Designed for indoor bar-hopping, Level 8 is a multi-faceted dining and nightlife concept in LA’s sprawling Moxy and AC hotels. Gemma Harris reports
LA’s Houston brothers, famed for their high-end nightlife ventures, have joined forces with Mitchell Hochberg, of the real-estate and development company Lightstone, to unveil Level 8.
The unique, multi-layered concept spans the eighth floor of the recently launched Moxy Downtown and AC Downtown hotels is transforming LA’s dining and social landscape.
The brother’s most ambitious project yet includes 2,790 sqm of indoor and outdoor space, taking guests through a maze of various venues.
It transcends the notion of more than just a traditional dinner and drinks out. Visitors begin their journey through the eyes of the venue’s fictional founder, Mr Wanderlust – who also lends his name to the cocktail bar at the entrance. “You can begin the night with a cocktail and live music at Mr Wanderlust, choose from any of the three unique and innovative restaurants, and end the night with dancing at one of LA’s hottest clubs, Sinners y Santos, and maybe a late-night taco – all designed for the city that’s notoriously difficult to restaurant and bar-hop.
“Only the Houston Brothers have the curiosity and imagination to create this series of experiences, all threaded together, each epic in its own ways,” says Hochberg.
Inspired by the brothers’ travels, the eight destinations draw inspiration from around the world. Mr Wanderlust is a lively piano bar and jazz lounge with a touch of theatrics, including a trapeze artist suspended from its impressive chandelier.Combining intimate and atmospheric rooms, visitors can choose from the vast wine offering from the award-winning sommelier Eric Railsback alongside cocktails and small bites by chef Richard Archuleta.
Mr Wanderlust leads onto Maison Kasi and Lucky Mizu through two discreet speakeasy entrances. The French Teppanyaki experience aptly named the “house of fire”, Maison Kasai is headed up by Michelin-starred chef Joshua Gil. Here, the art-deco-style ambience with a 12-metre Earth Harp stretched across the ceiling provides the perfect setting for a culinary performance.From fire to water, Lucky Miszu is run under the guidance of Kobe native Chef Hisae Stuk and is centred on the art of cooking with water.The culinary exploration of chef-driven concepts and top culinary talent continues into South American flavours with Esquire’s “Chef of the Year” and Los Angeles Chef Ray Garcia at Que Barbaro.At this destination, guests can be seated al fresco with a jungle backdrop while enjoying the traditional wood-fired cooking. Chef Ray Garcia also oversees the Brown Sheep, an authentic food truck serving up Mexican street food.For those searching for exquisite indulgence, the Mother of Pearl champagne and oyster bar is found outside on the terrace, where dishes such as crab bouillabaisse with saffron rice crisps can be savoured.As the sun sets, Level 8 comes into its own across the unique rooftop destination of Golden Hour, with views of Hollywood hills, including a carousel bar with a tiki-inspired cocktail list and DJs and other live entertainment into the early hours.Last but not least is Sinners y Santos, the destination inspired by old Roman Catholic cathedrals; the nightclub playground begins with a speakeasy-style entrance at the “confessional booth”.Mark Houston says: “Level 8 is all about creating opportunities for that kind of immersive discovery – a culmination of our experiences that pays homage to Downtown Los Angeles’ rich heritage and history.”