Every week, Eater editors offer spots to drink over the weekend

By the time Friday finally comes around, we here at Eater LA start to get pretty darn thirsty. After drinking our way around town, we're here to be your guide to the city's best watering holes, whether it be a craft beer mecca or a hidden speakeasy for cult rums. Yup, we've officially become your favorite drinking companion.

Here now, three bars to try this weekend in Los Angeles:

June 10, 2016

For thoughtful Southeast Asian-inspired libations: Cassia

[Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

There’s a reason Cassia has become a favorite of the Los Angeles critics: it is probably the most interesting new restaurant on the Westside. The same goes for the cocktails. The pina colada with strawberry balsamic gastrique is unlike any sugary concoction you may have sipped seaside. Those looking for something with more of a kick will go for the barrel aged Sunny Place, a boozy blend of tequila, mescal, china china, sambal bitters, and kaffir lime leaf tincture. —CC 1314 7th St, Santa Monica

Where queso makes the heart grow fonder: Bar Ama

[Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]

If you haven't had sat at the bar at Bar Ama, you're missing out on what might be the best place to chow down after a long work day. Order up one of the mezcal or tequila based cocktails and pick either the queso or guacamole, which comes with an endless parade of tortilla chips. Ask for an off-menu puffy taco (the shrimp variety is great) and finish the post-work meal with a dram of high-quality mezcal. 118 W 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013 —MK

Where the craft beer always goes well with pizza: Baldoria

Little Tokyo has plenty of places to grab a cocktail, from Wolf & Crane to the enduring Far Bar. But perhaps the best place for a thoughtfully made, well-crafted drink might be Baldoria, which takes over the former Toranoko along San Pedro. With perfect late night vibes and the addictive kind of pizza you'll crave after a few craft beers, Baldoria is the ideal new watering hole for those in need of something new in the neighborhood. 243 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 —MK

June 3, 2016

For ‘90s hip hop-themed drinks worth driving for: The Fiscal Agent

[Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

Julian Cox’s magnum opus in LA has been turned over to new beverage director Chris Amirualt, who has shaken things up to make the lounge his own. The spring menu features cocktails that hark back to the ‘90s with exceptionally crafted (not to mention witty) libations like the Tea Pain with green tea-infused vodka and the Bleu Cantrelle with, of course, blue curacao. With bar bites like Barrel & Ashes’ crazy delicious fried chicken sandwich, it’s exactly where you should be drinking this weekend. 11801 Ventura Blvd, Studio City —CC

For a glass of wine in the thick of it all: Little Next Door

[Photo: Yelp]

West Third Street has long been a hub for restaurant and bar concepts. Not all have lasted (or deserved to) through the years, which makes Little Next Door's quiet run on the strip all the more impressive. The casual French cafe offers a quality patio for people watching and some seriously charming digs inside, along with typical French fare and a straightforward but delightful wine list. What could be better on a warm summer night? 8142 W. Third St., Mid-City West —FE

For classy martinis in the heart of Beverly Hills: Viviane

Ryan Wainwright has compiled a familiar, but well-thought cocktail menu at the rather lovely Viviane inside the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills. The martini done three ways is a thoughtful look at the classic Martinez, Mad Men-esque gin martini, and the ridiculous drink known as the dirty martini, the latter of which is quite tasty here. Altogether, they form a martini vertical that'll likely you get properly sloshed before delving into chef Michael Hung's dishes, all under $20. One note: skip the bar seats because they're pretty uncomfortable. Instead, opt for a lazy cabana nearby the pool. 9400 W Olympic Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 —MK

May 27, 2016

For your dream whisky-heavy man cave: Miro

[Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

Downtown has a new after-work contender for thirsty office workers and local denizens alike. Whether you want to sip a carefully crafted libation upstairs with a plate of housemade charcuterie, or are looking to lounge in the restaurant’s downstairs bar with a rare whisky, there are few better places for brown liquor-lovers to unwind after a long day. 888 Wilshire, Los Angeles —CC

For a Downtown newcomer with cocktails by the bottle: Baldoria

[Photo: Instagram]

Little Tokyo newcomer Baldoria is a great place to slide into a seat and grab a drink. There's a fun, easy kitchen pumping out dishes from the back, and the wine selection is a welcome surprise for that stretch of Little Tokyo. But possibly the most intriguing party of Baldoria is their hand-bottled cocktail program, which batches drinks to order not only for service, but also for specificity. And who doesn't like rounding up a few friends and drinking booze from a bottle somewhere — especially if it's not just another Bud Light. 243 S. San Pedro St., Little Tokyo. — FE

