More From Year In Review
Not enough rockabillies, bikers, and animatronic woodland creatures at The Griffin for you? Walk two block down Los Feliz Blvd and get yourself into Bigfoot Lodge for some of the best craft cocktails the city has to offer.
The Roost may not have free popcorn anymore (boo!), but you can still spend Christmas Day with its world-famous Big TV.
You’ll feel like you’re in the Gryffindor common room at the tapestry-adorned, fireplace-laden Griffin, and that’s definitely not a bad thing. Bonus: sweet-potato tots.
It’s not Christmas without copious amounts of tequila, so get El Carmen in your life right away. And you know what goes great with tequila? Many more tequilas. Opens at 7pm.
Why not spend Christmas in a hotel bar like an elegant ‘90s divorcée? Mr. C’s bar will be open, and its mulled-wine game will be strong.
Backstage will be open all day to meet your Yuletide day-drinking needs. Merry Christmas indeed.
Ever wondered how they celebrated Christmas in hotels in the ‘20s? Well, time machines don’t exist, so drinking in this very legit 1920s-era bar on Christmas Day is the closest you can get. Show up early, because it'll close at 6.
We know you and your friends love to take turns reading passages from Pride and Prejudice to each other, and Library Bar will ensure you can get your Jane Austen on, even on the 25th. Oh, and get a couple thousand orders of the pork belly skewers (with spicy maple glaze, cilantro, and lime), because you have to treat yo'self sometimes.
This Thrillist-fave bar full of delicious sandwiches will be jingle bell rockin’ from noon until close, so if you’re Downtown, this is a done deal, especially since it always has an Anchor on draft, and it’s always $5.
If Library Bar and Beelman’s aren’t enough for you, keep the ACME Hospitality crawl going by at their newest spot for some not-obnoxiously-designer burgers and seven rotating taps.
If jambalaya is all you really want for Christmas, this NOLA-style gastropub will fulfill your dreams. Open from 12pm-2am.
If you’ve ever wanted to spend Christmas Day in the middle of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, look no further than Sassafras, a decked-out bayou-style bar with live music and great drink specials. Bonus: you’ll most definitely not hear the Deliverance banjo riff.
It’s maximum dark in the Burgundy Room, which means you won’t have to get a good look at all the nightmare people cruising down Cahuenga.
With its Christmas roast and Christmas cheer cocktails, The Pikey aims to trick you into thinking you’re in the Dickensian Christmas age. Check it out from 4pm-2am.
Koreatown’s best nautically themed bar will be doling out its traditionally stiff pours on Santa’s big day, so make sure you’re a part of that. Ho, ho, ho, and a barrel of rum. In a single drink.
Manhattan Beach & Hermosa Beach
Even Santa Claus has his bro side. Hit up Baja Sharkeez to unleash it in the South Bay.
Conveniently located right across the street from Denny’s, so, looks like you've got your day planned. 7pm-close.
Pasadena & Santa Monica
Even if you’re not a wine expert, Bodega will treat you kindly. And so will its finger-licking small plates (like Caprese sliders and homemade hummus & pita).
Free popcorn, karaoke, and nary a lick of pretentiousness to be seen. Have yourself a merry little sing-along from 5pm ‘til close.
It’s not a holiday in the Valley if you don’t end up at the Sweep for some pool and White Russians. It’ll be open bright and early at 10am.
But you can’t spend ALL night at the Chimneysweep, so feel free to pop across the street to the Oaks Tavern to mix things up (and play copious amounts of shuffleboard).
4100 Bar will be spreading the real holiday cheer from 6pm-2am with a jukebox, photo booth, and $8 Dickel picklebacks.
If you’ve managed to round up your entire family, Laurel Tavern will do you right with its big communal tables, burgers, and strong craft beer lineup.
Starting at 8pm, you’ll be able to get your holiday cheer on at The Fifth. Which means starting at 8pm, you’ll be able to play Ms. Pac-Man. Until, like, forever.
It’s been a long year. You deserve an ocean view while you booze it up on Christmas Day. The Whaler will open at 11am.
If you want to spend your Christmas in one of the most beautifully designed bars in LA, get over to Harlowe. Open 6pm-2am.
If you’re trying to class it up this Christmas, hit up Nest -- it sits a chill 24 floors above DTLA and sports some knockout views, as well as swanky cocktails and a lineup of Asian-inspired bites by that Wolfgang Puck guy, too.
The Darkroom is a beautifully unpretentious spot in an otherwise stuffy stretch of Melrose. Head over after 7pm to play some darts, down some reasonably priced drinks, and eat some super-solid pub grub (get the sweet potato fries).
