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LA DIVE BARS

Food & Drink

The top 10 Finest Holes in the Wall (in no particular order), from Inglewood to Cypress Park.

Now you could do Ye Coach & Horses, The Dime, or The Roger Room. But here, we spread our bat-wings for more destination drop-ins, for a bit of gentlemanly repose among other “unofficial mayors.” Bottom’s up!

HMS Bounty – Koreatown.
A good dive bar has a sense of community (dutiful alcoholism, commiseration, doom)–a mutiny is unlikely here. Food available, including fish & chips, of course, and a rounded lump of cow-meat called the “baseball steak.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bar 107 – Downtown.
High ceilings for a dive, decor like a punk TGiFriday’s, it was there long before downtown was Downtown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiki Ti- Los Feliz.
Unique: for one, Polynesian drinks, no beer or wine; and, unlike every public place on Earth, you can have a cigarette and a drink simultaneously, inside. Very small, can get crowded, cash only.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Footsies – Cypress Park.
Presumably the name of Los Angeles’ baseball team derives from the “dodgy” area around their stadium, and the conditions are just right for dive bars there, Footsies being premier among these. Some hipster infiltration, occasionally a deejay, but nothing too intrusive if you stick to weekdays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Starlite Room- Studio City.
The flashiest thing about the Starlite is its neon museum-worthy sign, and that’s missing more than a few bulbs. Nothing fancy on the jukebox, either; the pool table has seen better days, and days much worse. Good place to get started some afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liquid Kitty – West Los Angeles.
Dim, trouble. Martini glasses don’t hold anymore liquor than glasses anywhere else, yet somehow martinis here are stronger by at least half. The Kitty can get pretty interesting, late, if you’re up for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kibitz Room – West Hollywood.
The bar attached to Canter’s Deli. Matzo ball soup, knish, et al served at the full bar will keep you going. Live music, historically performed by famous Jewish musicians (e.g. Slash, Jakob Dylan) threatens to elevate the Kibitz Room from dive to novelty trap, but hasn’t done so yet. Probably never will.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beacon Cocktail Lounge – Inglewood.
Pool, darts, 22-percent chance of a fight. If there is a fight, duck out, fast. A dive among dives.

The Drawing Room – Los Feliz.
A strip mall wormhole that opens at 6am. In the morning. Every single day. So regulars won’t get the fidges. That sort of place. You know, nice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hinano Café – Venice Beach.
Steps from the beach. Have a burger while you work on your tavern tan. If you can’t hear the waves, you can hear about them from drunk surfers– over and over, and over, and over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Michael Ruffino

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