Bad Ash Cigar Company, Woodland Hills, California
Most of the folks who patronize Bad Ash Cigar Company in Woodland Hills, California, live nearby. Bad Ash is a great neighborhood cigar lounge and shop, with a pleasantly chatty owner, Eric Zimmerman. He greets his clients like guests, and is interested in learning about you. When they ask how he is doing, he tells them it’s “another day in paradise.” When the weather is warm and you have a large selection of fine cigars to choose from, it’s hard to argue.
“We just got the Flying Pig in,” Zimmerman says, suggesting a hard-to-find cigar from Drew Estate with some power. He’s there to help guide the undecided on what to smoke. There’s a good amount to consider here, including just about every familiar brand on the market (Padrón, Fuente, Oliva, My Father, La Flor Dominicana, Tatuaje, Liga Privada, AJ Fernandez, Rocky Patel, E.P. Carrillo, Davidoff, Aging Room, La Aurora, Partagas, Montecristo, Romeo) plus smaller brands like Caldwell’s Long Live the King, Southern Draw and Victor Calvo. You’re going to find something you like in this humidor. Bring your own to the party? You’ll pay a $15 cutting fee.
A big draw at Bad Ash is the patio, which includes palm trees and a charcoal grill. It’s a great party spot if you want to bring a few friends. Occasionally, the crowd gets a little boisterous with the music, and neighbors have come over to ask that it be turned down, but in an area that is affluent and has a lot of apartment dwellers, along with restrictive smoking policies, the Bad Ash patio provides a sanctuary.
Inside, the room, though basic, is a work in progress since Zimmerman bought the place in October of 2022. There’s a wood-paneled bar in the front where one can get coffee or water. No booze, though Zimmerman says he’s hoping to soon get a license to serve. He has put in a couple more smoke-eaters and has portable heaters next to many of the 20 or so overstuffed leather chairs. The walls are wood planks, giving a sort of rustic feel. More improvements are coming soon. The lighting is muted, with four large TVs casting their own glow. Golf is on this afternoon, but the biggest crowds come for football and World Cup soccer. The shop sells candy bars and soft drinks (M&Ms are popular) but food is allowed from the outside. You might want to grab a sandwich from Lodge Bread Company, across the street and a few doors down.
There are 70 lockers. You can rent one for $135 a month, which also gets you store discounts. Each locker can hold three to four boxes of cigars. There are two portable workstations that can be rolled out for anyone who needs to set up a laptop and get some work or emailing done.
Bad Ash is on the San Fernando Valley’s cluttered Ventura Boulevard, and it has parking in the back, which is significant. This stretch, from Woodland Hills all the way to Sherman Oaks, has several cigar lounges on it. Bad Ash is among the friendlier spots to spend an hour or two with a good smoke and a little conversation. It’s also another comfortable way-station when traffic is backed up on the 101 freeway.
Bad Ash Cigar Company
21048 Ventura Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
Hours: Noon to 9 pm, every day