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Three Bars to Try This Weekend in Los Angeles

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

Tabula Rasa bar in Hollywood, California
Tabula Rasa
Wonho Frank Lee

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:

February 17, 2017:

For Thai Town's best drinking destination: Tabula Rasa

Wonho Frank Lee

There are only a handful of worthwhile drinking spots in Thai Town (Jumbo's among them), which is surprising for such a dense part of the city. Well no matter now, as Tabula Rasa has stepped in to pull big weekend crowds thanks to their high-and-low menu approach that appeals to everyone across the craft beer and wine spectrum. Don't sleep on the burger they make in the back, either. 5125 Hollywood Blvd., Thai Town —Farley Elliott [Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

For a Beverly Hills wine bar without the pretension: Heritage Fine Wines

Heritage Fine Wines Heritage Fine Wines

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 is quite the place to get an 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. 467 North Canon Dr., Beverly Hills —Crystal Coser [Photo: Heritage Fine Wines]

For a relaxed new revamped lounge in Culver City: The Corner Door

The Corner Door Old Fashioned

Beau du Bois is back in action at The Corner Door, only with a fully redecorated room thanks to new owners Zach Patterson and Austin Melrose of Melrose Umbrella Company. The place feels swanky and weathered in, but not quite as sceney as its Hollywood counterpart. The food here's gotten a nice upgrade too, with sweet bar bites and a delicious new seared branzino with buttered leeks. However, the drinks remain excellent as always, albeit with more space to lounge around and mingle with friends. 12477 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles —Matthew Kang [Photo: Matthew Kang]

February 10, 2017:

For a one-stop shop for all your night out needs: Laurel Hardware

I'm always impressed by the multi-functionality of Laurel Hardware. Do you need a quiet place to catch up with a friend? Looking to meet that special someone across the bar? Need a convenient gathering spot for a large group? This longstanding West Hollywood bar fits the bill for almost all your night out needs. With an expansive bar, quite booths for noshing on small places, and a gorgeously lit patio that fits large parties, Laurel Hardware is almost always a safe bet. 7984 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood —Crystal Coser [Photo: Laurel Hardware]

For a Pasadena beer bar with class: Der Wolfskopf

The admittedly hard to pronounce Der Wolfskopf isn't your average sticky-table beer bar. This is a German-style drinking den with broad chandeliers overhead, meant for a more classic connoisseur interested in throwback brews as well as craftier stuff. Don't forget to stick around for sausage and burgers too. 72 N. Fair Oaks., Pasadena — Farley Elliott [Photo: Yelp]

For a gorgeous throwback lounge with reliably good fare: Delilah

Elizabeth Daniels

If you're a fan of Goodfellas or Casino, you'll love Delilah from h.wood Group, the second full restaurant effort after the home-run that was The Nice Guy. While celebrities have fully latched onto The Nice Guy and now Delilah (Justin Bieber likes to play One Republic and even Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata on the piano), the place is as much a hangout for plebeians as it is for the famous. Sure it's a bit of an effort to get in, with reservations required.

But once you got through the door, the place feels like a suave wonderland, with strong cocktails, tuxedo'd servers, and craveable plates. The food itself seems pulled right out of the Houston's playbook, with robust American classics like chicken tenders (they're tasty), and a two patty burger that tastes like a cross between New York's iconic P.J. Clarke's and In-N-Out's double-double. Earlier this week, I took two colleagues from out of town who felt appropriately that they had the perfect night out in LA. —Matthew Kang 7969 California Route 2, West Hollywood, CA 90046 [Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]

February 3, 2017:

For a wine bar with class: Wilde

You've certainly noticed Wilde, the unassuming wine bar along La Brea. The place has been there for years, right along the main drag, and continues to pour some interesting stuff. There's nothing stuffy here, just locals stopping in for a drink or three before heading off to all points elsewhere. Or maybe this is your nightcap, spent with a glass in hand white snacking on some simple fare. Either way, you can't go wrong. 320 S. La Brea., Mid-City West —Farley Elliott [Photo: Yelp]

For serious Italian-inspired cocktails at a masculine bar: Officine Brera

There's a lot to love on Officine Brera's cocktail list. With such unique combinations that range from bone marrow-infused bourbon to rosemary and clove-infused vodka, it's hard to decide what to drink from the tight menu. What's more? The bonus section of Negroni variations is an ideal way to kick off a hearty Northern Italian meal. 1331 E 6th St, Los Angeles —Crystal Coser [Photo: Jesus Banuelo]

