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Best Bar Food in LA

Looking for bars that also have good (or great) food. Places where you enjoy both drinking and eating.

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  1. What neighborhood are you in?

    On the westside, I enjoy Library Alehouse (beer+burgers) and Lares (tequila+Mexican).

    Another great tequila spot is Malo in Silver Lake.

    Bar culture is huge in KTown. My current favorite is Toe Bang (soju+Korean).

    Staying Asian, you're not going to go wrong at an Izakaya. You can choose something high end like a Bar Hayama or an Orris, or something down and dirty like a FuRaiBo, Musha or Honda-ya. You could also opt to go straight yakitori, also. All these places will have sake and wine on the menu, but the real thing to do is to nosh on the Japanese food with beer.

    In Hollywood, there's Bowery (liquor+bistro) and Hungry Cat (cocktails+seafood) and also 25 Degrees (liquor/beer+burgers). Another spot with underrated food is Citizen Smith in the Cahuenga Corridor of Hollywood.

    Of course, the best wine bar in town is AOC (Mid-City) followed by RedWhite+Bluezz (Pasadena). Other wine bars include Lou on Vine (Hollywood) and the status-up-in-the-air Bin 8945 (WeHo).

    Staying in WeHo, there's Bar Marmont and their upscale gastropub. For something a little bit more blue collar, other gastropubs are at The York (Highland Park) and 3rd Stop (Mid-City).

    I don't hang out at all in Downtown, but I've heard great things about Seven Grand and the Edison.

    1. I have to say really it depends on where you live. For decent atmosphere I like Pasadena area bars(many are well stocked with domestic and european beers and ales and I hear some carry housebrews, though not sure which bars specifically do). For silliness all around Hollywood bars are ok. I've heard good things about downtown as well. There are several bars in the Chino area that are cozy but no great food. Katie Jake's Bar Grill in West Covina is decent for atmosphere and food.
      For both food and bar and since you could be anywhere, I would recommend BJ's Brewery/Bar/Restaurant, while a chain (on the order of TGI Friday's or Claim Jumpers; though they have decent pizza and some pastas, among other things) their thing is their beers, you can get the seven sampler, which you can try and some of them are brewed on the spot in certain locations(Blonde, dark beers, seven in all, with different alcoholic percentages from light to so strong you can't believe it's beer) among other spirits--or Pizza Port in Orange County.

      1 Reply
      1. re: b0ardkn0t

        You mentioned cozy bars in Chino but no great food - have to shout out to the Corral on Mountain - Weds Special is $10 Steak, best $10 steak anywhere and goes great w/$2 beer

      2. Backstage Bar & Grill (near the Sony lot)

        drooling thinking about their chicken fingers and garlicky french fries... They have Steak Fingers too!

        And although i am not the mac and cheese sort (heresy!) my friends quite dig the mac and cheese (like $5)

        1 Reply
        1. re: JackonCrack

          You beat me to it - I like the Backstage a lot! The food is yummy, and they have a nice selection of beer at a reasonable price.

        2. Table 8

          Table 8
          7661 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

          1. interesting that no one has mentioned father's office...

            1. Would be remiss if I didn't mention Philly West. Mostly a dive, a bit of a sports bar. More than a bit Bukowski, but also some westside yuppieness. Arguably the best cheesesteaks in the area, especially since Markie D's was sold. But unexpectedly the best inexpensive burger around -- a half-pound oblong patty, fire-grilled, served with grilled onions and the other accompaniments on a roll rather than a bun. Charred crust, pink within, juicy drippy messy deliciousness. Only around $6 for a cheeseburger.

              1. They aren't as good as they once were, but I like the burgers at SF Saloon. I was there this week and their fries were still excellent. Second the Father's Office rec and a lot of people like the Shack, although I haven't tried it. The fish and chips at King's Head are very good, I've had good shepard's pie at O'Brien's, and I'm embarrassed to admit that I really like the nachos at Cabo Cantina (which seems to slowly be taking over open bar spaces on the westside). Oh, and there's also a very good classic burger at Hinano.

                2 Replies
                1. re: mollyomormon

                  We still regularly go to SF Saloon as well and their beef burgers are definitely inferior to a year or so ago when the quality, juiciness and less densely packed nature of the patty was far superior. Luckily their turkey burgers are still as good as they ever were, and if you ever feel like a chicken salad sandwich their Nob Hill is quite nice. Also in total agreement about their fries. Excellent in all respects, including the amount you get (and if you happen to order a side of fries it will easily feed two people).

                  1. re: Servorg

                    It's a bittersweet experience for me to eat at SF Saloon since their burger used to be one of my favorites in the city. I'll definitely have to try the turkey burger next time I'm there!

                2. It definitely depends on what kind of atmosphere you are going for. The Shack (Santa Monica) is a great bar and the food is pretty good....though I don't know if it's is consistently good. They do have excellent onion rings! If a chain interests you, I think the Yardhouse has unbelievable food--and clearly a good selection of beer!

