The NBA season is finally in full swing and there is no better city to be a basketball fan in than Los Angeles. Hosting both the Lakers and the Clippers, The STAPLES Center in DTLA is the ultimate sports arena. So next time you are down in the L.A. Live area to cheer on Blake Griffin or Brandon Ingram, head into one of these six hotspots for a pregame drink or dinner.
Katsuya L.A. Live
Japanese hotspot Katsuya brings its signature sushi and creative cocktails downtown to L.A. Live. The chic Philippe Starck–designed space is the perfect place to indulge in a decadent dinner before the game. To start off the night, show your team pride by ordering a Lakers or Clippers themed cocktail, only available on home game nights. The Lob City Cocktail (Clippers) is made with Avion tequila, sayuri sake, lime juice, lychee syrup while the Purple & Gold Sour (Lakers) is made with Knob Creek, lemon juice, simple syrup and red wine float.
There is even a Kings cocktail, The Kings Ice, for the next time you hit up a hockey game. These off-the-menu drinks are the restaurant’s best kept secret for die-hard fans. Moving on to the food menu, go raw and nosh on their famous crispy rice with spicy tuna. If you are more of a meaty, order from the hot dinner menu with delicious dishes such as wagyu tobanyaki and chicken teriyaki.
800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-747-9797, katsuyarestaurant.com/lalive, @katsuyabysbe
Across the street from The STAPLES Center sits Tom’s Urban, a sprawling gastropub that serves up 28 beers on tap and an all-day American menu. Munch on prime rib sliders or lemon rosemary tots while toasting to a win. And if you get carried away and miss the tip off live, don’t panic. You don’t have to miss a minute of the game thanks to Tom’s collection of big screen TVs.
1011 S. Figueroa St., B 101, Los Angeles (213) 746-8667, Tomsurban.com, @tomsurbanla
Cleo L.A. Live
Cleo, sbe’s Mediterranean hotspot in Hollywood, has another location down at L.A. Live, serving up a pregame experience all its own. The 8,000 square foot venue, designed by Wendy Haworth, boasts both indoor and outdoor space and an open kitchen spotlighting a wood-burning oven. Also unique to this location; breakfast, Sunday brunch, lunch and dinner are available, along with exclusive new menu items.
For eats, start with the babaganoush or the mushroom flatbread before moving on to lamb shawarma or Harissa tuna tartare. And be sure to order a drink from Cleo L.A. Live’s acclaimed cocktail program like the signature Cleo Kiss made with gin, crushed cucumber, pomegranate juice, fresh lime and splash of prosecco.
800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles (424) 888-7818, Cleorestaurant.com, @cleorestaurant
gLAnce Lobby Bar
Located inside the JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE, gLAnce Lobby Bar is famous for serving up global wines, domestic and international beers and clever cocktails. Try their Bleu Elyx Martini made with Absolut Elyx, olive brine and Santa Barbara bleu cheese olives or the Silver Lining made with Woodford Reserve double oaked, Domaine de Canton, Cointreau simple syrup and fresh lemon juice. gLAnce is also a good place to grab a drink after the game as they stay open late (til 1 a.m Sunday – Thursday and midnight Friday – Saturday).
900 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-216-3390, Lalive.com, @jwlalive
A sophisticated sports bar with an innovative New American menu, Yard House is always buzzing before the big games. The venue boasts a beer menu of over 100 types from local and imported breweries including their Chalkboard Series, a rotating selection of drafts selected monthly. Right now our favorite brews include the Firestone Luponic Distortion from Paso Robles, California and Big Sky Moose Drool from Missoula, Montana. Enjoy them with some shareable snacks like deviled eggs, jerk wings or Wisconsin fried cheese curds.
800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-745-9273, Yardhouse.com, @yardhouse
Hyde Lounge at STAPLES Center
Hyde Lounge at STAPLES Center is truly a one of a kind, VIP suite experience. Opens one hour before all NBA and NHL games and concerts, the 4,000 square-foot space located on suite level C inside the arena is complete with three bars, ledge and tufted couch seating, a dancehall and a private “VIP Room.” Floating LCD TV screens, rosewood walls and in-seat service provide a pristine viewing environment for any sporting event or concert.
Hyde Lounge serves up specialty cocktails created by renowned mixologists and chef curated menu. Celebs including Joe Manganiello, Lea Michele, Chris Evans, Seth Rogen, Serayah, Minka Kelly, Big Sean and Derek Hough have all been spotted hanging out here. We think this beats a courtside seat any day.
1111 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, 323-330-8018, hydestaples.com, @hydestaples