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Where Cats and Kitties Like to Lounge

A Westside bar caters to the crowd that goes for flowing martinis and unpretentious hip.

September 10, 1998|TRACY JOHNSON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

If martinis are your drink, sleek bars are your scene and beautiful people are the kind you like to spend your time with, Liquid Kitty is the lounge for you.

This is a bar for the seasoned bar dweller who likes a stiff drink with a twist, an unpretentious yet hip hang for the lounge rat who won't go any place less than cool.

Liquid Kitty sprang up on a nondescript strip of Pico Boulevard between Barrington Avenue and Bundy Drive 2 1/2 years ago because there were no cool places on the Westside to grab a cocktail. Cool as defined by Hollywood, that is.

Oh, there were plenty of sports bars, restauraunt-bars and bars and grills, but back then there were few places to get an old-fashioned martini and light up without hoppin' the 405 or leaving the beach. So Dave Childs and Cedd Moses (who also owns the C Bar in Beverly Hills) opened a place they hoped would change all that.

"We wanted to open a bar that had a Hollywood or New York style," said Childs. "People said, 'You can't open a bar like that on the Westside; no one will come.' " But there are a lot of people on the Westside who don't want to drive into Hollywood, and they come here."

So, naturally, Liquid Kitty has become hot. The sleek lounge doesn't have much on the outside to identify it, not even a sign with its name. But a neon light of a martini glass with an olive blinks incessantly, and every few seconds the light changes into a cigarette with the olive at the end of it.

"It makes people feel in the know to have discovered something no one else knows about," Childs offers as an explanation for the signage, ". . . and besides, martini glass, cigarette and cool bar are synonymous with one another."

Cool it is. The inside of Liquid Kitty is dressed up just as minimally as the outside. Wood-paneled mahogany walls line the place, giving it a classy look and feel. A limited number of stools and tables fill the lounge to make it more spacious.

The bar is stocked with safe old standbys that you can get anywhere, but you've gotta go with one of the $7 drink specials. The list of house cocktails includes a magic Christian--Absolut Kurant, triple sec and lime juice--and Lolita, made with vodka, lime juice and blue curacao. The Liquid Kitty is a martini made with Ketel One vodka and served with an unfiltered Camel cigarette.

Liquid Kitty is a total lounge scene with its cocktails as the main attraction. There are young college coeds packing the place on Saturdays, happy-hour drinkers on the weekdays and a young crowd of beautiful people peppered throughout.

A couple nights a week, music a lounge gets going around 10 p.m. to spice up the place. On Tuesdays, ORB plays '60s soul and funk; Thursdays, Sen~or Amor plays Latin jazz and lounge tunes; and on Sunday, Combo Au-Go-Go, a jazz and blues band, is jammin'.

e in the know, then you know the rumor about the name Liquid Kitty having a sexual connotation. But Childs swears the bar was named for a horse Moses once owned--and it's fitting, since liquid is what they serve.

BE THERE

Liquid Kitty, 11780 W. Pico Blvd., West Los Angeles. (310) 473-3707. 21 and over. No cover.

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