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Dive bar L.A.

Will be in Los Angeles in February. Yea, I like to put back a couple. Looking for a bar with nostalgia or not. Dark and crummy. But has good drinks and maybe some good eats, I was in downtown LA a couple months ago, Is there a Kings downtown. It was old. They had burgers,hot dogs etc.. A seperate smoking room . Your favorite dive. I am facinated.

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  1. Are you looking for someplace you'd be likely to run into Charles Bukowski? Are you looking downtown or does it matter? Have you been to Chez Jay's in Santa Monica?

    Chez Jay
    1657 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

    3 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      I've always wanted to go to Chez Jay's just because of the exterior!

      1. re: Servorg

        Charles Bukowski would be good. It really doesn't matter. Just looking for places with a old school charm, as well as the people who visit their favorite watering whole.

        1. re: emglow101

          Charles Bukowski used to frequent the Frolic Room in Hollywood. And they used to have Bukowski readings on Monday nights. I don't know if they still do.

          The Smog Cutter on Virgil and the Monte Carlo on 3rd & Vermont are two more with "character."

      2. Frank n Hanks
        518 S Western Ave
        LA, CA 90020

        The Colorado
        2640 E Colorado Blvd
        Pasadena, CA 91107

        The Big Fish
        5230 San Fernando Rd
        Glendale, CA 91209

        King Eddy Saloon
        131 E 5th St
        LA, CA 90013

        Gold Coast
        8228 Santa Monica Blvd
        W Hollywood, CA 90046

        2 Replies
        1. re: Grog

          Another bit of LA's history gets swept into the dustbin of progress.


          1. re: Servorg

            It was King Eddys I wandered into one morning while visiting L.A. Quaffing a couple Budweisers, listening to two old timers cursing at each other about politics.They were ready to fight,one being extremely overweight with a walker. Behind a glass window I saw a man with brilliant white teeth chain smoking. I liked this bar.It's sad to see a change.

        2. HMS Bounty
          Golden Gopher
          Bar 107
          Down and Out
          The Varnish
          La Cita

          The HMS Bounty
          3357 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

          Golden Gopher
          417 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

          Bar 107
          107 W 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

          1. It may not exactly fit the bill....and food isn't really their thing....but a trip to the Dresden to see Marty & Elayne is really something not be missed......

            1. Chez Jay is my favorite dive bar. Also love Broadway Bar, Golden Gopher (both a little less divey, but used to be dives), Frolic Room, Power House, and Arsenal, which just got a facelift - for better or worse.

              2 Replies
                1. re: yogachik

                  I was watching a tv show, I wish now that I could remember which one, and the line was "He hangs out at a dive near the pier." The next shot is the cop car pulling up in front of Chez Jay! We howled! "Yeah, our favorite dive!"

                  Great steaks, great seafood, great dive.

                2. Chey Jays and just down the street on Main, the Galley

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: BSW6490

                    fwiw, even though i don't think the galley on main street is really, in essence, a dive bar; it is one of my very favorite watering holes.
                    i love the place.
                    you will NEVER see a pomagrante martini being served there or anything else that requires a "mixologist" instead of a bartender.
                    if you time it right, you can get a drink there and head about 4 blocks north to get a pizza from stella rosa.

                  2. Provided you mine the niches, you'll find that SoCal has more dives than Greg Louganis.

                    From the niches:

                    Joe Jost's, Long Beach
                    A veritable dive museum. Ice cold draft schooners. Real pickled eggs. Roasted peanuts in their shells. Liverwurst sandwiches. Since 1924.

                    The Prince O' Whales, Playa del Rey
                    A favorite since college. So relaxed, well-known sports figures come here to throwback a few. Great bar food + great bartenders = Unequaled atmosphere.

                    The Smog Cutter, East Hollywood/Los Feliz
                    On name alone, it warrants mention. On stiff drinks and musty karaoke, it deserves it.

                    Hana Hou, Gardena
                    Upon entering, you are transported from the bedroom community of Gardena to a seedy but, warm waterfront tavern on the far less-traveled side of Waikiki. You half expect Steve McGarrett to roll up to the bartender seeking street intelligence on bad guys.

