The Edison

20s / Absinthe / Artsy / Bar / Birthday Parties / Burlesque / Club / Couples / DJ / EDM / Dancing / Dress Code / Dressy / Eclectic / Flirty / Go-Go dancers / Happy Hour / Hipster / Jazz / Jukebox / Live Entertainment / Live Music / Live Piano / Lounge / Luxurious / Mid 30s / Movies / No Sneakers/Trainers / Piano / Pool (Billiards) / Seafood / Small Plates / Snack Food / Steak / Students / Swanky / Tourists / Valet Parking / Vintage / Young Professionals
The Edison Located in the basement of the Higgins Building – LA's first private power plant – The Edison is a massive nightclub that combines 1920s luxury with a bit of history and industrialism to create a truly unique club experience... Los Angeles United States 34.051007 -118.245015
3.96 33
The Edison - Bar | Club | Lounge in Los Angeles.
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Party Earth Review Located in the basement of the Higgins Building – LA’s first private power plant – The Edison is a massive nightclub that combines 1920s luxury with a bit of history and industrialism to create a truly unique club experience... ... read full review

  • Metro:

    Red Line: Pershing Square; Purple Line: Pershing Square

  • Phone:


  • Links:

  • Hours:

    W–F 5pm–2am, Sa 8pm–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth The Edison Review

The Scene

Located in the basement of the Higgins Building – LA's first private power plant – The Edison is a massive nightclub that combines 1920s luxury with a bit of history and industrialism to create a truly unique club experience...

Located in the basement of the Higgins Building – LA’s first private power plant – The Edison is a massive nightclub that combines 1920s luxury with a bit of history and industrialism to create a truly unique club experience.

A hostess in a flapper dress leads well-dressed and cultured patrons down a grand staircase with ornate iron banisters and into a magical steampunk-like labyrinth of vintage industrial refuse and multiple swanky sitting areas.

At the heart of this multi-room venue is the Main Bar, a copper and wood masterpiece where hipsters and young professionals gather to sip Brown Derbys and Bermuda Sours in the glow of mechanical candelabras.

Performers from DJs and jazz bands to go-go dancers take the stage in The Lab to entertain the crowd of artsy types, while those looking for a bit of privacy can snuggle into the little curtained nooks beneath the pink chandeliers in the Ember Parlor or Tesla Lounge.

Sophisticated birthday parties and business groups have their cocktails and deviled eggs in the Generator Lounge, an intriguing space filled with luxurious tufted leather divans, wing chairs, and ottomans in cozy arrangements next to the original plant generators.

The smaller Music Room and Game Room with their piano and jukebox offer a retreat from the dancing action in the Main Bar.

Throughout the immense space, original turn-of-the-century details like industrial coal ovens reside side by side with velvet-and-fringe settees, feathered lamps, and projected classic movies to create a decadent playground for the dapper guests, whether they show up to dance, chat, or court someone new.

Theatrical and lively, The Edison is a fantastic – and fantastical – wonderland that sophisticated clubbers won’t want to miss.

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Tip from Jonah:

Check out the Happy Hour – the 35-cent martini special paired with classic movies on the wall is like getting whisked back to the 20s in your DeLorean.

  • Crowd

    Cultured artistic types, hipsters, young professionals, birthday groups, some USC students, and tourists, 20s to mid-30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Nightly events include live music, jazz, DJs, and burlesque dancers. Check the website for a schedule of events.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Menu of snacks, small plates, and entrées including bacon-maple beer nuts, homemade Bavarian pretzels, shrimp cocktail, shrimp and grits, and steaks. Happy Hour W–F 5–7pm.

  • Prices

    Small plates $9–$24, entrées $14–$24. Beer $6–$10, wine $10+/glass or $48+/bottle, cocktails $13+, absinthe $15+, champagne $135+/bottle. Valet $9.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Dressy retro: Vintage dresses and suits, 20s-style attire. Dress code enforced: No shorts, jerseys, hoodies, ball caps, flip-flops, sandals, or tennis shoes.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Wednesdays through Fridays for the big Happy Hour crowd, or Friday and Saturday nights for the busiest scene.

