I’ve missed you Los Angeles by R. Farmer

Los Angeles, Rooftop Bars, Rooftop Pools, California

Finally I’m back in Los Angeles after a few years away, and it’s great to be back! Today I’ve been tasked with checking out two fairly new arrivals in the LA roof top scene: Mama Shelter and Filifera. Both are located along Selma Avenue (one block across from Sunset Boulevard) in Hollywood.

This bar is located on the rooftop of the expanding French hotel chain Mama Shelter. Whilst building itself is of 1920s vintage, the downstairs lobby of the hotel and elevators were unmistakably Phillipe Starck. A beautiful contrast and harmony.
The bar area was constantly busy during my time there, so the wait was well over five minutes for the drinks each time. However, the recently revamped drinks menu had excellent choices and the drinks did not disappoint in the slightest and was well worth the wait. Apparently weekends are much busier still!


I asked the barman serving me – Fernando – which were the most popular cocktails on the menu, and he suggested The Devil Wears Prada (see photograph) and Jungle Book. It would be rude to have just one, so I had to stay for both and they were great. The cocktails were weighing in at 14-16 USD a pop, so certainly aren’t the cheapest around, but once you look around the rooftop, you soon see why they can charge this price and easily fill it.


The 360 degree panoramic views of Hollywood and downtown LA were fantastic, however I only had my iPhone with me so I wasn’t able to do the views complete justice. Although selfishly I’m not too upset as it just gives me another excuse to come back next time I’m in town.
The vibe was very chilled with large ‘sleeper sofas’ which I’m sure have a fancy name, but my memory eludes me right now (I blame the jet lag – I’ve been awake since 3am). And Google is not cooperating either. The clientele and vibes were hip possibly pushing to hipster and even if that is not your usual thing, I’d recommend making an exception to experience this place. The drinks, decor and vibe were completed by the lush Californian afternoon sun, making this a very beautiful experience.
The only drawback of this fantastic place is that they don’t serve food during weekdays, only on weekends – not even bar snacks like nuts or chi.. I mean crisps, which I feel took the edge off it slightly.
The bar is open midday to midnight seven days a week for drinks, and is serving dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and lunch on Saturday and Sunday.

As the sun was setting I took a ten minute walk along Selma Avenue to the next place on my radar. Filifera. Located on the rooftop of the Hollywood Proper Residence, this commands similar views as Mama Shelter albeit from several floors higher.
Word of advice, press the access button as you approach the door rather than doing what I did and tried to open it like a normal door. I mean seriously how silly of me to expect it to work like any of the other 183 billion doors in the world* (* estimate may be way off). Anyway, once the doorman let me in, the elevator whisked me up to the 23rd floor to Filifera.
The indoor area seats around 30 customers, with an additional eight spots at the bar, but who came here to sit indoors? The outdoor terrace is much larger and there are plenty of heaters to take the evening chill away. Choose from a more private alcove seating area by the pool, otherwise stick to the normal seating area. 
I was recommended the Some Like it Hot, which was tequila based, with chilli lime. It was certainly well received whilst I took in the ambiance, then as I wasn’t too hungry, the chicken sliders caught my eye and ticked the box nicely. Presented on a wooden paddle, the service was fast, friendly and attentive, and for $9 it was most reasonable. On a side note, I miss food being served on a plate. Why is it all slates, bread boards, chopping boards, ironing boards, surf boards, etc?
The people here were generally in their twenties and thirties, and the atmosphere was very relaxing and chilled. Reservations are recommended during weekends, but the Tuesday night I was there there was plenty of tables available. 

Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience at both. I would recommend pre-drinks and Mama Shelter and dinner and Filifera, followed by a night out at one of the many bars and clubs in the immediate vicinity. However, I have to call it a night after Filifera as this jet lag is a killer and it’s 5am according to my body. Good night LA.