Arroyo Seco, the watershed that spawned Los Angeles, means “dry streambed” but there’s no shortage of great bars in the neighborhoods north of the arroyo-adjacent Pasadena Freeway. Those looking for a great gastropub, live music, or a flame-spouting bartender can find all three at these Northeast Los Angeles bars.
Posted over the next three days, find eight top picks arranged by neighborhood for maximum pub-crawling ease.
EIGHT, GREAT BARS OF THE ARROYO SECO: Part I
Glassell Park/Verdugo Road
Tucked away on a Glassell Park side street and identifiable only by a discreet, black and white “Cocktails” sign, the Verdugo boasts the 1930’s tavern’s original, sensuously curving bar with grooved lip; the perfect place to prop an elbow while hoisting one of the Verdugo’s exhaustive selection of beers and ales, including multiple specialty brews on tap. A DJ spins from a little booth above the main bar area. Larger parties gather comfortably in the back room with its Nature Moderne decor including dark taupe couches arranged around wide, low tables. Smokers can lounge on the back patio decorated with tin signs advertising, fittingly, obscure and exotic beers. (3408 Verdugo Road, Los Angeles, 90065 323.257.3408 www.verdugobar.com)
Eagle Rock/Colorado Boulevard
THE BLACK BOAR
NEWS FLASH!!! NEWS FLASH!!!! NEWS FLASH!!! NEWS FLASH!!!
As of Tues, March 2nd, The Black Boar will have a daily, late night Happy Hour from 11PM-12AM in addition to their regular, Tues-Fri Happy Hour from 5-8PM.
During Happy Hours, all draught beers are $3!!!
A black boar snarls menacingly at patrons over the exotic beer taps at this British-styled pub but the bartenders – especially attentive, knowledgeable, curly-mustachioed manager Jason – are very friendly. So is the fireplace-warmed crowd thanks to a rotating lineup of draught (that’s “draft” to you Yanks) beers, generous shots of liquor, an impressive collection of single malt scotches (including a couple of cask strength tipples), and the aforementioned, new, daily, late-night Happy Hour: a brilliant innovation. Another late-night bonus: Thurs through Sat from 10PM – 2AM, you can order the ultimate bar nosh – several variations of sweet/sour Korean beef and kimchee – outside from the hibachi-tending cook who then brings your food inside to you. (Note: Food is CASH ONLY.) Safe, street parking. (1630 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock 90041 323.258.8800)
Ready? You know you want 2 go go….
Stay tuned for EIGHT, GREAT BARS OF THE ARROYO SECO – Part 2:
Figueroa Street in Highland Park