Mood lighting? Check. Celebrity sightings? Check. Bare-legged, high-heeled model types? Check. It’s 9 p.m. on a Saturday night inside Doheny Room.
Sandwiched between two landmarks, the Troubadour music venue and Dan Tana’s restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard where West Hollywood meets Beverly Hills, the lounge-like eatery has quickly become the area’s newest spot to see and be seen since its soft opening in late April. Alicia Vikander, Chris Brown, Caroline Vreeland, Vanessa Hudgens with Ashley Tisdale – and, fascinatingly, Keanu Reeves with Winona Ryder – have all been spotted.
It’s been the setting of choice for various occasions, particularly birthday parties (Malin Åkerman, Molly Sims, Stevie Wonder), as well as special events, like Nick Jonas's secret acoustic show for Creative Recreation’s Sole Sessions. Last weekend brought out Kourtney Kardashian; on this particular night, there’s David Spade and The Game.
The front entrance is open and airy – almost in the style of a Moroccan riad – and a U-shaped interior balcony overlooks the lower level of the two-story restaurant, where upside down palm tree decorations with twisted rope as tree trunks hang from the ceiling like chandeliers.
“It has a European meets California, farmhouse feel,” says Doheny Room’s director of nightlife Nick Montealegre of the architecture and decor, designed by Rockwell Group. And somehow, his unusual description makes sense. The exterior feels very art deco, with its bold blue-green, geometric front; but the interior, also rich in colors, features floor-to-ceiling windows and oversized, light wood shutter treatments. There’s a mid-century modernist touch with upscale finishes and a profusion of greenery throughout.
By 11:00 p.m., Doheny Room’s downstairs is packed, as guests with reservations carry on their late-night dinners, and others mingle around the central, open-air bar – a commanding, pièce de résistance of sorts. The main action is upstairs, however, where a DJ spins and bottle service begins to flow – though access isn’t guaranteed. Newcomers looking to head up the steps are confronted with a bouncer and told they need a stamp.
“You have to go outside and around,” he says, pointing to the front door
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