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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.

  1. 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 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.

    2. aching 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. b
        Barbara Ladden 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. 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 Oct 5, 2007 11:50 AM

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

          2. j
            Jaybay 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. l
              LisaStitch 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. o
                Overdrawn 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. Woolsey 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. 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. v
                      Velvet Elvis 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. b
                        blevine99 Sep 17, 2007 06:57 AM

                        Santa Monica: Cora's Coffee Shoppe

                        Downtown: Ciudad

                        1. b
                          bulavinaka 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 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 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. m
                              mlgb Sep 16, 2007 10:40 AM

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

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

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

                                  1. SilverlakeGirl Sep 15, 2007 07:18 PM

                                    The Pantry

                                    1. Emme 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. mollyomormon Sep 15, 2007 03:06 PM

                                        No one has mentioned Lucques yet...

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

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

                                          1. re: mollyomormon
                                            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 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 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. j
                                            jacinthe 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 Sep 18, 2007 08:25 PM

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

                                            2. SauceSupreme 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 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 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. tatertotsrock 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. d
                                                    Diana 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 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 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 Sep 28, 2007 02:08 PM


                                                    2. b
                                                      blevine99 Sep 15, 2007 01:01 PM

                                                      101 Diner
                                                      Fred 62
                                                      Bar Marmont

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