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.
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.
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
Dear John's--Culver City
Lost and Found--Mar Vista
And this is just a start.
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
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
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.
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.
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.