Home Hospitality Level 8, A First-of-Its-Kind Multidimensional Showcase for Culinary Exploration, Extravagant Entertainment, and...

Level 8, A First-of-Its-Kind Multidimensional Showcase for Culinary Exploration, Extravagant Entertainment, and Immersive Discovery Launches in Downtown Los Angeles


Los Angeles, California – Immersive hospitality visionaries Mark and Jonnie Houston, in collaboration with Mitchell Hochberg of Lightstone, have launched a first-of-its-kind multilayered concept, Level 8. Revolutionizing Los Angeles’ dining and social landscape, this dining, drinking, and entertainment experience features eight distinct and mesmerizing destinations, occupying the entirety of the eighth floor of the recently launched Moxy & AC Hotel Downtown LA, located directly across the street from Crypto.com Arena and the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Sprawled across 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, Level 8’s story is told through the eyes of its fictional founder, Mr. Wanderlust. This expansive maze of concepts brings together a riot of seemingly disparate global influences held together by their connection to the culture of Downtown LA and by an artful combination of authentic cuisine, performance-driven nightlife, and interactive design.

Level 8 serves as a stage for some of LA’s top culinary talent to create innovative chef-driven concepts, providing a truly unique destination in the city. Michelin-starred Chef Joshua Gil transports guests to a French-Teppanyaki experience at Maison Kasai and al fresco oyster and ceviche bar Mother of Pearl. Esquire Chef of the Year and LA native Chef Ray Garcia helms Qué Bárbaro, the South American live fire grill, and The Brown Sheep, a food truck serving “authentically inauthentic” Mexican street food with an Angeleno twist. Joel Robuchon protégé Chef Hisae Stuck heads up Lucky Mizu, inspired by the Japanese art of cooking with water: seiro mushi (steam) and shabu shabu (boil). Combined, under the guidance of Level 8 Executive Chef Richard Archuleta, the culinary concepts of Level 8 will showcase a culinary menagerie of experiences.

Partnering with nightlife impresarios Jonnie and Mark Houston, the duo behind Los Angeles’ most desirable and exclusive hospitality hotspots, from No Vacancy to Black Rabbit Rose, we’ve conceived a first instance destination that turns a night out into a transportive experience. You can begin the night with a cocktail and live music at Mr. Wanderlust, choose from any of the three unique and innovative restaurants, and end the night with dancing at one of LA’s hottest clubs, Sinners y Santos, and maybe a late-night taco – all designed for the city that’s notoriously difficult to restaurant and bar-hop. Only the Houston Brothers have the curiosity and imagination to create this series of experiences, all threaded together, each epic in its own way. Mitchell Hochberg of Lightstone

What we have learned in our 20-plus years of opening restaurants and bars around LA is that people want more than just dinner or drinks out. They want to discover something new and come away with a sense that they’ve done something memorable, something different. Level 8 is all about creating opportunities for that kind of immersive discovery – it’s a culmination of our experiences that pays homage to Downtown Los Angeles’ rich heritage and history. Mark Houston

The heart and soul of Level 8 is Mr. Wanderlust, a lively piano bar and jazz lounge with a theatrical spin where guests begin their journey. Mr. Wanderlust channels the eccentric globetrotting life of its namesake, a fictional adventurer whose collection of books, artifacts — and cocktail recipes — reflect his eclectic tastes. Golden Hour, a Miami meets Copacabana rooftop pool deck complete with a rotating carousel bar, features soaring views of magnificent sunsets and the Hollywood Hills. The pool deck transforms as the sun sets to an outdoor lounge with DJs and live entertainment. Finally, Sinners y Santos showcases two decades of Mark & Jonnie Houston’s nightlife virtuosity, transporting revelers to an abandoned 19th-century cathedral which guests enter through a “confessional”.

Being from LA, we’ve always been immersed in the city’s Latin culture, and embracing the overall culinary diversity of Los Angeles is a beautiful thing. Our trademark is a trifecta of a unique concept, a great cocktail program, and terrific entertainment, and the neighborhood provides us with so many unique cultural references that we can play off of. We’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to open Downtown and to fill a gap in Los Angeles by providing a pre and post-event destination for Angelenos and travelers alike from not only Crypto.com Arena, but also the nearby SoFi Stadium, Kia Forum, and Banc of California Stadium. With Level 8, we’re really blowing it out of the water. Jonnie Houston

The design and conceptualization of Level 8 was led by Mark and Jonnie Houston in collaboration with Lightstone Design Studio, Undisclosable, and Basile Studio. Together, the team created a captivating maze of venues featuring theatrical moments at every turn, from a 40-foot Earth Harp stretched across the ceiling of Lucky Mizu to a trapeze artist descending from a chandelier in Mr. Wanderlust.

