Casual/fun drinks near Luna Park
I'm organizing a birthday dinner for an out of town friend. She's chosen Luna Park and wants to get drinks afterwards, but someplace that is not too expensive and isn't a hassle to get into. Any suggestions?
Tom Bergin's on Fairfax just south of Wilshire is also fun and easy to get into (it's a tiny place though so it gets pretty crowded). As it's an Irish bar, it's really casual, and they're big on the Guiness and other beer, but they do have a full bar. They have decent food if you get the munchies, but nothing to write home about.
It's not real close, but Lola's on Fairfax just south of Santa Monica Blvd is easy to get into and has great drinks, they have a whole list of special martinis (I think they claim to have invented the apple martini). They have a solid menu too if you get the munchies....
I'd hit up Busby's -- just around the corner from Luna Park on Wilshire and Detroit. It isn't too expensive, and it's not a hassle to get in. Once you're inside there are a bunch of rooms and 2 upstairs smoking patios. They also have a bunch of fun bar games. If you go with a group of people it's really fun, but otherwise, depending on the night, it can be hit or miss.
Little Bar (La Brea and 8th) is also great, but they don't serve liquor. Only Beer, Wine and Soju.
Busby's/Holly's East often charges a cover at night and I had an absolutely ridiculous experience valet parking there - the guys were morons. And it's really loud, so you really have to yell at the person right next to you. The crowd tends to get dressy/cheesy/meet-market at night because they have a big dance area. There's the sports bar area that can be slightly more casual, but they blast music in there too. Maybe during the day it's casual and fun, but beware at night. I would never recommend this place at night. Unless you're in your early 20s and this is your kind of scene anyway.
El Carmen on 3rd Street is a good idea.