I remember in high school reading the book, The Great Gatsby and being fascinated with what F. Scott Fitzgerald idea of “something new- something extraordinary beautiful and simple and intriquetly patterned.” Those words from F. Scott Fitzgerald literally came to life when I walked into The Edison downtown LA.
Located on the corner of 2nd street and Harlem place alley in downtown LA, this place can be hard to find. Honestly if it wasn’t for previous insight that this was located in the middle of an alley or if it wasn’t for seeing other guests dressed to the nines, I may have missed this place myself.
From alley to the inside of The Edison, is a big, giant transition. You are literally stepping into a whole new world. This place was once the location of a LA based power plant which was then transformed to a 1920s speakeasy. It definitely has a Great Gastby feel. Guests descend down a flight of stairs to a basement that leads to The Edison, composed of various lounges and two bars. There’s giant screens showcasing old clips from the 1920s. There’s various vintage decor from an old classic organ to generators from the power plant. Towards the end of the night there is an acrobatic performance and a absinthe fairy makes her way around offering colorful absinthe potions. Every corner, every inch of space of the place has some hint of uniqueness.
The food and drinks menu respectively have some extraordinary flair as well. One can feast on patented snacks such as “The Ember Parlor,” (Yukon potato chips, red caramelized onions, pancetta, red pepper relish, whiskey shallot jus, with aged cheddar sauce.) From the drinks menu they have hand crafted cocktails with names like no other such as the “Happy Herbie” (rye whiskey, jasmine liqueur, lemon, Apple bitter and orange zest.) I personally was fascinated with their “Sobering Spirits” menu. This place was once named “Best bar to drink if you don’t drink” by LA weekly. The Natasha, a virgin drink with raspberry, lemon and pineapple” is proof that The Edison really is one of the best bars to drink if you don’t drink.
Similar to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s words, The Edison from the overall feel and menu is “something new-extraordinary beautiful…” It’s like stepping into a historic era filled with sophistication and era. Simple yet classic, beautiful and extraordinary. The Edison is an experience like no other.