For over half a decade, General Lee’s has been serving up tiki-inspired craft cocktails from its wooden bar in Chinatown Central Plaza. But even before it opened, the space served some of Hollywood’s biggest entertainers, including Sammy Davis Jr., Liza Minelli, Frank Sinatra, and Gary Cooper. It is that classic mystique that keeps patrons coming back time and again.
The interior is masterfully decorated with antique furniture – backless wooden chairs, plush green sofas, and lamps with corner rectangular shades. Above, lush greenery cascades off a gold railing-lined second floor that looks out across the living room-like space. It is open and airy, and seems to have stepped out of a period piece filmed in the 1970s.
The Chinatown locale still gets packed come nightfall, and they still put Asian twists on classic tiki concoctions – each that come with a little piece of wisdom attached. Those looking for something fresh and floral, but still with a proper kick, will be more than happy with the The Moon in the Well (Kin White Whiskey, Amaro Angeleno, Amaro Nonino, bitter melon, lemon). This drink reminds imbibers that “Having a new perspective can solve old problems.” Visitors looking for something spicy, meanwhile, should order up the Ten Brothers (Tequila, pineapple, Thai chili, lime, furikake/tajin rim). There are also large shared cocktails on offer, making it a great space to bring a group that lacks inhibitions. Those looking for something less aggressive will be happy to know that both wine and beer are also available.
General Lee’s pours well-crafted cocktails inside an elegantly decorated interior that continues to draw large crowds come nightfall. Those looking for a quiet sip will do well to come early, but those looking for a crowd won’t be disappointed by the group that fills this Chinatown hotspot till late in the night.
Find It Here:
475 Gin Ling Way
Los Angeles, CA 90012