5 Great Restaurant Bars in Los Angeles
Leading up to this year's Best of L.A. issue (due out Oct. 3), we'll be bringing you periodic lists of some of the best things we've found to eat and drink around town. Ice cream sandwiches and bowls of tsukemen, fish tacos and dan dan mian, cups of boba and glasses of booze. Read on.
Anne Fishbein The bar at Allumette
Are you the type of person who actually prefers to eat at the bar? We are, too. Dining at a great restaurant bar is so much more fun than sitting at a table, and so much more flexible. The formality of the reservation and the expectation that you'll order a certain amount of food don't exist at the bar, and often the service experience is far more personal. For dining alone, it can't be beat.
There are a lot of great restaurant bars in L.A., but we've picked a selection that -- for quite varied reasons -- we find ourselves returning to again and again. Turn the page for five of our favorite places to belly up.
5. Bar Amá
Josef Centeno's downtown Tex-Mex restaurant often has the energy of a party, and there's no better place to experience that party than at the bar. The bartenders shake drinks and serve customers with humor and enthusiasm, and the format of bar dining allows you to order a little at a time, which is helpful here -- order all at once and you're almost guaranteed to end up with too much food. The mostly tequila-based cocktails are a reason to stop by even if you're not hungry. 118 W. Fourth Street, downtown; 213-673-148.
Anne Fishbein Allumette bar manager Serena Herrick
You could (and should) sit in Allumette's dining room for a full-on tasting of chef Miles Thompson's wide-ranging, modern menu. But the restaurant is also a fantastic place to stop in for a couple of dishes paired with bar manager Serena Herrick's outstanding cocktails. Herrick's personable, informed service is a pleasure, and the newish happy hour (from 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday) makes Allumette's bar even more of a draw. 1320 Echo Park Ave., Echo Park; 213-935-8787.
5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA