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Los Angelians Are Going Out Less, Ordering Fewer Drinks,
Watching Prices More / Hotel Bel-Air Wins for Top Appeal
Zagat Nightlife Survey

NEW YORK, July 1, 2009 - Zagat Survey today released the results of its ninth annual Los Angeles Nightlife survey. Given the troubled economy, it's not surprising that surveyors say they're going out less often than last year. What is shocking is that 54% of them say this, while only 13% report going out more. And when asked how the economy is affecting their nightlife habits, 33% of surveyors say that they are more attentive to drink prices when ordering and 32% are going to less expensive places.

Based on the thoughts and opinions of over 1,750 locals, the new guide covers 253 bars, clubs, and lounges in the Los Angeles area. 

Ratings and reviews are also available on and via ZAGAT TO GO(TM) -- Zagat's mobile application for iPhone, BlackBerry and handhelds.

"Our survey results are enough to give a bartender a hangover," said Tim Zagat, CEO of Zagat Survey. "However, people continue to enjoy LA bars, clubs and lounges -- they are just being smarter about where and how to spend their money."

Booze Bailout: The average cost of a drink in Los Angeles is up an annualized 4.7% from the last survey to $11.66, making LA one of the most expensive cities for nightlife, ahead of cities like New York ($11.27) and San Francisco($9.88). With surveyors reporting an average tab of $47.46 for one night of drinking, it is no surprise that 30% of Angelenos report ordering fewer drinks.

Best Buys: Aside from the ultra-exclusive, ultra-expensive bars and clubs, there are still some great values to be had in LA - values that the 23% of surveyors who are ordering less expensive drinks can appreciate. This year's top Bang for the Buck is Intelligentsia, a hip coffee shop in Silver Lake. Dive bars Ercole's and Bar 107 follow at No. 2 and 3, substituting luxe decor with pool tables, jukeboxes, 80's video games and photo booths. Rounding out the top twenty are:
1. Intelligentsia
2. Ercole's
3. Bar 107
4. Tom Bergin's
5. Bigfoot Lodge
6. Laurel Tavern
7. McCabe's
8. Coach & Horses
9. Short Stop
10. York
11. Griffin
13. Bordello
14. Echo/Echoplex
15. Library Alehouse
16. Spaceland
17. Drawing Room
18. HMS Bounty
19. Cock 'n Bull
20. Casey's Irish
Raise Your Glasses: This year's winner for Top Appeal and Top Service is the Hotel Bel-Air Bar, whose "serene" lounge and "spectacular" staff has earned it top ratings. Following close behind are Association, Polo Lounge, Mastro's Steak and Edison Lounge. 

With two locations (Santa Monica and Culver City), Father's Office has grabbed the title of Most Popular in this year's survey. The winner for Top Decor is Edison Lounge, whose "1920's industrial" style sets it apart in the Downtown area. 

Additional category winners include:
After Work - Standard (Downtown)
Beer Specialists - Laurel Tavern
Celeb-Sightings - Polo Lounge
Dance Clubs - Elevate
Dives - Burgundy Room
Fine Food Too - Polo Lounge
Gay/Lesbian - Abbey
Live Music Clubs - Club Nokia
Sports Bars - Tom Bergin's
Wine Bars - Lou
Local Stars: Zagat surveyors named Hollywood both as the hottest and as the most overrated neighborhood for nightlife this year. Whether surveyors love it or hate it, they can't deny Hollywood's vitality. Some of this year's garish openings include the celeb-filled Bardot, eco-friendly Ecco, swank Halo and MyHouse and the "80's warehouse dance party" interior of h.wood. Downtown has added to its nightlife resume, welcoming Corkbar, the affordableMust and speakeasy-esque The Association, which made its debut at No. 2 for Appeal in this survey.

What a Wine-o: During the week, wine is the drink of choice, by a 35% plurality of surveyors. In response, Hollywood's Lou offers an ever-evolving wine list, Salute Wine Bar in Santa Monica has self-serve wine dispensers and Venice's Otheroom offers beer and champagne as well. In a major turnabout, on weekends, 67% of surveyors favor mixed drinks, quenching their thirst at cocktail specialists such as Bar Marmont and ADBC (both in West Hollywood), or Peninsula Hotel Club Bar in Beverly Hills, among others.

The Guide: The ninth edition of Los Angeles Nightlife ($6.95) is, like all Zagat guides, made by consumers for consumers. In addition to Top Lists for Popularity, Appeal, Decor, Service and Best Buys, the guide includes lists for Key Newcomers, as well as indexes by special feature and location. Los Angeles Nightlife was edited by Gary Baumand Bill Corsello. The guide is available at bookstores and other retail outlets, through or by calling 888-371-5440. Content is also available online at and on mobile devices via and ZAGAT TO GO(TM) for iPhone(TM), BlackBerry and smartphones.

About Zagat Survey, LLC
Known as the "burgundy bible," Zagat Survey is the world's most trusted source for information about where to eat, drink, stay and play around the globe, and as such has become a symbol of quality. Zagat Survey rates and reviews airlines, restaurants, hotels, nightlife, movies, music, golf, resorts, shopping, spas and a range of other entertainment categories in more than 100 countries. It has been lauded as the "most up-to-date, comprehensive and reliable guides ever published" and as "a necessity second only to a valid credit card." Zagat content is available in print, on the web, on the mobile web, iPhone, BlackBerry and on TV. For more information, visit


Zagat Survey

Also See: Zagat Survey Reports Sobering NYC Nightlife Still The Big Apple Is a Great Place to Party / June 2009



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