For a low-key Downtown bar popular with the industry crowd: Spread

You'd probably assume that Spread was a fast-casual restaurant by day, and a kind of quiet sit-down destination at night. And while that's certainly true of the slick new space on the corner of 4th and Main in Downtown, the bar area is actually a bit of a neighborhood gem. The low-key bar, which still managed pop off one night after a big group came in for after dinner drinks, has that generic, colorful glow that you might expect in a dark, sexy lifestyle commercial.

Barman Raul Pool, who cut his teeth at Boston's tequila-centric Masa before returning to his hometown, creates terrific and approachable cocktails that don't even hurdle $10, something of a rarity in this part of town. Consider the hibiscus tiki drink, which blends rums with tart hibiscus before getting topped with the requisite cocktail umbrella. Or try the cucumber sour, shaken to perfection and poured as a lovely mellow green libation topped by a cream-like foam. It's the kind of place where you can belly up, shake the bartender's hand, and let them mix drinks without too much thought on your end. And what's better than that? 334 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013 —MK

May 20, 2016

For a night out like the South Bay locals: Ocean Bar

[Photo: Facebook]

There are few places in Los Angeles with a nightlife scene as concentrated as Hermosa Beach. The bars clustered around the pier are littered with twenty somethings doing justice to the neighborhood’s nickname "Bromosa." Perhaps the best place to imbibe is Ocean Bar. Sitting right atop Abigaile, the lounge offers DJ-spun tunes and an all-around good time. 1301 Manhattan Ave, Hermosa Beach —CC

For a neon-lit night out with friends: Good Luck Bar

[Photo: Yelp]

Sunset Boulevard is full of great drinking options, especially along the strip between Los Feliz and Silver Lake. Among them is Good Luck Bar, a longstanding dive bar with a heart of neon. Rather than get too down and dirty, Good Luck tows the line between rustic neighborhood favorite and dim hipster weekend spot. Most nights the long oval bar is packed to the gills with regulars and anyone hoping to catch a glance of the next wayward celeb to stumble in, so be prepared to hug the walls while you wait for your next drink. 1514 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz. — FE

For creative cocktails followed up by great Italian cuisine: Sotto

Sotto might have one of the best restaurant bars in town, and the consistent work from bar lead Brynn Smith shows. Starting off dinner with a Tre, a slightly bitter barolo chinato, carpano antica, and egg white drink is probably your strongest play before delving into a wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza. The dark, underground environs also make for great after-dinner drinks if you're going for more of the post-prandial vibe. Sip on a Dream within a Dream, mixing gin, amaro, grapefruit bitters, and vermouth while nibbling on one of the city's best cannolis. 9575 W Pico Blvd —MK

May 13, 2016

For a low-key first date spot: The Pikey

[Photo: Yelp]

If you’re scrambling to find a nice first date spot that doesn’t put on too much pressure, look no further than The Pikey. The ambient music allows for audible conversation, the cocktails go down smoothly, and the lighting assures everyone looks their finest. 7617 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles —CC

For Thai eats and great wine: Same Same

[Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

Silver Lake's Rambutan Thai underwent a recent flip to become Same Same, a wine bar with a Thai drinking and snack food sensibility. The switch has been well-received by locals, who can now swing through for easy eats and lots of wine. It's a moody but upbeat space now, and comes with its very own parking lot — reason enough to make the trip down Sunset Boulevard. 2835 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake. — FE

For a craft beer destination far east: Ritual Brewing

[Photo: Yelp]

Redlands has quietly become something of a craft beer destination, thanks to stalwarts like Hangar 24, who have used their size to bring the whole scene up a level. Right behind them is Ritual Brewing, an award-winning craft beer brewery with a weekend taproom that's worth the drive. Open Friday and Saturday nights until 10 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m., Ritual offers a large taproom that's great for gathering with friends, playing games, and generally downing a pint or two of the company's flagship beers. 1315 Research Drive, Redlands. — FE