  • Close By

    For a little taste of downtown design, check out the Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall (111 South Grand Avenue) right around the corner.

The Edison User Reviews

Average rating:
A Gatsby style bar in 21st century Downtown LA
Julie B. Nov 24, 2013
You like the 1920s and its vibe? Then you definitely have to check out the Edison! This hidden place in Downtown Los Angeles perfectly conveys the atmosphere of this alcohol prohibition era, when people had to meet in secret places to have a little fun. When you arrive (preferably around 10pm to avoid long lines), a hostess will great you and lead you underground, where you will really be able to feel the atmosphere of the great era that were the 1920s. The Higgins Building basement contained the city’s first power plant and there is still a great industrial feel about it in the Edison. You can find some power equipment and metal furniture here and there, the lounges are dimly lit with chandeliers and furnished with comfy leather couches, giving a very warm and romantic atmosphere to the bar. The main bar offers a wide variety of food and beverages, all with very appealing names, coming straight from the 1920s. The bartenders create their 1920s style signature cocktails (which are a little pricey) but they don’t hesitate to pour a bigger amount of alcohol so the drink is worth your money. If you like jazz music, Charleston and burlesque, the Edison is the place for you! The burlesque shows give a great vibe with flapper dancers and amazing live music from the 1920s. The atmosphere is very joyful and the music is so lively that you just want to join the crowd of dancers. Moreover, some people have really great moves and are fun to watch; they provide a great source of entertainment. The entrance is free of charge but there is a dress code for both women and men. People in the 1920s were so glamorous, elegant and all dolled up that it is only fair to dress up a bit to recreate this atmosphere and feeling. The Edison gives us a great insight of the life and atmosphere of the 1920s, with the perfect location and settings. I just loved being transported back in time to the intriguing era of Gatsby the Great!
A Trip Back in Time. Review of The Edison
Jennifer A. Oct 5, 2013
If anyone has ever wondered what it was like to have a good time during the 1920s, a visit to The Edison in Downtown Los Angeles will answer that question. A bar situated in an alley on the Higgins Building conveys the era when alcohol was prohibited. Gatherings had to take place in secret underground locations, which is what this bar tactfully gives the feeling of, not only with its location but its interior decoration as well. As guests enter flapper hostesses greet them, and a staircase leads them downstairs. Once underground, the early 20th century industrial décor original to the building serves as a historic visual as to how the private power plant looked when it was operating. The dim lighting comes from the chandeliers hanging from high up in the ceiling and old-fashioned light bulbs, giving a romantic ambiance. There is the extensive Main Bar, which offers a wide variety of signature food and artisanal cocktails in between The Game Room and the Music Room; adjacent to The Lounge that has power equipment. There are a total of seven lounges, all of which offer comfortable brown-leather couches and stools for people to sit on, and match the antique interior brick walls and metal furnishing around each room. All lounges hold a different number of people and can be booked in advance for private parties. Depending on the date, there are brief burlesque shows with flapper dancers on stage singing and dancing to the 1920s inspired songs. The waitresses also dress as flappers; well-known DJs and Jazz musicians perform in The Lab. In an effort to maintain the vibe The Edison enforces a dress code for both women and men; no athletic clothes and men must wear collared shirts and dress shoes. All clients don’t seem to mind it, nevertheless. This club gives a reason, as people would say in the 1920s, to “get all dolled up and go to the joint.” In other words, people can get all dressed up and go to the club to experience its romantic setting and music. The Edison is representative of a time period that was rich in glamour, the arts and the industrial advancement the city experienced. It is a time machine in which people are transported to the 1920s as soon as they stand in line waiting to be let in. This club is a relic in Los Angeles and it worth going to with friends to have a great time.
The most authentic speakeasy in Los Angeles
Carey W. Aug 1, 2013
Just like the trend of gourmet cupcake shops, 1920s-themed speakeasies have been popping up all over Los Angeles. But don't be fooled by Hollywood imitations--the Edison lounge downtown is the place to be to teleport to a golden era of American history. Housed in Los Angeles' first power plant, last century's heavy machinery can still be seen from the restaurant. Meanwhile in the lounge, cleverly named drinks quench all types of thirsts, from Moscow Mules to pretty pink, girl cocktails. Happy hour is every Wednesday from 5-7, making drinks and delicious appetizers (truffled mac and cheese!) 40% off. Come prepared to drink, dance, and enjoy live music from jazz to swing, burlesque to soul. Bring your prohibition-era tolerance and your Gatsby-style cocktail dresses and bow ties.
A Classic
Karen Q. Jun 21, 2013
The Edison is a classic L.A hotspot set underground in downtown's alluring past. The Edison embraces its history as a power plant and does a very good job at preserving the industrial charm of the roaring 20's. Watching the bartenders create their signature cocktails are an art form and a genuine source of entertainment. I recommend the Tennessee Twist for all ginger lovers-yum! Snacks are delicious, a little pricey, but not too crazy. While browsing through this architectural eye candy, let your eyes wander up the ladders and watch the nonchalant burlesque dancers strut their stuff above the catwalk. Dancing and live music usually make their debut at some point throughout the night when you least expect them. Comfy leather couches, and dim lighting make this the ideal lounge for a classy night out. Remember to dress classy too since the do have a strict dress code.
This is a Pretty Smart Bar
Gerard Nash G. Jun 3, 2013
This is definitely a beautiful place to check out some good performance. It has a great atmosphere and good drinks, for those of you who want to relax from the busy weekday; it's a little pricey but it'll do. The service is friendly, efficient and, attentive and the snacks you can get, like the pretzel, are really delicious. Make sure to come during happy hour or you might find yourself spending a few too many bucks. Also, go early before 10 pm, otherwise you will be standing outside for an hour freezing your butt off. Good place and would definitely recommend.
Amazing upscale 1920’s bar hidden in Downtown Los Angeles
Joe H. May 29, 2013
Within the dim lit alley by the Higgins Building, there lies one of LA’s most upscale lounges called the Edison Bar, installed inside the old Edison Electric Company building. Hidden within the structure, past the smoke lounge, and after descending down three floors into the a dark basement, you will be taken back to the early days of the 1920s where cocktails flourish, live jazz bands played, silent movies being played on various walls, and servers dressed up in 1920’s outfits. The Edison has embraced and accentuated the 1920’s vibe from the waitresses’ wearing flappers to the 1920’s style Martini cocktail. Unfortunately, the drink prices are not from the 20th century; however, the bartenders do over-pour the alcohol to give you your money’s worth. The drink that sets this scene apart from other bars is something called Absinthe, which is sold by a pixie dressed as the Absinthe Fairy as she pushes her vintage cart through the old power plant. There are three choices Absinthe cocktails, where is placed within a glass “potion style” bottle ready to cause inebriation. There is also a Burlesque show, where dancers do a series of amazing moves on hanging ropes that must be seen while there. This venue has no cover charge; however, there is a strict dress code. Most of the gentlemen are wearing a collared shirt, slack, and dress shoes. The security guards strongly enforce the dress code; therefore, you will be sent you home if you are wearing sneakers or just a white t-shirt. The ladies are dressed to impress as well with their beautiful eclectic dresses; no flip-flops, no ripped jeans, or underwear showing. All in all, this bar is a must-go destination whether if you are going drinking or just hanging out with friends.
1920s Glitz and Glamour
Sarah K. May 5, 2013
