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Smokin' in L.A.

Despite Stringent Antismoking Laws, L.A. Residents and Visitors Still Have Plenty of Places To Enjoy a Fine Cigar
Jean T. Barrett
From the Print Edition:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Summer 96

(continued from page 6)

The Biltmore
506 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles
(213) 624-1011

The Biltmore's splendid Gallery Bar is cigar friendly, and Davidoff cigars are sold there and in the hotel's gift shop. You may also smoke in the Rendezvous Court, where cocktail tables are set up outside the hotel's fine restaurant, Bernard's.

The Four Seasons
300 South Doheny Drive, Los Angeles
(310) 273-2222

The highly civilized Windows Bar at the Four Seasons bustles with a lively, diverse crowd--young and old, male and female, modish and conservative. An extensive appetizer menu (sushi, fried calamari, caviar, thin-crust pizza) prompts many guests to use the bar as a dining alternative to the more formal Gardens restaurant next door. Smokers are welcome; the bar maintains a humidor stocked with Davidoff cigars, including the Davidoff 2000, the Special R and "a very thin one for the ladies," says bar manager Philippe Larrieu, who possesses a devastatingly charming French accent. "We are getting more and more ladies smoking in here. It's very trendy. It's amazing!"

Peninsula Beverly Hills
9882 Little Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills
(310) 551-2888

Although the Peninsula Beverly Hills turns a venerable five years old in August, the Club Bar is still on the short list of L.A.'s hot bars for grownups. This intimate lounge maintains a humidor and offers live piano music nightly after 6 p.m. If you want to look like you're in the know, the drink of the moment here is Ketel One vodka.

The Regent Beverly Wilshire
9500 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills
(310) 275-5200

The clubby, very traditional Main Bar in The Regent Beverly Wilshire maintains a humidor and offers professional cigar service, with a silver scissors cutter and oversized crystal ashtrays. Beverage manager John Strauss offers a wide selection of tipples that complement a fine cigar, including vintage Port and single malt Scotch. The bartenders mix a four-ounce Martini that is practically legendary.

The Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel
1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue, Pasadena
(818) 568-3900

The traditionally furnished Bar in The Ritz-Carlton Huntington offers a choice of four cigars, with an additional 10 or so available from the gift shop. This spacious room's clubby atmosphere makes it a great place to relax with a smoke. Ask about the hotel's Martini Club, which gives special dividends to dedicated souls who try (over time, one hopes) each of the 24 selections from the Martini menu.


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