Hotels don’t close on Christmas! Which means that L’Ermitage in Beverly Hills won’t be closed. Which means that Avec Nous, the upscale French spot with the best cocktails in Beverly Hills won’t be closed. Which means you should go to there.
When Bow & Truss closed, El Tejano went kind of the other way with a Tex-Mex sports bar vibe. They’ll be open for their normal hours, so you can start spreading Christmas cheer as early as 9am.
Not exactly a bar, but it’d be dumb of us not to tell you to hit up one of 2016’s most stunning openings (especially one the whole family can enjoy). Plus they’ve also GOT a bar, so no complaining, OK?
The Goph is one of LA’s best neighborhood vibes, and they’ll be slinging drinks on Xmas starting at 5pm, which will give you plenty of time to think about what to play on the jukebox.
People can forget about Tony’s, because it’s so far towards the edge of the Arts District. But Tony’s is still there, great patio and all, and will totally be open so don’t forget this time.
You can gather your Xmas crew and head to ADB as early as 5pm for Skee-Ball, ping-pong, cornhole, and darts (and beer... definitely beer).
Great beer list. Great food (wings!). Lots of space and outdoor seating. A perfect spot to hit before you crawl towards Library Bar, Spring St. Bar, and Beelman’s (also all open!). Hooray!
At 9pm, one of Silver Lake’s neighborhood-iest spots will open up to feel whatever’s left of the cheer. You’ll want any drink they make with ginger beer.
An extensive whiskey list in a bar that’s shaped like a whiskey barrel? Yes. Such yes. They’ll open up shop at 5pm for all your Christmas needs.
The Culver City-based, less biker-y outpost of the Atwater Spot will be jinglin' starting at the their normal time of 5pm.
The beloved Highland Park watering hole known for live jazz and FREE tacos (on Tuesdays) will be open at 9pm.
1. Bigfoot Lodge3172 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles
2. The Roost3100 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles
3. The Griffin3000 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles
4. El Carmen8138 W 3rd St, Los Angeles
5. Mr. C Beverly Hills1224 Beverwil Dr, Beverly Hills
6. Backstage Bar & Grill10400 Culver Blvd, Culver City
7. Culver Hotel9400 Culver Blvd, Culver City
8. The Library Bar630 W 6th St, Los Angeles
9. Spring St. Bar626 B S Spring St, Los Angeles
10. Beelman's Pub600 S Spring, Los Angeles
11. Little Easy216 W 5th St, Los Angeles
12. Sassafras Saloon1233 Vine St, Los Angeles
13. Burgundy Room1621 1/2 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles
14. The Pikey7617 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood
15. HMS Bounty3357 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles
16. Baja Sharkeez52 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach (& other locations)
17. The Colorado Bar2640 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena
18. Bodega Wine Bar814 Broadway, Santa Monica (& other locations)
19. The Gaslite2030 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica
20. The Chimneysweep Lounge4354 Woodman Ave, Sherman Oaks
21. Oaks Tavern13625 Moorpark St, Sherman Oaks
22. 4100 Bar1087 Manzanita St, Los Angeles
23. Laurel Tavern11938 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
24. The Fifth Lounge4821 Whitsett Ave, Valley Village
25. The Venice Whaler10 Washington Blvd, Venice
26. Harlowe7321 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood
27. The Nest at WP24900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles
28. Darkroom7302 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles
29. Avec Nous9291 Burton Way, Los Angeles
30. El Tejano11122 W Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood
31. Highland Park Bowl5621 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles
32. Golden Gopher417 W 8th St, Los Angeles
33. Tony's Saloon2017 E 7th St, Los Angeles
34. Arts District Brewing828 Traction Ave, Los Angeles
35. Sixth St Tavern630 W 6th St, Ste 116, Los Angeles
36. The Thirsty Crow2939 W Sunset, Los Angeles
37. Idle Hour4824 Vineland Ave, North Hollywood
38. Bigfoot West10939 Venice Blvd, Culver City
39. La Cuevita5922 N Figueroa, Los Angeles
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.
The Roost is a dimly lit dive in Atwater Village where the drinks are cheap, the pours are generous, and the menu is chock full of comfort food. Aside from typical bar food (burgers, onion rings, nachos), there's a small but spicy selection of Asian-inflected plates like Thai beef salad, gyoza, and chicken satay. Order a PBR tallboy and some Dragon Fried wontons, jam to whatever's playing on the jukebox, and watch the infamous "Big TV" reel through highlights from old movies. Just make sure you have a pocket full of bills, The Roost is cash only.
