Art Deco Rooftop Bar Provides More Than Spectacular Sunset Views
Sometimes, you find a party or a good time when or where you least expect it.
You stumble upon it like a finding your golf ball in the fairway. Or it surprises you like the always-cheap guy who suddenly buys a round.
And that is how I wound up having a great night at the rooftop bar at the Shangri-La Hotel in Santa Monica.
It’s a little Art Deco place on Ocean Ave., with a high, unobstructed view of the vast Pacific Ocean. It is particularly fetching at sunset. There’s a similar view down the street at the Huntley Hotel, but that place is enclosed in glass and, with its all-white decor, acts as if it wants to be in Hollywood instead of Santa Monica.
Shangri-La has a rooftop patio, part of which is enclosed with a fire pit, for when the sun sets in Southern California, it does get chilly.
I was coming back from the Northern Trust LA Open on a Saturday with a friend when he suggested we swing by there for a Stella and the sunset. I wasn’t expecting much in the area of mingling because it was becoming a bit overcast. Still, it sounded good to me.
The bar itself is small but the potential for mingling, as it turns out, is huge. It took mere moments before I met two girls and wound up chatting on the deck with them for quite some time. One was visiting from Switzerland and guess where I’m going this spring? I now have a date when I arrive in Zurich!
We were joined by a couple on their first date; the girl was at least 5-fee-7, about 5-feet-6 of that being legs. She was wearing shorts that were shorter than Daisy Dukes and it took quite a bit of concentration to keep from staring at them as she sat next to us. The girls even commented on her legs a few times, which made things warmer than than the fire pit.
The friend whom I came with was not sitting with us for some reason, so when I reached the bottom of my Stella I went inside to refill and check to on him. Not that I was concerned about him or his whereabouts – he’s pretty good on his feet and can certainly take care of himself alone in a bar – but I was at least curious as to his whereabouts.
No worries. He was fine. He was sitting with two girls.
Eventually, my ladies left and I joined the new trio. One girl turned out to be a wild child. The more she drank the more crazed she became, and the next thing I knew, we were in a cab headed to a Mexican restaurant for margaritas! This had all the markings of “one of those nights.”
As it turned out, the crazy girl shut it down when she got in the confines of a familiar place and the night ended, alas, peacefully.
But I’m still in touch with the Switzerland girl and that is my Shangri-La experience at the Shangri-La.