You definitely drank this year, but remembering where can be tricky. That's why we broke it down for you: these are the 11 best new LA bars you stumbled out of in 2015, which means you should make them a priority to stumble back into next year.
Los Angeles' 11 Best New Bars of 2015
Leave it to the Houston bros -- the twins who made Narnia-esque bar entrances par for the course in LA -- to lead you through a vending machine (what?) into the ultimate '80s dreamland, complete with a cassette tape-covered wall and nightly Michael Jackson impersonators.
The massive outdoor patio of Idle Hour would make it a contender for this list even if the main bar itself weren't constructed inside a massive whiskey barrel. But it is.
Pasadena's sort of an LA sleeper-neighborhood: it's full of Hollywood working-class 20-and-30-somethings who are desperate for local spots that are as quality-assured as those that require a train ride to reach. Which is where this beer hall from Ryan Sweeney -- the same dude behind Little Bear and Surly Goat -- comes in. German-style beers, Bavarian food, and zero train time: bingo.
The first thing you need to know about is the enormous outdoor patio. The second thing you need to know about are the burgers. The third thing you need to know about is the address, because if you're smart you're already on your way to drink wine flights on that patio with that burger.
There is no match for the outdoor upstairs patio here, which has, perhaps, West Hollywood's best view of the city plus crazy-good cocktails, like the boozy bubble tea. Also: the downstairs Asian restaurant is no joke. This is a twofer where each one is as good as the sum of their parts.
Connected to the 101 Coffee Shop, it feels like evidence of a time when a nightcap was an essential ingredient to a night well spent, which is exactly what you should do at the teeny-tiny bar (it's name is no joke).
The award for most unique bar program of the year (and maybe in LA, period) goes to this hidden bar behind Normandie Club, which is doing highly creative omakase cocktails using ingredients and techniques developed at an in-house R&D lab. Seriously.
Ain't nothing wrong with a killer barcade, and this one has its nostalgia game on lock, with a slew of old-school games (from Street Fighter II to Pole Position) and craft beer taps to satisfy the pickiest '80s beer geek... and, oh yeah, food from Starry Kitchen, which means there's no reason to leave. Ever.
The roaring ‘20s-themed spot, located right above Estate, is the Westside’s most exciting mixology bar, and its classic and forward-thinking cocktails make trips Eastside wholly unnecessary.
The Roosevelt's re-opened debauchery lounge has flying midgets, panda bears, a daddy dominatrix, and a blow-job room. Seriously. Where's Stefan when you need him?
Above Barrel and Ashes is this first-ever standalone bar from Julian Cox, who has been a drinks mastermind for pretty much every restaurant in the city with a great cocktail program. Here, he's doing a small-but-strong cocktail list... unless you ask for the secret menu, which adds 20 more choices. Do it.
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Jeff Miller is the editor of Thrillist LA, and needs to go back to Button Mash to beat his pinball score, stat. Find out when to meet him there at @jeffmillerla on Instagram or @ThrillistLA on Twitter.
1. Break Room 863515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles
2. Idle Hour4824 Vineland Ave, North Hollywood
3. Der Wolfskopf72 N Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena
4. E.R.B.1936 E. 7th St, Los Angeles
5. E.P. & L.P.603 N LA Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood
6. MiniBar6145 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles
7. Walker Inn3612 W 6th St, Los Angeles
8. Button Mash1391 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
9. Guest Room1519 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica
10. Beacher's Madhouse7000 Hollywood Blvd , Hollywood
11. The Fiscal Agent11801 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
Break Room 86 is a blast from the '80s past that comes complete with classic arcade games, themed cocktails, and two karaoke rooms awesomely equipped with Atari.
Originally built as a tap room in 1941, Idle Hour has been refurbished and reopened into a shining example of what every bar shaped like a giant whiskey barrel should be. Cocktails on tap, a top-notch patio out back, and even a separate private party annex that's shaped like a giant, pipe-smoking bulldog (everything is shaped like something!!) take this Vineland drinking destination to the next level.
This German beer hall in Old Town Pasadena has a lot in store for you -- a spacious hall where you can enjoy tons of German brews, from the rare to the regular, plus hearty eats like schnitzel and Bavarian pretzels. Hidden downstairs is a secret bar that you just might be lucky enough to enjoy, filled with specialty beers, secret craft cocktails, and, thankfully, ALSO hearty eats like schnitzel and Bavarian pretzels.
From Matt Molina, a James Beard Award-winning alum of Osteria Mozza, and Randy Clement of Silver Lake Wine, Everson Royce Bar is a relaxed bar with well-constructed cocktails and critically-acclaimed food (especially the burger). The large back patio is a huge draw, complete with picnic tables, wood and brick walls, and a blue bocce court.
It's a bit hard to discern which is which at this two-for-one West Hollywood spot. Downstairs is E.P., an Asian restaurant that combines Thai cooking with Chinese, Fijian, and Vietnamese elements. Meanwhile, L.P. is the upstairs patio bar serving up street food small bites and killer cocktails surrounded by stunning views of the Hollywood Hills.
This tiny little bar is attached to The 101 and it's cocktails are killing the game.
Pro tip: avoid the crowd at The Normandie Club, hit the buzzer at the back of the bar, and enter The Walker Inn, where your mind will be blown by their unexpected cocktails. The menu is based around an elaborate theme, such as regional climates, and it changes roughly every four to six weeks. Second pro tip: pair your cocktail with the unusual omakase-style pairings at the bar.
This Silverlake barcaderestaurant (bar + arcade + restaurant, duh) nails it three ways with food, drink, and games. The Asian-leaning menu, crafted by the critically acclaimed Starry Kitchen duo, features double-fried chicken wings, rice and noodles dishes, and veggie small plates. The throwback games include Donkey Kong, pinball, and the old-school like.
A "secret" Prohibition-era-themed bar serving up cocktails like the rye/ sherry/ bitters "Devils Candy" as well as shareable plates like a char sui pork flatbread.
Beacher's is a Hollywood-fashion LA club that's spinning awesome music, doling out strong libations, and's got FLYING PEOPLE AND OOMPA LOOMPAS.
Located above BBQ joint Barrel and Ashes, Fiscal Agent's the first standalone bar from cocktail-culture fixture Julian Cox. The impeccably classy hideaway in Studio City is a perfect date spot, complete with memorable drinks and tasty small plates. The drinks are pricey, so it's definitely the kind of place you go to nurse a well-crafted cocktail, not down a bottom-shelf one.