If you’re looking for a swanky night out on the town, then this is the place for you. Tucked away underground prohibition-style, the Edison oozes 1920s glitz and glamour. Hit this bar up on a weekend and you’ll see silk acrobats performing stunning aerial routines. Make sure to find the Absinthe Fairy, who sells her wares throughout the night—it’s something you need to try at least once. The drinks are strong, but expensive if you order off their menu. If you’re on a budget, the best way to go is with well drinks. If it’s your first time, splurge on one of more fancy cocktails—it will round out the whole speakeasy experience. Come dressed to impress because the bouncers run a tight ship in terms of dress code. No baggy clothes, no jeans, and no tennis shoes for men! Check their website for full dress code information before you go so you’re not turned away at the door. The crowd can vary depending on the night, but on a Friday or Saturday, there will be a nice mix of twenty-somethings, as well as those that are in their forties or fifties. People come in small groups or even just as couples. The Edison is a good date spot, its dim lighting setting a romantic mood, but if you’re looking for a bar with a lot of open seating this place is not for you. Be prepared to pay for your seat, if you would rather not stand. The music, especially if it’s live, can be on the loud side, limiting conversation. It gets crowded as the night goes on, so get there early and stake out a claim. You’ll also avoid the line if you make it there before ten o’clock; after that, you could be waiting outside for up to an hour if it’s a weekend, and still have to pay a cover charge once you get inside. If The Edison sounds like your type of place, then be sure to pay it a visit. You will not be disappointed.
If Sexy and Swanky Is Your Style
Kristina S. Apr 17, 2013
Sometimes you are in the mood to strap on your heels, or as "Timberlake" would say, your "suit and tie," and have a high class evening. If this is the case, then the Edison is definitely for you. With a wonderfully rustic classy feel, you feel as though you embarked on an enchanted evening when entering the Edison. Plus, you feel beyond cool going to a bar hidden in a downtown alley. They only thing that would make it better would be arriving in a bat-mobile. For your first visit, I highly recommend checking their calendar dates for burlesque nights. It's a blast and it breaks the monotony of a typical bar night. The only downside is the cost. No surprises there. There is a cover, and the drinks are normal expensive for any city. All in all if you want a vacation from Buffalo Wild Wing type establishments, and you're feeling glamorous, check this spot out.
A spectacular speakeasy in a historical downtown building
Nick M. Apr 8, 2013
When you enter the doors and descend the staircase into the basement, you are greeted with a steampunk dream where past and future blend. Exposed pipes, old-fashioned boilers, and weathered leather make this one of the most unique bars in LA. Old movies are projected on the walls to complete the look. The Catalogue of Parts (menu) is as thick as a power plant instruction manual and just as detailed. Handcrafted cocktails, an extensive liquor list, and fantastic food make this a place you can spend the whole night. Also, don’t miss the wandering fairies bearing shots of absinthe. Prices are on the high side, but you can reserve a table with a $25 per person minimum during the week or $50 per person minimum on the weekend, which ain’t too bad. Definitely not to be missed.
Vintage Meets Modern
Ashley L. Mar 15, 2013
I had been wanting to try The Edison since I first heard my friend rave about it a few years ago. I am a sucker for historic buildings, and a venue that was located in the basement of an old power plant sounded too good to be true! While planning my best friends bachelorette party, I decided that The Edison would be the perfect place to go. The bride and the bridal party are not usually fond of loud, crowded clubs with pulsing music and strobe lights, and from what i had heard about The Edison, it seemed like the perfect ambiance. Parking was a bit tricky, but we found a free lot across the street. It was a bit of a hike, in heels, but I expect that from Downtown LA. We were all a little confused about where the actual location was. We were queued up along 2nd Street, but when it came our time to be let in, we were led to an entrance down an alley. It seemed a little sketchy, but those thoughts vanished as soon as we stepped inside. We walked into the upstairs lobby, and were met with breathtaking architecture and period decorations. I felt like I stepped into The Great Gatsby. A hostess dressed in a flapper dressed took our cover fee ($10.00 for a Sunday night) and led us down the staircase. We were all in awe at the basement. The dim lighting coupled with the flicker of sepia toned projected film on the walls gave off a very vintage feel. The furniture, which was scattered around the main floor in intimate seating arrangements, furthered the vintage vibe. The decorations and light fixtures were an interesting twist of industrial and art deco, which lent to a very Steampunk vibe, which was pretty great. The