For an iconic Hollywood drink: Musso & Frank Grill

This weekend, head over to the bar at Musso & Frank Grill and order a dry martini. After a red-jacketed bartender prepares your drink and you take your first sip, you’ll be transported back to the golden age of Hollywood. Though the restaurant will mostly likely be filled with tourists and few locals, you might get lucky and spot a star. 6667 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles —Ash Narayan [Photo: Yelp]

January 27, 2017:

For a full bar and a slice: Vito's Pizza Santa Monica

You've heard by now that Vito's Pizza in Santa Monica is up and running. The Westside addition to the La Cienega original comes with a full bar too, which means you can sip on a classic cocktail while enjoying a slice of pepperoni pizza. Who doesn't love the sound of that? 2455 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica —Farley Elliott [Photo: Yelp]

For a boisterous crowd with great drinks to boot: Melrose Umbrella Co

It can often be challenging to find a bar that manages to both serve thoughtful libations with a convivial atmosphere. Thankfully, Melrose Umbrella Co is always a solid choice. Arrive early to catch up with friends over one (or many) well-crafted tipples, or arrive late for an eclectic crowd of pretty people. Just be willing to forgo extra elbow room. 7465 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles —Crystal Coser [Photo: Melrose Umbrella Co]

For exquisite drinks with a little extra kick: Gracias Madre

At Gracias Madre, beverage director Jason Eisner has put together a great menu of small batch mezcals, tequilas, organic wines and spirits. In keeping with the ethos of the restaurant, all of the shrubs, bitters, and tinctures are made in house. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, go for the CBD laced Negroni, which leaves you feeling very very good. 8905 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood —Ash Narayan [Photo: Caroline Pardilla]

January 20, 2017:

For one of the most delicious bar experiences in town: Gwen

If you aren’t able to score a reservation at Curtis Stone's newest hotspot Gwen (hell, even if you are) try sitting at the bar. Let the bartenders guide you to a drink that reflects the nose-to-tail ethos of the restaurant, as is exemplified by the Collins Family, a blend of kiwi, pomegranate, aloe, and rum that is garnished with a kiwi leather that utilized the entire fruit, skin and all. You would do just fine nibbling on some housemade charcuterie and foie gras pate, but should you add the 30 day dry-aged ribeye? Yes, you probably should. 6600 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles —Crystal Coser [Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

For some craft beer and maybe a comedy show: Franklin & Co.

Need a laugh this weekend? Maybe try Franklin & Co. in Franklin Village. The place is Hollywood-adjacent enough to offer easy access to dinner beforehand (or you can eat the pub grub on site), and right next door to the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy theater. If you need to chill out with a beer and take in a few laughs, this might just be the place. 5923 Franklin Ave., Franklin Village —Farley Elliott [Photo:Yelp]

For food and drinks that will please everyone: Faith & Flower

If you’re looking for a place that has drinks for everyone, head downtown to Faith & Flower. The English Milk Punch is definitely the signature drink here, but if you’re looking to change it up, go with one of the seasonal cocktails. Don’t forget to order some food though; it’s just as good as the drinks. 705 W 9th St., Los Angeles —Ash Narayan [Photo: Caroline Pardilla]

January 13, 2017:

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

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 —Crystal Coser [Photo:Yelp]

For a cozy night in with some of LA's best cocktails: Big Bar

Apple Bottom Jeans [Photo: Caroline Pardilla]
Most folks flock to Alcove in Los Feliz for the outdoor patio and pastry case, but those in the know opt for the bar inside. That's Big Bar, and it comes with some of the best cocktails you'll find anywhere in the city, so why not get cozy with a friend in the wood-lined room over drinks? 1927 Hillhurst., Los Feliz —Farley Elliott [Photo: Caroline Pardilla]

For drinks high in the sky: 71Above

If you’re in the mood for both great drinks and a view, 71Above is the place to go. The cocktail menu is inspired by the many diverse neighborhoods of LA, many of which you can see while enjoying your drinks. Try to go early on in the evening and watch the sunset while sipping away. 633 W 5th St., Los Angeles —Ash Narayan [Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

January 6, 2017:

For a cocktail that keeps you coming back for more: Shibumi

There has been much ado about Shibumi, chef David Schlosser’s kappo-style restaurant Downtown. But matching the thoughtfulness of the booze-friendly dishes are the chef-driven cocktails that are anything but a second thought. My mind keeps wandering towards the whisky-based tipple with cherry blossom and cherry bark maceration whenever I’m hankering for a libation, as the elegant sipper is without doubt one of my favorite drinks of last year. 815 Hill St., Los Angeles —Crystal Coser [Photo: Bill Addison]

For a beer and plenty of people watching: The Original Farmers Market

Did you know that the O.G. farmers market off Fairfax is a drink-friendly zone? That it is, as evidenced by the few standalone bars throughout the sprawling complex, plus the beer and wine being served at attached restaurants. You can actually grab a pint or a pitcher and take it to a table with some friends, before collecting a variety of foodstuffs from vendors near and far. What better way to spend a stormy weekend than under an awning with some friends watching the world roll past? 6333 W. 3rd St., Mid-City West  —Farley Elliott [Photo: Yelp]

For a bar with great drinks and outstanding food: Here's Looking at You

Here's Looking at You Tropical Medicine Caroline Pardilla

Here’s Looking at You was one of last year’s biggest openings and it just seems to be getting better. The move here is to snag a spot at the bar where you can enjoy inventive fruity cocktails created by the talented Allan Katz and Danielle Crouch. Also don’t forget to snag a slice of the evening pie, something only the guests at the bar can indulge in. 3901 W. 6th St., Koreatown —Ash Narayan [Photo: Caroline Pardilla]

December 30, 2016:

For the sexiest new cocktail bar in town: CUT Lounge

Wolfgang Puck’s recently launched CUT Lounge adjacent to his swanky steakhouse in the Beverly Wilshire offers everything you could want in pre-dinner libations—a lovely hand-chipped ice program, stunning glassware, and beautifully crafted cocktails that actually merit their hefty price tags. But for those not looking for a full meal at CUT will do just fine at the dimly lit lounge, where some of the steakhouse favorites are offered on the menu alongside a fresh "Rough CUTs" menu. Don’t skip the thoughtful chicken liver pastrami or outstanding rack of lamb. 9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills —Crystal Coser [Photo: CUT Lounge]

For beer with a side of cheese corn: Dan Sung Sa

Dan Sung Sa, Koreatown

Sure, you won't find hard stuff at Dan Sung Sa, the Koreatown drinking legend, but beer and soju is more than enough if you're with the right friends and have ordered up a bunch of sizzling dishes to share. Start with the cheese corn (and end with the cheese corn), while munching on meaty dishes in between and generously keeping everyone's short beer glasses topped all the way up. It's the kind of night you should be having in Koreatown more often, really. 3317 W. 6th St., Koreatown —Farley Elliott [Photo: Yelp]

For a bar that feels plucked right out of Paris: Church & State

Back in its heyday, Walter Manzke cooked over the stoves at this Arts District restaurant while the dapper Michel Dozois was pumping out some of the city's best drinks at the square-shaped bar up front. These days the bar is still performing admirably, with creative takes infusing everything from fresh gooseberries to a mezcal and chartreuse drink that'll conjure up evenings in Paris. The cuisine remains some of the best French food in town thanks to chef Tony Esnault. 1850 Industrial St., Los Angeles —Matthew Kang [Photo: Church & State]

December 22, 2016:

For a cocktail in Venice that comes with some interesting street snacks: Wallflower

Wallflower Venice

This weekend you should duck into Wallflower on the easterly side of the commercial stretch of Rose in Venice, and immediately surprise yourself with a drink. Don't think too hard, just grab that Manhattan with star anise and ginger-infused amaro, or the yuzu five spice reposado cadillac. Tick off a few things from the easy-eating menu, and enjoy — just don't overthink it. 609 Rose Ave., Venice —Farley Elliott [Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

For Downtown's hottest underground hangout: El Dorado

Downtown's always going to be the best place to get a cocktail in L.A., if only for its amazing spaces. When I first walked into the Edison nearly ten years ago, I remember thinking that something like this is only possible in Disneyland. El Dorado is Downtown's newest underground drinking den, and the digs are pretty phenomenal. The numerous rooms make for a fun exploration, while the banquettes give imbibers prime people watching. Sure, the place verges on the edge of douchey, especially on weekends, but it's also a few clicks short of a Hollywood bar (which is a good thing). That means you'll be able to dance with friends and pick up a decently made Blood & Sand at the same time. That's a reason alone to celebrate. 416 S. Spring St., Downtown —Matthew Kang [Photo: Yelp]

