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L.A. Bartenders Share Their Favorite Drinking Spots

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2008_10_hasmapsbartendermap.jpgBartenders are at their establishment so often that when they get a chance to enjoy a night off, they usually like to keep close to home and go somewhere low-key. Eater asked bartenders around town what their favorite dive bars and under-the-radar drinking spots are, from Downtown to the Westside. And when it comes to what's in the cup, most of the time it's beer, wine, or booze neat. No mixology on nights off.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Connie and Ted's Seafood

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8171 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 848-2722
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Julian Cox, star bartender at such places at Picca, Petty Cash, and Manhattan Beach's Circa, likes to drink at this seafood shack in West Hollywood, where bartender Laura Lindsay makes "killer drinks." Generally preferring anything on Lindsay's menu, Cox still opts for wine with the oysters.

2. The Ritz-Carlton

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4375 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 823-1700
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Matthew Biancaniello enjoys the ambiance at the Ritz-Carlton in the Marina. He loves sitting outside once a week while watching the boats and sipping a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. In terms of cocktails, he'll get a Cynar on the rocks, gin and tonic with extra lime, or will walk the bartenders through a Mexican Negroni. But generally, he doesn't really drink cocktails.

3. Far Bar

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347 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 617-9990
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Cari Hah of the new Peking Tavern, as well as Cole's, loves the whiskey selection at this Little Tokyo bar. The prices are pretty good, to boot.

4. Recital Noraebang

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3500 West 6th Street, City Center on 6th
Los Angeles, CA 90005

Daniel Eun, bartender at The Varnish, says this karaoke bar or "NRB" as Koreans call it (short for No-Rae-Bang) is his go-to drinking spot. This under-the-radar place is best experienced with a bottle of whiskey, dried goods, and endless singing. He ends up here a couple of times a month, at least.

5. Cosmos

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333 1st street
Los Angeles, CA

Cari Hah also likes this bar in Little Tokyo where an older Japanese bartender named Joe "truly doesn't give a f***." She orders the Yamazaki neat and enjoys the ambiance (though it consist of "crappy" karaoke on some nights).

6. Jumbo's Clown Room

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5153 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Josh Goldman of Acabar likes the "ambiance" at Jumbo's Clown Room, as well as the full bar, where he gets two beers and two spirits neat because he's a "thirsty guy." He also says, if you want to feel like owning the place, go at 4 p.m. when they open.

7. Starlite Room

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11411 Moorpark St
North Hollywood, CA 91602
(818) 766-5807

Aidan Demarest, owner of Neat in Glendale, likes this dive in Studio City, which has "no windows." The "tiny joint," as he calls it, is close to home. It's a great spot to hash out "a few of life's little battles with a good friend."

8. The Thirsty Crow

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2939 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 661-6007
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On Sunday nights, Eveleigh bartender Dave Kupchinsky likes to hang out at this whiskey-centric bar in Silver Lake, where they play live jazz.

9. The Drawing Room

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1800 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 665-0135

Dave Kupchinsky also likes drinking at this classic dive bar in Los Feliz since he used to live a block away and says it still, "feels like home."

10. The Shack

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185 Culver Blvd
Playa del Rey, CA 90293
(310) 823-6222
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Justin Pike of The Tasting Kitchen likes this dive in Playa del Rey, where everything comes in a basket. He last time he was there, a customer was drinking beer out of a pitcher. To that, says Pike, "why waste a glass?"

11. Del Monte Speakeasy

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52 Windward Ave.
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 392-4040
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Gabriella Mlynarcyzk of ink likes hang around in Venice since that's the only neighborhood that's close by where she lives. Her picks include the iconic Hinano, and also this speakeasy near the Boardwalk, especially for the whiskey sours.

12. Joe's Great American Bar & Grill

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4311 W Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 729-0805
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The Corner Door's Beau du Bois likes Joe's in Burbank, mostly for the live entertainment, and cheap draft beers served in massive jugs that take two hands to hold.