main bar was very long, and hosted a dizzying assortment of spirits. We arrived around 10:30 on a Sunday evening, and The Edison was packed. There was a burlesque show happening, so we all crowded around the small stage to watch the show. It was a great vibe having a burlesque show inside such a vintage setting. After the show, we waded through the crowd to the bar, where I ordered drinks for the bachelorette party. Five drinks (three mixed, one whiskey, and one scotch) set me back about $70.00. A mixed drink for $13.00 seemed a bit pricey to me, but the atmosphere made it a little easier to hand over the money. My merry group and I sought out a place where all of us could sit, or stand, and enjoy our drinks, but the place was packed, and every available table and seat were taken. We made our way back to the bar area, and found a few chairs open and took advantage of them. As we sat, a hostess dressed as a fairy was making her way through the crowd pushing a cart with little bottles of absinthe. I had to have one! We flagged her down and forked over $8.00 for tiny, cork topped, vile of absinthe. The absinthe was mixed with hibiscus juice to take away the bitter, licorice flavor, and it was a tasty shot! And, we all kept the little bottle as a keepsake. As the night wore on, it the venue became much more crowded, and it became difficult to get a drink in a timely manner. The music had changed from electronic fused with jazz (which was an interesting combination, but it worked really well and was catchy) to typical club music. We decided to move the bachelorette party elsewhere, and left. Overall, I found The Edison an amazing venue. The drinks were made well, though a bit on the pricey side. I fell in love with the decor and the ambiance, and I am looking forward to visiting again. This time, I will most likely plan my visit for a weekday to avoid the crowds.
An Atmospheric Hidden Gem
Joseph W. Feb 19, 2013
It really is quite something to walk into this place for the first time. Walking down the main staircase with the deep chasm of people below you, the black and white projected movies, the brass and chrome gadgetry - it feels like you're making an entrance into a high budget Steampunk movie. The idea is 1920's, and whilst the clientele are often dressed to impress, it is not as formal as it sounds. You'll find local office workers taking advantage of the thirty five cent martinis (and no, that's not a typo) alongside style conscious mid twenty/ thirty somethings and the odd group of people who really take the whole thing seriously. And it's great. There is a lively dance floor, and earlier in the evening there are bands that do their job very well - namely to get as many people as possible attempting Jazz Age dance moves. Further in, there are brass and chrome ante-chambers with winged chairs and all manner of ephemera. In terms of decor and architecture, there isn't really any other eye candy like it in downtown L.A. So it's a great time and you certainly won't be bored - so why not full marks? Nothing disastrous at all - but the Edison does serve food, and it's expensive and not great. But this really shouldn't affect your night - just don't plan on dinner here. Apart from that, the service is friendly, the clientele are civilized without being dull, and you can justify getting dressed up. It's an overused expression, but in this case it's justified - the Edison is unique.
Funky lounge with 1920's flare and historical power plant achitecture
Lisa W. Jan 25, 2013
I have gone to the Edison on various occasions and always have had an enjoyable time. The scene is dim lighting, 30+ professional crowd. The ambiance is waitresses dressed in flapper costumes, a green fairy that peddles glowing shots of absinthe and sporadic encounters with dancers and aerial performers. My favorite is a duo that performs on silks. I was really inspired by their performance to learn how to do it even though it looks tough. Despite enjoying the atmosphere and shows, it is disruptive that the bouncer keeps clearing people out of the way hourly. There are few seats unless you are willing to pay $50 per person to sit in a reserved section. This place isn't a dance spot, so standing around can get old. The drinks cost a hefty $15 + tax and you're down about $20 several gulps later, beware! I recommend going on Wednesday-Thursday from 5-7pm to enjoy the 35 cent martini and 40% of cocktails. Overall, a cool place to check out the underground power plant and enjoy the show!
Beautiful Venue
Olivia C. Dec 3, 2012