Whether you’re coming from out of town or down the street, you can have a very different experience every time you visit, says Hochberg. Anticipation is a very powerful emotion: People are passionate about encountering something they’ve never seen, tasted, or experienced before. It’s the same urge that sent Alice down the rabbit hole. Together, Level 8 and Moxy & AC Hotel Downtown LA promise a multitude of new discoveries. Whichever adventure you choose, it’s guaranteed to be captivating and unforgettable.

Mr. Wanderlust

The Level 8 journey commences at Mr. Wanderlust, a lively piano bar, and jazz lounge exuding the adventurous spirit of its fictional namesake, the globetrotter extraordinaire. This lounge boasts two intimate and atmospheric rooms, inviting all to embark on an exploration through his musical and worldly delights.

As guests step into Mr. Wanderlust, they are welcomed into a beautiful library adorned with intricate wood paneling and bookshelves showcasing Mr. Wanderlust’s cherished experiences. A dark oak host stand serves as the centerpiece welcoming guests into the world of his adventures, while above, aerialists will gracefully swing from a chandelier, setting the stage for captivating performances throughout. The library also serves as a treasure trove of mementos featuring globally inspired rugs, collectibles, paintings, and black and white photos—each a prized souvenir echoing Mr. Wanderlust’s travels.

Entering through a hidden passageway, the public may venture deeper into Mr. Wanderlust’s home, where serpentine booths are upholstered in patterned fabrics, and intricate oak detailing adorns the walls. The lounge features a stage where Grammy-award winning artists will perform throughout the night, whilst silhouettes of mysterious performers can be seen on either side. As the evening unfolds, the stage is revealed, and a pianist or performer begins a show.

Indulge in a captivating journey through Mr. Wanderlust’s global cocktail menu at the hands of Devon Espinosa. The wine program at Mr. Wanderlust is a meticulously curated selection by award-winning sommelier, Eric Railsback, that transports guests on a sensory voyage, offering a harmonious blend of old-world classics and innovative new-world discoveries. The exceptional selection of cocktails is the result of a collaboration with esteemed mixologists from around the world, including Julian Cox, Alex Day, and Dave Kaplan, Christian “Suzu” Suzuki-Orellana of Wildhawk and Kagano in San Francisco, Kate Gerwin of Happy Accidents in Albuquerque, among others. Each beverage is meticulously crafted to showcase the spirits and flavors of their respective regions, inviting guests to embark on a mesmerizing journey with every sip. Accompanying these libations, Level 8 Executive Chef, Richard Archuleta presents a globally-inspired omakase-style selection of small bites, ranging from the exquisite Caviar Toad in the Hole to the Braised Wagyu Beef “Cigarettes,” and Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup. For an extraordinary pairing, Espinosa additionally offers an omakase-like capsule experience, thoughtfully blending craft cocktails with select small plates by Archuleta. Await to be transported to the illustrious world of Mr. Wanderlust.

From Mr. Wanderlust, guests can embark on their culinary voyage through one of two secret speakeasy entrances. The first entrance leads to Maison Kasai, the French-Japanese teppanyaki restaurant helmed by Chef Joshua Gil. The second entrance entices guests to Lucky Mizu, a seiro mushi restaurant, crafted by Chef Hisae Stuck.

www.mrwanderlustdtla.com | @mrwanderlust.dtla

Reservations are not required but recommended until 9pm

Reservations via OpenTable

Wednesday and Sunday: 5:30pm – 12am

Thursday – Saturday: 5:30pm – Late

Monday and Tuesday: closed

Lucky Mizu by Chef Hisae Stuck

Accessed through a secret corridor, guests are welcomed to Lucky Mizu, a Japanese restaurant anchored in the art of cooking with water – featuring shabu-shabu (boil) and seiro-mushi (steam). At the helm of Lucky Mizu, is talented Chef Hisae Stuck, a native of Kobe, Japan, who worked alongside legendary French Chef, Joël Robuchon, bringing her expertise to delight guests with delicious dishes.

