Hotel Café

Live Music Venue / Live Music Venue / Live Music Venue
Hotel Café Not many positive things happen in back alleys in Hollywood, which makes Hotel Café and its lineup of up-and-coming singer/songwriters a welcome exception. Los Angeles United States 34.1004565 -118.3295511
4.0 16
Hotel Café - Live Music Venue | Live Music Venue | Live Music Venue in Los Angeles.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Not many positive things happen in back alleys in Hollywood, which makes Hotel Café and its lineup of up-and-coming singer/songwriters a welcome exception. A base for such musicians as Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    Daily 7pm–2am depending on show schedule

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Hotel Café Videos

Ben Harper CIC 2007 Hotel Cafe Los Angeles CA Vertigo U2
0:000:00
Ben Harper CIC 2007 Hotel Cafe Los Angeles CA Vertigo U2
7,155 views
Gary Jules @ The Hotel Cafe Los Angeles
11,185 views
NEeMA, Lost in LA, Hotel Cafe, L.A. Oct 23, 2010
458 views
John Mayer "Friends, Lovers or Nothing" Live at the Hotel Cafe!
176,127 views
jenny lewis at the hotel cafe melt your heart
53,846 views
Tracy Bonham - "Something Beautiful" - Live at Hotel Cafe
15,887 views

Party Earth Hotel Café Review

The Scene

Not many positive things happen in back alleys in Hollywood, which makes Hotel Café and its lineup of up-and-coming singer/songwriters a welcome exception.

Not many positive things happen in back alleys in Hollywood, which makes Hotel Café and its lineup of up-and-coming singer/songwriters a welcome exception.

A base for such musicians as Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson, the venue has also seen the likes of John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Adele, and Mumford & Sons, who have all dropped in to play intimate sets for the crowd of music lovers.

Hipsters and fans who slide past the bouncer will find themselves in a parlor-style foyer with scattered candlelit tables and a dark alcove lined with leather couches, usually filled with conversing couples on pre-show dates.

Stylish patrons meet up for drinks at the bar before heading through the doors in back to the main concert room, where in-the-know scenesters gather around a second bar to chat enthusiastically about their favorite unsigned acts.

The expanded stage accommodates all-sized bands, and is perfect for the four or five acts the animated audience sings along to every night.

Laid back and friendly, Hotel Café stays lively between sets and after the show as musicians, wannabes, and trendy Hollywood-ites carry on drinking and flirting until the early hours.

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Tip from Jonah:

This place gets hot, and I don’t mean that in the ‘happening’ sense of the word – I mean it as in ‘sweating through my shirt.’ If you’re in the standing section, anchor yourself under one of the ceiling fans. At least you’ll catch a breeze that makes the temperature tolerable.

  • Crowd

    Hip music fans, music scenesters, and dressed-up hipsters, 20s to 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Multiple live acts nightly, mostly indie singer/songwriters. The monthly Tongue and Groove features spoken word and music. Songwriters Sundays include a full lineup of indie artists. Check the website for a calendar of events.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Menu of panini, salads, appetizers, and desserts.

  • Prices

    Tickets $8–$20. Menu $7–$10. Beer $5–$7, wine $7, mixed drinks $8+. Valet $8+.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Women in casual dresses, men in band t-shirts or untucked button-downs and nice jeans.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Depends on the concert calendar, but Friday and Saturday nights are usually a good bet for bigger crowds.

  • Close By

    Piano Bar (6429 Selma Avenue) around the corner offers more live music without the ticket prices.

