The 7 Best Bars Around La Brea, Los Angeles

Customers lined up at a bar in Los Angeles, California.
Customers lined up at a bar in Los Angeles, California. | © Jerome Velarde / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of J. Fergus
3 July 2019

From West Hollywood to Miracle Mile, La Brea is a hot spot of LA culture, even if the area’s nightlife falls prey to urban sprawl. The largely residential area and its neighbors still have excellent bars to choose from that cater to different scene preferences.

Blue Collar

Bar, Cocktails, $$$
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On the border of Fairfax, Beverly Grove, and La Brea, Blue Collar serves up Art Deco and noir vibes. The small bar makes cocktails specifically for your palate, so don’t expect to find a menu anywhere. Sure, they’ll make a Manhattan or any other popular drink for you, but why not take a walk on the wild side? If that’s too much pressure, they often have a drink of the day that’s either completely original or a new twist on a classic cocktail.

El Carmen

Bar, Canteen, Cocktails, Mexican, $$$
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Sandwiched between Beverly Grove and La Brea, El Carmen awaits your tequila order. This vibrant cantina slings good Mexican food and even better margaritas with several pages of tequila and mezcal options. Happy hour from 5-7pm Monday through Friday is a dream come true with $2 guacamole, $5 margaritas and an overwhelming desire to never leave.


Gastropub, Bar, Restaurant, American, Cocktails, $$$
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Rascal pours craft cocktails like its refreshing Isle of Capri (botanist gin, Italian blood orange soda, splash of tonic, lemon twist) and doles out merriment via an extensive board game selection. If you’d rather chow down than play around, their food menu doesn’t disappoint – happy hour or not. Their sweet chili wings and brisket sliders will turn you into a regular in no time.

Molly Malone's Irish Pub, Los Angeles

Bar, Pub Grub
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Is it even a neighborhood if it doesn’t have a good Irish pub? Molly Malone’s saves La Brea with its authentic pub atmosphere and a 30-year history of live music programming, so you can enjoy your Irish whiskey knowing the music is thoughtfully selected. Many bands and artists consider playing Molly Malone’s to be a rite of passage and apply hoping to join the ranks of Weezer and Train, who started out on this stage. Even Flogging Molly, a band most might not connect to Los Angeles, called this pub home on Mondays for nearly a decade. For a quieter evening, you can just kick it at the bar, but celeb sightings are more likely to happen in the venue room.

Spare Tire Kitchen & Tavern, Los Angeles

Charcuterie, Gastropub, American, $$$
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Stepping inside Spare Tire Kitchen & Tavern is an experience. The decor juxtaposes checkerboard walls against a pub-like bar that stands opposite Greco-Roman columns. The space is casually split into a bar side and slightly more “formal” dining side, but both areas overflow with whimsy. And don’t let the alligator on the wall distract you from their amazing happy hour that runs from 4-7pm and 11pm until close every day, plus daily specials like $6 Old Fashioned Fridays. The brunch crowd will also get a kick out of their stacked-with-snacks bloody Marys that feature wild skewered options like surf and turf, chicken and waffles, and loaded sliders. Just make sure you save room for the actual brunch.

The Melrose Station

Bar, Cocktails, $$$
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One does not simply walk into The Melrose Station. No, it’s not a stop on LA Metro’s Purple Line where any station west of Koreatown has similarly mythical properties. This speakeasy station strictly enforces a dress code that evokes the class of a bygone era, but it looks like a pocket-sized train station built in 2045 Norway. Clean Scandinavian lines frame a marble bar and tabletops while dim, bespoke chandeliers and light fixtures illuminate the menu. Getting into any secret establishment should have a mild degree of difficulty, so we’ll just let you know that the hookah bar host at this address will help any lost travelers. You’ll be led to a bookcase passageway (and apparently a wormhole) that leads to the best $18 cocktail you’ve ever had.

The Little Bar, Los Angeles

Bar, Pub Grub
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Any Miracle Mile locals reading this can stop panicking and thinking Little Bar was snubbed. Little Bar is the bar of the neighborhood. This aptly named establishment straddles the line between classy and divey, serving stiff drinks and classic cocktails. There’s no kitchen, but you’re free to bring your own food or have it delivered.
These recommendations were updated on July 3, 2019 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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