1. Blue Palms:
“I'm a geek about two things—beer & music. Blue Palms is like my dream come true, as it’s a craft beer bar run by one of the friendliest owners, attached to one of L.A.’s bigger concert venues, The Music Box. Brian Lenzo constantly amazes me with the special draft beers he's able to get from the many breweries around the US and Europe, and there is always something on the menu that I've never tried before. Beer, concert, and more beer equals my perfect night.”
Blue Palms, 6124 Hollywood Boulevard (at Gower Street); 323-464-2337.
2. The Golden State:
“The big beer bars in L.A. are fantastic, but I love a small, locals-only kind of place like The Golden State. They are primarily focused on making burgers, dogs, and fries and they've only got a few draft lines, but it’s always the best. A simple night with a couple of friends, plus their remarkably juicy turkey burger and some Belgian golden ale really can’t be beat.”
Golden State, 426 North Fairfax Avenue (at Rosewood Avenue); no phone.
3. The Daily Pint:
“This is my spot for a weeknight scotch and I think it’s the prototypical dive bar.
They always have the Laker games on TV, people playing foosball or photohunt, and a sign letting you know the number of a pizza place that will deliver. They’ve got one of the best craft beer lists in town and possibly THE best single malt scotch list. I have no clue how they amassed such an amazing collection, but the Daily Pint has over 300 different bottles of scotch lining the bar, some of which are way out of both my price and pronunciation range, but at least it's cheaper than flying to Scotland and commissioning an expedition into the dark caves where I think they found half of these. This is like my test kitchen where I can decide what I like before heading to the store to drop big bucks on a bottle of the more attainable ones.”
The Daily Pint, 2310 Pico Boulevard (at Cloverfield Avenue); 310-450-7631.
1. Beer Bar:
“I am a wine lady. Wine is my job. But, it can't be all wine all the time and I find beer to be so refreshing and the variety is as endless. Luckily, I can get my fix within walking distance of my home. The owners/manager of the always-packed and popular Covell headed east and designed this bar devoted solely to suds. I plan on making a checklist and trying everything that Matthew Kaner puts on the menu. I am currently obsessed with the Belgian Atomium and Russian River Brewing's Damnation. If you're hungry they have fried chicken and fried okra—be still my Southern heart. Or you can order off the menu from the adjacent Rambutan Thai.”
Beer Bar, 2835 Sunset Boulevard (at Silverlake Boulevard); 213-273-8424.
2. Coffee Commissary:
“I can only handle caffeine in very small doses, but the coffee here is superb. The house blend is roasted locally at New Frontier and they also have Victrola and Sightglass here. It's the tea though from Art of Tea that is my usual go-to. I go with the Rooibos-based vanilla berry truffle steeped in milk that is pure heaven. There's free Wifi and some seriously delicious grub like fresh pressed paninis with bread from the genius baker at Tavern, pastries from Cafe Laurent, and Friandise. You kind of never have to leave.”
Coffee Commissary, 801 North Fairfax Avenue (at North Waring Avenue); 323-782-1465.
“This spot, from the guys that brought you La Descarga, just opened. The front bar is creating some delicious cocktails, but there's a very small bar in the back called R&D (research and development). There you'll find a rotating roster of L.A.'s finest bartenders and their imaginative take on a single spirit or theme for the night. The last time I went Steve Livigni created a 4 course "meal" from "soup" to "pie", gin to bourbon. It was fantastic and showed the average drinker and professionals alike that there are endless creative possibilities when it comes to the cocktail.”
R&D bar at Harvard & Stone, 5221 Hollywood Boulevard (at North Harvard Boulevard); 323-466-6063.
“Hank's is the kinda dive that possesses a rare quality for a dive: Class. Seriously, there's a beautiful way this dive carries itself. Cheap whiskey and fancy whiskey cost the same amount, so go for the nice pour when you stop in.”
Hank's Saloon on Grand, 840 South Grand Avenue (at West 8th Street); 213-623-7718.
“Obviously, I like dive bars…We all have our vices. St. Nick's is a little slice of small town dive right smack dab in the middle of West Hollywood. Matty P. McManus, our doorman and resident comedian, discovered this gem.”
St. Nick's, 8450 West 3rd Street (at La Cienega Avenue); 323-655-6917.
“Everyone at The Tasting Kitchen bar knows just what they're doing. It's a fine example of a cocktail bar in a restaurant with no airs, and thankfully, no foams either.”
The Tasting Kitchen, 1633 Abbot Kinney Boulevard (at Palms Boulevard); 310-392-6644.