Centered around a u-shaped dining bar, seating 30 on luxurious blue and green upholstered stools, diners will relish the interactive experience of cooking their meals at the table. The restaurant also features booths under arched trellises adorned with cherry blossoms and circular infinity mirrors depicting thousands of butterflies. The culinary journey begins with delicious “zensai” snacks and raw dishes, followed by a choice of seiro mushi or shabu shabu set entrée. Each set includes Japanese A5 wagyu, Kurobuta pork, seasonal seafood, or organic farmer’s market vegetables, along with a variety of broths. Specialty libations, including rice-based spirits and umeshu, complete the experience with a nod to the vibrant drinking culture of Osaka and Tokyo.

The restaurant features a wall adorned with 777 traditional golden “lucky cat” figurines. Above the bar, on a platform, musicians will perform on a 40-foot Earth Harp that stretches diagonally from one corner of the room to the other — the creation of visionary musician and Grammy Award-winning artist William Close — and on drums, giving the impression of dining in a music box.

www.luckymizudtla.com | @luckymizu.dtla

Reservations via OpenTable

Wednesday – Sunday: 5:30pm – 10pm

Monday – Tuesday: Closed

Maison Kasai by Chef Joshua Gil

The journey into the world of Maison Kasai (“House of Fire”) begins in the alluring confines of Mr. Wanderlust where guests will be guided into the restaurant through a secret entryway. This passageway unveils a French-Japanese teppanyaki offering, envisioned and curated by Michelin-starred chef, Joshua Gil. At the heart of Maison Kasai sit bespoke teppanyaki tables serving as captivating platforms where skilled chefs will artfully prepare each course with a mesmerizing culinary performance.

Where live cooking becomes an art form, Chef Gil has crafted an exquisite menu that skillfully blends Japanese flavors with French culinary techniques. Here, diners explore a teppanyaki culinary experience featuring an array of delectable entrees, with a dinner experience featuring à la carte items or a teppanyaki dinner menu. Highlights include lobster (with kosho corn custard, miyoga drawn butter); wagyu dumplings (shiitake consommé, fresh wasabi); omega azul kampachi (nasu dengaku, miso boulliabase); or the renowned Japanese A5 Wagyu – each dish is accompanied by traditional French sauces. Indulge in the flavors of Wakame Shiitake Tare, Kizami Au Poivre, and Sauce à l’Americaine that perfectly complement grilled delicacies. Complementing each dish, Maison Kasai offers a thoughtfully curated selection of premium sake, shōchūs, and craft cocktails, ensuring a well-rounded dining experience with each expertly crafted sip.

Drawing inspiration from Japanese expressionism in Art Deco, the restaurant’s ambiance is a harmonious blend of elegance and creativity. Custom-designed Japanese Art Deco-style wallpaper, envisioned by artist Candice Kaye, adorns the walls, presenting a mesmerizing geometric collage of abstracted faces and silhouettes. With two private dining spaces, the walls at Maison Kasai are beautifully adorned with rich, warm wood tones, embellished with captivating starburst patterns that create a stunning three-dimensional visual effect.

www.maisonkasaidtla.com | @maisonkasai.dtla

Reservations via OpenTable

Wednesday – Sunday: 5:30pm – 10pm

Monday – Tuesday: Closed

Qué Bárbaro by Chef Ray Garcia

Guests can discover the diversity of South American cuisine through the tradition of live fire cooking at Qué Barbaro. Crafted by award-winning chef Ray Garcia, this open and airy restaurant showcases live wood-fire cooking with meats, seafood, and creative vegetarian dishes, all infused with bold, refined flavors, prepared on a wood-fired open grill in the center of the space. Menu highlights include Provoleta (provolone picante, san marzano tomato, chimichurri, baguette); Anticucho de Hongo (oyster mushroom, black garlic, cambray onion); Dorada a la Parrilla (dorade, romesco, baby fennel, calabrian chili); and the large format Costilla Gaucha – a 30 oz prime, bone-in short rib meant for sharing (with leaf lettuces, sweet potato, ensalada rusa, chimichurri). The cocktail menu includes twists on classic South American drinks like the caipirinha, and riffs on the pisco sour, and a play on the flavorful batida — all designed to complement the live fire cuisine.