If you are looking to take a trip back in time than this is most definitely the bar for you. Waitresses in flapper get ups surround you taking you back to the nineteen twenties. I really enjoyed myself hear and love how friendly all the staff was. The Generator lounge is out of this world for big groups and parties. I was lucky enough to score an invite to this incredible and exclusive party. If you can get reservations I highly recommend this place for any event. Definitely worth every penny, maybe have a few extra drinks just in case though.
Trashed in Vaudeville
Matthieu K. Nov 29, 2012
The Edison: A Review The Space: Incredible. Few places in Los Angeles feel like they've literally transported you somewhere, the Edison does just that. While everyone knows of themed bars, none create a genuine atmosphere for the theme they're going for. From the dangling chandelier that casts an ambient glow over the central staircase, to the gorgeous central bar, the sumptuous quilted leather seats, and the array of industrial era power generators littered around the Edison, the place feels utterly unique. The Edison is generously spacious so you never really feel like you're fending off some person just to get another Mistress (a cocktail) from the bar. The Vibe: Mixed. As someone that has been to The Edison many, many times the place definitely always has a different feel depending on who is there/time. Sometimes, if you're able to make it around opening time, you get the after-work crowd, suited up guys with the notches in their ties loosened, a sprinkling of other professionals and the occasional tourist. If you go anytime after 8 it can either have a pretty good crowd, or be moderately dead. The weekend tends to attract a larger crowd, thus bringing, the douchebags. Depending on the act or show of the evening there will be a DJ spinning music. Music never feels overwhelming and you can typically have a conversation without screaming at each other. The crowd does get more excited and en pointe when they have specific acts. I definitely recommend Lyndsay and the All Nighters who do covers of classic hits, and new work as well; Think, Ella Fitzgerald covers with an immediate jump into Amy Winehouse single (and it's amazing). The vibe does hark back to the bygone roaring 20s and vaudeville days of yore, and overall, it works, the theme definitely pulls you to that time. Just try to ignore the occasional person randomly wearing sneakers and an offensive shirt. Food & Bev: Right off the bat, I'll say don't expect culinary nirvana if you decide to eat here. The best plates are usually the simple classics that can't be ruined: Sliders, French / Sweet Potato fries (the latter are quite tasty), Mac & Cheese, Tomato Soup, Grilled Cheese. The desserts in particular are quite good. Very, very good. Get all of them, trust me. Of course one doesn't really go to the Edison to eat (I do!), you go for the drinks. Since the Edison is a very particular place, they're going to charge you a particular price for drinks, usually in excess of $10. Their namesake drink is very good, ditto the Mistress, double ditto on the Secretariat and just for the hell of it, triple ditto on the Bobby Burns. I find that all the drinks there are reliable, as a typical Manhattan drinker, they know how to make those well, too. One of the easiest ways to ensure a comfortable experience while at the Edison is to make reservations the night you intend to go. Be aware, there is a per head minimum. Which is easily taken care of with two drinks (usually). If you make a reservation, you get a table so that you have some much needed real estate to plop yourself down and enjoy a drink. Overall: Unique. If you're going to tell anyone about a bar, it should be the Edison. As trite as it sounds, it's a pretty cool place. Definitely worth the visit purely for the sake of novelty. Oftentimes the experience will be well worth it because so much effort has gone into perfecting every element of the Edison.
Go during HH or with a group
Jackie D. Nov 25, 2012
As soon as you descend the industrial staircase into the cavernous main area of the Edison you enter a different era. The space that the Edison took over was the old electricity plant in LA, and the designer did an incredible job incorporating some of the old machinery to give the bar a secretive speak easy vibe. That's the about the only part that resembles a speak easy, however, because the space is enormous. I've gone on busy and slow days, and I have to say that when the space is only half full it can be a little awkward. It's fun to go on busy nights though, but be prepared to wait in line during peak hours. It's best if you reserve a table during happy hour (for free) and then stay on through the night. If you want a table at night, expect to pay $50/person. There can be a lot of industry/finance douche bags, but that's what I've come to expect from LA's bar scene. This can be ignored, however, if you show up with a group of friends. Then you can really enjoy yourself and ignore the douchey scene around you.