For a K-Town drinking den you shouldn't forget: Escala

Why aren’t more people drinking at Escala? It’s a question I can’t seem to figure out. You can often find a DJ spinning live tunes that keep the atmosphere convivial, the bar is filled with enthusiastic sports fans, and the drinks are more than affordable. Pair that with Colombian-Korean fusion dishes like the kimchi-chorizo K-panada, and you have all the makings for an outstanding night out with friends. 3451 W. 6th St., Los Angeles —Crystal Coser [Photo: Escala]

December 16, 2016:

For a Downtown spot to watch the game: Brack Shop Tavern

Have you stopped into Brack Shop Tavern yet? The former Barrel Down on 7th Street has become a hit with locals looking to belly up for a beer or five while watching the game. Better still: Park yourself in one of the big back booths with friends to catch all the Sunday action, all day long. 525 W. 7th St., Downtown— Farley Elliott [Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

For delicious sips to kick off a night with the girls: Norah

Norah Charms The Pants Off the West Hollywood Dining Scene, Starting Tonight

With its gorgeous design with feminine accents, Norah is quite the place to begin an evening of debauchery. Start of with a Tongue Twister, a savory and sweet blend of Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, and white peach puree that is given bitter complexity by Punt e Mes. Nibble on that crazy delicious corn bread as your order a second and third, then make your way out with all of West Hollywood at your fingertips. 8279 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood —Crystal Coser [Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

For an easy bar with wine you won't regret: Commerson

A yellow-tinted dining room filled with dining customers and staff. Commerson

Grab a seat from the long bar at the new Commerson, just south of Wilshire on La Brea. The corner newcomer offers lots of stools to enjoy your drink from, while a TV softly flickers from behind the bar. Pay it no mind and focus on the wine list instead, where sommelier Sam Rethmeier is putting together one of the more intriguing new lists around town. 788 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-City — Farley Elliott

December 9, 2016:

For a craft beer destination worth driving to: Homage Brewing

Step on the gas and make for Pomona (yes, Pomona) this weekend. That's where you'll find the newish Homage Brewing, a sleekly styled craft beer destination right in the heart of the city. With its modern ambiance and lineup of great beers, this one is a mini road trip worth taking. 281 S. Thomas St., Pomona — Farley Elliott [Photo: Facebook]

For jovial holiday drinks on the Eastside: Tam O'Shanter

Tam O'Shanter

LA Weekly reported this week that Tam O'Shanter is the perfect place to enjoy holiday cheer in Los Angeles. And I'm inclined to agree, what with nightly carolers, Christmas decor, and a warm Scottish country inn vibe, it's the ideal venue for friendly hangouts and mid-evening revelry. And one thing to know if you're a brown liquor fiend: not only is their selection nearly unparalleled in town, the prices are very reasonable for what you get, especially for the rarer finds. 2980 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 —Matthew Kang

For drinks with a view: 71Above

There is no more stunning bar in all of LA than 71Above. Of course there's that sweeping view that is worth the trip up the 71 stories alone. But thankfully the thoughtful cocktail menu stands up to the gorgeous surrounds, with drinks inspired by the diverse neighborhoods of LA that you can see right through the windows. Think drinks like the refreshing Beverly Hills with Sancerre and honeydew, and the Downtown with toasted hazelnut-infused bourbon. 633 W 5th St, Los Angeles —Crystal Coser [Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

December 2, 2016:

For the wine bar of your Downtown dream: Garcons de Cafe

Garcons de Cafe [official photo]

It doesn't get much hidden-gem-ier than Garcons de Cafe, the right-there-but-you-dont-know-it French wine bar in the thick of Downtown. Located just inside the Spring Street Arcade, this marble-topped ode to French wine and cheese is an absolute delight, offering generous pours and a casual vibe that still rings unique in the saturated Downtown market. 541 S. Spring St., #111, Downtown —Farley Elliott [Photo: Yelp]

For bamboo sake at rock bottom prices: Roppongi

This West Hollywood gem formerly known as Yatai is hidden away in a tiny courtyard off the Sunset Strip. Locals know to come in for its unbelievable happy hour, with specials like the $5 cold bamboo sake poured from a giant bamboo shoot until each glass overflows. Refreshing with a hint of sweetness, there is no better way to kick off a lively night out with friends. 8535 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood —Crystal Coser [Photo: Yelp]

For a refined cocktail experience (with steaks to boot): Gwen

Gwen by Curtis Stone

Getting into the gorgeously designed Gwen seems like a constant challenge (it actually isn't: just find a table on Tock), but the tasting menu itself seems like a bit of a barrier to entry, knowing that you'll be sitting for a few hours experiencing Curtis Stone's culinary vision. However, an even better entryway into Gwen is the bar, which takes walk ins and offers some of the finest cocktails in Hollywood right now under the careful watch of barman Mitch Bushell.

