Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Coolest place, ever, in Toluca Lake -- The Red Door

For those of you wanting a fabulous, hip bar/restaurant experience without going over the hill, check out The Red Door in Toluca Lake.

We had been told about this place and were curious. As regular readers of this blog know, we’re always looking for a great cocktail experience to help take the edge off the ever-changing world of San Fernando Valley real estate. So we gave it a go on Monday night.

The unmarked entrance – except for a red door -- is from the alley behind Paty’s coffee shop. Right there, Red Door gets kudos for its intimate, speakeasy vibe. (The actual address is 10057 Riverside Drive.) Inside, the red theme is carried on with splendid, non-matchy-matchy d├ęcor, including a long wooden bar, leather banquettes and high top tables, and objects d’art found at estate sales. Yes, there are big-screen tvs over the bar, but they only show old black and white movies. There’s a great, old-school Pandora mix on the p.a. We were there with the early crowd at 6:30 and a ladies’ birthday party (or some sort of celebration) was taking place. Toluca Lake resident Gary Marshall was there with a couple of babes as was noted character actor Chuck McCann (below). We are told that the place gets packed on the weekends.

Red Door has a full bar, a carefully curated menu, and the prices are reasonable. We had drinks, of course – whiskey for husband and vodka for me -- and wonderful mini pork sliders along with lots of great conversation with Mike and Doc, the owners/proprietors. That’s them in the picture. If you’ve hung around in Toluca Lake, you may know Mike from his bartending stints at Timmy Nolan’s and Lucy’s 51. And Doc is a local wildlife rehabilitator.

We had such a nice experience that we had to restrain ourselves from going back on Tuesday – this place has such a classy, warm vibe that it could easily become a habit!


  1. Cool bar/restaurant. How I love I have my own bar also. I love serving people with good food and good beverages.It really makes me happy.

    Best regards,

    seattle area

  2. Anonymous5:45 PM

    That guy Doc though sure thinks he is a know-it-all...