Equal parts cool and douche
Chris K. Nov 16, 2012
So, the Edison. Well. There's all the cool old-timey Industrial Revolution machinery around the place. There are the half-decent mixology drinks, all of which seem somewhat original. And hey, a girl in a Green Fairy outfit wheeling around a cart full of little bottles of absinthe--that's fun! Original! Meanwhile, the line is long and full of people who have a friend who know the owner or some such nonsense, and the inside is filled with douches--rude, pushy, misogynistic douches who roll with crews of other douches who look exactly like them, as though they divide like cells the more Cuervo they drink. I'm glad I came here to experience this place, but its Jumbo's from now on, thank you very much.
Love It!
Dana R. Nov 12, 2012
My former co-workers took me here a few years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since! From the outside it looks like a dismal, utilitarian brick building, but the inside is nothing short of a delight for the senses! The designers of The Edison somehow found a way to create a chic, sophisticated space that lacks that familiar you’re-not-cool-enough-to-be-in-this-bar feeling. The attire ranges from office casual to After 5, and ladies, it’s the perfect place to rock your favorite LBD. If you have an aversion to large crowds you might want to check the place out on a Thursday night. The crowd is just as awesome, and you might even be able to get a seat at the bar!
Fantastic space, but pricey and don't expect to sit
Sammie S. Nov 7, 2012
The review about feeling like Alice falling down the rabbit hole is spot on. Walking through the alley way and down the stairs into a cavernous boiler room turned bar and lounge makes Los Angeles feel like a distant memory. But once you take in the looming ceilings, incandescent light bulbs chandeliers, silent film projections and the traveling absinthe fairy, you'll realize most people are awkwardly standing at the bar because there's nowhere else to go. So grab a slightly overpriced (but uber fancy) cocktail and hit the dance floor because honestly, it's not worth wasting your time yelling over the loud music to hold a conversation. Remember to dress appropriately because there is a dress code, but there is some latitude in what you'll see others wearing. Outfits run the gamut from button downs and little black dresses to costumes straight out of a 1920s speakeasy. This is one of the few downtown bars that feels welcoming to all ages (as a fresh college graduate it's easy to feel young and out of place at some of the other nearby bars). Just know you'll spend the first 20 minutes or so standing in awe of the space. Snap out of it and go grab yourself a drink!
Old meets the new
Monique L. Oct 23, 2012
Early century nostalgia combined with today’s bar/lounge makes The Edison a great venue for evening cocktails. The Edison is one of those nights out where you get dressed up and sip a martini while perched on some dark, industrial furniture from the 1920s. Adding to its allure are the fairies walking around selling shots and other live performances like hoop aerialists which give the place a unique feel.
Cool Venue, Pretentious Crowd
Christina C. Oct 6, 2012
Here's my problem with The Edison... the people suck. Don't get me wrong, the venue is incredible. The feeling of being inside The Edison is comparable to what it would feel like falling down the rabbit hole in Alice and Wonderland and ending up in some weird fantastical world. You'll often find aerial performers and acrobats dangling from the ceiling on hoops or ribbons. And the eclectic decor of this bar is arguably the most visually appealing in the city. But The Edison attracts some of the most pretentious Hollywood elite, giving the bar an uncomfortable, competitive atmosphere. It's difficult to walk around without noticing how hyper-aware people are, trying to emulate this false sense of perfection. While some people enjoy this type of competitive "look at me" atmosphere, I would not recommend going here if you're just trying to get a drink and relax.
Where you bring out-of-town guests
Lyle B. Oct 5, 2012
