1819 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040134.008142 -118.490602
Neighborhoods: Downtown, West LA
Citysearch Editorial Review – Sleek, chic and poolside, this popular Santa Monica lounge inside the Viceroy Hotel brings together laidback, trendy locals and young producer types for cocktails by candlelight. Designed with a hint of mid-twentieth century glam, the indoor lounge features plush, tufted banquettes and high-back leather chairs that appeal to guests who are ready to kick back after dancing to the DJ spinning on Friday and Saturday nights. On warm summer days, insiders who frequent the bar head outdoors to grab poolside service in white cabanas that are reminiscent of a Miami beach scene.
Yes I aspire to be the real life Serena Van Der Woodsen – Before you say it, yes I aspire to be blonde, rich and fabulous. And living in her footsteps, I must say there's something so much more romantic and fab about drinking and dining late night at a ritzy bar than say pounding whiskey shots at your local dive bar.
Being uber chinese and underpaid, I have to walk the fine line between living the fab life and being chea...i mean 'smart'. Take parking for instance. 16 dollar valet?! Do you people see all the free street parking around here?
But that's where it stops. Once I step in the Viceroy, I feel at home.The Cameo Bar has a really nice set up inside - dark, sexy, and even a 'library room' for more intimate get togethers.
But I prefer the outdoor cabana set up by the pool. The music is great, it's not loud or crowded, the chairs are ballin', there's plenty of heat lamps, and better yet very attentive waiter service. yes even for bar food.
This time I ordered the Albacore crudo, Grilled Shisito Peppers, and Crab Cakes. The albacore was good, didn't care for the abundance of onions on top, loved the grilled peppers - there were so many and it's perfect for snacking, and the crab cakes were AMAZING. It seemed like there was zero batter or any of the 'filler' stuff they put in crab cakes usually - this was bite after bite of delicious crab meat.
OK fine so maybe over 100 bucks for two glasses of wine, one vodka tonic, and three appetizers isn't your idea of a good deal but personally, this is all worth it.
So if you are my real father, please shoot me an email. and the access code to my trust fund. I love you too.
HOT BARTENDER – Went for the first time a couple of months ago and have been a regular ever since. The valets (although on the pricey side) are very considerate and the bartenders inside are polite even when slammed. My favorite is the outside bar where the bartender Sean (who's smoking hot btw) is calm, attentive and charming, he is certainly a reason to go there if you haven't already, the best mojitos in town.
Hollywood style without Hollywood – I love the Hollywood hotspots, but I can only take so much of the crowd and the tred over there (I live down in Marina del Rey). The Cameo Bar (@ The Viceroy Hotel) encompasses the chic and sophisticated atmosphere of some of Hollywood's bars without having to deal with the typical hassles that go along with them. Everytime I go, I have the best time. Indoor/outdoor bar, poolside, chairs to lounge, good convos, etc etc etc...all that you need for a great night.
Chic, chic, chic! – I am a very big fan of Kelly Wearstler's work and every location I have visited has been pleasing to the eye. We met a group of 6 for drinks in the bar and of course got there early (about 6pm) to snag a nice couch and tables. The servers must pool their tips because they are all there to serve you. The beer menu is not that large, but they have a two page menu of unique mixed cocktails. If I was running the show, I would have loved to stay and eat at Whist. Maybe next time. Oh and the valet is very expensive. Another perk to getting there early is to find parking on the street. The meters are free after 6pm!!
Best Waiter in LA – In LA, there are very few career waiters/waitresses it seems, just actors/actresses who serve to support themselves. Thus, what a pleasure to be waited on by someone who knew exactly what he was doing, who anticipated our party's every need, who was knowledgeable and polite, who was always there when we needed him, never when we didn't, who handled our table of 10 with ease and graciousness. The Cameo Bar certainly wasn't cheap, but it was worth it just to be served so adeptly. And the food was not too far behind--my mouth waters thinking about the charcuterie plate.
Better times off nights – I was recently in there on a Monday night and had the best experience. Park on Ocean street to avoid the high valet prices. The outdoor area had just the right crowd and the staff was amazing. I saw two huge celebrities and really enjoyed the non crowded scene. The bartenders Reuben and Joanna had me laughing the entire time. I have been to the bar on the busy weekend nights and I preferred the off nights. You have room to breathe.
Sexiest bar in town – My favorite bar in town! Sexy atmosphere and hip crowd. Great martinis & mojitos! It's my local hangout either for after work drinks when there's a nice buzz as the sun goes down outside (those poolside cabanas are really great for a special occassion), or for an evening out with the girls! The staff is super friendly ~ and there's no place in town that comes close to the chic design. I feel dressed up even if I'm in jeans! Love it!
PS: Had brunch at the hotel last weekend for Mother's Day and it was fantastic too.
Get Swanky – Though the parking is a drag and the drinks are expensive, if you want to feel swanky for a night, you can't beat the Cameo Bar. I was there and saw six celebs in one night and I'm not even good at spotting them. Not that stuffy though, all things considered. Cruise the outdoor patio or go early and get a couch inside.
Just average – I went with a few friends on Friday night and I thought it would be more crowded than it was. The crowd had a mixture of 20, 30, 40+ year olds. We were able to enjoy ourselves outside by the "small pool" area, however the staff was not friendly and service is very slow. The decor is modern but you'll probably have better luck elsewhere.
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