Happy Hour: $$
The Association- Lounge
110 E 6th St.
Monday - Wednesday: 6 PM - 12 AM
Thursday - Saturday: 6 PM - 9 PM
You know that bar you always pass by that has the huge line outside? You skip on it precisely because of that line. It peaks your curiosity but damn that line… That’s exactly how we felt about the Association prior to our visit.
Tucked in the Historic Core on 6th and Main (which is arguably one of the few blocks that feels like NY but in LA) is the Association. A bar Mariana always passed by because she’s not about lines. The few times we saw the door open there was always hip-hop music, we grew even more curious. The crowd always seemed to draw out of towners, why no locals? Probably due to the fact they were only open on the weekend.
Recently we got a call that The Association had changed things up and are now open daily (except for Sundays) and they added a kick-ass new Happy Hour. A bar that listens to what the crowd wants is always a good bar in our book!
The tall dark door with the lion’s head knocker already feels like you should be saying a password or do something specific to gain access.
Stepping inside feels like you’re entering a members only club. The layout is simple, to the left is the bar which is long and has ample seating, to the right are multiple lounge rooms for renting out, they even come with red rope for VIPs.
It’s dark but dimly illuminated by gorgeous chandeliers, one VIP room looked like one of those rooms in the movies when the main character has to go make a deal with the devil if you catch our drift.
Yet, our visit was on a Monday so the Dodgers game was on, there was no music it felt much like the dive bar the Historic Core has been missing, one without fuss.
There’s a ton of liquor on the shelves and we were greeted with a craft cocktail menu. The Happy Hour at The Association is a simple one, it is available everyday Monday - Wednesday all night and Thursday-Saturday from 6-9 PM.
There is only one deal available, they take ⅓ off your bill (see? No fuss). It encompasses their craft cocktail menus, well drinks, and beers, an all in one.
Considering the quality of their well liquors, a third off the bill is a great deal. We sampled each and every one of their cocktails on the menu.
Beer fans, you won’t find much but they do have the basics- Angel City IPA, Angel City Pilsner, and Peroni Lager on draft. Plus, a monthly rotating cocktail to keep things fun and exciting. Now, on to the drinks!
The HHC Team Sipped On:
The Association Old Fashioned:
M: I’m obviously not the Old Fashioned expert but this is good. I like that they make it with a show, it shows the caliber of the talent behind the bar. Places that go the extra mile like that always get a thumbs up from me.
A: I’m not the biggest fan of Evan Williams bourbon, yet I can confidently say this is a solid Old Fashioned. All around good, not the best I’ve ever had not the worst, but at least it’s what I expected to taste. Watching it being made is definitely part of the appeal.
The Rum Flip:
M: It is very sweet but I like it. It’s not too strong, only one kind of rum is used which I dig. Egg white is done right and the nutmeg is a nice attention to detail.
A: This is the kind of drink that I’d start my night with. It makes me want to dance. The flavors are great, it’s got just the right amount of egg white. Nutmeg is a nice touch. A day drink in my book if you make it here by 6.
M: Immediately went for this one since it is tequila but the rest of the ingredients scared me. I have been scarred by the bitterness of Campari before but somehow in this cocktail it works! It is very well balanced. Served in a highball so there’s plenty of it too.
A: A new mix, tequila and campari, but it works. Not my favorite but I just don’t favor tequila. The lemon mixes well with the grapefruit or else it’d be overall too bitter for me.
M: Strongest cocktail so far. Definitely comes up your nose. If you’re in the mood for a martini get it. Definitely on the bitter side, perhaps a bit too strong for me.
A: Consider it a twist on the gin martini, but it’s good. Very gin forward but very well balanced and good flavors all around. It’s a drink you gotta be in the mood for.
M: Similar to a Manhattan, which I usually veer from, but this is nice! The pomegranate was unexpected but certainly welcomed. It adds that extra flavor to balance, what I consider usually, a very strong drink.
A: A very nice drink. The pomegranate adds a nice layer to a well layered rye cocktail. I think the flavors work well. It's a bit on the sweeter side but all around very good.
Death At Dusk:
M: Left it for last on purpose, been dying to try something similar (A Death In The Afternoon), so I was prepared. I have to say the addition of creme de violette was a fantastic touch. It doesn’t take over the drink as to share the spotlight with the absinthe. It’s like what I wish grape soda would taste like if the bubbles in soda were really sparkling wine. This drink made me feel really cool. (No I did not hallucinate, but I did have very trippy dreams.)
A: Absinthe has a very distinct flavor and it is very well balanced with the creme de violette here. If you’re new to absinthe this is a good drink to start with. That being said, I wouldn’t drink more than two they do seem quite dangerous.
The Overall Experience:
The Association is definitely trying something new here for attracting locals and we truly hope it works and moves forward. In addition to their new happy hour they are also showing sports games from the NFL and MLB, so if you’re looking for a cool new underground watering hole with quality cocktails, this is it. We were graciously served by barman Peter who recommends popping in Monday-Wednesday if you want to avoid that large crowd and line. The whole staff really seems eager to get to know more locals by name and gain some regulars and the place is up to par. If you don’t dig sport games or happy hour (weirdo) this is a great place to come celebrate a birthday and get a table without having to make that far drive to Hollywood.
If you’ve been looking for a new place to escape the madness of outdoors, patios, or rooftop bars that are already too crowded this is your new best kept secret. It won’t remain a secret long though, so get in while you can. Given their success of the Continental Club and the lines that form on the weekends, The Association is about to get a lot of local love.
Overall Score: 4/5
Happy Hour Score: 4.1/5
We’d like to thank Farrah and Peter for their great hospitality and conversation. We were greatly accommodated and had a wonderful time.
Thanks for reading and as always…