13. Birds Rotisserie Chicken Cafe

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5925 Franklin Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 465-0175

Beau du Bois also likes to go to this Franklin Village spot with his wife, where they tuck into a corner, then knock back a few beer/shot combos paired with a foot of onion rings.

1. Connie and Ted's Seafood

8171 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Julian Cox, star bartender at such places at Picca, Petty Cash, and Manhattan Beach's Circa, likes to drink at this seafood shack in West Hollywood, where bartender Laura Lindsay makes "killer drinks." Generally preferring anything on Lindsay's menu, Cox still opts for wine with the oysters.

8171 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046

2. The Ritz-Carlton

4375 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292

Matthew Biancaniello enjoys the ambiance at the Ritz-Carlton in the Marina. He loves sitting outside once a week while watching the boats and sipping a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. In terms of cocktails, he'll get a Cynar on the rocks, gin and tonic with extra lime, or will walk the bartenders through a Mexican Negroni. But generally, he doesn't really drink cocktails.

4375 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

3. Far Bar

347 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Cari Hah of the new Peking Tavern, as well as Cole's, loves the whiskey selection at this Little Tokyo bar. The prices are pretty good, to boot.

347 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

4. Recital Noraebang

3500 West 6th Street, City Center on 6th, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Daniel Eun, bartender at The Varnish, says this karaoke bar or "NRB" as Koreans call it (short for No-Rae-Bang) is his go-to drinking spot. This under-the-radar place is best experienced with a bottle of whiskey, dried goods, and endless singing. He ends up here a couple of times a month, at least.

3500 West 6th Street, City Center on 6th
Los Angeles, CA 90005

5. Cosmos

333 1st street, Los Angeles, CA

Cari Hah also likes this bar in Little Tokyo where an older Japanese bartender named Joe "truly doesn't give a f***." She orders the Yamazaki neat and enjoys the ambiance (though it consist of "crappy" karaoke on some nights).

333 1st street
Los Angeles, CA

6. Jumbo's Clown Room

5153 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Josh Goldman of Acabar likes the "ambiance" at Jumbo's Clown Room, as well as the full bar, where he gets two beers and two spirits neat because he's a "thirsty guy." He also says, if you want to feel like owning the place, go at 4 p.m. when they open.

5153 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027

7. Starlite Room

11411 Moorpark St, North Hollywood, CA 91602

Aidan Demarest, owner of Neat in Glendale, likes this dive in Studio City, which has "no windows." The "tiny joint," as he calls it, is close to home. It's a great spot to hash out "a few of life's little battles with a good friend."

11411 Moorpark St
North Hollywood, CA 91602

8. The Thirsty Crow

2939 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

On Sunday nights, Eveleigh bartender Dave Kupchinsky likes to hang out at this whiskey-centric bar in Silver Lake, where they play live jazz.

2939 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

9. The Drawing Room

1800 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Dave Kupchinsky also likes drinking at this classic dive bar in Los Feliz since he used to live a block away and says it still, "feels like home."

1800 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

10. The Shack

185 Culver Blvd, Playa del Rey, CA 90293

Justin Pike of The Tasting Kitchen likes this dive in Playa del Rey, where everything comes in a basket. He last time he was there, a customer was drinking beer out of a pitcher. To that, says Pike, "why waste a glass?"

185 Culver Blvd
Playa del Rey, CA 90293

11. Del Monte Speakeasy

52 Windward Ave., Venice, CA 90291

Gabriella Mlynarcyzk of ink likes hang around in Venice since that's the only neighborhood that's close by where she lives. Her picks include the iconic Hinano, and also this speakeasy near the Boardwalk, especially for the whiskey sours.

52 Windward Ave.
Venice, CA 90291

12. Joe's Great American Bar & Grill

4311 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

The Corner Door's Beau du Bois likes Joe's in Burbank, mostly for the live entertainment, and cheap draft beers served in massive jugs that take two hands to hold.

4311 W Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505

13. Birds Rotisserie Chicken Cafe

5925 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Beau du Bois also likes to go to this Franklin Village spot with his wife, where they tuck into a corner, then knock back a few beer/shot combos paired with a foot of onion rings.

5925 Franklin Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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