The newly opened BoardRoom is a speakeasy-type lounge tucked inside Kendall’s Brasserie at The Music Center in downtown LA. The latest addition to the Patina Restaurant Group, it’s a great pre- or post-theater spot for playfully indulgent bites like escargot shooters, oxtail poutine, deviled eggs stuffed with Santa Barbara sea urchin and duck fat garlic fries. Literary-themed cocktails include the William Faulkner (bourbon, orange peel, toasted pecan bitters), the mescal-based Frida Kahlo, and a heady mix of cognac, Armagnac, Lillet and maple syrup that honors F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The BoardRoom is also available for private events, with a capacity of 55 seated and 100 for a reception. This is the kind of hidden gem that will delight a small group attending a downtown conference or VIP guests of the convention center. The vibe is French, the lighting soft and the music low enough for comfortable conversation.

If you do host a group here, you’ll want to order one or more of the punches, which are served in beautiful vintage punch bowls.

My favorite, on a recent visit, was the Virginia Woolf. While each bowl of punch serves four to six, here, courtesy, of The BoardRoom is a recipe for a cocktail for one:

1.5 oz. vodka
.5 oz. St. Germain
1 oz. lemon juice
.5 oz. lavender syrup
Sparkling wine

Shake and strain all ingredients except sparkling wine into a martini glass. Top with the sparkling wine and garnish with a lemon peel.

If you want to boost attendance at a meeting or conference, try these four letters: N.A.P.A. And while the Northern California wine region has more than enough activities to keep attendees busy when they’re not in meetings—475 wineries, to begin with—the downtown heart of the region is introducing new experiences this fall. Here’s a sampling:

 

New Group Venues in Temecula

 

Smoke City Char Bar Opens in LA