Decked with arched brick ceilings, Gothic-style chandeliers, and red vinyl booths, The Griffin is like a medieval dungeon in Atwater Village. The cavernous lair is anchored by a stone platform with two fireplaces and a large bar, but it also features a spacious outdoor patio. The drinks are cheap, the menu full of burgers and beer, and the atmosphere low-key... unless you're a knight, in which case your coat of arms is not included.
El Carmen is a colorful, tunnel-like cantina in Beverly Grove with luchador-lined walls, lit by strings of Christmas lights (year round). The Mexican cuisine is simply an afterthought, given the nearly 10 page list of over 400 tequilas on offer -- blanco, reposed, anejo, and the lesser-known muy anejo. Taste your way through the agave with a flight or in a classic cocktail, and soak it all up with authentic Mexican dishes like a three cheese quesadilla, a heaping bowl of nachos or chilaquiles with mole. Weekday happy hour features the best of the menu and cocktails at a portion of the price, and it’s called Hora de Fiesta -- that means party hour, and that’s when you should go.
If you’re looking to up your pool-hopping game, look no further than Mr. C Beverly Hills. Both locals and guests can rent luxury cabanas and lounge by the pool. There are also seasonal rooftop events, like summer film screenings and DJ-spinning parties complete with Jenga and board games.
Backstage Bar & Grill is dedicated to pleasure. It says so on the sign. It’s a Culver City mainstay with cheap drinks -- for your pleasure -- and a daily happy hour (so the already cheap drinks get even cheaper). The dimly lit dive is open late, every day of the week, every day of the year -- for your pleasure. And every night at midnight, the bar rewards you for your ability to stay up late with a midnight snack. It’s hot, it’s free, and it’s downright thoughtful. A night at Backstage would be... our pleasure.
Housed in a 1920s flatiron building and once owned by John Wayne -- and is rumored to be where the Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz partied after filming -- the Culver Hotel is something of a Hollywood novelty. But its bar… isn’t. It’s a straight-out-of-the-20s speakeasy with a tinge of old-school Parisian boudoir. It’s dark, and only open after 8pm. This is not the place to see and be seen, but rather, the place to hide amongst the scene, with live music, craft cocktails, and paranormal activity from the ghosts of Hollywood past.
The Library is Downtown's scholastically-themed hangout featuring tufted leather couches, exposed brick walls donning various taxidermy, and an entire wall lined with (you guessed it) weathered, obviously vintage books. The bookish hangout is known for its literary referencing classic cocktails (like On the Road and The Odyssey), its craft beer selection, and its unpretentious atmosphere. Don’t let the whole book thing fool you; there are often burgers, ordered from a chalkboard on the wall, flying out of the kitchen. And much like a library full of books of different genres, the menu is home to dishes with global influence -- like edamame hummus, tuna poke, chorizo sliders, a grilled cheese sandwich, and fries (also, parmesan-garlic fries, and also, that burger).
An old-school sandwich counter tucked behind the bar here has tons of delectable choices, but the go-to is the Beaudry -- roasted turkey, mortadella, fresh mozzarella, giardiniera, and arugula -- which goes great with a $5 Anchor Steam. And also a second $5 Anchor Steam.
A Downtown watering hole from the ACME group -- also of Library Bar, Sixth Street Tavern, and others -- Beelman’s Pub is a street-side, European-style bar with Czech pilsners and Italian lagers on draft, as well as craft cocktails, reasonably priced wine, and elevated pub fare. We suggest trying the pub burger -- because it’s bursting with bacon -- and the tarte flambee. For the vegetable-loving, health food inclined, edamame and grilled broccolini are also on offer. Stop by the neighborhood bar to find out its nightly specials and rotating draft list, written on the chalkboards behind the bar.
This casual gastropub inside downtown's Alexandria Hotel channels New Orleans' joie de vivre in its decor, Cajun-influenced menu, and anything goes vibe. The French Quarter-like space is split between a small bar in the front and a swankier parlor in the back with a fountain and porch swing. Absinthe-based cocktails, po' boy sliders, and fluffy beignets are the go-to food and drink move.
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.
One of the longest running dives on Cahuenga Blvd., Burgundy Room is a small, dark, and loud neighborhood joint, hidden by the Goa-going hopefuls next door. You’ll find throngs of the tattooed rock and roll types knocking back stiff drinks in a room filled with punk, heavy metal, and rock music from the juke box (and sometimes DJs). Dodge Cahuenga’s newly opened, velvet roped nightclubs and bars, and dive into the cavernous confines of the Burgundy Room for a nostalgic escape into Hollywood’s past.