Hotel Café User Reviews

Average rating:
A Pretty Chill Place
Gerard Nash G. Jun 3, 2013
For those of you looking for a cool venue that's not too big and not too crazy, but just right, then look no further. You simply come in and sit and drink, while listening to the performing bands or artists. They really do bring in so many wonderful and talent performers; I really can't say that I've witnessed a performance that I didn't enjoy. All the best indie artist make a stop at Hotel Cafe; I've seen Mariah McManus, Marie Digby, Rachael Sage, and Borrower's Debt and others. They usually have line up of about three performers each evening; and if you purchase your ticket for one performer you can typically stay for the others. The downside, again, is the parking which is $7. They also don't serve much entrees, but with a couple of drinks, you can really have fun here. Would recommend to anyone wanting to see a good performance.
Not my Favorite
Bonnie S. Apr 17, 2013
I have been to the Hotel Cafe several times- the last one being a few weeks ago. I noted to a friend, "I haven't been here since I was in college six years ago" and I quickly remembered why. The complaints are somewhat minor, but they should be considered! The main two issues are temperature and seating. If you are down to get sweaty- you'll be ok. Dress in light clothes. Even if it's cold outside, it gets hot inside the Hotel Cafe. The other complaint is seating- as in, there isn't much. 20-30 people may find themselves with seats while 70+ will be found standing, dancing, drinking. It's not exactly where I like to go after a long day at work. So, I haven't really talked up the place, right? However- there is a lot to be said for the Hotel Cafe-- great up-and-coming singer/songwriters--- this is a great place to see them when they are starting out before it costs concert-level prices. It's also a small venue so you'll be likely to get to meet the artists and/or take photos or get autographs. Next, location- right in the heart of Hollywood, so you can go to any of your other Hollywood venues before and after. Finally, prices are pretty reasonable- usually only $20 or less!
My Favorite Live Music Spot in LA!!
Deepak H. Mar 29, 2013
My Take: It is very difficult to notice this place at the first glance purely because the entrance is through the back. When you walk to the back of the building, you can actually let the music that emanates from the building actually guide you the entrance. If you have bought ticket(s) online- which by the way is pretty inexpensive- you just say your name to the door man and he will stamp your hand and let you in- makes you feel like you are walking into a prohibition era speakeasy with all the kind of secrecy involved- and you are in this pretty dim lit hallway which you walk past to reach a loungy area with a bar to your left and lot of couches on a raised platform to the right. If you are a first time visitor, then your first thought would be "Hey! what the f#$k happened to the live music I paid the money for??" To answer that question my dear noobs, you need to walk past the lounge, past the bar (Yeah! I said it..walk past the bar) through heavy double doors into another room that has a small stage at its far end. YOU HAVE REACHED YOUR DESTINATION. No thanks needed! The Scene: Most of the crowd is in the live music area of the hotel cafe. The place is a good mix of young and old who are there to enjoy some good music so if you are planning on trying your pickup lines, I would advise you to drop those lines before you enter those double doors. Also, it gets awfully quiet when the performance starts; It gets almost eerily quiet. Anyhow, there is a show almost every hour and one ticket can ensure that you sit till the place closes for the day unless otherwise mentioned! There is also a bar inside and if you are lucky to get a table, they do serve some bar food. Servers go around throughout the performance making sure you have some form of alcohol in your hand and you are not staring at the stage like some zonked out monkey. Cocktails & Cuisine: Only bottled beers but they are stocked up with all the other important people: Jack, Jim, Morgan and I think I saw Johnny too. Prices: Regular Bar price. $6-$8 for beer, $9-$10 for the whiskys. Food prices are around $8-$15. What to Wear: Wear whatever you want. Don't think the doorman is out there to enforce a strict dress code. Inside Info/When to Go: I have only gone for the Friday 9pm shows up to now and I make sure I reach around 5 minutes early. This has helped me get in when the previous band has finished playing their sets and thereby I was able to snag a table right in front of the stage.
Intimate Musical Venue = Raw Talent and Killer Artists/ Musicians
Danielle I. Feb 8, 2013
Hotel Cafe is the best place to experience music on a more personal and intense level, thanks to the simplistic and intimate setting. The venue is basically stripped down to the basics, which exposes raw musical talent that is very hard to find these days. The performance area is small with simple lighting against a black stage, curtains and background. There is limited seating, so if that is a priority, get there for the first show of the night. Drinks are very basic and so is food, but the focus is music so try not to let that impact your experience too much (besides, there are tons of bars and restaurants up and down the street that are open before and after the shows). All in all, raw talent draws in the crowd, and the venue highlights how very special that is to listen to and watch. If you are looking for a more personal listening experience that truly engages an audience, this is the place to find what you're looking for.
Music Enthusiast Dream Come True
Tanisha Q. Jan 31, 2013
