Studies show the average person will spend two years of their life waiting in line, nine years surfing the internet, and 13 years listening to music. And if you live in Los Angeles, you spend the rest of your life figuring out where to meet people halfway for dinner.
In a city this size, agreeing on a fair middle point is a way of life. Your friend’s coming from Koreatown, but you just got out of a 5pm in Brentwood, and neither one of you wants to cross La Cienega. It’s a game of give-and-take that only really leads to one thing: wasted time. So we made a guide to help. Here are 10 places to eat when you’re coming from opposite sides of town.
Need to meet Between: Hollywood and Downtown
Located on the ground floor of the Hollywood Historic Hotel, The Edmon is one of the best bars in LA that you probably haven’t been to yet. Its Melrose and Wilton location is definitely closer to Hollywood than downtown, but it’s also right off the Melrose/101 exit, so it’s convenient for both parties. The massive bar has an aggressive art deco interior in an exciting way that makes you feel like a rich person from the 1920s. They have great cocktails, solid bar food if you get hungry, and you never have to fight for a seat at the bar.
Need to meet between: West hollywood and Santa monica
Wellesbourne is a neighborhood English pub on Pico right across the street from the Westside Pavilion. The place goes all-in on the cheesy British aesthetic (there’s a library room with old books that you can actually read), which can be overlooked because the drinks are affordable ($5 draft beer during 5-7pm Happy Hour) and whoever’s coming from West Hollywood won’t technically have to cross the 405.
Need to meet between: Silver Lake and CUlver City
Little Bar is a tiny spot at the intersection of Wilshire and La Brea. On paper, there’s nothing too special about the place and, in reality, that’s exactly why we like it. In an area mainly known for subway construction traffic, Little Bar is a great place to pull up for a few drinks where you’ll be able to hear your friend talk about how much they’re loving their transition to Culver City. Drinks are cheap, parking is easy, and there’s an electronic jukebox if things head in that direction.
need to meet between: westwood and mid-wilshire
Bibo Ergo Sum on Robertson Blvd. might be our favorite after-work drink spot in the city. All the cocktails are interesting and well-made, the upscale interior looks like a Great Gatsby set piece, and there’s a daily Happy Hour from 5-7pm where the martinis are only $6.The central location makes it an easy sell for anyone complaining about having to come from either the Westside or the Eastside.
need to meet between: studio city and Koreatown
Anytime a friend asks you to meet them at a bar on the ground floor of a Best Western, it’s usually a prank or a cry for help. Minibar is the exception. This retro spot on Franklin feels like a membership-only bar in a 1960s airport. The atmosphere is low-key, the cocktails are strong, and there’s probably a sexy pilot winking at you in the corner. In reality, you definitely won’t meet any pilots here, but it’s still a great meet-up spot that’s also a half-block away from the 101.
Need to meet between: North Hollywood and highland park
The San Fernando sits on an industrial stretch of western Glendale that, unless you’ve been to Moonlight Railway, you probably didn’t even know existed. The neighborhood spot sits right across the street from a commuter rail line and has the train station-themed aesthetic to go along with it. But nothing about the place feels cheesy. The cocktails are affordable and well-made, the bartenders will actually talk to you, and there’s a small stage in the back with nightly live performances.
Need to meet between: Brentwood and manhattan beach
Alibi Room has been around for a few years now, and is still one of the more dependable spots on the Westside for a quick drink. Located in Culver City west of the 405, Alibi Room is easy to get into, has over 30 rotating beers, and is the only place you can get Kogi tacos outside of the main Kogi Taqueria or from one of the trucks. If drinks end up getting pushed till after dinner, there’s also a late-night Happy Hour starting at 11pm with several different drink specials.
need to meet between: Marina del rey and koreatown
Due to its industrial location that can best be described as “right by the 10 Freeway,” the Mandrake is one of the most overlooked bars in the city. The casual interior has a long bar that’s never crowded, plus a separate room in the back with big booths in case this is one of those friend meet-ups where you both lay horizontally and pout about your relationships. The cocktails are good (the horseradish-infused Mandrake Mary is always our order) and there’s a daily 5-8pm Happy Hour.
Need to meet between: venice and beverly grove
Even if it’s 85 degrees outside, sometimes you just need to pretend you’re in a ski lodge in Canada for the night. Go to Bigfoot Lodge West. Located on Venice Blvd. in Culver City, Bigfoot Lodge has an aggressive woodsy aesthetic, but not in the way that’ll make you feel like you’re on Splash Mountain. The crowd is local and low-key, there’s usually live music of some sort, and there’s a daily Happy Hour that goes from 5-9pm.
need to meet between: Beverly hills and burbank
Because the majority of movie studios are in Burbank and the talent agencies are in Beverly Hills, there are very few trails in LA as well-worn as this one. And that typically puts the mid-way bullseye somewhere around Hollywood. While there are plenty of places to drink here, Cat and The Fiddle is our favorite for when you just need to grab a couple drinks on a Tuesday. The British bar has a casual space that never gets too crowded, a relatively easy parking situation, and a daily Happy Hour from 4-7pm that gets you $5 beer, wine, well drinks, Old Fashioneds, and Pimm’s Cups.