Formerly a dive bar on Sunset Blvd., The Pikey is a spacious old English-style tavern with dark wood-paneled walls decorated with British paraphernalia (Union Jacks, a coat of arms), red leather booths, iron chandeliers, and suspender-sporting staff. The menu offers elevated pub fare from a former chef of New York’s similarly-themed Spotted Pig, featuring authentic English dishes like Welsh Rarebit, chicken liver, and Fish & Chips. It's supported by inventive craft cocktails, and -- true to British pub form -- pints of beer.
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.
This South Bay mini-chain is a go-to for bros and beach goers alike for its sports bar-meets-Mexican restaurant vibes. The loaded menu features hearty tacos and burritos with an emphasis on seafood, plus burgers, tortas, and fajitas. A drinking hub above all, Baja Sharkeez doles out party buckets and pitchers of tropical drinks, margaritas, and mojitos, and naturally, has a killer weekday happy hour. The beach is within walking distance, so if you load up on one too many super-sized margaritas, you can walk it off as the sun sets over the Pacific.
Hidden among the various storefronts on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena’s Lamanda Park remains an unvarnished beacon of booze and rock and roll: The Colorado Bar & Cocktails. Since 1964, the enduring dive is everything you’d expect from a dark, pool table-wielding hole-in-the-wall. The atmosphere is welcoming, the juke box blaring, and the drinks stiff… and cheap. That’s what you came for, right?
Located in Santa Monica, Bodega prides itself on being unpretentious about wine. A go-to date spot, the wine bar is intimate and perfect for quiet conversation over good vino and small plates. It also has an awesome late night Happy Hour starting at 10 pm.
The Gaslite is part karaoke dive, part pseudo nightclub (read: no velvet ropes or bottle service, but a bustling dance floor nonetheless) in Santa Monica. The dimly lit, decades old joint is open until 2am every day, dedicated to providing guests with an ample place to dance, sing, or a place to just grab a late night, mid-week (cheap) drink in an unpretentious atmosphere on Wilshire Boulevard. Also of note: free popcorn.
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).
The Oaks Tavern -- located, not surprisingly, in Sherman Oaks -- is a craft beer and bourbon haven, with over a dozen rotating beers on draft and twice that in bottles. It’s also home to a full bar with a focus on bourbon -- bourbon-based cocktails or an unadulterated pour, your call -- nightly karaoke, and daily happy hours. Some days, those happy hours happen not once, but twice. Go for the beer and the bourbon, stay for the billiards and shuffleboard, just be sure you're there for happy hour.
Only in my dreams exists a bar that never closes, but 4100 comes close. Open every day of the week, 52 weeks of the year, 4100 is dedicated to providing Silver Lake with cheap beer, mules in copper mugs, and a neighborhood, dive bar feel… every damn day. The long, red-accented, tapestry-covered bar is dimly lit with leather booths and bar stools, so no one will even be able to see you shooting that pickle back. Stop by on a weekend, where the owner will grill you up a hot link sandwich for a mere $4, right outside the door (his BBQ sauce is something to write home -- or a Thrillist story -- about).
This Studio City gastropub focuses on hearty comfort food and a mix of cocktails, craft beers, and fine wine. The pub-style burgers (aka thick and juicy) come in six varieties that range from BBQ to bacon blue cheese, so you'll have no trouble finding the ideal burger for your tastes. Oh, and there are three kinds of fries (regular, gravy, and chili-cheese). Craving a burger and fries? Done and done.
As far as strip mall bars go, The Fifth Lounge in Valley Village is a classy, cozy place for cheap drinks and bar games -- like pool, vintage arcade games, and professional games (like, watching them on the various flat screen TVs). The Fifth boasts a daily happy hour, large banquettes in the mirrored lounge, ample seating at the central, curved bar, and a juke box stocked with your own, personal playlist (if you so desire). Don’t overlook this strip mall staple in Valley Village.
A Venice landmark, this beachside spot has been serving up market-fresh dishes and high-quality craft cocktails since the '40s. Be sure to try the fish tacos, or split some of their small bites or an artisan pizza with your group -- a group you should also convince to join in the Whaler's Monday night karaoke. While you're there, you'll want to head up to the second-floor patio bar for some gorgeous ocean views, particularly at sunset.
This WeHo haunt sports a sophisticated interior with antique decor, brown banquettes, and an intricate, handmade tile floor, plus a killer cocktail program designed by beloved NY bartender Dushan Zaric. Sip on innovative cocktails like the Aye Poppy (Uncle Val's Botanical Gin, Grand Poppy, house-made strawberry basil syrup, lemon, and egg white), alongside a cheese & charcuterie board, while you salute Hollywood's Golden Age -- the theme of this classy spot.
