HOTEL TIME (NO KEY REQUIRED): There was a time, not so long ago, where if you were inside a hotel you were A) staying at the hotel or B) working at the hotel. True, once every so often a big holiday meal, say an Easter brunch, would attract locals, but generally the business of the property stayed to those who were staying there. That's changed, in a big way, as hotels connect with area residents on a number of fronts, some to do with dining or refreshments, some to do with entertainment, some to do with both. Look to The W Los Angeles -- West Beverly Hills, which recently introduced a summertime, once-a-month music series that's open to guests as well as neighbors alike. Called Rendition, the live music series is all about featuring a great act over a two-hour set that starts at the oh-so-continental hour of 8 o'clock (an intriguing change-of-pace from the happy hour happenings at many bars and restaurants, those that rev up around 5 p.m.). It kind of makes you want to put on a tie, or at least change out of your workaday tie into something a little more elegant, and find that dressier late-night vibe, one that LA isn't always known for but our big-city cousin the Big Apple is (a city that loves to get its scene going at 8 o'clock or later).
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24... is the next Rendition, and smoky-chanteuse-y pop doyens David & Devine will be at the mics. On the tables? The Living Room Bar will offer a host of specialty cocktails in honor of the special series. It's true that other cities have gained a rep for the after-happy-hour, supper-club vibe, over our own, which isn't quite fair: We do the 8 o'clock, smooth-tune scene well, too. The fact that this is all happening in a hotel only ups its old-school, glittering-metropolis cred. Adding to the glitter? The W just completed a $25-million renovation. That you don't have to be a guest to enjoy some of the swank is a trend worth applauding (but save some applause for the live musical acts, too).