Downtown Los Angeles has been long overdue for a post-pandemic nightlife resurgence. Hollywood and West Hollywood are often championed as being hubs for the best bar and nightclub destinations in the city. But the newest Houston Hospitality spot, Level 8, might just be the pump of adrenaline needed to get Downtown back on the map for a trendy night out in LA.
Level 8 is a multi-venue hospitality concept inside the recently opened Moxy & AC Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, directly across the street from the Los Angeles Convention Center and Crypto.com Arena. The impressive space on the eighth floor of the hotel features a collection of restaurants, bars and clubs sprawled across a 30,000 square foot layout. Mark and Jonnie Houston collaborated with Mitchell Hochberg of Lightstone to create a venue packed with eye-catching design and unforgettable entertainment.
The Level 8 DTLA Experience
Check in at the Vegas-like entrance on the ground floor of the hotel and you’ll be let past the velvet rope to an elevator. Once you emerge on the eighth floor, guests can wander through the whimsical labyrinth of rooms, each with its own name, menu, and one-of-a-kind atmosphere.
Reservations are recommended for some outlets while others are walk-in ready. Trying to find the correct room in a maze of hallways may feel a bit disorienting at first, but ultimately you’ll find your way through the fun house to one of the eight expertly-designed spaces.
Got a taste for Japanese shabu shabu? Cocktails with a sunset view? A live DJ and bottle service? Luckily, Level 8 has more than enough ways to keep you entertained for the duration of your visit. Read on for the full rundown of what each outlet has to offer at this essential Downtown LA hot spot.
The Brown Sheep
Dish on Mexican street food with a twist at The Brown Sheep by renowned Chef Ray Garcia. The vibrant outdoor terrace is home to a vintage-inspired taco truck that serves up a menu of “authentically inauthentic” comfort food–known favorites with a delectable twist.
Order items like the Hot Chicken, Jerk Quesadilla, or Lengua Cheesesteak while taking in the LA breeze. Inviting furnishings with wrought iron accents and kitschy stripes make for the perfect place to lounge as you dine. After sunset, a DJ comes in to liven up the vibes while you enjoy the unexpected menu of delectable eats.
The crown jewel of the bunch, Golden Hour feels like an escape into a rooftop bar fantasyland. The Houston Brothers are known for adding theatrical elements to their venues, and they’ve done just that with Golden Hour’s rotating carousel bar. The slowly spinning and sparkling carousel brings a sense of magic that can even be seen from the DTLA streets below.
Sip tropical tiki cocktails in the vivid atmosphere featuring a pool deck, DJ booth, and plenty of alluring cabanas. You can also catch live entertainment (fire dancers anyone?) while being swept away by the kaleidoscope of twinkling chandeliers and neon lights.
Let the beauty of water wash over you at Lucky Mizu, an impressive Japanese restaurant by Chef Hisae Stuck. With a menu that’s an ode to the art of cooking with water, you’ll get to taste meats, veggies and seafood through seiro mushi (steam) or shabu shabu (boil) from a hot pot at your table.
The glamorous space centers around a U-shaped, marble bar for side-by-side seating, and tables that feature dazzling cherry blossoms and mirror art. A transfixing wall of 777 golden “lucky cat” figurines are a notable design element as well. It’s also impossible not to mention the 40-foot Earth Harp that spans the ceiling, turning the entire restaurant into a playable musical instrument.
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Enter the “House of Fire” at Maison Kasai, Level 8’s French-Japanese teppanyaki restaurant by Michelin-starred chef, Joshua Gil. Guests enter through a secret passageway into a sleek dining room filled with teppanyaki tables and talented chefs showcasing their skills in preparing each course.
The spectrum of Japanese and French flavors include Whole Main Lobster, Wagyu Dumplings, and Japanese A5 Wagyu, each served with traditional French sauces. Order from the drink menu of premium sake, craft cocktails or shōchūs (a Japanese distilled alcohol) to get the full experience. Maison Kasai’s art deco design elements and gold accents create a sultry setting for a night out in Downtown LA.
