Fixing the worst part of all those "Best Bars in LA" lists that get you super excited, and then super-er crushed when you realize none of the bars are anywhere near you, here's a guide to the absolute best bar in EIGHTEEN LA 'hoods. Problem, solved (... if you don't live in Echo Park).

Culver City

Bigfoot West (address and info)
Both Bigfoot locations look like someone took Yogi Bear's Yosemite ranger stations and plopped 'em down right in the middle of the city. The Westside location has a couple things on its side, though: there aren't a ton of other bars in the area, and it's way bigger than its Atwater brother. Also: there's a BBQ-bombed drink.

Jumbos ClownGirls

East Hollywood

Jumbo's Clown Room (address and info)
It's not a strip club, exactly; they used to go nude, and then did tassels, and now it's more of a bikini bar. But really, it's a dive bar with a stage that's seen a litany of all types, colors, sizes, and creeds of women dance like they mean it, rather than for anyone else's amusement. It's really, truly a fantastic place.
 

Fashion District

The Varnish (address and info)
It's easy to forget The Varnish -- it's hidden in the back of Cole's (a perfectly great bar in its own right) and it certainly doesn't have the flash that many of the mixology-come-lately-bars that followed its much-hyped opening have mustered. But the drinks are extraordinary and fresh, the music jazzy, and the vibe 100% perfect.
 

Glendale

The Pub at Golden Road (address and info)
You'd think by the way we go on and on and on and on and on about Golden Road that we were on their payroll. Sadly for our writer wallets, we aren't -- they just make great beers and have life-sized Jenga, one of the best patios in LA, and some of the nicest staff on the planet. There are other great bars in Glendale (The Glendale Tap! Neat!) but if you've gotta pick one meet-up spot, Golden Road is it.
 

Highland Park

Hermosillo (address and info)
Our friend Steve summed it up pretty succinctly: "Hermosillo was great before they started brewing beer. Now it's better."

Dustin Downing

Hollywood

Good Times at Davey Wayne's (address and info)
There are so many great bars in Hollywood, with one of our runners up -- the perennial favorite Frolic Room -- essentially across the street from this newbie. But Davey Wayne's kind of has everything you could want behind its secret-entrance door: great cocktails, an amazingly good-looking clientele, and a crazy-detailed '70s vibe that's made it one of the most popular bars in town -- which means if you can't get in, it's good to know the Frolic's right across the street.
 

Koreatown

HMS Bounty (address and info)
Beer Belly is great. R Bar, too. And Brass Monkey. But there's something comforting about knowing the HMS Bounty -- with all its nautically themed walls, its massive, steak-laden menu, and its incredibly strong drinks -- has been there forever and will be there forever. The fact that it's the kind of place where one goes to really, truly DRINK? Added bonus.
 

Little Tokyo

EightyTwo (address and info)
Great drinks? Yep. Old-school pinball machines AND Galaga? Uh-huh. A patio with food trucks? Sure. Is this heaven? Maybe?
 

Long Beach

Alex's Bar (address and info)
Long known as a spot for punk rock kids to get their, uh, punk rock kid-ness on, this bar has aged well along with its drinks program, with a fantastic cocktail menu that makes it worth dropping in even on nights when you're not going to leave with your ears bleeding.
 

Bar Covell

Los Feliz

Covell (address and info)
Not only is it our best wine bar in the hood, but it's also the best bar bar in the hood: the guys who run it are super-knowledgable without being pretentious, which makes for a mellow glass of wine and/or/but-probably-and beer.
 

Mid-City

The Secret Club on Fairfax (address and info)
Anyone who's been inside this bar-with-no-name, hidden behind a door-with-no-window, commanded by a bouncer (with-probably-some-sort-of-hipster-facial-hair) will attest that, despite its exclusive entrance policy (you've got to be on a list, somehow), once you're inside, the pretentiousness slips away. It's got a crazily inviting interior with a small stage that's hosted some major up-and-coming bands, plus an upstairs balcony with color-changing wallpaper. There's also a barman who may be making the best Old Fashioneds in town. And once you're in -- so long as you don't mess it up by spreading the secret -- you're in (yep, to write this, we asked for permission first).
 

North Hollywood

Tonga Hut (address and info)
The Tiki-Ti (see below) isn't the only tropical game in town -- in fact, the Tonga Hut, which was established in 1958, is even older (... and wiser? Maybe wiser.). That means it really feels like you're stepping into the '60s when you walk in here: the cedar walls, the drop ceiling, and the Tiki gods that line the place have all been there since the beginning.
 

