Jumbos ClownGirls
Dustin Downing
Bar Covell
Flickr/Sam Howzit
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1. Bigfoot West 10939 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90034 (Culver City)

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.

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

Housed in the lobby of the historic Gaylord Hotel, HMS Bounty Food & Grog is a nautically themed, British-style watering hole on Wilshire. Since its inception in 1948, the space has been home to various concepts like The Gay Room, The Secret Harbor and The Golden Anchor. The current dive was born in 1962, and has been drawing crowds to its bustling bar and restaurant since. You're here for the cold beer, the popular Monte Christo (among other British staples), and yes, you recognize it from that one scene in Mad Men.

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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

The Valley may be home to an influx of great dive bars, but not much beats The Chimneysweep Lounge, a beat-up classic with a game room, free popcorn, and cheap drinks by the roaring fire. The Sherman Oaks watering hole may be small, but its bar is full, its game room stacked, and its TVs powered on with round-the-clock sports coverage. Stop in for a beer and a game, stick around for the billiards (and karaoke, depending on the night).

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

True to its name, Tiki-Ti churns out notoriously tasty (and dangerously sweet) island-inspired libations. As is the custom with all great tiki spots, drinks topped with fresh skewered pineapple, passion fruit juice, and various island rums are served in coconut shells and thematic tiki-faced jugs -- the bar tenders at this joint are big believers in the fact that no one should feel guilty about craving a sugary, pink, paper-umbrella-topped cocktail. The space itself is equally festive, displaying a museum-like array of Polynesian statues, masks, and keepsakes, almost as diverse and extensive as the drink menu itself. And along with the pop-artifact collection, the island charm aesthetic at this tropical drink haven is complete with a steady soundtrack of easy-listening, beat-heavy music.

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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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