PubClub.com's choice of the best bars, events and places to drink, socalize and party in L.A.
The Best of Los Angeles Top Party Events and Best Singles Bar
The Trump Wine & Beer Festival is in a great location and brings out the fun in people.
The vastness of Los Angeles is tremendous. There are, it seems, almost as many bars as their are cars.
To fight through the gridlock, PubClub.com presents the Best in L.A., a review of the coolest, funkiest and wildest pubs and clubs in the city.
• Best Funky Event: Mooning of the Amtrak. Hey, Laguna Niguel, leave it alone! It's good, clean fun. We WANT to Moon the Amtrak! Event photos.
The action on the sand is as good as it is in the bars at the Manhattan Open.
What's more Californian than a sporting event at the beach?
• Best "California Style" Sporting Event: Mahattan Open. It's the classic, the "Wimbledon of Beach Volleyball." And it take place on the very sand where the sport was created, Manhattan Beach. It's also one of the area's biggest party events of the year. The 2012 event is Aug. 24-26. Here's more about this volleyball at the beach.
• Best Wine & Beer Festival. It has to be the Trump National Wine & Beer Festival. The location, at a cliff on Palos Verdes, is sensational enough, but the crowd is what makes this things such a great scene. It has gents in their Charlie Sheen shirts and gals in thier summer dresses. After sampling their way through the 50 or so wines from California, and the dozen or so beers (including a large pour with challis from Stella Artois), then the socalizing begins, and it's an awesome scene. This year's event is Aug. 25. Here's more.
• Best Boat Party. The annual tie-up in Newport Beach. Twenty boats tie up in the middle of the Newport channel in the late July and people walk from boat to boat partying all day long. It's invitation only but any babe in a bikini is welcome. Boat Party photos.
Buccaneer Days in Catalina is always a blast.
• Best Pirate Party. Buccaneer Days, Two Harbors, Catalina. Arrrggg! Sailboat arrive as early as Wednesday, there are cannons firing "shots" and boats and the bar serving shots. On Saturday, the ferry arrives with party passengers starting at noon and they run until past midnight (they add extra ones for this event). The party is always the first Saturday in Rocktober. Buccaneer Says photos.
Girls having beers –and fun – in Sharkeez Hermosa Beach.
Greg Newman, Sharkeez owner, talks about running a successful bar.
• Best Everything Bar. Best Pickup Bar: Sharkeez. For sports, partying, lunch or dinner (yes, the food is quite good), Happy Hour deals and just hanging loose, nothing beats Sharkeez. There are locations in the fun beach cities – Hermosa,Manhattan, Huntington, Newport and Long Beach's Belmont Shore (where it's Panama Joe's). If you want to drink/party LA beach style, Sharkeez is the place to do it. Just wear flip-flops.
• Best Live Music Venue: The Whiskey, Sunset Strip. It gave birth to The Doors and Guns 'N Roses, among others, and continues to rock and roll.
• Best Music: The Room, Hollywood. Featuring up-and-coming deejays, this long-standing Hollywood haunt attracts people from all over L.A.
• Best Local Band Bar: The Mint, Hollywood. New and established local musicians clamor to get the chance to play in this small venue.
• Best Mai Tai Bar: The Mai Tai Bar, Long Beach. With this name, it better be good. Such is the case and the "Hang 10 Happy Hour" from 8-11, the signature drink is just $4. The patio overlooking the Queen Mary and harbor is nice and so is the crowd. Note this says the Best Mai Tai bar, not the Best Tiki Bar. We're stil working on that one. Contenders include the Tiki Ti (see below), Luau Larry's on Avalon and the Purple Orchid in El Segundo.
• Best Upscale Bar: The Polo Lounge, Beverly Hills Hotel. Tradition counts for something. You can just feel the power deals going down in this place, both past and present. Plus the garden patio makes for a great stroll.
• Best "Hollywood Scene" Bar: Sky Bar, West Hollywood. Still the one. Cindy Crawford married the owner. Need we say more? Just watch out for Andy Dick, because he is one.