My favorite part of the experience is enjoying great drinks with beautiful glassware, and then "snacking" on a delicious steak, which comes at a more reasonable price point than the entire tasting menu. Share a dry-aged bone-in ribeye with a few sides, and get out of Gwen for well under $75 a person, as long as you don't go too crazy with those cocktails. 6600 Sunset Blvd. Hollywood —Matthew Kang [Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

November 23, 2016:

For a gathering patio with friends around town: ERB

ERB in the Arts District is one of the better bars in town, period. Their wine list is top-notch (as to be expected) and the cocktails are on point, but ask anyone who's been and probably the first thing they'll mention is ERB's patio. That's where big groups of friends gather to hang, drink, and brace themselves against the only slightly chilly evening weather — a rare feat in Los Angeles, and one made all the more enjoyable with a stiff drink in hand and a couple of close associates at your side. 1936 E. 7th St., Arts District —Farley Elliott [Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]

For sceney digs in West Hollywood: Ysabel

There's no dearth of cool kid hangouts in West Hollywood — Catch, Nice Guy, and Delilah immediately come to mind. Ysabel is also one of those spots, although certainly one that might be easier to get into now that celebs have flocked to buzzier openings. You're still going to need to dress the part though to get passed the doorman, who assures that only a certain type of crowd can sip decently made libations in its pretty surrounds. 945 N Fairfax Ave, West Hollywood —Crystal Coser [Photo: Instagram]

For delicious seasonal cocktails in a laid-back vibe: The Corner Door

The Corner Door Wonho Frank Lee

When was the last time you went over to The Corner Door to try barman Beau du Bois's cocktails? Actually, the offerings have widened over to the rest of The Corner Door's staff, with each contributing a drink to the new Stephen King-inspired fall menu that features a fragrant persimmon sipper and a strong, aromatic cognac drink that gets better as it warms up in the glass. The Corner Door remains one of the best places in town to become a regular imbiber, so go over, shake a hand, and enjoy some of the city's best drinks. 12477 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066 —Matthew Kang

November 18, 2016:

For Mar Vista cocktails you won't expect: Accomplice

Mar Vista Mom

The recently revamped Status Kuo is back open officially as a casual Taiwanese concept called Little Fatty, but it's really the adjacent bar Accomplice you're going to want to be spending your night at this weekend. Don't get us wrong, Little Fatty is already really tasty, it's just that Accomplice is doing some inventive stuff right now (and not just in Mar Vista), and they've got a classic bar menu filled with things like fries and a burger that will help seal your night up tight. 3811 Grand View Blvd, Mar Vista —Farley Elliot [Photo: Mar Vista Mom]

For a proper night out in Hollywood: Doheny Room

Doheny Room

I recently made my second visit to Doheny Room, and it was nice to see major improvements in the dishes and service. I nibbled on a salmon carpaccio so tasty that I ordered it twice while sipping on light, easy-drinking libations. I like having the option of staying downstairs where you can have conversations with friends or going upstairs to a more loungey vibe where the DJ spins to a crowd of supremely good looking people. 9077 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood —Crystal Coser [Photo: Doheny Room]

For that low key neighborhood dive bar without the fuss: Club Tee Gee

Club Tee Gee Yelp

I've always found myself going back to dive bars during the holidays. Mainly it's the ideal place to hang out when family comes into town, or as a place to get away after spending all day with out-of-town family members. Club Tee Gee always fits the bill for me: it's rarely very busy, they've got a solid jukebox, and the drink selection is as basic as it gets. Cheap beer, reasonably priced shots of liquor, and a relaxed vibe that reminds me very much of the pub in How I Met Your Mother. What more could you ask for from a neighborhood dive? 3210 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles — Matthew Kang [Photo: Matthew Kang]

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