So I'm newly 21 and am looking for fun/friendly bars on the Westside. Good drinks, cute bartenders, interesting patrons, and of course tasty food is always a plus. Please suggest any bars that are must visits, also any that might be obscure.
Bodega Wine Bar in Santa Monica is fun and loud. I love their artisan pizzas Good-looking people all around.
The Arsenal is also a favorite of mine. Great sliders (3 for $6) and pretty inexpensive food in general. Great space, friendly service, gets busy pretty much every night.
Ye Olde King's Head is fun too but pretty casual - British pub, has darts, sometimes karaoke, usually a soccer game on TV. Food is fish and chips, Scotch eggs, etc.
I also like Baja Cantina on Washington - laid-back, very tasty Mexican food, and it gets crowded and fun, especially for sporting events. Nice patio too.
Whist at the Viceroy - fits all your criteria, and for dessert, I suggest the dessert sampler, or even just the hot, fresh chocolate chip cookies. :)
Saddle Ranch Chop House (I find if you go up to the bar, eye contact might get you a better, special addition to the drink but in any event, the drinks are (tall) and good and food portions are huge. A plus: riding the bull you have to be over a certain age for)
I didn't find Bodega very interesting...food wasn't appealing to me, and the place was too small. But, it's a nice place to meet for after-work drinks.
The bar at Josie.
Sidebar at CUT.
Upstairs at Mastro's.
It's not quite on the westside, but I recommend 3rd stop on 3rd st near La Cienega if you're looking to eat out at a bar. The food there is good (my boyfriend loves the burgers, I like the pizzas although I know some people are more skeptical) and they have some non pubby food as well (a wonderful beet salad, some fish dishes, etc). There's a massive selection of beers and some decent wines as well.
I like 3rd Stop a lot. One of the few places where you can get Delerium Tremens as well as one of my favorite San Diego micro-brews, Alesmith (they offer the "Horny Devil" variety).
The food there is surprisingly good.
Most complaints I've heard about the place is the service, but the way to get around that is to remember you can only order at the bar. They'll bus the tables, but they're not walking around looking to take your order. My complaint about 3rd Stop is the parking, as it is quite a premium in that neck of the woods.