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Best counter service spots?

wutzizname Sep 15, 2007 12:30 PM

Would love to make a list of people's favorite L.A. area restaurants with counters and/or places where you can dine at the bar.

Bonus points for stools with backs.

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  1. b
    blevine99 RE: wutzizname Sep 15, 2007 01:01 PM

    101 Diner
    Fred 62
    Bar Marmont

    1. d
      Diana RE: wutzizname Sep 15, 2007 01:53 PM

      Bobby's Diner
      Mc G's
      Apple Pan
      3rd Stop
      AOC (?)
      Library Alehouse
      Naja's Place

      3 Replies
      1. re: Diana
        wutzizname RE: Diana Sep 28, 2007 01:49 PM

        Diana, where are Bobby's Diner and Mc G's? Trying to pull together a full list with links. Thanks.

        1. re: wutzizname
          Diana RE: wutzizname Sep 28, 2007 01:54 PM

          here, I used Google for ya! :)

          22821 Ventura Blvd
          Woodland Hills, CA 91364-1202
          Phone: (818) 225-1324

          Mc G's
          21356 Devonshire St
          Chatsworth, CA 91311
          (818) 734-7056

          1. re: Diana
            wutzizname RE: Diana Sep 28, 2007 02:08 PM


      2. tatertotsrock RE: wutzizname Sep 15, 2007 02:20 PM

        BLD-- has stools w/backs and has a hook for hand bags. The food is good (used to be better) the service is good (sometimes great, sometimes....never mind). They also have a full bar...even at breakfast...those bloody marys...mmm.

        K-ZO-- has stools w/backs don't know about hand bag hooks. Amazing food, wonderful service, pretty room and you really can "dine" at the bar.

        101--I'm usally too asleep to remember if there is a back on the stool cuz I'm leaning over my plate trying to eat and stay awake.

        HUNGRY CAT- the best service is at the bar-forget the regular tables. no seat backs but great cocktails so who cares when the drinks are that good. Food, always yummy .

        1. SauceSupreme RE: wutzizname Sep 15, 2007 02:48 PM

          I dine solo, so I am most often dining at the bar.

          The Mozzas have stools with chair backs. Especially fun is the Nancy Bar inside Osteria Mozza.

          Also, Bowery is a great spot to eat at the bar.

          And for old time's sake, I can't forget Pie N Burger in Pasadena, though I'm not sure what you're looking for in terms of counter service, since it's not a bar, but a very old school diner.

          But, by far, my favorite eat-at-the-bar location is The Hungry Cat.

          The Hungry Cat
          1535 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

          The Bowery
          6268 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

          Pizzeria Mozza
          6602 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038

          Pie 'n Burger
          913 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

          2 Replies
          1. re: SauceSupreme
            Diana RE: SauceSupreme Sep 15, 2007 02:54 PM

            Hooray, the Nancy bar! When I get to Mozza Ost (can't review it if I don't try it!) I wanna sit at the Nancy bar!

            1. re: SauceSupreme
              wutzizname RE: SauceSupreme Sep 15, 2007 03:02 PM

              Thanks Saucy. I love both, from the Pie 'n Burger dives to the Mozza posh. With or without booze is fine.

            2. j
              jacinthe RE: wutzizname Sep 15, 2007 02:57 PM

              I feel that at nearly every restaurant there's a bar where you can dine.Given the option between dining at a table and dining at the bar, I almost always choose the latter. In addition to previously mentioned places, and sushi bars, some other favorites are..

              Palomino (I've spent many a happy-hour-turned-oh-crap-it's-11pm-already-night here)
              Village Idiot

              1 Reply
              1. re: jacinthe
                momsafoodie RE: jacinthe Sep 18, 2007 08:25 PM

                i know the drinks are good at village idiot, but how is the food?

              2. mollyomormon RE: wutzizname Sep 15, 2007 03:06 PM

                No one has mentioned Lucques yet...

                4 Replies
                1. re: mollyomormon
                  New Trial RE: mollyomormon Sep 15, 2007 03:27 PM

                  Nor have they tapped Chinois or Orris, two more terrific spots for counter dining.

                  1. re: mollyomormon
                    mollyomormon RE: mollyomormon Sep 15, 2007 07:21 PM

                    Sort of the opposite end of the dining spectrum, but I also love sitting at the counter at Pann's.

                    1. re: mollyomormon
                      Woolsey RE: mollyomormon Sep 17, 2007 01:58 PM

                      Or Taylor's. Yes, you can eat at the bar, folks, and the food's much better after a few five-dollar manhattans.

                      1. re: Woolsey
                        wutzizname RE: Woolsey Sep 20, 2007 09:18 AM

                        Love Taylor's $9.75 cheeseburger for lunch at the bar. One of the best in town. Especially at the price.

                  2. Emme RE: wutzizname Sep 15, 2007 06:20 PM

                    25 Degrees
                    Jongewaard's Bake'n'Broil
                    Il Grano now has a small bar area.
                    Campanile (Thursday's for grilled cheese nite)
                    Ruth's Chris (Jack Nicholson is often at the BH branch... sunglasses and all)
                    Water Grill
                    Carmine's II
                    Border Grill
                    Chaya Venice
                    McCormick and Schmick's
                    The Grill
                    Crustacean (if you happen to like the garlic crab)

                    1. SilverlakeGirl RE: wutzizname Sep 15, 2007 07:18 PM

                      The Pantry

                      1. ipsedixit RE: wutzizname Sep 15, 2007 09:49 PM

                        Does sushi count? If so, then Sushi Ike gets my vote.