May 6, 2016

For boozy takes on breakfast favorites: Nighthawk

[Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

Jeremy Fall is at it again, giving Angelenos unique evening experiences that break away from the LA nightlife scene that can sometimes verge on monotony. His newest venture, Nighthawk, celebrates the most important meal of the day with boozy takes on cereal milk and milkshakes that are reminiscent of childhood in a strangely delicious way. With just enough clubby vibes and drunchies like Benedict fries, Nighthawk offers just about everything you need on your night out. 1638 N Las Palmas Ave Los Angeles —CC

For a sunny surfside bar that packs you in like sardines: Fishing With Dynamite

[Photo: Yelp]

Most folks will convince you to opt for the seafood at Fishing With Dynamite in Manhattan Beach — and they're right. The restaurant helped pull to shore the trend of approachable upscale seafood shack, but you shouldn't skip on the drinks either. The bar is tight but cozy (especially on weekends), and you can sip away for just about as long as you'd like. One great choice? The Antigua Raza, an easy-sipping cocktail with just the right amount of spicy edge. 1148 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach. — FE

For a place to wear a suit or cocktail dress in Hollywood: Paley

Mid-century modern design is in right now, but few have the kind of formality that Paley has established in Hollywood. The bar area, nestled toward the Sunset Blvd side of the street, might be the ideal place to snap sunset-lit photos of your cocktails, while lounging around with colleagues or friends. Chef Greg Bernhardt's fare lands on this side of approachable, meaning the fashionable types in your social circle won't be scared off by unfamiliar plates. And the drinks at this classy bar will match all the visuals, with purposeful and colorful garnishes. It's been said too often, but if the 60's have been reincarnated, then Paley is its perfect postcard. 6115 Sunset Blvd —MK

April 29, 2016

For a throwback night at LA's most coveted new spot: Highland Park Bowl

There's something magical about bowling in an old 1920's building that's been restored to its original grandeur, especially when cocktails are involved. The vaunted 1933 Group has recently brought life back to the old Highland Park Bowl, and they're trading in on that magic starting this weekend with a full-on opening tonight that will include bowling and lots (and lots) of drinking. You can stick by the bar for round after round of craft beer, or hit the menu for something a little more specific to the feel of the place, from their throwback take on a white Russian through the list of whiskeys. Then go put your bowling shoes on. 5621 N. Figueroa St., Highland Park. —FE

For outstanding margaritas just in time for Cinco de Mayo: Gracias Madre

With the amount of innovation being shaken up behind the bar at Gracias Madre, it would be fair to call beverage director Jason Eisner the tequila whisperer. His newest batch of cocktails are perfect for warm weather, and bring flavor profiles to agave-based libations you didn't think were possible. Go for the One in A Melon with watermelon, mezcal, jalapeno, elderflower, and pink salt for the ultimate summertime sipper. 8905 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood —€”CC

For a few refined bites to go along with with your cocktails: Kali

While chef Kevin Meehan is putting together some of the finest cooking on this stretch of Melrose, with signature dishes featuring tenderloin and even wheat berry risotto (with fermented black garlic, no less), the bar is a great place to unwind after a long week. The cocktails focus on California spirits, something that's a bit unique even for locavore obsessed Los Angeles. Come early before dinner and have a drink before settling into the a table for the full meal. 5722 Melrose Avenue —MK

April 22, 2016

For al fresco cocktails by one of the most talented barmen in town: Terrine

[Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]

We already know Ryan Wainwright stirs up some of the tastiest takes on classic libations in the city. But as the evenings turn balmy, there’s no better time to sip a cocktail or two under the twinkling lights of Terrine’s ethereal Javanese bishopwood tree. Bring some friends, order a new cocktail (the menu changes seasonally), and enjoy one of the few Beverly Grove places to imbibe under the stars. 8265 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles —CC

For a Valley watering hole that feels like part of the family: Foxfire Room

[Photo: Yelp]

A perennial favorite on dive bar lists across the city, the Foxfire Room is more than just a place for a cheap drink and some bad music. It’s pretty spacious inside, for one, which means there’s room for your and your friends to tuck into a booth and chat over some pints. Or you can head in alone and brave the dart boards and wood-paneled vibe. There’s karaoke and TV’s too, if you’re just interested in getting noticed or watching the game. And more than likely, if you’ve spent any time in the Valley yourself, you’ll end up running into someone you know — or the uncle of someone you know. It’s just that kind of place. 12516 Magnolia Blvd., Valley Village. —FE