Formerly a coffee shop, turned live music venue, Hotel Café is a chic hideaway in the famous Cahuenga corridor in Hollywood. They offer upcoming musicians an intimate stage to showcase their talents and practice their craft. The laid back setting is reminiscent of being in your own living room. Inside is a small dimly light area with a simplistic set up of chairs, a stage and plenty of standing room space. Music enthusiast can kick back and a Stella beer or munch on finger foods. You can come as you are and there’s no guest list to worry about. A minimal cover of $7 to $10 at the door will do the trick. Acting as a getaway for celebrities who want to avoid the limelight; you may find yourself rocking out next to Rob Pattinson any given night. Hotel Café has launched the careers of music heavy weights John Mayer, Adele and Katy Perry. Enjoy a night of music and revel in being the first to know who’s next on the music scene.
Singer-Songwriter Haven
Daniel B. Dec 7, 2012
Hotel Cafe features live shows by budding singer-songwriters and rock bands. The lineup is mostly pop, rock, and folk so don't expect any turntables or Abelton DJs. The entrance is a little hard to find, but that just adds to the intimacy of this small space. Because of its size, the Hotel Cafe brings out mostly emerging bands and aspiring songwriters. So it's one of the best places in the city to catch a local act like The Far Country. Parking is a pain but that's the deal pretty much everywhere in the area. And there's plenty of places nearby to grab another drink or a bite after the show.
Hotel Café, my home away from home.
Cynthia R. Nov 29, 2012
The Hotel Café is the go to spot for my sisters and me to find the next rising star. As the review stated, the area does look a little shady, however, once you step inside the café you're instantly relieved in your surroundings. The size is rather small but it just adds to it's intimacy. The bar is well stocked with your choice of Stellas or White Russians and the minimal seating won't affect you too badly, considering their choice of live entertainment will capture your attention and iTunes list. Parking isn't a problem either as they have valet in the rear, which will leave your mind in peace.
What a place!
Anthony M. Nov 1, 2012
Talk about intimate. it has this feeling to the max. dim candlelight, small setting but BIG PUNCH. When I came here a few months ago, I was in complete shock of the feel the Hotel Cafe had once I had stepped foot in here. Sometimes going to a show here is better then going to a show say at the packed, Wiltern. Since most of the performers here are up and coming artists, the turnout is never normally that huge but when its a sold out show, guess what? It still isn't jam packed! We saw one of our friends perform here a few months back and he sold out the place. It still was spacious enough to go get something at the bar, or go to the bathroom without constantly bumping into someone. it was amazing. The bar prices are reasonable for being along Cahuenga Blvd and the staff are very friendly. Definitely come and hang out here, the intimate setting will not be something you will want to leave by the end of the night!
Great Acoustics
Kelly G. Oct 24, 2012
A few months ago, I went to see my friend, who's a brilliant singer-songwriter, play a gig with her band here. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the venue was rather large, and there was plenty of room to move about. I really can't stand being stuck in a loud, sweaty crowd when I am simply trying to listen to mellow tunes. The vibe embodied what I would describe as truly Californian: very chill and laid back. And from what I hear, it's kind of an honor to book a gig here, which I completely understand now. I loved the show, the environment, and the bartender was surprisingly easy to access.
A Music Lovers Dream
Jenny T. Oct 6, 2012
Perfect for a laid back night, this singer-song writer venue gets some of the best new artists just before they make it big. The intimate setting encourages the artists to talk in between songs and connect with the audience, many of whom the artists probably know. In addition to the ultra hipsters and music lovers, the venue fills with the artists family and friends giving the venue a friendly, unpretentious vibe. The artists often hang out to watch the other acts of the night, so get there early and you may be able to grab a drink with the band. There is plenty of standing room along the walls and by the bar, tables and seating are limited so if you want a seat, make sure to arrive early before it fills up. For any music fan, an immediate trip to Hotel Cafe is a must.
L.A. Institution
Stacy F. Oct 2, 2012
Everyone who lives in LA and loves music should check out Hotel Cafe at least once in his/her life. Great little hole in the wall bar in Hollywood that fosters up and coming talent. It's tiny, dark, moody, and a great place to see a show. Sometimes you'll be lucky enough to see a big-ish musician play here (Joe Purdy blew my mind on this stage a couple years ago) but it's even more fun to see the newer bands/musicians play here before they hit it big. You never know what you're gonna get but it's always great music.
You don't know them but your new favorite band is playing here tonight...
Abby F. Aug 23, 2012
This little hipster hideaway has been called enchanted, amazing, intimate and delicious. The drinks are to die for and the music is to live for. If you're looking for a spot that will make you feel like you have a VIP pass to the most sought-after musical performers of tomorrow, this is your modestly priced one-way ticket. Parking is expensive on Cahuenga, and it's hard to find the place if you don't know what you're looking for. Bring your GPS on this trip, because the entrance is actually located in the back of the venue, via an alley way. Once inside, expert bartenders can make you anything from a blueberry stoli and coke to a standard gin and tonic. the vibe is casual, and the crowd is largely unassuming. Despite the hidden-gem quality of the place, which usually is a high-voltage magnate for super-hipsters, the crowd is laid back, and often includes the headlining band and friends of the band. If the band you are seeing is an undiscovered hit, you may be able to grab a beer with them before their set. Overall, this is an excellent venue to catch performances from artists established or otherwise. While sipping on delicious cocktails you can enjoy the perfect first-date rose lighting and a cool-hunter's underground feel. Bonus points if you pay less than 6 dollars for parking.
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