These Onion Rings Are Stuffed With Cheeseburgers
1. Border Grill1445 4th St, Santa Monica
2. Oldfield's Liquor Room10899 Venice, Culver City
3. Bigfoot West10939 Venice Blvd, Culver City
4. Sassafras Saloon1233 Vine St, Los Angeles
5. The Thirsty Crow2939 W Sunset, Los Angeles
6. La Cuevita5922 N Figueroa, Los Angeles
7. Plan Check Kitchen + Bar351 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles
8. Rock & Reilly's Irish Pub8911 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood
9. Dominick’s8715 Beverly Blvd, West Hollywood
Executive Chef Alex Moreno's Border Grill serves up quality Mexican food in a lively setting. Hit Border Grill's weekend-only brunch, where $30 gets you all-you-can-eat Yucatan-roasted pork eggs Benedict, short-rib hash, and bacon-and-jalapeno-topped PB&Js.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This sophisticated gastropub -- with a few locations across Los Angeles -- is acclaimed for its burgers, whiskey, and craft beer. The namesake Plan Check burger, topped with pickles, onions, and Americanized dashi cheese, is famous for its layer of Ketchup Leather, which is a square of dehydrated tomato paste that melts over the patty like a layer of cheese. Plan Check’s comfort food vibe makes for a hip and social ambience, complemented by tall communal tables and plenty of bar seating.
With an interior filled with flat screens and a massive selection of whiskeys, this Sunset Strip Irish pub is a favorite because of its interesting backstory (the founder was born during a bar fight!) and their commitment to charity by hosting one nonprofit event per month. Now you can feel good about that extra drink. (It's for a good cause.)