Where to catch sports during these warm summer nights: Seoul Sausage

Downtown LA has plenty of bars with TVs, but few offer the kind of terrific fare, plus creative cocktails, as Seoul Sausage on the outskirts of Little Tokyo. With an open, convivial atmosphere and Korean-slanted drinks that pair perfectly with the galbi sausages, you'll find the ideal companions to weekend Dodger games and playoff basketball. 236 S Los Angeles St. —MK [Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

April 15, 2016

For retro vibes and bar bites in the South Bay: Hey 19

[Photo: Carl Larsen]

There aren’t enough places in the South Bay to belly up to the bar and grab a few snacks to soak up craft libations. Thankfully Torrance’s little strip mall gem, Hey 19, offers just that: a slew of sub $10 cocktails and bites like bacon-wrapped tater tots and deep fried deviled eggs to go with them. Add in eclectic ‘70s and ‘80s imagery, and you have your new go-to bar when visiting the Southland. 4525 Calle Mayor Torrance, CA

For an easy drink in Echo Park, record player and all: Semi-Tropic

[Photo: Yelp]

Though it's become something of a weekday hang thanks to its simple breakfast menu and espresso machine, the casual newcomer Semi-Tropic is still a bar at heart. That's why, on weekends, you'll find the place livened up with locals listening to whatever record happens to be on, while enjoying some craft beer and a straightforward selection of wines by the glass. Deep, wide booths let large groups sink in for conversation together, or you can sit at the bar and take in the rustic environment over a chat with your amiable bartender. It's a neighborhood spot, reimagined for today's Echo Park crowd. 1412 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park. —FE

For standout cocktails on you Westside night out: The Chestnut Club

[Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

Perhaps one of the best places to grab a well-crafted cocktail on the Westside, The Chestnut Club offers an extensive spirit list by Steve Livigini and Pablo Moix. With a true focus on stellar libations and a DJ spinning throughout the night, you can’t go wrong.  1348 14th St, Santa Monica —CC

April 8, 2016

For standout cocktails in a buzzy space: Scopa Italian Roots

[Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]

It’s been about two and a half years since bar maestros Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix opened up Scopa Italian Roots with Top Chef contestant Antonia Lofaso. Enter its brick walled digs on any night of the week and find a restaurant with the same bustle and buzz as one that just opened its doors. This, of course, means there’s few better places on the Westside to belly up to the bar to sip on some of the cocktail mavens’ best hits. You’ll soon understand why the restaurant recently made Eater LA’s Essential 38. 2905 W Washington Blvd, Venice —CC

For rainy day craft beer drinking with a side of meat: Boneyard Bistro

[Photo: Instagram]

Don't feel like venturing too far away this weekend, what with the expected rain and all? Make your way to Boneyard Bistro, where the craft beer flows heavier than the weather. From Figueroa Mountain to Brasserie de Silly, you'll find hard-to-source options and constant favorites alike. Oh, and they've got a pretty great food menu you may have heard about too. 13539 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. —FE

For a creative cocktails in a tourist zone: Birch

Gaby Mlynarzyck understands that you have to provide something a little bit different in the way of cocktails to stand out. The program she's built at Birch might be one of the most thoughtful, and inventive, in town, despite the tourist-heavy Hollywood placement. Most of the drinks don't even really riff on classic drinks, a crutch that some bars around town have settled upon. And the best part? They don't overwhelm you for Brendan Collins' fine globally-inspired fare. 1634 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 —MK

April 1, 2016

For a night out K-Pop style: Bleu

If you've ever gone out with a crew of K-Town locals, you probably went to Bleu at some point during your night. While the drinks are unremarkable, you're here for bottles of Johnny Walker before you head out to a karaoke bar for full-on debauchery. 3470 W 6th St Ste 8B, Los Angeles —CC

For a Downtown gay bar with cocktails to spare: Bar Mattachine

[Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

Though it's billed as a popular new haunt for Downtown's gay clientele, Bar Mattachine is much more of a come-one-come-all affair. Cocktails here are always on point, and the bar's stylish digs make it a great evening hang for absolutely everyone. 221 W. 7th Street, Downtown —FE