This is probably the most visually impressive bar, not just in downtown, but all of Los Angeles. Located in the basement of what used to be a power plant, it's a wide open, cavernous space dominated by the industrial equipment of its former incarnation. It feels like you're transported back in time. If you want to impress a girl, clients, or out-of-town guests, this is the place. Be forewarned: there's a dress code. For guys, I don't think it's collared shirts and no distressed jeans. Cocktails are also expensive but, in my opinion, worth it (they have an absinthe cocktail that $20+, if memory serves). There's also a happy hour where you can get a martini for a little more than a quarter, so my advice is to load up on those first. They keep the lighting pretty dark, too, which is nice since everyone looks pretty attractive, even the ugly people.
Groovy Place
Nick G. Oct 4, 2012
Most of my recent reviews have been "must gos" and The Edison is no exception. I was skeptical of a trip downtown just to have a drink but I am very happy to have "discovered" this place. A cool place to hang with a small group, a big party or to bring a date. With a cool crowd and cool staff The Edison provides a welcome respite from the typical LA fare. This is also a worthwhile trips for history and architecture buffs. A crowd pleaser for the neophyte or long time LA resident. Put on your finest and check it out now!
Great experience
Alejandra V. Sep 21, 2012
This is a very beautiful bar with typical high priced drinks. I went on a Thursday and they had live performers. I should have done my research before going because I would have loved to dress in 1920’s attire. People are encouraged to do so but if you do not wish to play dress up make sure that you are dressed to impress. Even on a Thursday night most males were dressed in suits and ties. The staff is very kind and the doormen are not the typical rude doormen one would expect a bar like this to have. The lights are dimmed which makes it a perfect place for a date or a casual night out. Don’t expect to have a wild night with nonstop dancing at The Edison. The Décor is great and you find yourself admiring many of the equipment kept which was once used in the 1920’s. The bartenders are polite and fast at making your drinks unlike most places where one spends most of their time trying to get the bartenders’ attention. Best part was that as I stood watching the live performers a girl passed by me accidently spilling my drink. I was shocked that a staff member handed me a free drink card, handed me a napkin, took my glass and quickly began cleaning the spilled drink from the floor. The Edison has great customer service. Only complaint is that the entrance is in an alley which is kind of creepy and makes it easy to miss.
Incredible atmosphere
Nikki L. Sep 12, 2012
This place is amazing. It's spacious and dramatic and everyone is always dressed up! There are lots of rooms and installations and just pretty things to look at. It's great for special occasions with large parties of people. And of course, the drinks. Plus close proximity to a lot of cheaper bars downtown! The Edison is 1920s-themed, and they like people to at least make an effort to look like they're playing the part. It's a pretty strict dress code of business casual, no sandals, no shirts without collars, no shorts. Maybe some other things. Don't worry, I don't think you can be over-dressed in this place. In addition to the clothing, there used to be an amazing 35-cent cocktail hour every week (that's three cocktails for a dollar!), but, sorry to say, it doesn't look like that's around anymore. Happy hour is still 40%-off cocktails or half-off wine bottles.
A blast from the past
Len B. Aug 17, 2012
The Edison is probably one of my favorite places to enjoy a liberating libation in Los Angeles for a few reasons. First, the location. Downtown LA never gets the respect it sorely deserves thanks to other areas of the city stealing the shine (here's looking at you Hollywood, etc.), but lately the area has been undergoing a sort of rejuvenation that fits well with this gem of a watering hole. Second, the decor. You almost feel as if you stepped back into the Prohibition era, with the bar retaining most of its precious artifacts from its past as downtown LA's first private power plant. Dancers and bartenders give you that classic vibe while walking through the venue and if you're lucky, you might be able to catch an old flick within their walls. Third, attendance. It's not hard to enjoy a slice of early 20th century as the doormen are pretty easy going as long as you come dressed business casual. That means no sneakers, t-shirts and other commonly worn attire. The people usually range from mid-20s to a more older crowd, but everyone seems to blend in just fine. I'm guessing the atmosphere has something to do with it. If you're looking for a good cocktail with a nostalgic speakeasy ambiance, then The Edison if for you.
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