For those seeking an alfresco dining experience, an outdoor bar offers a captivating view of the restaurant. The restaurant design draws inspiration from South American architecture and is adorned with lush greenery on the ceiling. Tropical-toned fabrics in various shades of deep greens adorn the booths and banquettes, while the wallpaper showcases a lively scene of birds, monkeys, and other wildlife frolicking amidst a vibrant jungle backdrop. Wood paneling and colorful tiles, along with the sparkling glow of brass sconces, create an ambiance reminiscent of a private garden oasis. Custom light fixtures resembling wooden trellises are adorned with lush greenery, creating an enchanting atmosphere as if dining beneath a suspended garden.

www.quebarbarodtla.com | @quebarbaro.dtla

Reservations via OpenTable

Wednesday – Sunday: 5:30pm – 10pm

Monday – Tuesday: Closed

Golden Hour

Qué Barbaro spills out onto Golden Hour, a Miami-meets-Copacabana rooftop pool deck presenting an urban oasis eight stories above Downtown LA. Bathed in the warm glow of the sun stands a striking carousel bar with rotating top strung with chandeliers, embellished with golden pineapples. The pool deck transforms as the sun sets to an outdoor lounge with DJs and live entertainment.

The cocktail menu draws inspiration from classic tiki culture with a rotating selection of granitas, “painkiller-coladas,” and more, whisking guests to an island getaway. Golden Hour provides the ideal locale to enjoy breathtaking Southern California sunsets year-round.

Golden Hour’s large rotating carousel bar is visible from the street, capturing the imagination of passers-by. The color palette evokes the magical hues of golden hour, with radiant golden tones dancing alongside the lush greens of the tropics and the alluring oranges and pinks of the setting sun. With private cabanas, swing seats, convertible lounge chairs, and Copacabana-style patterned tiles surrounding two swimming pools, it’s a see-and-be-seen hot spot that transitions seamlessly from day to night.

www.goldenhourdtla.com | @goldenhour.dtla

Reservations are not required

Wednesday – Sunday: 5:30 pm – 11pm

Monday and Tuesday: Closed

The Brown Sheep

(opening later this month)

Found on Level 8’s expansive outdoor terrace, The Brown Sheep by Chef Ray Garcia presents unexpected takes on a seemingly casual menu of comfort favorites, showcasing Garcia’s “authentically inauthentic” approach to cooking as well as his ability to deftly incorporate global flavors into his menus, making his food quintessentially “LA.”. Menu highlights include Panilocos (pani puri, pickled wood ear mushroom, Japanese peanut, cucumber, tamarind chutney); Hot Chicken Tacos (guajillo fried chicken, slaw, habanero comeback sauce, flour tortilla); and Lengua Cheesesteak (beef tongue, rajas, provolone, crispy shallot, chile morita, flour tortilla).

Modeled after a classic street eats vehicle, the “vintage” truck invites guests to place orders at the fixed counter, replicating a genuine street food experience. Surrounded by the enchanting beauty of Talavera tiles, the terrace beckons guests to indulge in a variety of colors and textures. Inviting wood-and-leather Equipale chairs provide comfortable seating, while wrought iron furniture, adorned with upholstery in bold stripes of saturated pink, orange, green, and blue, adds a vibrant touch. As the sun sets, the terrace comes alive DJs spin, setting the stage for a quintessential experience.

www.brownsheepdtla.com | @thebrownsheepdtla

Reservations are not required

Wednesday – Saturday: 5:30pm – late

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday: Closed

Mother of Pearl

(opening later this month)

Beyond a wall adorned with vibrant pink bougainvillea and stunning wrought iron gates lies Mother of Pearl, a champagne & oyster bar from Chef Joshua Gil. Also located at Level 8’s outdoor terrace, Mother of Pearl showcases the finest locally sourced ingredients, creating innovative variations of traditional flavors that are sure to captivate discerning palates. Dishes include seafood towers, Crab Bouillabaisse with saffron rice crisps, Lobster Egg Salad Tea Sandwich topped with caviar, and Chilled Shrimp and Octopus Tom Yum – all dishes showcase the love of tradition reinterpreted through contemporary technique. Libations spotlight champagnes, Old and New World wines, cocktails created with fresh-pressed juices, and martinis complete with caviar bumps.

Designed as a Spanish Colonial gazebo, an intricately curved wrought iron and glass overhang frames the bar below, which is faced with hand-troweled stucco inlaid with Talavera tile of cobalt blue borders and blue, yellow, and white florals.

