You’ve probably heard of Café Birdie, the charming and casual chic bistro nestled up against Highland Park Bowl that opened last year, but only true cocktail connoisseurs are in the know about Good Housekeeping, the hidden gem of a speakeasy tucked directly behind Café Birdie’s dreamy interior. Good Housekeeping Highland Park Both Café Birdie and Good Housekeeping are helmed by Wade McElroy and Russell Malixi, the culinary masterminds behind DTLA’s hit Horse Thief BBQ. Café Birdie offers fresh and seasonal renditions of California meets Mediterranean comfort food (think Moroccan-spiced fried chicken, pork cheek ragu, and burrata toast), all served with a side of elegant ambiance. It’s the ideal atmosphere for special occasions, date nights or long dinners with friends, setting Good Housekeeping up as the go to spot for intimate pre-dinner imbibing or a nightcap (or two) to round out a perfect night.
For those of us who like to drink something strong and well crafted in a dimly-lit space, Good Housekeeping just might be the answer to your prayers. Housed in a small brick building hidden behind Café Birdie (you can enter through the restaurant or from the back alley – either way adds to the cool appeal of this secret spot), surrounded by a cozy outdoor patio lit with twinkling lights, Good Housekeeping is warm and inviting, an elegant yet laid-back space that feels like a much needed escape from the outside world.
Once your eyes adjust to the low lighting, take a seat at the long marble bar, or cuddle up at one of the booths along the wall or outside on the patio if it’s a warm night. Whatever you do, just make sure you chat with the bartender. Everyone who mans the bar at Good Housekeeping is a serious craft cocktail artist, and more than willing to answer all your questions about mixology or whip up a bespoke cocktail designed around your tastes, mood, or whatever you’re intrigued by. The chill yet intimate living room vibes are conducive to conversation, and everyone knows that bartenders always have the best stories.
The drink menu, which differs from Café Birdie’s, is manned by the libation geniuses at bar team Spirit Animal, and I guarantee you’ll learn something from chatting with them, whether you consider yourself a novice drinker or an expert mixologist. In terms of what to get, they stock a wide selection of affordable wine and a unique selection of beer, but what you’re really here for is the cocktails. The cocktail menu consists of superbly crafted and updated classics made with quality ingredients, refreshed with little twists here and there, and all crafted with extreme care.
Good Housekeeping is an undeniably lovely place to get buzzed, and you really can’t go wrong with any of the house cocktails, all of which are subtly strong (consider yourself warned). The standouts on the Summer Cocktail Menu, chock full of unique, interesting offerings, were the smoky Tears Dry On My Own, an excellent Mezcal and whiskey homage to Amy Winehouse, the crisp Down Under, which blends Underberg, rum, orgeat syrup and lemon, and the luscious Los Angeles Sour, which plumps up a classic Bourbon sour with peach liquor, Habanero bitters, and a frothy egg white. With that said, keep in mind that their cocktail menu is seasonal, as well as ever-evolving and expanding, so look out for new decadent drinks this Fall.
Recently, Good Housekeeping instituted a Tiki Night on Wednesdays through September, during which the bar transforms into a Tiki paradise, serving tropical beer and creative interpretations of classic Tiki drinks like Mai Tais and Daiquiris. The vibes are colorful and fun, with quirky music and hip clientele, and if you have a soft spot for Tiki drinks (who doesn’t?) this night is not to be missed. They also host an Industry Night every Monday, which includes $5 beers, $9 wine, and $10 Bourbon.
Whether you’re grabbing a drink before dinner at Café Birdie, spicing up a weekday date night, or looking for an escape from the typical noise and crowds of most weekend nights, Good Housekeeping has that special something. For $13, you can experience a delightfully well-crafted cocktail and bask in this sweet neighborhood secret. Just don’t go telling everyone because we’re trying to keep this place for ourselves.
Good Housekeeping is located at 5635 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042.
It is open from 7PM-12AM Sunday through Thursday, and 7PM-2AM Friday and Saturday.