We don’t drink, but we love Black Russians—so bartender Igor is reason enough to frequent the Vampire Lounge. Open for a few short weeks, it solves the problem of where to meet a friend in BH for non-chain coffee (the espresso is strong and sultry) in mid-afternoon or for a glass of wine anytime till 2 a.m.
Owner Michael Machat, an entertainment attorney, has conjured an intimate-yet-convivial spot that’s at once cozy and chic. (Head for the velvety couches upstairs for an intimate tête-a-tête or make a new friend at the eight-seat bar downstairs.) The vampire motif is taken one step too far—the “wines from Transylvania” tag veers perilously into corndom—but becomes easy to overlook from sip one.
The proprietary wines, all from California vintners, are smashing: the Pinot Noir is full-bodied and fantastic, the Cabernet fruit and fine. But we’re really mad for Je t’Aime, a sparkler from almost-Champagne –divoon!
Small plates (caviar and blini, smoked salmon) will be introduced in early summer. Added bonus: specially blended coffee blends to take home are beyond robust; the French Roast had us at “bonjour.” But then again, so did everything about this much-needed, marvy new space. Salut!
Vampire Lounge and Tasting Room is located at 9865 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.826.7473