For Koreatown's best cocktail lounge: The Normandie Club

Koreatown's been gifted with some terrific Korean bars offering ice cold soju and beer. But man and woman do not live by sul-mek alone (a portmanteau of soju and beer in Korean). In steps The Normandie Club, a grown up cocktail den in the heart of Koreatown with reformatted classics that'll impress any drink maven. Try the martini, with a hint of salt and raw white honey to mix up the flavors, or the amazing manhattan, blending rye with cynar, sweet vermouth, and Miracle Mile red eye bitters. The Normandie Club is an ideal launch pad for more K-town drinking adventures, or the relaxed end to the night. 3612 W. 6th Street —MK [Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

March 25, 2016

For updated cocktails with a view: EP & LP

[Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

As the days grow longer and warmer, there’s no better time to revisit the stunning rooftop bar that is LP. With panoramic views of the Hollywood Hills and a new and improved cocktail menu by Brittney Olsen (formerly of Grandpa Johnson's) and Adam Nystrom (Red Medicine), LP may just be the most pleasant place to be to sip on an evening libation. Don’t skip the updated boozy boba drinks, like the Californication with rum, Campari, coconut, pineapple, and passionfruit boba. 603 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood —CC

For the Sunset Strip hot spot that screams Hollywood: Bar 53

[Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

The first floor of Pearl’s got a serious upgrade when it transformed into Bar 53. The swanky new digs with dark, loungey vibes boasts a rotating cocktail list, celebrity sightings, and full bottle service. Is there a more Hollywood crowd in LA? We doubt it. 8909 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood —CC

For something smoky after a night at Staples Center: Broken Spanish

[Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

Mike Lay is up to his old tricks again, working a strong new menu at Broken Spanish in South Park. The modern Mexican favorite loves to handle the Staples Center crowds for dinner, but there’s always a seat open at Lay’s marble bar, where the former Faith & Flower maestro is concocting some of the city’s best drinks. Try the El Gallito for a mezcal option that ends with a habañero finish, or the Aztec Colonel for a bourbon, mole and orange bitters option. 1050 S. Flower St., South Park. — FE

March 18, 2016

For a quiet craft beer destination in the San Gabriel Valley: Alosta Brewing

Though there are plenty of drinking options in the Arts District and South Bay right now, you might be feeling like a mini road trip for some dumplings and craft beer. Should that be the case, consider Alosta Brewing in Covina, with its casual taproom and nearly a dozen rotating offerings. The space is spare but inviting, and the food truck outside guarantees you'll stay fed — that is unless you stopped for dumplings already. 692 Arrow Grand Circle, Covina. — FE

For live tunes to go with your red wine: Hi-Hat

Highland Park's hipster scene is starting to grow up a bit, with the cleaned up Hi-Hat taking over a former pool haul along York Blvd. Instead of punk bands and indie acts, you're getting more folksy and blues rock performances. Sadly, Hi-Hat doesn't support full alcohol, though you can always imbibe at The York across the street if you need a cocktail. Or opt for a craft beer at the playful, casual Block Party. But bring your old weathered boots and a denim jacket for Hi-Hat, and order up a few glasses of wine or beer by the can. 5043 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042 —MK

For a quiet drink and cigar in Beverly Hills: Buena Vista Cigar Club

Photo: Yelp

Sometimes you want to live the luxe life without dropping the major dollars. Or feel like you own your own man cave without having to build it into your garage. Well, Buena Vista is here for you, with a top-notch selection of spirits and a casual, two-tiered spot in the heart of Beverly Hills. Talk to Rigo, the owner, and consult him over your choice of cigar. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy the serenity of the place. (No membership required) 9715 S. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills —MK

March 11, 2016

For post-dinner drinks to kick off your night on the town: Maia

[Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

One of Sunset Strip’s glossiest new addition isn’t really about the food and drink. At Maia, the energy is undeniable. With a packed space of pretty people (this is definitely a vodka-soda crowd) ready to set the town ablaze, there are few more idyllic spots to kick off a night of debauchery. 8768 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood —CC

For some Spanish flavor and a killer patio: El Cid

[Photo: Yelp]

The Flamenco heats up on weekends at El Cid, but you can cool off any time away from the dance party by hitting the patio outside. There's a dedicated bar doing margaritas and more, and you can enjoy the views and the evening breeze for (relatively) cheap. Order some tapas while you're at it, too. This is Spain, after all. 4212 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake. — FE

For a centralized cocktail bar with near-perfect style: Melrose Umbrella Company

[Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]

