To get inside the ultra-exclusive L.A. lounge The Edison, patrons must navigate the twists and turns of a darkened alley and look for a door painted black (cue the Rolling Stones). Getting to the equally swanky MercBar (2525 E. Camelback Road, 602-508-9449, www.mercbar.com) is almost as convoluted a process, requiring one to wander around the mostly vacant Esplanade in search of its entrance marked with a small gold plaque. Once inside the shadowy speakeasy-style drinkery, you'll be rewarded with high-end (and high-octane) handcrafted cocktails, nosh offerings like artisanal cheese plates, and astounding martinis.

Next to imbibing, the preferred pastime is people-watching, as an eye-catching cross-section of both hipsters and well-heeled types congregate here while DJs spin downtempo tracks and ambient house. Just memorize its location, in case you'd like a return visit.

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