                  1. for something more fru-fru ... fraiche in culver city has a bar area that serves food - both the booze and the food are absolutely first rate (great as opposed to good)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: paulfromla

                      Beechwood in Venice/MDR has a good bar menu.
                      FO is great, though I recommend going at off hours if de-stressing is part of your reason for going out.
                      Border Grill has good happy hour bar food as well.

                    2. I'll second Table 8...the bar menu is consistently good and the drinks are solid. Bar at Craft...though I'm not sure that either of these count since they are "upscale." For dive bar St. Nicks on Third makes solid burgers and interesting fries that are sort of like potato sticks...not to mention they only serve doubles and they are $7...

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: rftc2121

                        a few more ideas for upscale places:

                        chaya venice
                        ford's filing station

                        or for dive-y, there's always big wangs in hollywood. excellent wings, and surprisingly good salads & salmon.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Definitely that's my list of faves from goodhealthgormet, as well as:

                          Father's Office
                          The Galley
                          Katsuya's Robota Bar

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            It's neat that Chaya Venice, BOA steakhouse, Ford's Filling Station as well as Abode are all on dineLA menu right now! ;-)


                          2. re: rftc2121

                            Wonder what impact Govind's appearance on Oprah today will have on Table 8's business? As much as I've always loved the food there, the place has been pretty empty the last year or so. Nice when you're looking for a quiet spot, but I was always afraid they might go under. Perhaps things will swing too far the other way now?

                            P.S. No, I don't watch Oprah, just EaterLA.

                            1. re: rftc2121

                              My friends and I made reservations about a month ago for the 15th. Of course, I had no idea that they would replay that Oprah episode that day. The people seated next to us came because of Oprah. *sigh* My friends and I feel that Oprah is out to destroy us.

                            2. It's been a while since I've gone, but I liked:

                              The Village Idiot
                              7383 Melrose Ave.
                              Los Angeles, CA

                              1. No offense, but I don't see how Lares counts as bar food. Oddly, Ye Olde Rustic in Los Feliz has a large and better than decent menu. Also, I would say that Robin Hood on Burbank Blvd. has the best fish and chips I've had in this city.

                                1. Well, I really should not be saying this b/c of my age, but the bar at Luques serves really good food late night. They let me sit there with my stepdad once as long as I didn't drink anything but seltzer, and I had a terrific spaghetti carbonara. The rest of the menu looked delicious too ( Steak frites with bearnaise, grilled cheese with roasted shallots, housemade french fries, etc).

                                  1. I'm surprised no one has mentioned 3rd Stop on 3rd across from Cedars Sinai. Great beer selection, wood fired crispy pizzas, frites in a cone, and a very laid back atmosphere...at least so long as your gone by 9 or so. I am a sucker for the Italian Sausage burger. Yes it's a burger made from hot Italian sausage.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: westwood

                                      I would have mentioned it, but SauceSupreme beat us both to it.

                                      P.S. Love their Craftsman beers from Pasadena. And now psyched to try the Sausage Burger. Thanks.

                                    2. I've been on a bar food kick lately, and I'm discovering that a lot of restaurants I go to have a bar area with a bar menu - Cut, Sonora Cafe, Table 8. My favorite, though, is Arnie Morton's in Burbank. Love the sliders!!

                                      1. 3rd Stop Gasro Pub on 3rd and Willaman just west of San Vicente is awesome. Best boneless hot wing bites, pizzas, over 20 beers on tap and a great wine selection. Great atmosphere too. The staff is really friendly. It is like a great neighborhood bar.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: WindRider

                                          I don't think anyone has mentioned the Sandwich Bar at Tam O'Shanter? Great fresh-cut sandwiches and other things from their regular menu.

                                        2. This is one of my constant quests as well. Here are some of my favorites...

                                          Bodega (Santa Monica) -- wine bar with good food, definitely on the loud side since they have DJs; there's a smaller/quieter one in Pasadena
                                          Ford's Filling Station (Culver City) -- also good for sit-down meals, but they do have a good bar scene
                                          Palomino (Westwood) -- a little on the corporate side, but great food and drink
                                          Tasca (3rd/Crescent Hghts) -- excellent wine/tapas
                                          Falcon (Hollywood) -- chic and pricey, but worth checking out
                                          Nic's Martini Lounge (Bev. Hills)
                                          Lola's (WeHo) -- huge martini menu and good food
                                          The Well (Hollywood) -- mostly drinks, but they have some interesting apps
                                          Minibar (Universal City) -- fun decor & atmosphere, decent menu

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: nick_r

                                            I ate at Lola's a couple of weeks ago and it was horrible. I got a burger and fries and a martini. The burger was tasteless and the fries were soggy. Certainly not worth they price of admission.

                                            1. re: rftc2121

                                              Don't eat meat so I can't comment. But I've had great salads and cheese plates there.

