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Los Angeles

The Walker Inn

time
Wed - Sun: 7pm - 2am
  • Wed - Sun: 7pm - 2am
  • Closed: Mon - Tues

Hailed as a next level cocktail experience, the Walker Inn is an intimate, hidden bar & lounge inside Hotel Normandie offering an omakase-style cocktail menu. Belly up and prepare your mind to be altered by Walker's intricate liquid imbibes. 

OUR ARTICLE

BY: Ryan Kirk Contributing writer

What is it about secrets that we are so fascinated by? So attracted to? Is it the idea of “being in the know,” the receiving end of something, the counterpart to a mystery?  Is it programmed in our DNA to be curious? To turn the next page of a novel and discover “why” or “what”? Even if we say we “don’t need to know,” aren’t we lying? Don’t we? We want secrets at our disposal, to hear about, to speculate, to whisper…

There is a secret going on in Koreatown, a door with no sign, a place with no windows, and concoctions that will give you a sense of euphoria upon consumption. Welcome to LA’s best cocktail bar — welcome to The Walker Inn.

These abstract cocktail designers aren’t architects, they are mad scientists who have a major in cocktail chaos and a minor in culinary alchemy.

Located on the bottom level of Hotel Normandie and inside the prestigious cocktail bar Normandie Club, The Walker Inn’s secret door is on the opposite side of the entrance and next to the men’s and women’s lavatories. The trek to the undisclosed door is met with temptation, as the Normandie Club offers its own tasty vices and alluring audience. After the destination is reached, push the button to the left of the door to illuminate the red light and hold tight for a host to make your acquaintance.

Walk-ins are accepted, but a reservation is advised, as the bar maintains an intimate feeling by keeping a modest capacity of 27. There are two options when inside: The Lounge area and the bar. In the Lounge, you will receive a menu that is split in half between specialty seasonal drinks and about 50 iconic cocktails. We highly recommend option two, the bar, where you will get to experience The Walker Tasting Menu. The menu draws inspiration from one core influence and changes every six to eight weeks on average.

The result at the bar is a product of a science experiment and a cooking class. It’s what would happen if Nicola Tesla and Anthony Bourdain had a love child who developed a passion for cocktails. The bartender will start you off with a sparkling wine; after all, this is a celebration. The wine will be followed with three to five cocktails. To give you an idea of the night that lies ahead of you, here are ingredients from some of their past menus: grapefruit, brown butter, cream, egg white, fino sherry, coconut chips, pear brandy, Pierre Ferrand cognac, sweet corn ice cream, lavender honey sorbet, mushrooms, Thai chili, and of course bourbon.

The Walker Inn is named after Albert R. Walker, who designed Hotel Normandie in 1926. It’s a fitting name, as the drinks here are not just made, they are drawn up and devised for every slight detail. An architect is an artist, a calculating creative who enjoys coloring inside the lines. The difference is that the bartenders at The Walker Inn traded in their drafting table for a bar, their compass for a strainer. These abstract cocktail designers aren’t architects, they are mad scientists who have a major in cocktail chaos and a minor in culinary alchemy.

FIELD TIPS

Enter through The Normandie Club

The first step is finding this hidden bar, look for door

The omakase-style cocktail menu transforms through the seasons

Cocktails here are pricey, but in our opinion worth every single penny