Bar Review: The Famous
Very few under-40 Angelenos would admit to liking it, but Glendale is LA’s choice suburb. It’s where big box stores and giant malls meet the best Armenian and Lebanese food in the county. And while Glendale hasn’t been known for its nightlife—there’s a roller disco if you’re feeling retro and mall drinking can be had ‘till 10 or so—the SFV’s mountainside city finally has a respectable bar.
The Famous is directly across from the infamous Americana, but, once inside the brick-facade watering hole, the vibe is much closer to the Varnish or Harvard & Stone. The furniture is all wood and leather, exposed brick walls project stills of classic movies and obscure liquor brands are served by vested and mutton-chopped barkeeps who are deeply passionate about their craft.
More details here.

Bar Review: The Famous

Very few under-40 Angelenos would admit to liking it, but Glendale is LA’s choice suburb. It’s where big box stores and giant malls meet the best Armenian and Lebanese food in the county. And while Glendale hasn’t been known for its nightlife—there’s a roller disco if you’re feeling retro and mall drinking can be had ‘till 10 or so—the SFV’s mountainside city finally has a respectable bar.

The Famous is directly across from the infamous Americana, but, once inside the brick-facade watering hole, the vibe is much closer to the Varnish or Harvard & Stone. The furniture is all wood and leather, exposed brick walls project stills of classic movies and obscure liquor brands are served by vested and mutton-chopped barkeeps who are deeply passionate about their craft.

More details here.

Best hotel bars: LA’s classiest lobby lounges
The bar scene in Los Angeles is aces right now, thanks to all-night bar hopping and bartenders’ inventive cocktails. Even tried-and-true hotel bars, from staid classics to new additions, are serving some of the tastiest libations from lemon drops to single malt Scotch. Here, our favorite hotel bars from beachside Santa Monica to ritzy Pasadena.
I wrote this for the new Time Out Los Angeles. Please to enjoy.

Best hotel bars: LA’s classiest lobby lounges

The bar scene in Los Angeles is aces right now, thanks to all-night bar hopping and bartenders’ inventive cocktails. Even tried-and-true hotel bars, from staid classics to new additions, are serving some of the tastiest libations from lemon drops to single malt Scotch. Here, our favorite hotel bars from beachside Santa Monica to ritzy Pasadena.

I wrote this for the new Time Out Los Angeles. Please to enjoy.

socalfood:

Xoia EatsFood and drink go hand in hand, as Echo Park restaurateurs seem to be discovering. With a proliferation of new alcohol permits, the neighborhood maybe become a new nightlife destination for the urbane crowd.

When Mohawk Bend announced its plans last year to take over an empty theater on Sunset Boulevard, the news was met mainly with rejoicing, though a few persistent opponents did make the permitting process a bigger headache than usual for owner Tony Yanow. Now that the enormous (for the neighborhood) restaurant has opened, it’s packed nightly with customers clamoring for craft cocktails, California wine, and the dozens of beers on tap (frankly, the food is currently a bit of an afterthought).

Read more here! Are you excited to see more restaurants with liquor licenses in Echo Park?

(Source: kcetliving)

Lijiang, a city in China’s Yunnan Province, is the culturally and historically important home to the Nakhi people, a matriarchal society related to Tibetans. Full of tiny canals and still-thriving artisan industries like papermaking, it’s a fascinating stop on the Yunnan trail, with evidence of Buddhist and Dongba religions and historic trade routes.

It’s also party central for China, apparently. This is where the eastern wealthy come to drink and scream and, probably, fall in a canal or two. The bars, the music, the drinks are interchangeable. (Really. Ask for a margarita. Or a martini. Either way, you might just end up, as I did, with a fruity, frothy concoction adorned with a couple olives.)

more here…

After a long week explaining away your boss’s latest snafu, where does the political wonk go to unwind? A cruel wit once said that Washington, DC is “Hollywood for ugly people,” and like their entertainment brethren the policy minded like to party hard.  Here are five spots to relax your overachieving, ambitious brain, have a beer and some onion rings and … talk about work.

