Bar Review: 71Above, Los Angeles, CA

At the top of the Los Angeles’ US Bank Tower (generally known as the “Library Tower” to locals) is 71Above.  A relatively new restaurant in a building with an interesting history.  Prior to 71Above’s opening in June, 2016, along with the “OUE Skyspace” observation deck on the 69th and 70th floor, this building had the somewhat dubious reputation (alleged) of being the tallest building in the US without an observation deck.

Thankfully when OUE purchased the building in 2014 they set about rectifying this omission.  Along with the observation deck came 71Above.  It’s interesting that the restaurant is actually above the observation deck.  At 950 feet above ground level, 71Above is now the highest restaurant west of the Mississippi.

So, let’s get the first questions out of the way.  Yes, the panoramic view is absolutely stunning; from Malibu to Santa Monica to LAX to Redondo Beach.  And the whole LA basing including Hollywood and Beverly Hills.  Without a doubt the most impressive view from a bar stool I’ve ever enjoyed.

           

In case you’re wondering if the brand new tallest building in LA will interfere with the view, it won’t!   You can see the Wilshire Grand Tower in the photo below, in the lower left corner.  It is below 71Above.   While the Wilshire Grand Tower is taller than the Library Tower the latter is situated further up Bunker Hill.  Thus the view is better from 71Above.

Second, the food is excellent, though a bit pricey.   But that is what I would expect.  The cuisine is ‘modern American’.   71Above offers a set menu with several first, second, and third choices.  Or you can choose from the “Bar Bites” in the Lounge.   Of course you can get the set menu in the Lounge if you choose.  There are Chef’s tables which offer views of the open kitchen and one large and two small dining rooms looking down upon Dodger Stadium, which require reservations!!  I haven’t seen these, but its a very tempting option.

The motif of the restaurant has been described at geometric-chic.  I think of it more as subdued art-deco.  In any case it is geometric, simple, and subtle without detracting from the view in any way.  71Above clearly understands that the view is the ultimate decoration and everything inside is simply secondary.

Finally, the Martini was excellent.   Very professionally prepared, quite cold, happily abundant, and delicious.  The bartenders are very professional and will ensure you’re satisfied with your drink.  My only beef with the drink, and I acknowledge that its a minor ‘nit’, was the stem.  My regular readers will know that I’m a bit of a stem snob and this Martini was not quite what what I consider a proper Martini Stem.  Despite that little oversight, the Martini was refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable.  As with the food, the drinks are a bit pricey, but not excessive.  Considering the view I think the prices are absolutely economical.

Overall 71Above gets one stem.  Martini Glass Upright
The Martinis really are quite excellent, they’re just not perfect enough to warrant my two stem award.  However, the overall atmosphere and experience are truly worth a visit.  A note of caution …. reservations are highly recommended!!!

For selection 71Above gets a A+.
Their listed Gins include Aviation, Bols Genever, Bols, Genevery Aged, Botanist, Bummer & Lazarus, Fords’s, Hendrick’s, Monkey 47, Old Raj Blue, Oxely, Plymouth, Spirit Works Barrel Aged, St. George Botanivore, St. George Dry Rye, St. George Dry Rye Reposado, Tanqueray 10, and Wilder.  Note I said ‘listed’ Gins.  They have others on the  self and the bartender noted that their selection varies from week to week.

For more information:   www.71above.com

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If you’re curious about what one vs. two stems means,
I refer you to the following:
*****   Rating Definitions   ****

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One Response to Bar Review: 71Above, Los Angeles, CA

  1. Pingback: Bar Review: Vast, Oklahoma City, OK | The Guide to the Perfect Martini

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