                                          2. Duh, I totally forgot. Also, you should try The Village Idiot on Melrose. Theya re so amazing. British style pub food, full bar, lots of cool beers on tap and a great atmosphere.

                                            They are really laid back there too. A party of 2 can sit in a booth that can seat 6+ people and they won't care even if the restaurant is full.

                                            1. if you are in the Highland Park area - the York on York is great - lots of tasty pub style food - fish and chips, cuban style pork sandwich, a really tasty Warm Beet and Burrata salad...the list goes on. And all of this to mix and match with an extensive crafty beer and wine by the glass selection. Bartenders are really nice and certainly know their coctails.

                                              1. If you're looking to watch spots too, I really like the sandwhiches and the fried chicken skewers over at The Parlor in Santa Monica. Its upscale bar food....their nachos are good too...they use Velveta and have ground beef in them!


                                                I also like Sharkeez in Manhattan Beach. Lots of good drinks and they have that cal-mex food like shrimp or lobster burritos, burgers, chicken skewerers and awesome nachos.

                                                1. Nobody's mentioned the Redwood B&G? That was the first place I thought of, if only because it has to be the most improved place in town - the new owners took a tired old joint and freshened it up while actually giving it more soul (an amazing feat in itself), and then kicked the menu up from merely adequate to Damned Good. Their cheeseburger is sitting at the top of my current list, and the fish'n'chips is a real treat as well.

                                                  We have not yet been to The York - reluctant to go, really, as it does NOT sound like an improvement over the sadly displaced Wild Hare, which had only just become one of our favorites.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                                    Ditto for Redwood. Arrggh. Really good burger and fries, quick, my new go-to bar spot before a Staples event if downtown, though not very close to Staples. I wouldn't say its a destination spot so much, but fab if you're downtown.

                                                    Pete's Bar and Grill deserves a mention, too, methinks.

                                                    1. re: Will Owen

                                                      I LOVE the food and beer and drinks and all kinds of other things at
                                                      THE YORK!

                                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                                        The burger at Redwood is really one of the best in town. their soups are usually great too.

                                                      2. I may get blasted for this one but I like McCormick and Schmick's happy hour specials as well as many of the great places mentioned here... cheap and not too bad.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. I agree with a lot of these recs (Chaya, Abode, Redwood, Robata Bar, The Parlour, Sharkeez) and I'd also like to add one more: Air Conditioned, on Lincoln in Venice. I vaguely remember yummy ahi tuna sliders and potato skins with some sort of salad on them...

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: recovering_vegetarian

                                                            Thanks for all the suggestions. I've given up on Father's Office long ago, and would like to diversify from Tom Bergen's.

                                                            A couple others favorites:
                                                            Weiland Brewery in Little Tokyo
                                                            Citizen Smith (mentioned earlier)
                                                            Guelaguetza (live mariachi, tequila, beer, good food)

                                                            1. re: 2ndAvenue

                                                              Even though I rarely target food at happy hour (it's all about the beer!), I do tend to prefer the food at Weiland's for my downtown Friday afternoons. The garlic fries are great if I don't plan on making out, the hot wings are pretty meaty and they actually have heat, and the chicken quesadilla is...well...just a chicken quesadilla, but that's all I want sometimes. The food goes great with an amber pint or three.

                                                          2. I'm shopping for a good sport bar with big TV to enjoy the 2/17 all-star Sunday also. So I've been scouting the 'super-bowl' crowd to see where they are all heading and waiting for their review.

                                                            Links I read so far...

                                                            Couple days ago at LA Times

                                                            Today at LA Times

                                                            I'm leaning towards The Parlor @ SM. They were editorial pick best sport bar of 2007. And the pictures and reviews so far are pretty up-beat regarding that place.

                                                            1519 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: kelvlam

                                                              Its a GREAT place to watch sports. And it has Hoeegarden on tap! and multiple HDTV signals, NFL ticket, upstairs and downstairs and a good staff. I'll probably see you watching the ASG there.

                                                              It'll be insanely busy on Superbowl Sunday....get there very early if you want to sit down.

                                                            2. For British pub food I really enjoy Ye Old Kings Head in Santa Monica, for an Irish twist try O'Briens on Wilshire and 26th.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: anothernotch

                                                                the Robin Hood in Van Nuys puts Ye Olde to shame!

                                                              2. I couldn't read through every reply, but my rec. is Rainbow Bar & Grill. While it can be a bit rowdy Fri-Mon on the outside patio. The inner dining room by the fireplace is cozy and Dark. Pizza's are awesome as well as the spaghetti & meatballs.
                                                                My quintessential Bar food hang when I want to head to the westside is Father's Office.
                                                                A few others to look into:
                                                                Pig & Whistle, Barney's Beanery, The Standard Diner, & Library Ale House.

                                                                1. The beer selection at Lucky Baldwin's is very good. I'm partial to getting a white beer and an order of chips, which they actually serve with HP sauce. I don't see HP sauce very often in LA. I haven't tried other items on their menu, yet, but I always get the chips.