Dancing Queen: The Haute 5 Dance Clubs in Los Angeles

There are plenty of places that play dance music in Los Angeles, but you don’t want to go just anywhere. And you don’t want to be greasing a doorman to get past a rope not worth crossing. Which is why you’re reading the Haute Five places to take your guy or girl and get the groove going and the sweat flowing–from Avalon to Zanzibar.

avalon 550


Though it’s had its days as a downmarket meatmarket, the Avalon—once the historic Hollywood Palace theater—is really ground zero these days for LA’s serious dance scene. Booking serious DJs (Cedric Gervais is spinning tomorrow, 6/19, for example), it won Venue of the Year in the 2009 Urb magazine poll. Thursday s and Fridays, the crowd is 18 and up, also staying open afterhours during the weekends. On the top floor is the exclusive club-within-a-club Bardot, where you’ll want to say you’re going, even if you intend to spend most of the night on the main floor.

Avalon and Bardot are located at 1735 North Vine Street (323) 462-8270

Circus Disco

With a strong (but not exclusively) Gay clientele, this huge mega-club has been going strong for years, and remains a serious place to shake that thing. Four separate dance floors and different theme nights, but most agree that Saturday’s Trance parties are the way to go.

Circus Disco is located at 6655 Santa Monica Boulevard (323) 462-1291

Drai’s Hollywood

One of the true emperors of Las Vegas nightlife has brought a little taste of it back to LA with Drai’s at the new Hollywood W, a top floor restaurant and indoor/outdoor club. The beautiful people are here, period. And Drai’s collaborators Cy and Jesse Waits know how to book good DJs as well.

Drai’s Hollywood is located at 6250 Hollywood Boulevard (323) 962-1111

Les Deux

Originally named as a sequel to another nearby French bistro, Les Deux’s name is now emblematic of its second life as an uber-hot house club. As typical at hot places, many feel the hassle and hype don’t add up, but there’s no doubt if you are getting the VIP treatment at this indoor/outdoor Dolce Group venue, you are getting the best of the best. Order a cupcake tower and wave at our favorite go-go dancer, Lauren.

Les Deux is located at 1638 North Las Palmas Avenue (323) 462-7674

Zanzibar 550


Don’t want to deal with Hollywood? Zanzibar may be your best option on the West side. Though it offers live music on some nights and rotating themes, this is a place with an eclectic crowd and good vibes. Thursday night’s Afro Funke club is the go-to (they just celebrated their seventh anniversary tonight, actually—and in club land, that’s a century).

Zanzibar is located at 1301 5th Street, Santa Monica (310) 451-2221