Revamped, refurbished and under new management, this former dive bar brings a little bit more joie de vivre (and upgraded digs) to Echo Park. There are concrete floors, a pool table, newly lacquered parquet wood bar and very clean bathrooms. For locals, this watering hole might be the best pickup spot on the Eastside. When the bar’s coveted seats (14 in total) are taken and the only two booths in the joint are at capacity, standing room allows for old-fashioned mingling in the fairly small space and a game of pool—get your name on the signup chalkboard early. The drink menu is straightforward—full bar with standard bottle selections—with eight beers on tap, including a brew called the "Glutenator" for gluten-free imbibers. Don’t ask if they make "cocktails"—you’ll be met with a blank stare before the bartender turns to take someone else’s order.
Good for: Cheap drinks, a sporting round of pool and an escape from the craft cocktails, craft beer, craft-everything scene.
The scene: There's not much on the part of the staff or bar-goers to hurry anything along. Expect a fairly chill, no frills, live-in-the-moment vibe.
The playlist: Records play guitar, rock, jazz and an eternally morphing soundtrack.
Drink this: Do it up properly with a $10 pilsner or lager plus a well shot at happy hour special (5-9pm) or order a pint of what's on the tap. The rotating selection of eight could include Ommegang White Tulip ($6) or Torre Oria Brut Cava ($7), both available when we visited.