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Fun place for drinks/dinner?

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I have a feeling you guys will have some great suggestions...here's the deal.

My older sister (33) is in town and wants to go out tonight. She wants to go drink with her little bro (me) so I need a place that has good drinks, isn't too expensive, isn't an ordeal to get into and has a good crowd. Also it shouldn't be overly expensive.

We'll be near the 405 and Ventura Blvd. so any area will do. Right now my thoughts are:

Lucy's 51 (near Burbank)
Father's Office (Santa Monica)
Barney's Beanery (WeHo)

We're still up in the air about dinner, so it should mainly be a good fun bar with an option of good food.

Any thoughts?

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  1. In Burbank you might want to check out Gordon Biersch. It’s a really nice looking brewery with little fuss and a cool crowd. They also feature one of the best happy hours menus that I’ve seen. With 3 dollar brews and a happy hour food menu with most dishes from 4 -5 bucks you cant really go wrong. The area is great, after drinks you can take a stroll down the street and check out all the stores on the block; it's kind of like 3rd st in Santa Monica, minus the bums and crappy parking. Check out the website!
    Cheers,
    Saffron_Kid
    http://www.gordonbiersch.com/

    1. Does your older sis get into L.A. very often? You mentioned "inexpensive" twice, so I think that rules out Hollywood. I think a Happy Hour may be what you are looking for -- Border Grill (off of the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica) has one and there are posts about others. You could go there on the early side and get a head start on drinks and food then sashay up and down the Promenade and enjoy the scene.

      Father's Office is not inexpensive -- burgers are over $10. And it IS a hassle to get into and secure seating. But if you treated it as your mission to wait, get in, get seats, and share a burger and some other of their good food, it could end up being a delicious and fun night and your lowest overall bill.

      1 Reply
      1. re: nosh

        Father's Office will be loud and have a long line on a Friday night - a line filled with tourists.

        How about Montana Lounge on Montana at 14th? Great bar menu, nothing over $12.

      2. Please cross Barney's Beanery off your list. The food is horrific.
        Father's Office is fun, casual and had great food, but they only serve beer and wine. Also, if there is a wait it generally isn't too long.
        Never tried Lucy's.

        1 Reply
        1. re: whatsfordinner

          Thanks for the suggestions. Give Lucy's a shot if you're ever in the area.

          Pasadena isn't a bad idea...don't think she's been there. She gets out to LA about once a year but only for the past couple of years, so things are still kinda new.

          The happy hours are a good idea, but unless they're after 9pm happy hours, I'm not sure we'll make it.

          Father's Office I thought would be good if we're eating. The drinks are good there but the wait is probably not worth it just for some beer. Barney's is good usually cause it's pretty easy to get into, cheap, but I'll agree the food doesn't cut it.

          Oh, and as for the inexpensive comment, just in general we're not looking for something that'll cost an arm and a leg to park, drink and possibly eat. I don't mind paying for a meal, but we're looking for a more laid back place to grab a drink, not pay $13 for a martini on top of like $20 for valet. That kinda thing...

          Actually, the thought of El Carmen just popped into my head. Always liked that place.

          Thanks for the suggestions though...still not sure what our plan is so keep them coming.

          Any thoughts on Culver City? Haven't been there since a bunch of new places opened...

        2. How about heading out to Sagebrush Cantina in Calabasas...nice night for it.