Reservations are not required.

www.motherofpearldtla.com | @motherofpearldtla

Wednesday: 5:30pm – 11 pm

Thursday – Sunday: 5:30pm-10pm

Monday and Tuesday: Closed

Sinners y Santos

(opening later this month)

As revelers step into the realm of Sinners y Santos, they encounter a mesmerizing journey that begins with a “confessional booth,” an enigmatic gateway where secrets are unveiled and souls are laid bare. Here, a moment of profound reflection awaits, as those who enter must confess their sins to unlock the world beyond. A nightclub that promises an evening of delightful intrigue, Sinners y Santos celebrates the legendary El Santo, the revered Mexican luchador and folk hero. While savoring specialty agave cocktails served in ornate chalices, clubbers are mesmerized by surprise performances that pay tribute to El Santo’s extraordinary career during the 1950s and 60s.

Imagined as a repurposed 19th-century cathedral, the club beckons visitors into an awe-inspiring setting, reminiscent of a reimagined ancient cathedral. The venue showcases walls adorned in Venetian plaster, revealing patches of original brick beneath, alongside wrought iron chandeliers and distressed oak millwork. Dripping prayer candles surround the stained-glass bar whilst a cleverly disguised DJ booth, fashioned as a pipe organ, hides within arched, barrel-vaulted ceilings, inviting all visitors to surrender to the mesmerizing beats of the night.

www.sinnersysantosdtla.com | @sinnersysantos

Thursday – Saturday: 10pm – 2am

Sunday – Wednesday: Closed

Brothers Mark and Jonnie have created a niche market of luxury hot spots. Their desire to bridge the gap between a dive bar and a nightclub in LA led them to create their own first-of-their-kind speakeasies and clubs. Beginning with the launch of Piano Bar in 2007, a flurry of additional concepts followed, each more inventive than the last. Over the years, spanning from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, the additions to the Houston Hospitality family have included: Cuban-themed bar La Descarga, American-themed live music venue Harvard & Stone, Parisian cocktail lounge Pour Vous, speakeasy-style No Vacancy & Dirty Laundry, 1970s-inspired Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, On the Record at Park MGM Las Vegas, 80’s oasis Break Room 86, and disco-deco dreamscape Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Known for their transportive, unique experiences their various concepts have attracted top talent and celebrities across the city including Lady Gaga, Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, Drake, the Weeknd, Diplo, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, and Bruno Mars.

At Level 8, a tapestry of extraordinary experiences awaits. Each unique concept, crafted under the creative vision of the Houston brothers, Mitchell Hochberg, and their chef partners, invites guests to embark on journeys through realms of flavor and culture that transcend the ordinary. From the alluring world of Mr. Wanderlust to the vibrant energy of Qué Barbaro and the revelry of Sinners y Santos, Level 8 is a symphony of senses. As the doors open to reveal these remarkable destinations, we invite all to join on this unparalleled voyage, where every moment is a celebration of the extraordinary.

Address: 1254 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

www.level8dtla.com | | houstonhospitalityla.com | @level8.dtla

www.moxydtla.com | www.achoteldtla.com | @Moxy_AC_losangeles

ABOUT MOXY & AC HOTEL DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES

With a multitude of experiences under one roof, Moxy and AC Hotel Downtown Los Angeles are DTLA’s new destination for visitors and locals. Located in the heart of Downtown, directly across from the Los Angeles Convention Center and Crypto.com Arena, the two hotels offer a total of 727 guestrooms; an unprecedented 12 dining and entertainment options, including Level 8, a collection of restaurants, bars, and lounges that highlight the neighborhood’s diverse cultures and cuisines; a Miami-meets-Copacabana pool deck; and over 13,000 square feet of flexible meeting and social events space with a design inspired by DTLA’s industrial heritage. The property, which opened earlier in 2023, was developed and is owned by Lightstone.

About Houston Hospitality

Founded in 2007, with the launch of Piano Bar, fraternal twins Mark and Jonnie Houston have cornered a niche market of high end nightlife concepts. Each location more inventive than the last, their projects and concepts span from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and beyond. The current Houston Hospitality family includes cuban-themed bar La Descarga, American-themed live music venue Harvard & Stone, Parisian cocktail lounge Pour Vous, speakeasy-style No Vacancy & Dirty Laundry, 1970s-inspired Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, On the Record at Park MGM Las Vegas, 80’s oasis Break Room 86, and disco-deco dreamscape Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and multi-layered culinary and nightlife destination, Level 8.





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