Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

The Varnish

118 E. Sixth St. (S. Main St.) Send to Phone
213-622-4090
A speakeasy-style bar tucked away inside Cole's downtown.

Cuisine
Open
Open nightly
Features

* Click here for rating key

The Varnish, Los Angeles, CA

The Varnish Restaurant Review

: This speakeasy-style bar is tucked away inside Cole’s, the historic downtown restaurant famous for their French dip sandwiches. To find it, walk to the back of Cole’s, where there’s a plain door with a small sign on it listing the bar’s hours. A maître d' will either lead you to a table or place your name on a wait list, since this small bar can get quite crowded. Inside, dim lighting reveals a bar with a few stools, wood tables, benches covered with leather cushions, black and white photos on the walls, and a white tiled floor. A piano sits alongside the booths, and live music is featured Sunday through Tuesday nights. The drink menu sits on a clipboard facing the wall, listing a few craft cocktails that rotate with the seasons. The bartenders can also create a custom-made cocktail according to your flavor and spirit preferences. Unique two-by-three-inch ice cubes, which are cut by a chainsaw from a large block of ice, keep drinks cold without diluting their potency. The Varnish also has beer, wine and house-made punches.
Discover LA's must-have dishes
6 Dishes in LA You Must Try Right Now

Check out these LA restaurants where just one dish is worth the trip. These mouth-watering menu items will keep you coming back for more.



2017 RESTAURANT AWARDS

GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Awards honor America's best chefs, as well as promising newcomers and a top restaurateur.