Where to Drink in LA

Where to Drink in LA

The answer to the above is: literally anywhere. General rules:

-If you want the best deals in town, Sunday is the day to get your libations on. Most places in LA have a Sunday discount and you can easily find $2-5 deals across the city

-Do not trust west side. Once ordered a sangria in Santa Monica and the bartender poured wine into a glass and then dumped a handful of blueberries in. They had the audacity to charge me $9. And that is when I swore to never bother with the west side again

-If you're a sports fan, give up now. LA sadly ain't about that sports bar life. But! We do have a ton of other things to do. Enjoy:

 
Arts District LA. The building with the eyes on it is Angel City Brewery. One block over is Arts District Brewing. Photo credit: atmateo.com

Arts District LA. The building with the eyes on it is Angel City Brewery. One block over is Arts District Brewing. Photo credit: atmateo.com

For trivia night

Trivia night has an almost cult-like following out here. I'm going to recommend two places:

The first is Angel City Brewery, partially because it's a really cool space, partially because it has great beer, partially because I host the trivia nights. Every Tuesday at 7 p.m. y'all. It gets real packed, so come early to grab a table. We average around 25+ teams a week, with anywhere from 80-100+ people, making it one of the biggest trivia nights in the city. Plus there are tacos outside for $2/each. Plus you can come say hi to me.  For beer, I recommend the Berliner Weisse with mango syrup. The oolong saison is also real funky.

Right down the street, but lacking a trivia night, is Arts District Brewing. Their beer isn't as good as Angel City's, but I do love their vibe. Plus, there's skee ball.

For the most difficult trivia night in all of Southern California, head over to O'Brien's Irish Pub in Santa Monica on Wednesdays at 8. Almost everyone in that room has appeared on either Jeopardy! or Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Some of Jeopardy!'s winningest contestants attend regularly. Luckily there are two categories for cash prizes: one for the highest scoring team, and one for the highest scoring team with no Jeopardy! members. Everyone there is super friendly and warm. You will get your ass kicked.

Pacific Seas at Clifton's Republic. It's a tiki speakeasy, what more could you want? Photo credit: Eater LA

Pacific Seas at Clifton's Republic. It's a tiki speakeasy, what more could you want? Photo credit: Eater LA

For that tiki bar vibe

Tiki is having a revival in Los Angeles at the moment, and there's no better place to experience it than Pacific Seas at Clifton's Republic. First of all, check out Clifton's Republic for the sake of seeing it. It's an enormous five-story space with a cafeteria on the ground level, a bar on the second, a Gothic bar on the third, and a tiki speakeasy upstairs. It feels very Disney-esque with a taxidermed buffalo and lion situated amongst blue-green lighting, fake waterfalls, and a massive redwood tree. At the second floor bar, The Monarch, order the Big Sur: a combination of gin, house-made honey sour, and THYME. It smells like an Italian dinner but tastes like dessert. 

The real thing to see is Pacific Seas upstairs. Go up to the third floor. There's a mirror-like inset along a wall. That's actually a door. Give the mirror a hard shove and it will give way to a set of stairs that will lead you to Pacific Seas. It's an incredible space and they give all their drinks a healthy dose of rum. Do note that on weekends, they have a dress code.

Alternatively, if you're willing to drive, my all-time favorite place to drink in Southern California is Downtown Disney. Trader Sam's, tucked behind the Disneyland resort, was my first tiki bar. The Uh-Oa! is a giant drink that comes with 7 shots of rum, special effects, AND fire. Be sure to also hit up Tortilla Jo's and their margarita flights. The best part? Parking is free for up to four hours with validation. God Bless Orange County for its unfettered parking availabilities. 

Echo Park Lake. Probably the best hood in the city at the moment. Photo credit: Leonard Drorian

Echo Park Lake. Probably the best hood in the city at the moment. Photo credit: Leonard Drorian

For a night out in Echo Park

Echo Park is my preferred hood because 1. I live there, 2. Dope bars with chills vibes and good peeps, and 3. Parking is never too atrocious or unwieldy.

1642 is a literal hole in the wall. It has capacity for maybe 20-30 people inside. But they've always got a great jazz or ragtime band going, and Thursday night is tamale night.

The Lost Knight on Sunset is our go-to haunt. If Rajiv is bartending that night, specifically go to him for a mojito. The Lost Knight has a great upstairs patio area for hanging out and chilling, and they almost always have live music going on downstairs. Thursday night karaoke gets crazy there. Everyone sings like they're auditioning for Broadway; it's almost a little too good. Free parking in their lot across the street.

Afterwards, head up Sunset to El Compadre for some flaming margaritas. The flames don't last long but those margaritas are poured out STRONG. 

Finally, Button Mash has got to be one of the most eclectic places in the neighborhood. It's both a fusion food restaurant with an emphasis on Korean food, as well as a bar, as well as an arcade. They got the old-school X-Men game in one corner that can fit five people. On the other end, they got pinball machines galore. 

If you're not feeling a chill night with friends and you just want to hit the dance floor with some ratch ass beats, then ya gotta get out of Echo Park. Club db Lounge in Downey is the place to be. Oh ho ho, will you be in for a treat.