The top of the range of the former Montage Hotel Ten pound bar in Beverly Hills was possibly Los Angeles’ best-kept cocktail secret before it was forced to shut down due to the pandemic. The upscale spot hidden above the hotel restaurant (which was Scarpetta, then Georgie, and is now Maybourne’s Terrace) was a great place for a quiet postprandial drink and cigar, and featured some of the rarest spirits in town.
Now the space is back thanks to the hotel’s new owners, who have done a fantastic job remodeling the dark room under the new (somewhat milquetoast) name Cigar and Whiskey Bar which opened last month. The decor has a cleaner, more modern aesthetic, but maintains its very exclusive feel with an outdoor mezzanine patio overlooking the park. Plus, the property has built a much more substantial cigar cellar which instantly makes it one of the best places in Los Angeles to smoke and sip great cocktails.
In its previous life as Ten Pound, the bar was definitely more focused on the alcohol front. The bar was even considered one of the only official Macallan-approved bars in the world, the other being in Dubai. But now the Cigar and Whiskey Bar is less focused on branded scotch and instead offers a wide range of spirits from around the world. Scotch choices are always impressive, with highlights like Highland Park Thirty-Year-Old priced at $ 315 a serving, or Laphroig Twenty-Seven-Year-Old for $ 165, although everyday choices can still operate in the under $ 20 range. Cocktails focus on classics like Martinez, Boulevardier, or Rusty Nail, each available with standard or deluxe alcohol. Expect a minimum of $ 50 to take advantage of the space, but with a drink and a cigar, this hurdle is easy to achieve.
While Ten Pound’s alcohol choices were some of the best in town, his cigar choices were average at best. Now, the cigar menu has been enhanced thanks to consultation with a prominent (but unnamed) salon owner in Los Angeles, which means avid cigar smokers will find a lot to like about the new selections. The sleek wooden humidifier commands a presence in the main bar, displaying only a small portion of the lounge’s 3,000 cigars. Fans of Arturo Fuente will see an array of Don Carlos, God of Fire and even an Opus X to choose from. Ashton, a more accessible but no less stellar brand, also has a number of vitolas. Padron has the longest list on the menu, with everything from Family Reserve to 1964 sticks available, although there may even be rarer smokes depending on how you request it.
The menu is also more extensive than before, with a full service of Osetra caviar and a number of small bites meant to accompany drinks and cigars. Steak tartare, a Cuban sandwich, snow crab tempura claws, and a Hawaiian tuna crudo highlight this section, with a daily entree for anyone needing a full meal.
Overall, the new Cigar and Whiskey Lounge is a commitment to a specific type of upscale nightlife that’s even more special in Beverly Hills. The city itself banned smoking in public places a few years ago and even banned the sale of tobacco outside of four specific lounges that have received grandfather permissions: Nazareth’s, the Grand Havana Club (which is a members-only club), the classic Buena Vista Cigar Club, and the Cigar and Whiskey Bar, which retains its papers from the previous tenant. It’s a good thing the Maybourne thought it was important to reopen this salon.
The cigar and whiskey bar operates from 5 p.m. to midnight, Tuesday to Saturday. E-mail here for reservations or call 310-906-7218.