Reviewed by Jeff Walker

My Bar Standard – Busby’s (Santa Monica)
My Club Standard – Tryst (Las Vegas)

Visited: Saturday night (2/9/2008)
Location: 5364 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 (map)(link)

Lacks the charm of its Santa Monica sibling, but offers a more club-like experience and at a smaller cost than the usual Hollywood hotspots.

Deeper Insights:

Busby’s East will never be the Hollywood “it club” that attracts young starlets and mentions in US Weekly. However, it does provide a nice middle ground for those who want to dance and have a good time amongst attractive, friendly twentysomethings, without having to worry about strict bouncers, steep covers and $15 drinks.

Busby’s East combines a sports bar, hip lounge and large dance club into one tri-level package (with each on its own floor), which is appealing for groups of friends with varied interests. There is even a pool table and some games on the second floor.

The only downside to Busby’s East is that it lacks a distinct identity. It isn’t as quaint and charming as its smaller sibling on the Westside, nor is there the “must-see” aspect possessed by other nightspots in the area. The line (guys should arrive no later than 10:30 pm) and cover ($10) can seem a little much for this bar/club hybrid, but there are still plenty of good times to be had.

The Breakdown:

Attire: Collared shirts, designer tees, nice jeans, dress shoes for the guys – no shorts, hats or athletic wear.

Attitude: More approachable than Hollywood clubs, but still a meet up/hook up mentality.

Bar/Bartenders: 1 bar on each of the three levels. 3-4 bartenders for each bar. Mix of guys and girls. 3-5 minute wait on drinks.

Bathrooms: Bathrooms on second floor. Men’s bathroom has two stalls (with locks) and four urinals. Urinals have no dividers and are against the wall.

Bathroom Attendant: Yes

Bottle Service: Yes

Cover: $10

Crowd: Lots of people, but the layout helps separate them. Second floor lounge gets very crowded, extending the wait for drinks TIP: Avoid the long wait and go to the third floor bar instead. 55/45 guys to girls ratio.

Dance Floor: Large dance floor on the top floor that can fit hundreds of people.

Décor: Redefined, upscale sports bar with blue hues and flat-screens lining the walls.

Drinks: $7 for well drinks. Strong pours.

Extras: Pool table and a few games secluded in the back corner of the second floor.

Hours: 9 am – 2 am. Dancing starts at 10 pm.

Line: Get there close to 10 pm – 30 people were in line at 11 pm and the line moves slowly, especially for guys.

Music: The usual - hip-hop with brief stretches of popular Old School, rock and techno. Electronic and ambient techno music in the second floor lounge.

Parking: Limited valet (full at 10:45 pm). Street parking. Small $4 lot by Bank of America.

People Watching: Lots of attractive, personable young Hollywood (junior execs and assistants) types. Few creepers.

Seating: Two elevated VIP sections by the main dance floor. Lounge seating (ottomans, couches) on the second level.

Smoking: Small smoker’s section on the second level.

Water (Free): Yes

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