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.
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".
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!)
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).
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.