LAGuide

Where To Drink When It’s Rainy In LA

Bars that make those gloomy, wet days a little more bareable.

If you’re reading this, it’s probably going to rain (or is already raining) in LA. While any precipitation is a welcome relief to what’s been another very dry winter, we all know what happens when this city experiences even five minutes of the wet stuff. Common sense vanishes, traffic laws are thrown out, and every side street instantly transforms into Class 5 white-water rapids. And that’s exactly why you need these reliable, cozy bars where you can decompress and wait out the storm.

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The Spots

Mohawk Bend review image

Mohawk Bend

Bar Food in Echo Park

Hours: SATURDAY9:30AM to 2:00AM
    Perfect for
  • Big Groups
  • Day Drinking
  • Vegetarians

If your backyard barbecue got rained out, and now you need a place that’ll fit eight people and a dog, head to Mohawk Bend. Not only does this Echo Park spot have the best local beer selection in LA, but they also have a long row of high-tops that are ideal for an impromptu drunk pizza party. The vegan-friendly menu isn’t going to change your mind about meatless chicken, but there are enough pies involving meat and cheese to keep anyone happy.


Highland Park Bowl review image

Highland Park Bowl

Hours: SATURDAY10:00AM to 2:00AM
    Perfect for
  • Big Groups
  • Birthdays
  • Brunch
  • Impressing Out of Towners

Few rainy activities compare to a day at the bowling alley, and no bowling alley embraces the golden age of bowling alleys like Highland Park Bowl. This spot was restored to its original 1927 form, complete with a Rube Goldberg-esque pin-setting machine. The cocktails here are strong, and the pizza is way better than pizza at a bowling alley deserves to be.


Melanie review image

Melanie
8.0

Wine Bar in Beverly Grove

    Perfect for
  • Date Night
  • Drinking Good Wine

Maybe you want to spend the day learning about wine, rather than chugging it from a bottle while staring out of your apartment window. That’s when you should head to Melanie, a wine bar pouring mostly European dynamic wines in a cute space that feels like a friend’s living room. It’s run by the same people as Sushi Note and Augustine Wine Bar, two of our favorite places to drink wine in LA. This is a place where the sommeliers know how to level with you–no question is a dumb question, even if your date asks if orange wine is made from oranges.


The 26 Most Fun Bars In LA Right Now guide image

LA Guide

The 26 Most Fun Bars In LA Right Now

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The Wellesbourne

Bar in Century City

    Perfect for
  • Drinks & A Light Bite
  • Eating At The Bar
  • Happy Hour

Does the rain turn you into a tortured 19th-century novelist? Lean into it at The Wellesbourne and its library-like setting. This cocktail bar on Pico has an aggressive British pub theme and feels like a rich Englishman’s country estate. Not just because of the big leather chairs and dark wood furnishings, but also because they have an entire room covered in bookshelves with actual books you can read next to the roaring fireplace. It’s also a great choice if you’re looking to kill some time before a movie at The Landmark.


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Mumford Brewing

Hours: SATURDAY12:00PM to 9:00PM

Mumford might not be the biggest or flashiest brewpub in the downtown area, but the beer being cranked out of here can’t be beat. That said, their taproom on the Little Tokyo/Arts District border isn’t some sad cave you can’t find. It’s bright, airy, and a fantastic spot for hanging out with some friends on a rainy afternoon. They’ve got tons of games (Connect Four, anyone?) and you can bring in any outside food you want.


Esters Wine Shop & Bar review image

Esters Wine Shop & Bar

American in Santa Monica

Hours: SATURDAY11:00AM to 12:00AM
    Perfect for
  • Eating At The Bar
  • First/Early in the Game Dates
  • Outdoor/Patio Situation
  • Walk-Ins

There are a lot of national chains and indistinguishable froyo shops in downtown Santa Monica, but low-key spots to drink some wine on a gloomy day? Not so much. So thank god for Esters. The casual spot on 7th St. feels a world away from the screaming hordes on The Promenade, which is ideal when you’re meeting up with a friend who also has strong feelings about the final season of Insecure. The wine list isn’t the biggest in town, but it’s full of a wide variety of bottles that cater to any price point. Also, you’re definitely getting the grilled cheese.


