Party Earth Review Walking the geographic tightrope between skid row and gallery row, Pete’s Cafe & Bar is a large restaurant in LA’s historic Bank District that caters to trendy shoppers, businessmen, and diverse pre-gamers looking to nosh... ... read full review
400 South Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Purple, Red Lines: Pershing Square
M–F 11am–2am, Sa–Su 9am–2am
Food served until last call
Downtown, Los Angeles –
Walking the geographic tightrope between skid row and gallery row, Pete’s Cafe & Bar is a large restaurant in LA’s historic Bank District that caters to trendy shoppers, businessmen, and diverse pre-gamers looking to nosh on upscale twists of American classics.
Guests nestle in among perfectly groomed shrubs on the heated patio, which acts as a haven for smokers, dog owners, and people-watchers entertained by the un-choreographed street theater created by the passersby.
With its high ceilings, thick stone pillars, and intricate tiled floors, there’s plenty to look at throughout the cavernous space, though most of the regular lunch crowd is more focused on work or checking out their recent purchases to notice.
Posh groups of girls take to the plush booths and high-top tables that line the large dining room to snack on baked mac and cheese and share bottles from the sizeable wine list, as mellow suits sidle up to the art deco bar to throw back one of the few draft beers.
Dinner usually finds dapper theatergoers sharing space with a younger set of kids stopping in before hitting a nearby club, though the restaurant’s size means the place usually doesn’t get too crowed.
Weekends are a casual affair as sleepy neighborhood denizens drop by for pancakes and breakfast burritos and try to resist the temptation of the Bloody Mary bar.
No matter the time, Pete’s Cafe & Bar is that rare venue that combines upscale flair with the attitude of a neighborhood diner.
Sometimes nothing beats a high-end burger, and Pete’s Hellman Burger – topped with smoked aioli and fontina cheese – is exactly what you need to either shop the day or dance the night away. The owners obviously think so too – there’s a painting above the bar of a nun praying over five burgers.
A diverse sampling of the Downtown population, including area lawyers and other suits, local loft owners, trendy shoppers, fashion mavens, older couples, tourists, gallery types, and pre-clubbers, mid-20s to 40s+.
Handful of flat-screens around the bar usually tuned to sports. People-watching from the street-side patio.
Menu of mostly American classics with an upscale or modern twist, including pulled pork sandwiches, grilled cheese, seafood pasta, mac & cheese, burgers, and soups and salads. Happy Hour daily 5–7pm and 11pm–2am.
Brunch menu $7–$23, appetizers $7–$15+, entrées $14–$30, late night menu $8–$23. Beer $6–$10, cocktails $10–$15, wine $6–$16/glass or $24–$90+/bottle.
Trendy casual to business: suits, blazers, designer jeans, cute skirts, tight black dresses.
Thursday through Saturday nights to join the pre-club and barhopping crowd, or weekends for a casual brunch and a few Bloody Marys to shake out the cobwebs from the night before.
The Crocker Club (453 South Spring Street) is a swanky lounge that also has some cool history. Formerly a bank, there are an assortment of private rooms, a large dance floor, and ghosts that allegedly roam the halls.