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The Escondite

Critics' pick
1/7
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
The Escondite
2/7
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
The Escondite
3/7
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
The Escondite
4/7
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
The Escondite
5/7
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
The Escondite
6/7
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
The Escondite
7/7
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
The Escondite
Downtown

This little "hideout" nestled on a quiet street off Skid Row brings a bit of honest and ironic hipster charm to the otherwise unsavory area. Like any proper hideaway, the entrance is around back through the parking lot ($5 to park in the massive corner lot) via the outdoor patio, which gives no aesthetic hint of the outlaw and Wild West theme that strikes you upon entering. A rather spacious and clean space reveals a long bar, with ample seating illuminated by antler chandeliers and booths along the wall that provide plenty of room for groups. The staff is appropriately SoCal-sedated and not much interested to geek out on beer or cocktails, the cool retro posters that deck the walls or even their burgers, which are some of the best in town. After a couple rounds of beer or glasses (shots, if you like) of booze, you’re ready for some live entertainment or improv show that hits the stage every night at 10pm. If that’s not stimulating enough, there’s an arcade game called Earthquake. In between, head to the saloon-inspired bathrooms and pretend you’re living in an old Hollywood Western—just aim low.

 

Vitals

Good for: Many come solely for the burgers—choose beef, veggie or chicken, depending on your disposition—that have some of the best names we’ve seen. Try the Fat Albert ($11) that comes on a doughnut bun loaded with bacon and maple syrup topped with provolone or the Dr. Joyce Brothers ($11), a healthier option with provolone, tomato, red onion, avocado, sprouts and Italian dressing. On Tuesdays, 20 bucks buy you two burgers and two beers. A no-cover charge supports your live entertainment nightlife with music sets at 10pm and 11pm (9pm and 11pm on Fridays).

The scene: A supremely casual atmosphere gives way to groups lounging around for hours sipping on bottled beer in booths or on the relaxing outdoor patio—a respectful hub for outlaws or locals conducting business.

The playlist: A lot of soul and R&B tunes from the '60s and '70s send you back before the more contemporary bands take the stage late night and blues and rock dominates.

The bartender says: Thursday night is your best bet for a scene, when it gets crowded and noisy. It’s pretty tame the rest of the week, the perfect place for a super casual downtown date of burgers and beers.

Drink this: This is a beer or spirits-on-the-rocks joint, so don’t go ordering an Old-Fashioned. Check out top-shelf selections (i.e. Glenmorangie, No. 209) for those who enjoy a good Scotch or gin. Come for happy hour (daily 5-8pm) when craft beers—there are eight on tap including local, CA-brewed Stone Brewery Smoked Porter—are $5 or for weekend brunch is (served until 5pm) when Marys, Mimosas and Micheladas are $4.

Venue name: The Escondite
Address: 410 Boyd St
Los Angeles

Venue phone: 213-626-1800
Website: http://www.theescondite.com/
Opening hours: Mon-Fri noon-2am; Sat, Sun 11-2am
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