When the original Hyde Lounge opened in West Hollywood, exclusivity was the theme. The space had capacity for about 100 guests, and getting through the door if you weren’t a regular on TMZ was notoriously difficult—less velvet rope than steel curtain.
Today, however, there are seven different locations of SBE’s Hyde across the country, from the day-to-night Hyde Beach pool club at SLS South Beach to Hyde Bellagio with its fountain views to Hyde Sunset Kitchen + Cocktails, an expansive LA venue that sashays across the line between restaurant and lounge.
Much the way Hyde Bellagio transitions from swank happy hour to bumping nightclub, Hyde Sunset also undergoes a nightly transformation. “The transition itself is kind of fun,” says general manager Ismail Saleem, who recently returned to LA after managing Hyde Bellagio for several years. “You go from having a nice, quiet dinner, and then the DJ comes on at 11.”
As the clock ticks toward party hour, guests finishing food from Top Chef alum Chris Crary start to stand around their tables, the volume rises and the lounge begins to fill with fashionable locals. Soon the mood inside the 12,600-square-foot space has shifted from low-key hang to see-and-be-seen hot spot, where the soundtrack is crowd-pleasing open format and you might spot an up-and-coming actress/model/multi-hyphenate whatever at the next table.
“It’s definitely a more Hollywood crowd,” Saleem says. Think young, beautiful people decked out in their Saturday-night best, and bottles of Champagne or high-end tequila. Hyde recently started stocking magnums of Don Julio 1942, which go for $2,500 each. “We’ve been through eight of them already,” the GM marvels.
While you don’t have to go quite that big to enjoy Hyde Sunset, Saleem does recommend ponying up for a bottle and a corner of coveted real estate. “When you’re in an environment like Hyde Sunset, the table service is where you want to be,” he says. “You never know who you’re going to be rubbing elbows with.” Hyde Sunset Kitchen + Cocktails, 323-940-1650.