• Best Pub: Sonny McLean's, Santa Monica. It's more than the air hockey game, pool table, dart boards, 20-plus beers on tap and a tiered room with a comfortable couch. It's the people both behind and in front of the bar that make this one friendly tavern. Transplanted Bostonians watch all the games here.
The "Erc's burger" tastes even better than it looks.
• Best Burger: Ercoles in Manhattan Beach. It's juicy, the bun does not overwhelm the meat and it comes with a huge pickle on the side. The Erc's burger is not one of those overpriced $15 "gourmet burgers," either; it's $6.25. And two for one on Wednesdays. It may well be the Best Burger in the World! Read More.
• Best Funky Bar: Tiki Ti, Hollywood. With Goldfinger's goine, how about the Tiki Ti, a small dive with a Polynesian theme. Wednesdays are half-priced drinks. With what they serve here, that's not necessarily a good thing.
The potent Descanco Destoyer comes with a view.
• Best Place to Drink on the Beach (legally):Descanso Beach Club, Avalon. With drinks such as the Descanso Destroyer posted on a palm tree and a waitress to bring them to you on the sand, it's paradise just 26 (give or take a few) miles from L.A.
Add flip cup to an old-time bar at the beach and you've got LA's Best Dive Bar.
• Best Dive Bar: Poop Deck, Hermosa Beach. With very local crowd, a view of the Pacific out the front and flip cup on the deck at the back, the Poop Deck is such a dive it's almost hip. Pitchers and huge cups (24 ounces) of Budweiser, an old, warn interior and even a small fish tank behind the bar make this place a classic. There's always a few people in it and on big weekends, such as beach volleyball tournaments or Fiesta Hermosa on Memorial and Labor Day weekends, there's even a line.
PubClub.com enjoys cold ones at LA's Smallest Bar.
These people make up about half capacity of the Harbor Room.
• Best Tiny Dive: The Harbor Room, Playa del Rey. This is the smallest bar in Los Angeles. It is soooo local, it cashes checks for regulars. Where else in this city can one hear Merle Haggard's "Okie From Muskogee" on a juke box? Click here for a review!
Locals love OB's in Manhattan Beach for Taco Tuesday.
• Best On-going Bar Promotion: Taco Tuesday. From Pacific Palisades to Orange County, this is a long-standing tradition for Southern California coastal cantinas. This first-of-the-week social scene-setter is less about the food and drink specials than the atmosphere it creates. Still, the best tacos are the marinated steak at OB's in Manhattan Beach. Two of these el gorditos will satisfy any appetite – unless you want to go for 10 and your name on a plaque. The place is small, so grab a couple of drinks and wait for a table to open.
The Miss Grand Prix girls add appeal to the annual beach party. Photo: Jack Fleming
Free concerts are part of the Grand Prix party.
• Best Party Event: The Long Beach Grand Prix. Another great party event, Manhattan Beach Surfest/6-man was esentially spiked by the police chief and city council (from a weekend to, get this, a Tuesday and Wednesday!). The Grand Prix is bascially an admssion fee to a pub crawl.
• Best "Fun" Restaurant: The Mad Greek, Sherman Oaks. Good food,a festive environment and a fun and friendly staff. Plus, they often seat you at a table with strangers, making it easy to meet new friends.
• Coolest DJ: Soul Cole. He's not one of the mainstream guys, but neither is the music he plays. For Soul Cole concentrates on the cool, under-the-radar musical acts, local artists and bands that don't get the big-time airplay. These independent arists really rock and Soul is able to, well, bring out their real soul with his show. It's on KLAS FM-89.7, Fridays at 4 p.m. Here's his website: SoulCole.com Of course, when it comes to rock 'n roll, there's nobody in the entire country better than PubClub pal Uncle Joe Benson on KLOS 95.5.
• Best New Year's Eve Parties. There's no fireworks or ball drop like New York City (or even Vegas) but if you know where to go there's some good party places in L.A. NYE Party Guide.