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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 1)

Campanile
624 South La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles
(213) 938-1447

Last year, Campanile installed a glassed-in humidor just past the maitre d' stand, and the restaurant's bar is now a favored evening spot for cigar loving devotees of great Italian food and wine. You've enjoyed cigars with single malt Scotch and Cognac; now, try a fine smoke with one of Campanile's 70 grappas.

Club Cohiba
144 Pine Avenue, Long Beach
(310) 437-7700

Upstairs from Mum's restaurant, this nightclub is open, with a cover charge, on Friday and Saturday evenings for dancing and live music. There's a full bar and, in the billiard room, a spacious humidor with a wide selection of smokes.

Eclipse
8800 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood
(310) 724-5959

One of the hottest see-and-be-seen places in town is also cigar friendly. Owner Bernard Erpicum has placed the 60-seat patio dining area under a tent and, rain or shine, the outdoor tables are now politely fought over by Eclipse's cigar loving patrons. Eclipse holds regular cigar dinners; call for the schedule.

Habana
2930 Bristol Boulevard, Costa Mesa
(714) 556-0176

"Pre-Castro Cuba" is the theme of this new restaurant--need we say more? Opened last year in the Lab, an Orange County shopping mall, Habana has quickly become a favorite for its authentic Cuban cuisine and retro decor. The restaurant maintains a humidor, and after 10 p.m. cigar smoking is permitted at the bar and at tables on the patio.

McCormick & Schmick's
206 North Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills
(310) 859-0434
633 West Fifth Street, 4th Floor, Los Angeles
(213) 629-1929
111 North Los Robles, Pasadena
(818) 405-0064

The Beverly Hills branch of this upscale Portland, Oregon-based seafood chain boasts outdoor tables in a sheltered courtyard in the Via Rodeo development, where cigar smoking is permitted. The outdoor dining area is just steps away from the Davidoff store, but the restaurant also offers a selection of cigars from its own humidor. The downtown L.A. location permits cigar smoking in the main bar after 8 p.m. and on the patio. The Pasadena branch permits cigar smoking in the bar.

Michael's
1147 Third Street, Santa Monica
(310) 451-0843

Michael's offers a well-stocked humidor and permits cigar smoking in the bar and, late in the evening, at tables in the garden.

Arnie Morton's of Chicago
435 South La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles
(310) 246-1501

This popular steakhouse permits cigar smoking in the bar and runs cigar events throughout the year.

Remi
1451 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica
(310) 393-6545

Remi's owner, Jivan Tabibian, is a cigar buff; this popular Italian restaurant has outdoor tables where cigar smoking is permitted. A private room can also be reserved.

Röckenwagner
2435 Main Street, Santa Monica
(310) 399-6504

Röckenwagner has a few outdoor tables where cigar smoking is permitted; tables may be reserved on warm evenings.

Schatzi on Main
3110 Main Street, Santa Monica
(310) 399-4800

Feel free to light up in the bar or at a table in the well-sheltered, and heated, courtyard. The Schatzi humidor offers about 10 selections. A four-course cigar dinner is held on the first Monday of each month ($75 per person, reservations required).

The Viper Room
8852 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood
(310) 358-1880

Thursday nights, this nightspot (Johnny Depp is a co-owner) becomes Mr. Phat's Royal Martini Club under the stewardship of host/promoter Dean R. Miller, who by day is a mild-mannered sales associate at Davidoff of Geneva. Stop by after 10 p.m. to jive to live swing music, sip an icy Martini and enjoy a fine cigar.

CIGAR FRIENDLY HOTEL BARS

Hotel Bel-Air
701 Stone Canyon Road, Los Angeles
(310) 472-1211

After picking your way through the circuitous, hilly streets that snake through this exclusive residential neighborhood, the bar at the Hotel Bel-Air seems particularly welcoming. This intimate lounge draws lots of cigar lovers who appreciate the cozy atmosphere, expert bartending and the recently installed and very powerful air filtration system. On nice evenings, the Bel-Air Restaurant's sheltered outdoor terrace is a great place for dining and a fine cigar.

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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