The Best Wine Bars In Los Angeles guide image

LA Guide

The Best Wine Bars In Los Angeles

Ototo review image

Ototo
7.9

Japanese in Echo Park

    Perfect for
  • Drinks & A Light Bite
  • Eating At The Bar
  • First/Early in the Game Dates
  • Small Plates

Ototo is a new Japanese restaurant/bar in Echo Park and easily the best place in the city to drink sake. It’s from the same people as Tsubaki next door, but Ototo is more laid-back–the kind of place where you can post up with friends, work your way through an encyclopedic sake menu, and order tremendous bar snacks along the way (the chicken katsu sando and fried oysters are both musts). All the sake options at Ototo might feel a bit overwhelming, but don’t worry, the waitstaff will happily answer any and all questions you have.


Dan Sung Sa (단성사) review image

Dan Sung Sa
8.9

Korean in Koreatown

Hours: SATURDAY4:00PM to 2:00AM
    Perfect for
  • Big Groups
  • Birthdays
  • Late Night Eats

Much like the vintage couch we paid way too much money for, Dan Sung Sa is one of a kind. The dark, all-wood tavern has a big tent in their front parking lot, smoke from the central grill hanging like mist over the tables inside, and a crowd that’s pounding Hite like it’s their last night on Earth. The whole scene is a beautiful, drunken dreamscape–perfect for when you want to hang out somewhere other than your living room on a rainy day. There’s also a large menu full of skewers, kimchi pancakes, and other excellent dishes you can snack on while you’re here.


Thunderbolt review image

Thunderbolt

Bar Food in Echo Park

    Perfect for
  • Big Groups
  • Birthdays
  • Date Night
  • Drinking Good Cocktails
  • First/Early in the Game Dates

From its low-lit leather couches and dark green walls to its inventive cocktails and flaky buttermilk biscuits dipped in pimento cheese, Thunderbolt is a neighborhood cocktail bar that does it all. Run by the folks next door at The Park’s Finest, it’s one of the few places where you can find incredible drinks, Southern-style snacks, and a comprehensive bottle shop all under the same roof. The move is to order a few snacks from next door, followed by a Liquid Picnic (a vegetable-forward gin martini), and enjoy a few hours of their early 2000s rap playlist.


Where To Eat When One Of Your Friends Is Kind Of Famous guide image

LA Guide

Where To Eat When One Of Your Friends Is Kind Of Famous

Musso & Frank Grill review image

Musso & Frank Grill
6.8

American in Hollywood

Hours: SATURDAY11:00AM to 11:00PM
    Perfect for
  • Classic Establishment

Nothing beats cruising up to the bar and drinking a few lethal martinis when it’s pouring outside. And if you’re looking for a classic Hollywood atmosphere to do it in, go to Musso & Frank. This Hollywood Blvd. steakhouse is one of the oldest restaurants in the city and most of the bartenders have been working here for decades. If you’re lucky, one of them will tell you some insane story about a dead celebrity while they’re midway through a heavy pour.


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Old Man Bar

    Perfect for
  • Drinking Good Cocktails

A tiny watering hole in Culver City, Old Man Bar specializes in one thing: Whiskey. Bourbon, specifically–they’ve got a fantastic list of hard-to-find (and occasionally very expensive) bottles, and some of the best Boulevardiers and Old Fashioneds in town. But rather than being stuffy, this is a cool, dark space, filled with taxidermied animal heads, a fireplace, and a fun crowd that makes you think this could easily be a roadside tavern in Manitoba.


Ralphs Parking Lot

Coping comes in all forms, and that includes pounding forties in the Ralphs parking lot while the rain soaks through your rollerblades.


Suggested by writer

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