There are always new places popping up in LA and some last the test of time, while others fail quickly. It is hard to say why some fail and some succeed, but if I had to place a bet, I would say The Nice Guy is here to stay.
The Nice Guy is a restaurant/lounge owned by the h.wood group, the same owners as Bootsy Bellows, Hooray Henry’s, Shore Bar and Blind Dragon. It opened it’s doors on August 22 of this year and I finally got around to giving it a try.
Upon entering this local haunt, I was surprised at how small the venue actually is, but the intimate setting really lends itself for interaction among guests. The throw-back, mafia inspired, neighborhood joint is like entering a time warp into the good ole days. There is a bar, with top notch mixologists pouring eclectic drinks, one of which is even served in a flask. You can order food at the countertop and enjoy one of the delicious dishes while grabbing a cocktail, or wait for your reservation at one of the banquettes. There are also two tables in the middle of the room with more lounge like seating to hold a small gathering of friends for a party or fun night out.
There is an area in the corner kept for singers and bands, which progresses into a DJ as the night matures, enticing customers to dance the rest of the night away and endulge in some good old fashion fun. The vibe is cool, young, hip, fresh, and inviting, unlike many of the venues in Hollywood. The cool kids hang here, and I want to be one of them.
The menu features items like meatballs with burratta, pizza, scallops, kale chips, and truffle fries. The food is comforting and gourmet all at the same time. The service is on point and there is never any pressure to quickly flip the table, which is refreshing for a change.
I will for sure be back and bring my friends, but make sure to always call ahead because it is reservation only. Don’t miss the photo booth in the back, so you can accurately capture the fact that you were there.
The Nice Guy is located at 401 N La Cienega Blvd 310-360-9500. http://www.theniceguyla.com