Bullfeathers: When Teddy Roosevelt wanted to curse in public he would instead say “Bullfeathers.” This no-nonsense pub and sports bar features 31 micro-brews and outdoor seating perfect for summery DC nights. The food is pure middle class Americana with a menu featuring a plethora of chicken sandwiches, burgers and steak. Recently renovated and stripped of its former grungy charm, many regulars have been disenchanted by its newly shiny interior, although wood paneled walls still give it that summer house library feel so popular with the government set.
Bullfeathers, 410 First Street SE

The Tune Inn: All ye who enter this hidden dive bar be sure to be a card carrying friend of the donkey. A legendary greasy spoon, this dark, game filled bar (patrons talk of being seated next to a mounted deer butt) has been a favorite hang-out of Democratic members of the house for years. Super friendly staff, cool regulars, yummy bar grub and cheap well drinks make it what many consider to be the best bar in DC. After the historical health care bill passed, a large group of Democrats came to the Tune Inn to celebrate. The party of the people indeed!
331 1/2 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

more here…

In 1931, Clifton’s Cafeteria opened in Downtown Los Angeles, offering huge quantities of comfort food to anybody and everybody: second helpings were free of charge, and those that couldn’t pay at all were still welcome. Of course, what people mostly notice about the place is the insane décor, made up of a fake forest with the occasional animatronic creature waving its creepy arm at you. (The thought is that Walt Disney cribbed a lot of ideas from this place.)

For the last few decades, Clifton’s has sort of languished as a place people might go to once every few years for a kitsch injection, but it wasn’t the destination it was at first, when the one-person chapel was a genuine, not ironic, thrill; when Raymond Chandler would hold court over a weekly group meeting of writers in the upstairs dining room.

more here…

Bigfoot Lodge's westward younger sibling, deftly named Bigfoot West, has become the more interesting of the two properties lately. It does have the camping-themed drinks the brand is known for — like the Toasted Marshmallow and the Girl Scout Cookie — but now there is way more exciting stuff on offer. And it’s cheap for Happy Hour!

Every day from 5pm to 9pm, Bigfoot West has $5 cocktails, classic concoctions such as gin gimlets, Old Fashioneds and Manhattans. The drinks fit with the woodsy, totem pole-bedecked decor (you could camp here if it were a bit quieter).

Bigfoot goes a bit overboard with the Sailor Jerry, a newer rum brand that’s pushing quite hard right now to become the hipster pirate booze of choice. But there’s nothing wrong with it — especially at $5.

more here…

Los Feliz has settled into a comfortable gentility. The bars aren’t hotbeds of hipness (well, maybe you, Bar Covell, but alas, you’re just wine), but they’re always packed with locals, many of whom walked on foot to get their drink on. Vermont Avenue is still the heart of the neighborhood; here’s where to go after dark.

Dresden Room: Yes, the Dresden Room, where Marty and Elayne are still singing all these years after “Swingers” — and make no mistake, they were doing it for decades before that, too. Go for the throwback ambiance and service; stay to get toasty on gin martinis and make obscure song requests.
1760 N. Vermont Ave.; 323-665-4294 

Rockwell: One of the newer kids on the block, Rockwell is probably trying too hard to attract a club crowd. But it’s not happening, so it’s OK. And the food’s actually pretty good (try the calamari, which is different than any other lounge’s rendition). The setting’s nice, too, with cocktail tables scattered around the base of a huge, tealight-bedecked tree.
1714 N. Vermont Ave.; 323-669-1550

more here…

Morton’s Steakhouse, the upscale chain with the (spiritual, cultural) flagship location in Beverly Hills, is like a trip to the zoo for younger, less financially blessed people who don’t come in everyday contact with swaggering older men who drive sports cars and call each other “baby” like they’re Frank Sinatra. If that zoo had pretty good food and a great Manhattan, of course.

Morton’s is very aware of its reputation and its place in the hearts of wealthy Westsiders — so much so that it doesn’t even call its happy hour by the traditional name. Here, it’s called Power Hour.

more here…

The restaurant El Chavo is a long-time Silver Lake/Los Feliz institution, serving indifferent Mexican food of the “soup or salad?” variety to a couple generations of residents. And to Dolly Parton, whose signed portrait is by the door.

El ChavitoThe left side of the property was empty for years and years, probably used by the restaurant as a semi-forgotten storage area. That changed with the new owner, who opened the space up as a bar and christened it El Chavito. It doesn’t get a whole lot of attention, but it is one of the best bars in the area. And the Happy Hour is stellar: drinks and tacos, and it goes from 5pm until 9pm — late enough for working folks.

more here…