                        1. wutzizname RE: wutzizname Sep 16, 2007 10:38 AM

                          Lunched at Musso & Frank's counter yesterday. Had to try their Chopped Steak Sandwich as part of my Best Burger in LA tour. Add them to the backed-stool list.

                          1. m
                            mlgb RE: wutzizname Sep 16, 2007 10:40 AM

                            If Long Beach counts, Frency's Bistro, and the seats have backs.

                            1. b
                              bulavinaka RE: wutzizname Sep 16, 2007 10:49 AM

                              It ain't a bar but Rae's Restaurant on Pico in Santa Monica is a diner that never left its roots from the 50's-60's. Rae's serves great diner food at very reasonable prices and the best seats are always at the counter.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: bulavinaka
                                rlic80 RE: bulavinaka Sep 17, 2007 11:48 AM

                                Great choice. Rae's may be the best bang-for-your-buck eatery in west LA. The food is classic diner food at classic diner prices (my lunch there is usually $6 w/ tax & tip).

                                Also, on the west side that I believe has a great bar (because it's actually a seperate room from the rest of the dining service) is The Omlette Parlor on Main St. I love their breakfasts and seating on the weekend is a nightmare. But just enter one door over and grab a seat at the bar. The wait is almost nothing.

                                1. re: bulavinaka
                                  nosh RE: bulavinaka Sep 18, 2007 12:13 PM

                                  Tried Rae's as a breakfast change of pace a weekend ago and thought it was pretty good. But definitely superior is S & W on Washington in Culver City -- bigger portions, eggs and potatoes cooked more exactly to order, better pancakes, and their fantastic homemade corned beef hash at almost the same prices. And yes, counter seating with seatbacks -- more comfortable height on the right side than the left.

                                2. b
                                  blevine99 RE: wutzizname Sep 17, 2007 06:57 AM

                                  Santa Monica: Cora's Coffee Shoppe

                                  Downtown: Ciudad

                                  1. v
                                    Velvet Elvis RE: wutzizname Sep 17, 2007 08:58 AM

                                    Guasti Cafe just north of the Ontario airport has a great counter for breakfast. My wife and I sit there just so we can watch in amazement as the wait staff tries to haul those giant breakfasts to their tables.

                                    1. wutzizname RE: wutzizname Sep 17, 2007 11:24 AM

                                      Oh and on the Sunset Strip:

                                      There's the diner at The Standard.

                                      Mel's also works in a pinch.

                                      The Standard Hotel
                                      8300 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

                                      1. Woolsey RE: wutzizname Sep 17, 2007 02:04 PM

                                        A few I don't see on here yet:

                                        25 Degrees
                                        Redwood Bar & Grill
                                        Palms Thai
                                        Pete's Bar & Grill (I don't like it, but others do)
                                        The Edison

                                        1. o
                                          Overdrawn RE: wutzizname Sep 18, 2007 01:39 PM

                                          I like the Apple Pan on Pico so much, I went there after my wedding and sat with my husband talking about our first date there. The paper cone cups, the juicy burgers, the pie with hot glaze, the super-efficient scowling countermen. Perfect.

                                          Lares on Santa Monica Blvd. is a nice place to eat on weekdays nights. Good margaritas and really affordable homestyle Mexican food. They have a short wooden bar right near the entrance and nice waiters who are always ready for a chat.

                                          1. l
                                            LisaStitch RE: wutzizname Sep 18, 2007 05:46 PM

                                            Funny enough, The Counter has a great counter! I ate there once because it was less of a wait than trying for a table. Great service, especially quick with replenishing drinks obviously. Great flat screen TV too for watching the game, which is major bonus points in my book. Can't remember if the stools had backs or not...

                                            Ford's Filling Station in Culver City is also great - big comfy square leather stools, though no backs. I saw Luke Wilson sitting at the bar just the other day devouring his lunch.

                                            Just in terms of food (can't remember if the seats have backs) - The Arsenal and John O'Groat's both have nice counter areas and great food.

                                            1. j
                                              Jaybay RE: wutzizname Sep 28, 2007 02:12 PM

                                              i actually really love sitting at the bar at Pace (if you get a spot, there are only 4 stools) ordered a glass of wine, the mixed green salad w/ goat cheese and currants, and a pepperoni pizza... its really fantastic.

                                              1. wutzizname RE: wutzizname Sep 28, 2007 02:42 PM

                                                Here it is folks, a google map with all your counter eatin' favorites. I'll keep adding any new ones that pop up. And/or let me know if I've missed (or misentered) anything.


                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: wutzizname
                                                  blevine99 RE: wutzizname Oct 5, 2007 11:50 AM

                                                  I'd add Mo's in Burbank to the list. Decent burger.

                                                2. b
                                                  Barbara Ladden RE: wutzizname Oct 7, 2007 09:57 PM

                                                  The French Quarter on Santa Monica Blvd. at Laurel.
                                                  Good food and service and the chairs have backs.

                                                  1. aching RE: wutzizname Nov 12, 2007 04:21 PM

                                                    Nobody has mentioned The Little Door - I know its food has detractors, but I just love sitting at the bar with some vino, maybe a piece of tarte tatin, and watching the people. I also agree with others who mentioned Grace and the Counter.

                                                    1. wutzizname RE: wutzizname Dec 3, 2007 06:20 PM

                                                      Nobody mentioned Tom Bergin's yet. Good burger. Great fish and chips.

                                                      Tom Bergin's Restaurant
                                                      840 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: wutzizname
                                                        SauceSupreme RE: wutzizname Jan 1, 2008 02:33 PM

                                                        I really like the fries at Tom Bergin's, but I actually prefer to sit away from the bar. The angle of viewing the TVs strains my neck.

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