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Your picks for Friday night cocktails/snacks?

I'm always in search of great places to hit on a Friday night around 9:30. These are my key criteria:

1. Great drinks (preferably not super-pricey)
2. Good small-plate/snacky food with at least a few vegetarian options
3. Fun and relatively hip trappings and crowd

Places I've enjoyed before that at least sort of fit into these categories have included (in no particular order) Falcon, Lula, Lola's, Library Alehouse, Bodega, Geisha House, Minibar, Lucky Strike, Trader Vic's, Skybar, The Well, Malo, Palomino, Xiomara, and Ford's Filling Station.

What are other people's favorites along these lines? I'm interested in trying out Hungry Cat because it gets so many raves, but it kinda seems like they only have fish. (But correct me if I'm wrong.)

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  1. Hungry Cat has the fish-less pug burger, but plan on waiting to get even a bar seat unless you have reservations.

    Given your criteria & your previous preferences - you may want to check out Celadon (Fairfax district), L'Scorpion (Hollywood), Ciudad (downtown), the Edison (downtown, though i heard their dress code policy becomes progressively more strict as night goes on), and Luna Park (La Brea/Wilshire). I'll throw in Ketchup too only because you said you liked Geisha House.

    ~H.C.
    http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

    1. I might suggest Katana. It has great cocktails, very hip crowds and everything is in small portions. The robata grilled meats are fantastic. I am pretty sure they have some vegetarian items, but try the filet wrapped asparagus.

      1. Bar Marmont

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        Bar Marmont
        8171 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

        1. Also:

          TABLE 8
          SONORA CAFE
          LUNA PARK

          1. There's also the Franklin corridor:

            La Poubelle

            Birds

            1. And:

              LOU

              Citizen Smith

              Bowery

              Magnolia

              AOC

              Celadon

              Village Idiot

              1 Reply
              1. re: wutzizname

                Thanks for all these! I'm curious to try out many of them.

              2. On Friday night, I'm at one of two watering holes: Hungry Cat or Bowery. I like them because while I go for the drinks, I can arrive with or without other dinner plans, knowing that eating there will be fine also. They both fit your criteria except for the small-plate/snacky food.

                To that end, I'll recommend the bar right next door (Magnolia), which definitely has a larger appetizer menu that also has veggie options.

                But wutzizname's got a great list. I'll add on BLD.

                (And tonight is Bring Your Own Hat night at Boulevard3, so if you see a guy on the strip wearing a Viking hat and extolling the virtues of fennel in Provencal cuisine, make sure I get into a cab okay.)

                2 Replies
                  1. Doug Arango's has been re-christianed The Melrose Bar and Grill. It's next to my gym so so I took a look at the menu this week. Alot looked good to me; they kept some favorites from DA's (duck burger and pizzas) while dropped prices and adding lots of smaller snack plates (Homemade Pretzel w/ Creole Mustard particularly caught my eye). I also found myself drooling over the brine cured pork chop served with a charcuterie/Alsatian saurkraut. I am looking forward to trying it tonight.

                    1. The new Hidden definitely fits the requirements.

                      1. Well, after carefully considering all the recs, I ended up deciding on Nic's for tonight because I realized I've wanted to try it out for quite a while. (And hey, it's almost my namesake.)

                        But all the other ones are on the list for the near future!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: nick_r

                          Hope you get a chance to stop in the icebox vodka bar ;)

                          ~H.C.
                          http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

                          1. re: AquaW

                            Alas, it was closed for a "private tasting."

                            My girlfriend and I enjoyed the atmosphere at Nic's and the snacky food (hummus platter / belgian pommes frites) we ordered was outstanding.... but the drinks seemed downright nonalcoholic (even though they tasted great). At $12 a martini, I was definitely hoping for a bit more of a buzz.

                            Luckily, we're hitting Lula tonight, where 2 drinks with dinner is sufficient grounds for failing a breathalyzer.

                        2. Social
                          Lucky Devil's
                          Nine-Thirty at the W
                          Maison 140
                          Ritual
                          Hyde

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Emme

                            emme-do they have food now at maison 140? love the bar, but when I have been there in the past, they had no food.

                            1. re: holleygolitely

                              i had food last i was there, although i was there for a party, so maybe it isn't always that way.

                              i know they do do a cheese event like once a month in conjunction with the bev hills cheese store.