Sherman Oaks

Chimneysweep Lounge (address and info)
Sure, the Valley may have an influx of great places to drink, but nothing beats this beat-up classic for pool/free popcorn/more pool/more free popcorn...

Flickr/Sam Howzit

Silverlake

Tiki-Ti (address and info)
This side-of-Sunset shack is one of the most famous dive/Tiki bars in the world: the super-tiny interior has been kitsched-up since 1961 and run by the same family the whole time, which means their ultra-strong, ultra-sweet drinks are made just the way your dad (and maybe even his dad) liked 'em. Just don't forget your flip-flops.
 

South Bay

Saint Rocke (address and info)
Saint Rocke is the flashpoint of the South Bay music scene, sure, but what's surprising is that it's also a damn-fine bar, with $1 beer specials on Fridays and scratch-made drinks like the gin-St. Germain-lime-grapefruit "Roll With It".
 

Studio City

Black Market (address and info)
When this gastropub launched a few years ago -- from the former barman at La Descarga and with a Top Chef contender chef -- it seemed insane to drop an over-the-hill-worthy restaurant in this part of the Valley. No more: BM started a revolution and launched what's now one of the city's hottest neighborhoods, and is still going strong thanks to fantastic drinks and delicious food (thosewingstho!)
 

Venice

Hinano Cafe (address and info)
If you're drinking in Venice, you're definitely ending up at this beachside mainstay, which has been serving up brews since 1969 (and burgers -- don't forget the burgers).
 

West Hollywood

Surly Goat (address and info)
"But what about Laurel Hardware??" -- sure, it's a good question -- if you enjoy waiting in long lines and not being able to sit anywhere and feeling like maybe you're not quite good-looking enough to be there in the first place. And what about the Abbey? Also great -- surely one of the few gay bars that's equally inviting no matter your sexual orientation. But they don't have the beer list that Surly's got, nor do they have the dark corners that aren't already occupied by someone else getting, uh, frisky -- at Surly, they're yours, and your friends, and that's it.

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Jeff Miller is the Senior City Editor of Thrillist Los Angeles, and hopes he's not now banned from the secret bar. Hit him at @ThrillistLA on Twitter and @jeffmillerla on Instagram.

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1. Bigfoot West 10939 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90034 (Culver City)

Bigfoot's a Culver City brother to the same-named Los Feliz log cabin-themed bar, which was replicated on a soundstage for the film Yes Man; the wood from the set was then repurposed for the walls and the sides of the bar at the new spot.

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2. Jumbo's Clown Room 5153 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (Los Feliz)

What better way to end your night than to hit up a strip club and throw whatever bills you have left in your wallet in the air?!

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3. The Varnish 118 E 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014 (Downtown)

In the back of Cole's -- specifically behind an oak door that's marked with a framed picture of a cocktail -- is The Varnish, a tiny bar from the vaunted mixologists behind New York's Milk & Honey and Little Branch. The bar is an intimate, Prohibition-era hideaway with cozy wooden booths, soft jazz playing in the background, and expertly-made top-shelf cocktails. Order the Improved Whiskey Cocktail, or go off-menu and let the bartender make you something unexpected.

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4. Golden Road Brewing 5410 W San Fernando Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (Glendale)

Golden Road is the perfect place for anyone who loves drinking while playing games, because they've got giant Jenga, ping pong, and more, plus tons of outdoor seats, and some of LA's best local beer that's brewed right there. Enjoy a pint with some of the venue's delectable globally-inspired pub fare.

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5. The Hermosillo 5125 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042 (Highland Park)

Sip on tasty beer from local breweries at The Hermosillo, a former escort club and now cool spot in Highland Park. The craft beer and wine bar does some of its own brewing in-house in the form of the Highland Park Brewery, which churns out craft beers with unique flavors and some local ingredients. A great drink selection is accompanied by tasty bar snacks, like pork belly tacos and brussels sprouts cooked in bacon fat.

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6. Good Times at Davey Wayne's 1611 N El Centro Ave, Hollywood, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

Straight out of The Brady Bunch set, this 70's living room-themed Hollywood bar is decked out with hammocks, an Airstream Trailer, and a DJ spinning Bee Gees-esque beats. It's hard to tell what's cooler -- the epic secret entrance through a refrigerator door, or the no-cover. Weekend nights usually draw the biggest lines, but Good Times is open on weekend afternoons, aka the perfect time to kick back on the patio and order up some Tex-Mex street food and craft cocktails.

