Virginian Cocktails (click here for address and info)
An old-school dive hangout that opened in 1938, this place is like walking onto the set of Cheers... if there was a massive desert outside rather than, ya know, a city. Overturned shot glasses mark reserved spots for hardcore regulars that haven’t arrived yet, and if you want free food (i.e., if you are human), Renee the bartender makes a gratis feast for whomever'll eat it, every single Saturday.
Amy Shouse, an LA native, lives in Santa Monica but her ancestors are from the San Fernando Valley. In a previous life, she served hard time in the corporate world. Since her escape, she's written for the LA Times, Forbes, Salon, Smart Planet and DAME among others. She blogs at OddGoodTrue.com.