Gay Dating In LA
Welcome to the City of Angels. We hope you brought your shades.
Los Angeles is renowned for having a great LGBTQ scene, and in our opinion, it’s one of the best places in the world to be a gay man. It’s inclusive, multicultural and, best of all, it’s sunny pretty much all the time — which means lots of tanned legs in beach shorts.
We've gathered some of our favourite places for you to try out this weekend...
Revolver Video Bar
Revolver is another one of these LGBTQ institutions that has stood the test of time. There’s something about something as, well, old-fashioned as a “video bar” in this digital, “let me stalk your social media and then ping you with some memes” age that feels really right. Many numbers have been exchanged and hearts have been broken behind its doors, and no doubt it won’t stop any time soon.
Part of Revolver’s charm is that it isn’t trying to do anything gimmicky or pretentious. Under “specialites” on Facebook, they’ve listed “serves drinks” — which, while a great sign, is not what we’d call a niche feature. They also put an emphasis on their “landmark” revolving door, after which the bar is named.
What we do think is important to point out is that the emphasis here is more on socialising than it is on dancing the night away — although you are absolutely encouraged to do that, too. This means that it’s one of the best spots to meet and get to know potential dates without worrying about other dancers repeatedly slamming you into each other, or yelling your name into their ear five times before giving up and letting them call you “Bob”.
And, if you’ve already got a date, at least you know you can always fall back to discussing the music videos if you run out of other topics. Although, if we’re honest, that might be a sign it’s time to move on.
Have you ever wished that your bartenders would do-si-do more while serving you drinks? Or perhaps that you saw more people doing the do-si-do in general? Do you not know what a do-si-do is?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, Flaming Saddles is the bar for you.
Inspired by Coyote Ugly in New York and owned by the same woman who choreographs the female bartenders’ moves there, Flaming Saddles is the LGBT equivalent. It might be run by a straight couple, but that hasn’t stopped it becoming one of the most popular LGBT joints in the city — so popular, in fact, that the LA Flaming Saddles is in fact the second Flaming Saddles, following the success of the original in NYC.
And it gets better. Not only did the bar land itself a TV reality series, there’s also talk of a musical floating around, because of course there is. But regardless of how famous the bar gets, it remains down-to-earth and welcoming to all — unlike many of the other gay bars in Hell’s Kitchen according to some of its residents.
Just make sure you watch your fingers on the bar — don’t want them getting stamped on by an overenthusiastic cowboy-booted bartender.
“I want everything to be sexy,” says Pump owner Lisa Vanderpump. It’s a good start.
Pump is a bit of everything: part restaurant, part lounge, part patio bar and part party venue, all rolled into one, LGBT-friendly package. In short, it’s pretty much whatever you want it to be. And Vanderpump has definitely aimed herself at “glamour” and launched herself in its direction at full throttle — mirrored bar, reclaimed Parisian accent features, silver candelabras. This is not the kind of venue you choose if you want something understated for your first date. It’s somewhere you go to make a statement.
But it’s important to note that the hard focus on the decor doesn’t mean the food has taken a back seat — which, I think we can all agree, would be tragic. Vanderpump has poached (sorrynotsorry) Penny Divaldi to be her house chef and the menu is accordingly delicious. Think lobster, filet mignon tagliata and shrimp-and-crab-stuffed papayas. And now that your mouth is watering, let’s add ginger cake and something called a “raspberry mousse dome” to the mix.
Don’t all stampede at once, please, there’s plenty for everyone.
If you ask us, dinner dates are underrated. Yes, they can be awkward in an unfriendly setting, and no one wants that. But in a venue like Pump that’s been completely designed with its LGBT-friendly neighbourhood in mind, they can also be great. You can chat, get to know each other, order aphrodisiacs, see how they respond to your more risque jokes, play a bit of footsie under the table...
Or you can just enjoy a good meal with someone who’s hopefully good company. That’s the beauty of it. Even a bad date in a great restaurant ends with you feeling satisfied.
And if you wander pretty much next door after your dinner date, you’ll find yourself in The Chapel — which, by the way, is where everyone should go at least once to worship at the altar of good taste.
The Chapel is brand-new, and it’s the baby brother of nearby The Abbey, which has been a popular haunt for the gay community in West Hollywood for a while. Situated in the heart of Boystown, it’s similar to the original in that it also welcomes not just the local gay community, but anyone who wants to attend — providing you’re there in good faith, of course. Bachelorette parties, for example, have been banned, which means you can enjoy your drink in peace without needing to worry about someone wanting to have her Sex in the City moment with you. Or at least, so says owner David Cooley.
As for the aesthetics, just try picturing a mood-lit gothic church with studded leather booths and you’ll be pretty much on the money.
We would strongly recommend The Chapel, if not for a date then just for a good time. Having looked at their Instagram, you’ve got a strong chance of finding someone very cute to enjoy the night with. But on the other hand, it also looks like the kind of venue where people don’t take themselves too seriously. And occasionally hang from the ceiling. They’ve got it all.
And they celebrate National Margarita Day. What more could a guy ask for?
Time to go!
You’re super prepared, you know all the best spots, and now it’s time to go hit that West Hollywood life like you mean it. And by that we mean: “with a cocktail in hand and hopefully a cute guy in tow”. But however you like to roll, we’re pretty sure you’ll find something in LA that suits you.
Los Angeles is definitely one of the best cities in the USA to be gay, and we’ve barely scraped the surface when it comes to great spots to hang out. You might fancy trying Sur (which Google would have us believe stands for Sexy Unique Restaurant, however that makes you feel about the whole thing). Or maybe you fancy heading over to Micky’s, which is a classic gay bar with a fun-loving vibe and a packed events calendar. Or, if you fancy something a bit less party-ish, GYM Sportsbar is the first and only gay sports bar in the city, and promises a slightly quieter space to enjoy a few beers and a few games.
There’s pretty much something for everyone, basically.
Whatever you end up deciding to try, we just hope you have a great time. And if you do happen to find your #MrRight, we wouldn’t mind hopping on a plane over there for the wedding. Just saying.