disco or dance music on Wednesdays and acoustic acts on Thursdays. Friday and Saturday nights, meanwhile, find DJs who create a club-like scene packed by 10pm with hip young professionals and a long line.
Classic 1930s fashion and other retro memorabilia are on display down the rear hallway, so patrons can sip their Sazeracs and Side Cars as they check out the mannequins in their flapper garb. Corseted weekend waitresses continue the retro theme, delivering short rib tacos and chicken waffles to the handful of small tables and booths that provide space for larger groups to eat and chat or launch the night with bottle service.
The live jazz returns on Sundays during the booze-and-blueberry-pancake brunch, a mellow time when conversation is king and Bloody Marys are queen, and just one more reason for guests to dance on over to The Charleston.
Cocktails can be pricey, but there are options: ‘Like’ The Charleston on Facebook for a free drink voucher for your next visit, follow them on Twitter to receive a secret word that can be used for nightly drink specials, or be one of the first ten people to check in with foursquare during Happy Hour and your second round of well drinks is free!
Polished Westside professionals, yuppie cocktail enthusiasts, unpretentious jazz lovers, speakeasy fans, girls’ night out groups, dapper party seekers who want a little club vibe (without the club) on weekends, older couples who can still bust a move or two, 20s to 60s.
Live music some nights, including jazz on Tuesdays from around 7pm and Sundays during brunch, followed by acoustic acts Sunday nights. Acoustic can also be on the line-up Thursdays, though hip-hop DJs are sometimes booked as well (check venue’s entertainment calendar). Rotating DJs on Fridays, and house DJs on Saturdays spinning dance-friendly beats from around 10pm.
Flat-screen typically tuned to sports earlier in the day.
Menu of upscale American comfort food, including short rib tacos, flatbreads, chicken and waffles, burgers, and pulled pork sliders. Brunch on Sundays. Happy Hour Tu–F 5–7pm.
Brunch menu $9–$16, appetizers $7–$9, entrées $9–$15, dessert $3–$9. Beer $5–$10+, wine $5–$16/glass or $30–$60+/bottle, cocktails $12–$14, bottle service $250–$500.
Snappy casual to dressy: nice jeans, t-shirts, shorts, trendy sandals, collared shirts, suits, sleek cocktail dresses, heels, dark jeans, boutique accessories.
Tuesdays for live jazz which draws a big early week crowd; Fridays and Saturdays for the busiest DJ nights and more of a club vibe; and Sundays for the chill jazz brunch.
Wilshire Restaurant (2454 Wilshire Boulevard) is located right next door, touts an extensive Happy Hour menu and a luxurious tree-lined patio, and hosts a similar crowd of suave professionals.