On the 24th floor of The Ritz-Carlton, tucked inside of WP24 by Wolfgang Puck, Nest at WP24 is a luxe lounge with an Asian-inspired menu, craft cocktails, and refined wine. Enjoy small plates like sushi, dumplings, and bao buns, or entree-sized portions of kimchi fried rice, General Tso’s crispy chicken, or a roasted Cantonese duck. No matter what you choose, you’ll be among some of the finest views of DTLA from your post at Wolfgang Puck’s Ritz-Carlton-based, high-class, high-in-the-sky nest above the city.
It used to be a camera shop. Now, it's a gastropub called Darkroom as an homage to its previous tenant, and as a description of its interior, which is... dark, and its exposed brick walls are stacked with vintage photos. The low-lighting is appropriate for eating the dripping, juicy burgers, messy beef french dips, and cheese-sriracha-bacon topped tots. Cocktails are craft, beer is cold, and the (theme appropriate) photo booth is in full force, day and night.
Avec Nous at Beverly Hills' L'Ermitage Hotel is a decidedly fine dining spot that focuses on French cuisine by way of St. Tropez. It's more contemporary than the traditional white-linen hotel dining room, a fact that makes the restaurant stand on its own in the crowded landscape of Beverly Hills hospitality. The bistro menu includes charcuterie, escargot, and main courses like a house burger with basil aioli and grilled salmon with freekah and black kale. The chic space includes plush seating, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a palmy terrace.
Deep in the heart of... North Hollywood, this lively Lone Star State-inspired spot is Tex-Mex as its best. You'll find all the classics, like queso, tortillas with grilled meats, Frito pie, and, of course, nachos. You can wash it all down with some craft beer or wine -- though tequila would probably be a more appropriate (and fun) choice. Inside, you'll find exposed brick and vibrant prints of Dia de los Muertos skulls. Outside, you can soak up some sun on their expansive patio while you play a few rounds of corn hole, or sip your drink in the shade at one of the brightly colored picnic tables.
Let the alleycats strike at this circa-1929 retro bowling alley that's been totally refurbished and made into a bar-slash-restaurant-slash-bowling alley. The food menu features a serious selection of thick-crusted, wood-fired pizzas, while drinks are all about classic cocktails like on-draft Old Fashioneds and Moscow Mules. The space boasts three different bars and a giant mural from the '30s overlooking the lanes.
The Golden Gopher, a DTLA dive with a rare, dual-liquor license grandfathered from 1905 (yes, it survived Prohibition by selling "near beer" and "medicinal" bitters), was originally dubbed Golden Sun Saloon and owned by none other than former President Teddy Roosevelt. Nearly a century later, in 2004, it became the Golden Gopher, but its character and history still live within its dark, exposed brick walls. The Bar Keeper -- from the same team that runs the Silver Lake location -- operates the liquor shop side of the Gopher, where you can on-site purchase liquor to go. But stay a while, and enjoy a pint of beer in one of few LA bars that have stood the test of 100 years' time.
On the edge of the Arts District, Tony’s Saloon is a dark dive located in a renovated roadside saloon, where, at one time, you may have seen Hunter S. Thomspon knocking back a glass of whiskey under the giant stag’s head at the bar. While the whiskey list is long (there are chalkboards lining the wall with whiskey and other spirits lists), the craft cocktail program is enhanced by 213’s Penny Pound Ice -- only the clearest ice for Tony’s cocktail drinkers. The retro dive is home to pool, darts, and ping pong -- the latter two are housed on the spacious outdoor, light-strung patio. And when hunger strikes, Pizzanista, conveniently located next door, is just a sliding window away for a slice from your seat at the bar.
Located in LA’s historic Arts District, this brewery hosts a 15-barrel layout that’s capable of producing 3300 barrels each year. Its sprawling main room and outdoor patio are great for large events, and an entertainment area comes equipped with bar games, ping-pong, darts, and more. It's a brewery, it's an arcade -- it's a brewcade.
Sixth St. Tavern is a chic gastropub in DTLA, whose zinc bar, white exposed brick walls, and butcher block tables set the tone for high-quality pub fare, craft beers (about two dozen of them rotate through the taps at all times), and classic cocktails. Known for its weekday happy hours, "Best Cheese Fries," and chicken and doughnuts (yes... together), Sixth St. Tavern is a dime a dozen in DTLA.
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.
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.
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.
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.