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7. The HMS Bounty 3357 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010 (Koreatown)

This may come as a surprise, but the HMS Bounty is a nautically themed British-style pub (go figure). Pull a stool up next to a local and have a chat on a weekday or join a busier crowd on the weekend. Either way, this dimly-lit hole in the wall in Koreatown is a hidden gem for a laid-back night and an inexpensive drink.

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8. Alex's Bar 2913 E Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90804 (Long Beach)

Opened in 2000, this Long Beach drinkery is a perfect divey spot to drop by for a game of pool, some quality tunes, and cheap drinks.

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9. Covell 4628 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (Los Feliz)

This cozy Los Feliz wine bar (from dudes from Stella and Silverlake Wine) features an interior uniquely decorated w/ vintage cameras and pages ripped from an antique encyclopedia, as well as 20 rotating wine options and eight unusual draught beers.

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10. The Secret Club on Fairfax 432 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 93622 (West Hollywood)

Anyone who's been inside this bar-with-no-name, hidden behind a door-with-no-window, commanded by a bouncer (with-probably-some-sort-of-hipster-facial-hair) will attest that, despite its exclusive entrance policy (you've got to be on a list, somehow), once you're inside, the pretentiousness slips away. It's got a crazily inviting interior with a small stage that's hosted some major up-and-coming bands, plus an upstairs balcony with color-changing wallpaper. There's also a barman who may be making the best Old Fashioneds in town. And once you're in -- so long as you don't mess it up by spreading the secret -- you're in (yep, to write this, we asked for permission first).

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11. Tonga Hut 12808 Victory Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91606 (Hollywood)

It's hard to think of tiki bars as a bygone fad when North Hollywood's Tonga Hut has been turning up the tiki since 1958. We're not talking just a plastic umbrella in your fruity drink or a few totem glasses (though you will see both): the cocktail bar looks like something between a retro knick-knack-littered living room and an Easter Island shipwreck. Just because the cocktails are kitsch doesn't mean they're an after-thought: the Hawaiian Eye mixes two rums with passion fruit puree, while the Coconaut Re-Entry is ignited with fire. This is the kind of corny that attracts patrons both young and old.

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12. The Chimneysweep Lounge 4354 Woodman Ave, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Sure, the Valley may have an influx of great places to drink, but nothing beats this beat-up classic for pool/free popcorn/more pool/more free popcorn. If you stop by this tiny lounge, be sure to grab a seat by the fireplace or hit up the game room.

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13. Tiki-Ti 4427 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (Los Feliz)

Tiki-Ti is a great dive/cocktail bar doling out island-inspired libations and eats.

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14. Saint Rocke 142 Pacific Coast Hwy, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254 (South Bay)

Saint Rocke is the flashpoint of the South Bay music scene, sure, but what's surprising is that it's also a damn-fine bar, with $1 beer specials on Fridays and scratch-made drinks like the gin-St. Germain-lime-grapefruit "Roll With It".

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15. Black Market Liquor Bar 11915 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604 (East Valley)

Black Market's a mid-sized Studio City gastrobistro that's merged the talents of a Top Chef All-Star, the dude from Harvard & Stone, and the former GM at Bardot, with a moody interior that looks like a bar Van Helsing might pre-game at before taking on the Count, featuring intricately paneled windows, a multi-tiered mirrored bar, and a half-dome exposed brick ceiling.

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16. Hinano Cafe 15 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292 (Venice)

Open since 1969, Hinano Cafe was reportedly Jim Morrison's favorite bar in Venice. Claim to fame aside, the uber-casual, beachside mainstay has great beer and an even better burger, served on a sesame-studded egg bun with standard toppings (lettuce, tomato, red onion, mayo, mustard, and relish) and add-ons like cheddar, Swiss, chili, and bacon. The bar slightly resembles a tiki hut from the outside, but the interior is a typical dive scene with a pool table and TVs.

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17. The Surly Goat 7929 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046 (West Hollywood)

The Surly Goat's a dark-lit two-tiered, rare-and-unusual-leaning beer bar decorated with all sorts of old brewhouse paraphernalia (everything from WWII-era ads in German to PBR one-sheets).

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18. EightyTwo 707 E 4th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Make sure you bring quarters to this spot in Little Tokyo, essentially an arcade for the 21+ crowd. The great drinks and old fashioned games frequently draw crowds, but they stay all night to sip on the delicious craft cocktails.

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