You’ve walked through the tourist trap of Hollywood and Highland. You’ve made it to the third floor of the mega complex and found your way into the less celebrated side entrance to the Chinese Theater. You’ve finally landed. You’re now at the Darkside Bar Hollywood.
For those who planned their outing ahead of time, the prepaid $33 entrance is already settled so check-in merely requires a name for entrance. Jedi mind tricks will not work here, you will have to show your identification to prove you are 21 or older. Once you do, you’ll get your two galactic credits in the form of wooden coins that you can trade in at one of two bars inside for one drink custom cocktail each.
The space is small. It’s a tiny lounge wedged into a small space. It’s a pop-up bar and it certainly feels it. It doesn’t really look permanent but it has enough flair to give you the sense of being in the hallway of the Death Star. And we literally mean a hallway. The space is quite literally like one of the maze-like walkways of an Imperial Cruiser. Comfy seats flank the walls for most of the length of the bar with glowing cubes serving as cocktail tables. The main bar welcomes you at the front and a smaller satellite bar at the back serves the same drinks with out the fancy glassware.
A DJ in the center spins classic hits from the 70s and 80s and the lax dress code which encourages costumes creates a unique Comic-Con-esque vibe. Nerds, cocktails, and Storm Troopers.
And then there’s the drinks. A limited selection is available with custom cocktails themed to your favorite galaxy far, far away. There is a good variety to please most palettes and — thank the maker — are they strong. Just two drinks was certainly enough to almost start to feel the weightlessness of floating around in the Outer Rim.
The Signature Cocktails will all set you back $16 or you can use your galactic credit coins. House cocktails are all $12, Top Shelf $14, Beer and Wine from $6 – $10. Here’s the selection made available to us:
- Red Force is served in a spherical glass with a red glow cube with chunks of dry ice and filled with Vodka, Peach Schnapps, and Pineapple Juice. It was a favorite in our group.
- Blue Force is similarly sold in a spherical class with a blue glow cube and dry ice, filled with Gin, Lemon, and Blue Curacao. Didn’t get to try this one.
- Dark Side is a delightful blend of Whiskey, Coke, Lime Juice, and Blackbery Liquer. Super taste
- Galaxy is a safe concoction of Vodka, Cranberry Juice and Triple Sec. Nothing fancy here but it tasted good.
- Imperial packed a wollop with Spiced Rum, Lemon Juice, Maple Syrup, and Cayenne powder. We’re fairly certain you could startup the Millenium Falcon with just half a glass.
Although the website refers to burlesque acts and themed eats… that does NOT apply to the Hollywood location. These two features would have made a huge difference to the experience which otherwise felt pretty standard. The vibe was upbeat yet relaxed.
We had a great time with a group of friends and certainly did not regret the decision to visit but for the price, you should adjust expectations that the Darkside Bar Hollywood is really more a themed lounge than any sort of special Star Wars experience. Similar drinks within a decent walk from here will easily set you back $12 to $15 each so the $33 prepaid entrance fee seemed a little more tolerable once you throw in the two cocktail credits. You have to pick a reservation time to enter and yes they do flush the bar out in-between sessions… so don’t arrive late!
Alas, the lack of any extras really makes it hard to call this a MUST-SEE but if you’ve got some great Star Wars Disney Bounds and are looking for a good place to rock out some Instagram-worthy shots you’ll find some good times to be had here.