                    Hank's Bar @ The Stillwell Hotel, Downtown LA.
                    A triple threat in one spot: Dive bar; dive hotel and ... dive Indian restaurant to soak it all up.

                    1. Can you tell us what part of town you'll be in? I personally would drive 30+ mins. for a great dive bar but many won't. So if I know your launch point I can help more. But just to get the juices flowing, here are some legendary spots not already mentioned from various parts of town.

                      Note: In traditional dive bar form, not all of these have food but when they do, it is usually good.

                      Cozy Inn--Culver City

                      Venice Bistro--Venice (not good food)


                      On the Waterfront--Santa Monica

                      Big Dean's--Santa Monica (not a full liquor license but also steps away from Chez Jay for a double down)

                      Hinano--Marina Del Rey

                      Hideout--Santa Monica Canyon (okay not legendary, but a great dive bar)

                      Mom's Bar--West L.A. (Also not legendary but a dive bar location for decades)

                      Liquid Zoo--Lake Balboa/Van Nuys

                      Dal Rae--Pico Rivera

                      Buggy Whip--Westchester

                      Dear John's--Culver City

                      Lost and Found--Mar Vista

                      And this is just a start.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: ellaystingray

                        I will be staying in Culver City. Driving a distance is not a problem. Thanks.

                        1. re: emglow101

                          Okay, so since you are in Culver City, here are a couple more.

                          Tattle Tale--Culver City

                          Harbor Room--Playa Del Rey

                          Prince O' Whales--Playa Del Rey

                          Outlaw's--Playa Del Rey

                          Sport's Harbor--Marina Del Rey (ranks on my list as one of the top 5 most awful smelling bars in Los Angeles--making it dive worthy for sure)

                          Red Garter--Marina Del Rey

                          Cock and Bull--Santa Monica

                          Gabe's--Mar Vista


                        2. re: ellaystingray

                          I don't know about some of the others on your list, but I just can't see putting the Dal Rae into "dive bar" category as it is a very nice restaurant...(old school no doubt, but a dive? Not according to anything I can think of).

                          1. re: Servorg

                            Maybe I was conflating "time machine" with dive bar a little there...Buggy Whip also falls into that catatory as well. Probably felt like I needed to add a couple things with good food in addition to a dark, old bar scene. Good point.

                          2. re: ellaystingray

                            My husband and I have enjoyed the Swiss fare at On The Waterfront Cafe' -- in Venice, actually -- and can happily recommend the Zurcher gschnatzlets, the curry rosti and the raclette. The owner's from Switzerland, so he's clearly familiar with the hearty and flavorful fare from his home land.

                            And while OTW's beer selection includes some good European brews on tap (Konig Pilsner, Bitburger and Kostrizter Black, as well as both Erdinger Weizenbier and Dunkel), we always opt for the elegant and uber-food-friendly Fendant, an AOC-level Swiss white varietal from Valais. (I know this belongs on the Wine board, but I've got to get in my gratuitous wine info somewhere. ;-) )

                            Go there, enjoy the funky folk on the Venice boardwalk, and fill yourself with the good stuff from the Swiss menu.

                            On The Waterfront Cafe'
                            205 Ocean Front Walk
                            Venice, CA 90291
                            (310) 392-0322


                          3. jay dees bar in alhambra on main st.they have some great drink specials.fridays where 50 cent drafts,tuesday was a shot and a beer 4 bucks.old school leather booth and dark inside but always a good bunch of people.across the street from fosselmans ice cream

                              1. In Downtown, I like going to Hank's, Bar 107, and Tony's.

                                The loss of King Eddy's is an important one, as many morning drinkers would arrive there for first call... at 6am. With Eddy's closed for renovations, those morning drinkers aren't all of a sudden going to stop drinking.

                                1. From Huff Po..

                                  After you've been hitting up the dives in LA..
                                  Best places to eat brunch/breakfast for hangover.