I get asked often to recommend a bar, and the one that almost always comes up in my mind first is Melrose Umbrella Company. The first reason is that it's so centrally located on Melrose Avenue, making it accessible from Hollywood, West Hollywood, and Mid-City. That means cheaper Uber rides for friends who are visiting from out of town. Second, the drinks are almost always perfectly made, and inventive enough to give people a taste of LA's great cocktail scene. And finally, the ambiance is excellent, with Matt Winter's antique design giving imbibers just enough talking points to discuss while sitting in the space. Oh, and there's no greater after drink snack than Eric Greenspan's fried apple pie, right next door. 7465 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046. — MK

March 4, 2016

For the best new cocktails on the Westside: The Rose

[Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

The Rose has a good thing going on with a menu chock full of just about everything you want to eat. But it’s worth a visit to the revamped Venice institution for the drinks alone. The cocktail program originally ideated by Julian Cox and Nick Meyer is market-driven and refreshingly unique. Be sure to go for the Macadamia Phosphate, the unbelievably smooth concoction that blends house macadamia nut orgeat with rums, acid phosphate, and vermouth. 220 Rose Ave, Venice —CC

For great steak and world-class scotch: Alexander's Steakhouse

[Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

Erik Lund, formerly of Republique and Rivera, has put together a mighty list of cocktails all the way out in Pasadena at this refined steakhouse. While the separate bar area is slated for a slight renovation and separation from the steakhouse in the coming months (same ownership, new name), you can still enjoy Lund's creations at Alexander's bar, with a side of wagyu steak and chilled foie gras. Oh, and when you're done with dinner, settle down with a dram of high quality scotch, ideally from a producer you've never heard before. 111 N. Robles, Pasadena. —MK

For some of the city's best cocktails, with a side of cake: Big Bar at The Alcove

[Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]

This diminutive L-shaped bar tucked inside one end of the popular Alcove in Los Feliz has always had big ambitions (hence the name). The staff there, and new-ish bar manager Cari Hah, are intent on switching things up seasonally while not foregoing the classics, resulting in a timeless destination for a weekend drink. Plus, you can order cake from the Alcove proper. 1929 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz. — FE

February 26, 2016

For a bar scene that rivals the dinner crowds: Republique

[Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]

If dinner at Republique ever seems too intimidating — the necessary reservation in advance of the crowds, the pricetag, the menu — just remember that you can always slide onto a barstool, order a dish or two, and mostly enjoy the cocktails and wine. You won't get the full Manzke experience, but you also won't have missed too much, considering the bar bleeds so effortlessly into the dining room, and the drinks more than stand up on their own. 624 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-City. —FE

For the so LA place to take out of towners: Bar Marmont

[Photo: Yelp]

Want to seem like the coolest night owl your out-of-town friends know? Take them to Bar Marmont, the little bar attached to the celebrity hideout where the line is never exorbitantly long, the music bumps, and the people watching is on point. 8171 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA —CC

For your Westside drinking buddies who like good tunes: Hatchet Hall's Old Man Bar

The Westside doesn't quite have the rustic hipster cachet as the Eastside, but Hatchet Hall is here to fulfill all of your flannel desires. The Old Man Bar, tucked away toward the rear of the restaurant, is making some of the best drinks west of the 405. Oh, and for the music aficionados, the back room has a full analog record player system. Kindly ask the bartender for a request and they'll try to bump the album of your choice. Starting Sunday in March, the place will also have a special wood-grilled burger menu by David Wilcox. 12517 W Washington Blvd, Culver City. —MK [Photo by Wonho Frank Lee]

February 19, 2016

For a West Hollywood bar that comes with clubby vibes: Harlowe

[Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]

There’s a pretty stark dichotomy between bars and clubs in Los Angeles that doesn’t exist so greatly in cities like New York. Bars tend to be loungier whereas clubs blow yours ears out with EDM-leaning tunes. For those looking for the in between in the West Hollywood area, there’s Harlowe, where there’s no trouble at the door (albeit a long line come 11 p.m.), the drinks are on point, and the DJ knows just what you want to hear. 7321 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood —CC

For lunchtime drinks with a view Downtown: Perch

[Photo: Facebook]

