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Where do you go to grab, a drink, sit at the bar, etc (no mixology, but there has to be cocktails and mixed drinks, beers, i guess too) (that Hal's post had me thinking).

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  1. I really like the Happy Hour at Frida in BH and the bartenders, Carl and Roxi, are great!

    1. I really like the bar at Stella Barra in Santa Monica. Best to go early, it gets crowded.

        1. Thanks Thor.

          Now I'm hitting up Tanas way way way too much. Drinks are tiny but slightly stiff. And of those shrimp Parms. And those homemade tasting French fries are some of the very very very very best I have had in years upon years upon years.

          6 Replies
          1. re: kevin

            Yeah, well, you gotta join me at Vito, a bar I frequent way too often. Best martini's on the westside (equal to Dan Tana's for half the price).

            1. re: yogachik

              are you talking about the restaurant on ocean park or another vito?

              1. re: westsidegal

                Yeah. Vito's on Ocean Park.

                You coming too, WG ?

                Have you been before ????

                1. re: kevin

                  it's definitely within my territory!
                  went there for dinner decades ago.
                  never tried their bar.
                  this thursday, though, i'll be in san jose ( a city where i've experienced a range of mediocre food at pretty high prices).

              2. re: yogachik

                shoot, i think the other part of the thread got erased.

                oh, well.

            2. i know you said "no mixology," but having gone to the tasting kitchen for the first time recently, if i was in that area, that is absolutely the first place i would go for a cocktail, no matter how simple.

              the drinks there are just that good. friendly bartenders, too.

              2 Replies
                1. re: linus

                  ok, i'll still hit up tasting kitchen too, linus.

                  so far, my top two right now are tana's and musso's. both non-mix, and both i quite like, though it's pricey, it must be said.

                  thanks man, i trust your drink knowledge.

                  anyway, you can let me know the name of the joint that you hit up with the great bartender, i think you were the one that mentioned it a few weeks back. (?)


                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Good call for downtown after work drinks.

                    1. re: Thor123

                      They have the best eye-candy in the house, esp. when you factor in said eye-candy's line 37 on the 1040.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        hmm, nick and stef's i might have to check it out, though i don't work in dtla.

                  2. HMS Bounty (great onion rings)
                    Drago Centro (borders on mixologisty but it's a great happy hour)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mrgreenbeenz

                      and a relatively cheap one at that at drago centro.

                    2. Mastro's Penthouse (and Bar Toscana, but that's pretty mixologistic, albeit a very attractive scene).

                        1. re: revets2

                          neat is...neat. i'm sad i never went there when they were doing they're original "concept" (straight whiskey with homemade chasers), but the bartender there was friendly and made pretty damn good cocktails if you gave him the opportunity to stretch out.

                        2. Since we're in Pasadena and seldom go farther when we're drinking, 1886 at The Raymond is tops for interesting originals or just a great martini. No attitude, comfortable, music on the flat-screen at perfect level (listen to it or converse in normal tones). We've been by ourselves and in groups of four to six, all good.

                          Another one we found almost by accident - we had a $15-off coupon, so what the heck - was McCormick & Schmick's. The restaurant is just okay for the prices, but the bar is a pretty happy place. Mrs. O got her favorite sidecar of all time, and the bartender was happy to tell me the recipe while I carefully wrote it on a napkin (that got washed with the pants, dammit). They do have sports on the multiple flat screens, but not at sports-bar sound levels.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Will Owen

                            hmm, the 1886 at the raymond sounds great.

                            1. re: Will Owen

                              Oh the bar at McCormick & Schmick's in Pasadena is GREAT. Used to be my go to girlfriend-happy-hour till folks jobs changed.

                              But really nice, well mixed cocktails., And fab bar snacks.

                            2. Guess I never answered the original question here!

                              Really love Freddy Smalls, but that is a mixology thing....

                              I guess for local it would be pearl dragon..... They are the only place in the palisades with a full liquor license. Sad, huh? They make a nice saketini, though.

                              I also really like Next Door by Josie, in SaMo. And the bar at Sonoma Wine Garden is decent, nice wines. Bouchon has a great bar as well. And the staff knows how to take care of you. I remember an epic evening that started out at Mr. Chow's bar as well, celebrating with my mother in law....they make a nice lychee martini there.

                              Problem is, right now, the only time I can afford to leisurely hang out drinking martinis, if not in my own backyard, is at lunchtime! Or on a date night with the hubby..... Just biding my time until the young chow pups get old enough, lol!

                              15 Replies
                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                If you are talking BH, I didnt think Mr. Chow had a bar. I like Bar Bachon, but in general Bouchon pours a very small drink.

                                1. re: Thor123

                                  Yes, BH. we definitely sat at a small bar and drank luchee martinis before we were seated at a table and started in on the champagne cart.

                                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                    Its been a while since Ive been. Its a very small bar isnt it?

                                    1. re: Thor123

                                      Which very small bar is this ?

                                      I seem to have lost track of the discussion.

                                      1. re: kevin

                                        Focus!! We're now at Mr. Chow. Or at least DirtyWEO was.

                                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                          That is small. My expansive can cover more than two of those seats alone.

                                          Just kidding.

                                          And Thor, the tiny drinks were also at Mr. Cho ?

                                          1. re: kevin

                                            No the tiny drinks were at Bouchon. Very Spago like size wise.

                                          2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                            Yea. I mixed up the discussion on Bar Bouchon with Mr. Chow ?

                                          3. re: Thor123

                                            How about the bar at Chateau Marmont as well as Bar Marmont (which is completely distinct and separate from said hotel) ?

                                            1. re: kevin

                                              I endorse Bar Marmont. Fun place and well made drinks. But it'll cost ya.

                                              1. re: Wayno

                                                I don't think it's been mentioned yet, but I really like the Grill on the Alley for an after-work martini or similar drink. And pretty good happy hour bites as well.

                                                1. re: Wayno


                                                  i was thinkinga bout The Grill.

                                                  But more for the crab Louise and a slab of their cheesecake.

                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                    Hmmm is right. It's a 10-second walk from my office. Maybe I should investigate.

                                    2. Btw. What do you guys think of the bar at Valentino ?

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: kevin

                                        I have not been for several years, but would anticipate that it would be formal and stuffy.

                                        1. re: Thor123

                                          That's probably why we like Tana's. it may be expensive but it's really that formal nor stuffy (well, the waiters and bartenders are dressed in some sort of formal attire).

                                      2. tues at 6 pm is great for me. What's your email so that we can iron out that shit either Dirty Sexy Olives or Yoga Chick ????


                                        7 Replies
                                          1. re: yogachik

                                            Thanks, you're so brave!! I'll email you over the weekend!

                                          2. re: kevin

                                            Tuesday will work for me now, my sons tutor rescheduled to Monday. Now I'll have to work on a babysitter.....

                                            I'll email yogachik over the weekend. I assume there's meter parking in the area? Is there a lot behind them?

                                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                              There's metered street parking. But I don't know if they have their own lot.

                                              Yogachik, would know better since I haven't been before. Also, I'm not sure if during happy hour one can't park at the meters due to rush hour (no park zone during 4 to 7pm, maybe ?)

                                              I might just park in the residential two blocks up.

                                              1. re: kevin

                                                Yea, I'll check it out, been by a hundred times just never stopped. I'll let you know if I get a sitter for my kids, shouldn't be hard.

                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                  Usually lots of street parking on Ocean Park, meters go until 6PM and then it's free, no restrictions. Meters also on 28th, south of OP. Valet behind the restaurant for $3.50.