Best Bars To Drink Like An Irishmen In L.A.
This article is for those whose Irish eyes want to try and find Alice, who are willing to Walk 500 Miles (for a beer), have some Whiskey in a Jar, have spent time in a Dirty Old Town and like to compact Seven Drunken Nights into one day.
But are not willing or able to leave Los Angeles in order to do it.
While there are many, many Irish bars in the wide world known as L.A., and hundreds more which “pretend” to be Irish on March 17 (and even before and beyond that date), these are the “be there early or else” places to party. The ones that either have live Irish bands or play Irish music and have people packed against the walls by lunchtime. Or perhaps even breakfast.
So here’s the Best Bars Irish bars in Los Angeles for St. Patrick’s Day, plus a parade in Hermosa Beach.
Many places in L.A., charge covers on St. Patrick’s Day, which may seem out of character for what are usually quaint pubs. Some are as little as $5 – less than the price of a pint – but Molly’s on Fairfax is heavier than a Guinness stout at $20. Then again, it includes live music in an authentic Irish setting.
First, there’s a parade (Saturday, March 11), 11 a.m.-1 p.m., down Pier Ave., and left on Hermosa Ave). Then it’s a big day of partying. And it’s not even yet St. Patrick’s Day!
On the day itself, the hot spot is Hennessey’s Tavern, which has people in starting at about 8 a.m., starts to reach capacity by noon and has a line by 3. Otherwise a rather tame bar, especially by the standards set by its more rowdy neighbors, Hennessey’s becomes the prime destination this day of the year.
Hennessey’s is the largest of the many bars on Pier Ave., but it’s by no means huge. Sharkeez (which becomes a themed bar for just about any party occasion) and Patrick Molloy’s also jammed. There is no live music at any of these venues, although they have DJs and a bagpipe band or two always seems to be making the rounds.
Around the corner, at 8th Street and Hermosa Ave., the dive bar Barnacles is packed after the parade and is a good Pier “alternative” on the 17th.
There just HAS to be a place in Hollywood that looks and feels Irish for St. Patrick’s Day and PubClub recommends the Cat ‘n Fiddle. It’s a nice bar for a pint anytime, has an ample patio and a good vibe. We can’t say for certain because we have no experience in the place on March 17, but if we were in the area, we would not walk 500 miles to go anywhere else. We would just fall down at the door right here.
Cat ‘n Fiddle, 6530 Sunset Blvd. (323) 468-3900.
MARINA DEL REY/VENICE
The best part about Brennan’s on St. Patrick’s Day is the arrival of students from nearby LMU. By bus. At 6 in the morning.
There are a couple of hundred of them, who come in and have a few beers before going off to class. By 8:30, they are gone.
Brennan’s has an indoor bar with an outdoor patio that’s really nice on nice and sunny St. Patrick’s Days (which are most in L.A.), but the bar needs to have its regular bands that play learn a few Irish songs. Otherwise, Brennan’s is just a fun bar on any other day of the week. It needs more of an Irish/St. Paddy’s feel to it.
Brennan’s Pub, 4089 Lincoln Blvd. (310) 821-6622.
One of L.A.’s most historical Irish pubs is Molly Malone’s. It is centrally located – if there even is such a thing here – and it brings in people from all over the city. The decor is definitely Dublin and the walls are covered with Irish memorabilia. This is old, traditional Irish L.A.
For those in L.A/ who want to feel as if they are in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day, this is the place. There’s a full lineup of live music, starting with bagpipes at 11 a.m. Like Brennan’s it opens at 6 and in the past the line has started as early at 8.
• Molly Malone’s, 575 South Fairfax Ave. (323) 935-1577.
Also, Tam O’Shanter puts a tent over its parking lot and brings out bands from 2-midnight.
• Tam O’Shanter, 2980 Los Feliz Boulevard, (323) 664-0228
Tom Bergin’s opens at 6 a.m., For those who don’t want to start quite that early, the bar puts up a tent with four bars, an ice luge, beer pong and DJ music.
• Tom Bergin’s, 840 South Fairfax, (323) 936-7151
In DTLA, Casey’s Irish Pub has 400 kegs of beer ready for you (well not just you!) to consume. DJ music. No cover before 3:30.
• Casey’s Irish Pub, 715 Wt. 7th St. (213) 817-5321
PubClub’s favorite bar in Long Beach is the Auld Dubliner on Lower Pine downtown. On “normal” nights, it’s where all the staff of the other restaurants in the area go to blow off steam.
On St. Patrick’s Day, the Auld Dubliner has its live music, typical lively fun and young crowd (to say nothing of Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots!) and a cool Irish vibe. But it’s not the only show in town; many of Long Beach’s party locals live two miles down the beach inBelmont Shore where the action is at Murphy’s, the “AI”(Acapulco Inn) and Shannon’s Bayshore. Oh, and there’s a Sharkeez here, too, only this one is disguised as Panama Joe’s.
On the 18th in Long Beach, the Queen Mary has five bands and entertainment from 6-midnight ($12 advance, $15 at the entrance), called Shamrock ‘N Roll.
Auld Dubliner, 71 S. Pine Ave. (562) 437-8300.
The two prime party places are Main Street (at the Venice border) and inland on Wilshire Blvd.
By the beach, there’s O’Brien’s and Finn McCool’s. The latter opens at 9, has a band at 2:30 and a bar that’s authentic from Ireland. O’Brien’s opens at 6 with live music starting at 3. This is a very lively area, a kind of mix of beach bums and Santa Monica sophisticated with two Irish bar choices within a couple of blocks of one another.
Inland on Wilshire is Sonny McLean’s, which is actually busier whenever the Red Sox are in the World Series. This is a Boston Bar which, of course, makes it ideal for St. Patrick’s Day. There’s a lineup beginning about 3 (which is about when the $10 cover starts). A number of (Red Sox) regulars are among the patrons.
But here, everyone’s welcome, for everyone at Sonny McLean’s may not know your name, but they treat you like Norm from Cheers. That’s not a cheesy line, it’s really true. One potential drawback – there’s wine and beer only here, so no Irish whiskey shots. In the end, that could be a good thing.
FInn McCool’s, 2700 Main St. (310) 452-1734.
O’Brien’s, 2941 Main Street. (310) 396-4725.
Sonny McLean’s, 2815 Wilshire Blvd.. (310) 449-1811.
Aside from the fact that it’s in a mall – and an upscale mall at that – Muldoon’s Irish Pub is authentic Irish.
Located in Newport Beach’s Fashion Island, Muldoon’s is a fairly large bar (by Irish bar standards) divided into many small rooms. And the smallest of these has the live band! The crowd is Newport Beach stylish, fun, single and ready to party.
Since people here like to make their money before spending it, you’ve got a little time, so arrive fashionably on time by noon. By 2, the line is “glacial,” in one local’s lively language. So is this worth the trip behind the Orange Curtain? You betcha!
Another hot OC spot is Silky Sullivan’s Restaurant and Pub in Fountain Valley. It puts up a tent, has two bands and is fun.
Muldoon’s,202 Newport Center Drive. (949) 640-4100.
Silky Sullivan’s, 10201 Slater Avenue, (714) 963-2718