Far from being a 'best-kept secret' in Downtown, Perch is usually mobbed in the sunset hours with tourists and Downtowners angling for the perfect view. Luckily weekend brunch tends to be a touch calmer, which means you can sip champagne, down mimosas, or grab bottles of rosé from the bar without needing to be elbow to elbow with everyone else. 448 S. Hill St., Downtown – FE

For a stylish restaurant bar in West Hollywood: Norah

Norah is a beautiful new addition to West Hollywood, with design by Thomas Schoos in the former Don't Tell Mama space along Santa Monica Blvd. The fare is excellent, mostly new-school American cuisine using high quality ingredients. The cauliflower popcorn and the kushi oysters make for fine companions to the drinks. Start with the continental spritzer, a light crushed-ice beverage served in a wine glass that's bitter enough to counter the starters. Delve into the cucumber gin sour, shaken until the egg white is as tasty as a meringue. Is there a more lovely restaurant to open in West Hollywood this year? Probably not. 8279 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood —MK

February 12, 2016

For your new favorite wine bar: Heritage Fine Wines

[Photo: Yelp]

You may be wary of a wine bar on the corner of S. Santa Monica Boulevard and Canon Drive in the heart of the Golden Triangle. But don’t let the prime location fool you: snooty service is nowhere to be found at Heritage Fine Wines. Quite the contrary actually—Heritage’s intimate space offers an interactive education in fine wines, with exceptional hospitality to boot. Stop in on a Friday night with friends for extremely reasonably priced tastings, and enjoy a sophisticated night out. 9400 S Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills —CC

For the nicest dive bar this side of Cheers: Club Tee Gee

[Photo: Yelp]

Atwater Village's Club Tee Gee is as kind as they come. With an amenable staff doling out inexpensive cocktails and cheap-ish beers, this is a great place to tuck into a sip before a meal at nearby spots like Ozu East or All'Acqua. Just beware the cash only sign. 3210 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village. — FE

For a laid back drink on the Eastside: The Greyhound

This Highland Park bar continues to field some of the best craft beers on the Eastside. Coupled with terrific chicken wings and a righteous (but simple) burger, it's the kind of place to hang out with friends and catch the ESPN highlights. As for cocktails, they'll make you a stiff Manhattan or Old Fashioned without any problems. If anything, The Greyhound is a strong reason to move out to Highland Park in the first place, because it's a slice of everyday Midwestern familiarity just a few miles from Downtown LA. 5570 N. Figueroa St. —MK [Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]

February 5, 2016

For a red sauce joint you never knew had rock n roll vibes: Jones

[Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]

We have all at least heard of Jones Hollywood, a staple addition to Santa Monica Boulevard known for its solid rendition of spaghetti and meatballs and pretty outstanding pie. But not everyone knows that come 10 pm, a bouncer sets up shop outside the door, and the bar becomes an impenetrable mass of mingling patrons. With chill rock n roll tunes and the option to order a pizza with your whisky, there are few better places to spend a Friday night. 7205 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood —CC

For your next Koreatown craft beer crawl: Beer Belly

At some point this weekend, you should shoulder your way into Beer Belly, the crowded Koreatown craft beer haven with the colorful details and the expansive taplist. Yes, you can hold for a table and down fries, duck, and gloriously greasy sandwiches, but what you should really do is grab a beer, or three, and try to end up somewhere near the bar. That's where the action is, where craft beer heads gather to talk about the latest new release or the next tap takeover. You can learn a lot, just standing there, while you sip from some of California (and thus the world's) best breweries. 532 S. Western Ave., Koreatown. —FE

For when you want to celebrate with a cigar and scotch: Ten Pound

Photo: Yelp

LA thankfully has some prime indoor/outdoor spaces where cigar smokers and scotch aficionados can find some kind of refuge. Yes, it's a certain kind of vibe at these sort of spots, like the man-cave also known as Buena Vista in Beverly Hills. But if you're willing to shell out about $100 for an out of this world experience, check out Ten Pound, located just above Scarpetta in the Montage Beverly Hills.

The prices are astronomical, but you do get an amazing set of bar bites with every order, plus personalized service in cushy cabanas that overlook the parklet outside. The Macallan presense is strong here, with unique bottles you won't find anywhere else, though you can also get a world-beating Manhattan if you want. Sometimes you just want that baller experience, and though it's not cheap, it's good to have something like Ten Pound there for when you need to seal the deal or hang out with friends. 225 N Canon. —MK

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