I had the best afternoon recently when my old boss and some of my favorite former colleagues and I got together to celebrate a friend who passed very suddenly and tragically many years ago. In addition to the howling laughter recalling shared memories, the day was made all the more memorable when the occasion was booked at a favorite LA haunt, The Buffalo Club.
As you enter, you are transported to a Chicago speakeasy or New York chophouse....
The inside mahogany bar is romantically illuminated from below, casting a tawny glow on the impressive collection of liquor bottles..
Rich Honduran mahogany paneling,
Birch bark shade sconces....
Burgundy leather booths studded with polished brass tacks are both inviting and luxurious...
...and then the walls are adorned with photos of legendary literary figures and 19th century Buffalo, New York, the hometown of the owner, Anthony Yerkovich.
In the back you enter what undoubtedly feels like a Secret Garden: Walk along the bend past the restrooms and you pass through a curtained threshold....there you discover an English garden hideaway dotted with hanging silk Chinese lanterns...and the piece de resistance: a 40-foot, solid mahogany bar and dining tables aglow with amber votives atop soft ivory linens.
Dining here outside, whether under the summer sky or a regally draped winter tent (during Winter months), you feel as though you've entered a magical garden.
Eating inside? You're transported to an exclusive club.
It's one of the best places in all of LA to grab a cocktail.
The Buffalo Club is one of the THE spots in Los Angeles not because it is usually crowded with the most gorgeous people and A-List Celebrities, but because it carries that invariable LA vibe:
There is no sign on the door...or on the building... or anywhere visible for that matter.
You just have to be in the know.
Of course it doesn't hurt that the food is fantastic and the decor is stately, grand and comfortable all at the same time.
TIP: A reservation can often be hard to come by, but if you go right when they open, grab a seat at the bar; they will happily serve you dinner there. I
Their lively website is great fun, too, and wonderful pics under PRIVATE EVENTS:
The Buffalo Club
1520 Olympic Blvd
Santa Monica, CA