For years now, Downtown’s nightlife has been on the upswing, boasting fusion bars and tequila bars and good old fashioned speakeasies. Rarely though, are there places that are truly transformative, where the atmosphere and pace are so distinct they don’t seem like they’re in Downtown at all. Say hello to Little Easy, a New Orleans-style bar tucked inside the Alexandria Hotel. The Fifth Street entrance, between the constant bustle of Spring and the noise and grit of Broadway, opens into a mellow, lounge-style bar.
“Downtown LA is so fast all the time, it’s nice to have a little something to take you away from all that for a little bit,” says owner Vee Delgadillo, who opened Little Easy last January. Delgadillo is the owner of a few other Downtown bars, including the Down and Out, but Little Easy is far from the dives that Delgadillo is known for.
The bar’s first room is plush and chandeliered, and politely quiet, like the lobby of an old hotel. Down the hallway the second bar, done in the style of a New Orleans patio complete with an indoor fountain, wrought iron trellising, and a porch swing. Most days, this space hosts live performances — acts like Big Bill’s Medicine Show on Tuesdays, Burlesque every other Wednesday, live jazz for weekend brunch and a DJ on weekend nights. Each room is equipped with its own full service bar, which makes getting food and drinks easier on busy nights. Plus, the two-room set up strikes a balance between rowdy and refined.
“New Orleans has an amazing drinking culture, and we wanted to bring a little of that Downtown,” Delgadillo says. Little Easy has the hallmarks of a great place to unwind: a menu of well-crafted cocktails, satisfying drinking food, bottomless mimosa brunch on the weekends, varied entertainment on the weeknights.
The cocktail menu offers distinctive New Orleans cocktails: the Ramos Gin Fizz, with lavender, orange blossom water, and lemon and lime juice, and the Hurricane, a fruity mixed-rum drink with citrus and passion fruit puree. There’s also their decadent variation of Milk Punch, with dark rum, honey, and cream, for dessert.
As far as eats go, Little Easy has a full menu, complete with dessert (beignets, anyone?), and each dish serves as a hearty companion to their cocktails: jambalaya, shrimp and grits, po’ boys. Between the music, the food, the drinks, it’s easy to forget where you are and spend all night here. “We get people coming in from New Orleans sometimes,” Vee says, “and it’s nice — they do say it feels a little bit like home.”
Written by Rayna Jensen
Photographed by Christian Thomas