Los Angeles might be the capital of conspicuous consumption, but the other cliché about “La La Land”—that it’s a cultural wasteland—couldn’t be further from the truth. For every “Extreme Makeover—Club Edition” (in which would-be impresarios continually swankify their establishments in a relentless quest to be “the” hot spot du jour), there is a well-worn drinking hole full of history, serving up a far more elusive and seductive mix of stiff drinks, loose atmosphere and keep-it-real regulars.
In Los Angeles’ Best Dive Bars, you’ll get the scoop and the poop on the city’s liveliest, lowlife n’ liquor-soaked landmarks. This essential booze bible has the lowdown on which bars serve free food, which have great—and not so great—karaoke, bars that appear in your favorite movies and much, much more. Whether you’re looking for a friendly spot where “everybody knows your name,” a filthy blackened cave where nobody ever will, a gently-gentrified hole specked with dive-obsessed hipsters or a dusty relic full of hip-replacements, you’re sure to find a spot to soak up—and get soaked in—here in these pages.
LINA LECARO is the nightlife columnist for the LA Weekly. She has been patrolling Los Angeles’ most decadent after dark dens and its grungiest grottos with equal aplomb for over twenty years (i.e. before she could actually drink legally). A born and bred Angeleno, she’s no angel when it comes to digging deep into LA’s most harrowing drunkard-approved hovels. She might prefer her cocktails sweet, but her favorite bars (and barflys) have always been anything but.