Spinach and Artichoke Dip Pizza, the Ultimate Party Appetizer
1. La Cuevita5922 N Figueroa, Los Angeles
2. Cole's118 E 6th St, Los Angeles
3. Townhouse52 Windward Ave, Venice
4. Neat1114 Pacific Ave, Glendale
5. Sassafras Saloon1233 Vine St, Los Angeles
6. Comme Ca8479 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles
7. Bigfoot West10939 Venice Blvd, Culver City
8. Del Monte Speakeasy52 Windward Ave, Venice
9. The Thirsty Crow2939 W Sunset, Los Angeles
10. Bigfoot Lodge3172 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles
11. Oldfield's Liquor Room10899 Venice, Culver City
La Cuevita is a tequila- and mezcal-centric grotto (cuevita means cave... also bar used to be called Little Cave) in Highland Park. It's decked out in vintage Mexican-themed trimmings, has a spacious outdoor patio, and free tacos on Tuesday nights (not a typo, there are actually free tacos). The cocktail cave will quench your thirst with classic Mexican cocktails -- Palomas, Margaritas, and the like -- and beloved agave spirits -- of which there are many -- and your sate your hunger with small Mexican bites brought in from local vendors, which vary depending on the night.
Constantly locked in battle with Philippe for the enviable "oldest French dip in LA" crown, Cole’s P.E. Buffet first opened its doors to thirsty commuters arriving on Red Car trolleys to the Pacific Electric terminal beginning in 1908. The bar endured the dry years with 3¢ bitters and 10¢ "near beers", but really made bank with the city’s first check-cashing service conveniently located within the bar. The Cedd Moses revamp added the speakeasy-style back bar, The Varnish, and a few modern touches (no more sawdust-covered floors! New pickled eggs!), but hung onto the original, massive front mahogany bar, Tiffany lampshades, and old oak tables made from old railway cars.
The Townhouse, established in 1915, is the oldest bar in Venice, has an awesome selection of whiskeys and is a great space for live music.
One of the perks of success is that others start doing work for you, with the other being talking to Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins about his nickname & surprisingly successful pro career. Weirdly opting for the former route, the super-successful barman behind Neat.
Authenticity comes in all shapes and sizes. At Sassafras Saloon, it comes in the shape of a one-time Savannah townhouse that was deconstructed, transported (from Georgia), and resurrected smack in the heart of Hollywood. Sure, the draw may be the live music and Southern-style cocktail proffer -- house-brewed sarsaparilla and barrel-aged beverages among them -- but the various (and plentiful) antebellum tchotchkes solidify the saloon’s down-home feel. Sassafras will take you from one southern corner of the country to the other as you sip your Sazerac in the parlor, underneath the portrait of Frederick Douglass.
Though its menu's traditional (Sole Meuniere, Escargot, Coq a Vin, etc), this modern'd up brasserie from the Sona chef also features various bars: cheese, raw, and booze.
Bigfoot West is the Culver City sister to Bigfoot Lodge in Atwater Village. Not only do they share a name, but a log cabin theme. Bigfoot West, in all its wood-paneled, taxidermy-wielding glory, will make you feel like you've left Culver City for the wilderness. (Don't panic! You haven't.) Bigfoot’s got over 100 whiskies on offer -- over half of them small-batch bourbons -- with a cocktail program that features infusions, shrubs, sherbets, purees, jams, and other culinary influence. Step into the cabin-like confines of Bigfoot West for expertly crafted cocktails and an escape to the wilderness.
The Del Monte Speakeasy actually served up drinks during prohibition to thirsty patrons and is cleverly hidden by Menotti's grocery store on the street level. A great place to go to when you need to get "groceries".
The Thirsty Crow is the kind of place you'd think your grandfather used to frequent. It's a bourbon-centric bar located in the former truck stop-style drinkery called Stinkers', whose owner capitalized on the elevated tastes (read: above the PBR/Jack Daniels paygrade) of his guests. He gutted, renovated, and re-concepted Stinkers' into The Thirsty Crow, and decked it out with a brand new... vintage feel. The shelves are stocked with over 40 small-batch distills, the music comes from an all-wood, all-vinyl juke box, the bar is lit by antique fixtures, and the walls are lined with weathered photographs. New construction, old-school flavor... like I said, there's no way your grandfather used to come here.
Step into the log cabin-like interior of Bigfoot Lodge and escape into the wilderness of... Atwater Village. The roaring fireplace, tree stump tables, and hunting lodge decor will have you certain you’ve left Los Angeles (don’t worry, you haven’t). Bigfoot’s got live music, tallboys, and rustic-style cocktails that adhere to the campfire theme, like the Roasted Marshmallow with actual burnt marshmallow, and the Scout’s Honor with Irish cream liqueur. Once you've got your drink, cozy up to the fireplace and forget that you’re actually nowhere near the woods.
Oldfield's is a throwback cocktail bar that looks sort of like the apothecary that you used to visit when you were young and adept at traveling back in time to the early 20th century, with tiled floors, antique wood tables/chairs, and a massive wood bar flown in from Wisconsin, all from the semi-pro car racing guy behind Thirsty Crow/Bigfoot Lodge, who named the space after the first race car driver to hit 60mph.