Mother of Pearl
Seafood lovers will have a new favorite go-to with Mother of Pearl. Located on the Level 8 outdoor terrace, guests will find an enticing Champagne and oyster bar by Chef Joshua Gil.
The innovative menu features sustainable dishes offering a new take on traditional flavors. Seafood towers, a “Bouillabaisse” Crab Dip, and the Lobster Egg Salad Tea Sandwich topped with caviar are just a few selections you can look forward to.
Sip from the curated list of French Champagnes while lounging on Spanish Colonial-style furnishings underneath twinkling lights at this ideal date night locale.
One of the coolest venues in Level 8, Mr. Wanderlust is the place to be for a lively night. Reminiscent of other Houston Brothers bars, this hot spot also channels a vintage feel with impeccable attention to detail. The jazz-driven space features a sensuous lounge where aerialists dazzle from the ceilings above. Through a hidden passageway, you’ll find an eccentric piano bar where talented musicians and DJs perform into the night.
The global cocktail menu brings together expertly designed concoctions through a collaboration of renowned mixologists helmed by Devon Espinosa. A wine list curated by award-winning sommelier Eric Railsback adds to the cachet, as guests can’t possibly go wrong with any choice of beverage.
Level 8 Executive Chef Richard Archuleta also presents a playful dining menu of snacks and bites to round out the experience with a bang.
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Live fire cooking is the focus of this mouth-watering Level 8 restaurant also by Chef Ray Garcia. Qué Bárbaro showcases a diversity of South American flavors through meats, seafood, and vegetarian dishes prepared fresh on an open wood-fired grill. From Empanadas to Papas to Langostinos, you’ll be able to enjoy a range of creative plates with refined flavors.
On the cocktail menu, you’ll find twists on traditional favorites like the Caipirinha and Batida. Rich green tones fill the space with color and lush greenery adds a dash of wildlife to complement the jungle-inspired wallpaper.
Sinners y Santos
Will you be a sinner or a saint? The choice is yours at naughty nightclub Sinners y Santos, the most thrilling nightlife venue at Level 8. Enter through the outdoor terrace and confess your sins before making way into an energetic club environment.
The cathedral theme comes complete with stained-glass windows, prayer candles, and a DJ booth taking the place of a priest, leading clubgoers to their dance party salvation.
The pièce de résistance is definitely the wrestling ring located above the bar, which features “performances” inspired by Mexican luchador El Santo. Guests can sip agave cocktails while dancing the night away at this quintessential Houston Hospitality destination in Downtown LA.
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A Downtown LA Nightlife Playground
Level 8 is more than just a bar or restaurant, it’s an entire nightlife extravaganza that you’ll have to experience to believe. Whether you’re a local looking to expand your list of regular hot spots, or a visitor in search of a uniquely Los Angeles vibe, you won’t regret your visit!
How is parking at level 8?
While there’s technically street parking nearby, it’s nearly impossible to find a spot in such a busy thoroughfare. Your best option for parking at Level 8 is to valet at the Moxy & AC Hotel, park in a paid lot nearby, or use rideshare services.
What’s the dress code at Level 8?
The dress code at Level 8 is smart casual. They ask guests to dress in an “upscale fashionable” style, and to avoid athletic wear, flip flops, tank tops, offensive graphics, and intentionally immodest garments.
Is Level 8 a 21+ establishment?
After 9pm, nobody under the age of 21 is allowed at The Brown Sheep, Mother of Pearl, Golden Hour, Maison Kasai, Lucky Mizu, and Qué Bárbaro. (Most of the venues open at 6pm.) Venues that are entirely 21+ are Mr. Wanderlust and Sinners y Santos.
Does Level 8 require reservations?
Reservations are recommended for your Level 8 visit. Otherwise, you can visit as a walk-in to whichever venue is available for the evening.
Is Level 8 connected to the Moxy & AC Hotel?
Level 8 is in the same building but is considered a separate venue from the hotel. It is accessed through its own designated elevator.