English writer Quentin Crisp once said “Los Angeles is just New York lying down.” It’s a statement that has multiple meanings, but I think Quentin meant it as: L.A. has a quietness to it, and it is slow-moving.

However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. L.A.’s social scene can be bewildering, due to the size of the area and the organic shelf life of clubs. But I’ve narrowed down a few places that you must go to once finals are over.

The Belasco
Downtown L.A. has a rap sheet as long as Lindsay Lohan’s. But downtown L.A.’s record lacks justification. Historic buildings hide a collection of shiny hotspots, one of them being The Belasco. Once a majestic 1200-seat theatre, Belasco is now a premiere entertainment destination with the original fixtures of the theatre, a state-of-the art lighting system and the largest D&B Audiotechnik Sound System in the area. The jewel of Belasco is the towering domed ceiling with customizable 3-D light mapping. Imagine dancing underneath a Cirque du Soleil-esque light show with a glow stick in one hand and a refreshing beverage in the other. If you’re into a South Beach-like ambience and enjoy a gorgeous crowd, check it out. The best nights to go are Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The Belasco is located at 1050 S. Hill Street in Los Angeles.

The Standard Downtown
The Standard DTLA is the go-to destination for the hip, young and creative crowd that lives and works in downtown. When you first walk in, you enter the Lobby Lounge, an opulent marble lobby. On Saturday night, they have secret big-name DJ’s playing in the booth. Whether your eye first catches the billiards table, the ferocious ping-pong game, the installation pieces or the Vladimir Kagan labyrinth sofa, first-timers always end up hypnotized by the wall installation of a woman’s long legs with underwear dropping to her high-heeled feet in the bathroom. The bar, adjacent to the lobby, in 24/7 Restaurant is contemporary, vibrant and attracts a good-looking crowd. But the best bar is on the roof. I suggest going after dark. It feels like you’re transported into a rooftop party in Manhattan with its amazing view. From the pool area, movies are projected onto the opposite building. On certain nights, bands perform. Lay back and listen on one of the retro, red waterbed pods.
The Standard Downtown is located at 550 S. Flower at 6th Street in Los Angeles.

Bar 107
If you like your bars “divey” and eclectic with disco balls, thrift-store art and linoleum flooring, Bar 107 in downtown has a PBR or Tecate waiting for you. Beer is $3. Most other drinks are $5. It’s dark to create a cozy feeling and make you less uncomfortable when someone unfortunate-looking rubs up on you. It’s going to be shoulder-to-shoulder packed. From the crowd, it gets really muggy. Men don’t wear nice shoes and women don’t wear high heels, so it’s okay to dress down. The crowd is college students, downtown locals and out-of-towners.
Bar 107 is located at W. 4th Street in Los Angeles.

Frank ‘n Hank
If you’re more comfortable in flip-flops and a T-shirt, and you just want to play pool and enjoy yourself and the company of drunken strangers, Frank ‘n Hank in Koreatown may be your favorite new dive bar. It’s an in-between dive bar that’s not dirty and not eclectic. It offers cheap drinks, darts, billiards, a friendly crowd, sometimes a jazz band but always a jukebox. Parking is a bit hard to find on Western, so park in the neighborhood off 4th and 5th. The owner, a woman named Snow, will out drink you every night. Beers are in between $3-$4, and well drinks are typically $5 and generously poured. It is a cash-only bar.
Frank ‘n Hank is located at 518 S. Western Avenue in Los Angeles.

A Club Called Rhonda
If you’re more into a Chelsea scene, with mini Carrie Bradshaw’s, unexpected glamour, burly men in high heels and drag queens, then A Club Called Rhonda is where you need to be. Anything goes and anything will go down. So be sure to live Tweet your experience. The crowd is chill, the music a mixture between disco beats, house and euro techno but not heavy-sounding. Prepare to work up a sweat. You might see Amanda Lepore, Azari and III or Fergie. The party hops around different days and nights, so to know where the next one is, you have to join the mailing list at rhondasays.net.