We all roll out of bed each morning with the intention to make today our best one yet. But inevitably, some days just get royally messed up. Maybe you sent a job offer to the wrong person or put S. La Brea Ave. into your GPS instead of N. La Brea, or accidentally tweeted out your boss’s social security number. Sh*t happens. And when it does, you need places where you can get a stiff drink and forget about everything for a night of debauchery. Here are the 14 best spots to ease the pain of life.
Check out more ways to save your job (and your soul) in the rest of our LA Assistant’s Survival Guide here.
You sexted that guy from Tinder last night and accidentally sent it to your boss - time for group sake bombs. Tokyo Delves in North Hollywood is one of LA’s classic sh*tshow bars, and a place where you can both dance on a chair to the YMCA and witness a 45-year-old woman trust fall off the stage to a Mariah Carey song. Anything goes at this sushi bar/dance party, so leave your judgement at the door and go get wild.
Somebody named Meryl Streep called the office today and you told her your department head couldn’t come to the phone right now. As the ramifications of what you just did begin to set in, make moves to one of the more underrated bars in Santa Monica - The Room. If old-school hip hop is your natural turn-up switch, The Room plays the best on the Westside, with a space full of people actually dancing to it. Get there early before the dance floor really fills up.
From the outside, this cowboy-themed mega-bar on the Sunset Strip seems like a manic mess of the largest scale. And on the inside, that’s exactly what it is. But you know what? We love it. The bar itself is huge, with great deals considering you’re on Sunset, a mixed crowd of tourists and other locals who are there solely to make mistakes, and a mechanical bull you’re definitely getting on later (or right now).
After spending 15 minutes picking out croutons from your boss’s salad, you just got berated because she spotted one at the bottom. Instead of crying right to her face, get to the Bayou in Weho and sob there while throwing back the cheapest drinks in the neighborhood. Two separate happy hours each night (4-8pm and 10:30-12:30pm) get you $2 beer, $4 wells, and $5 you call-it. See you in hell.
Some days are good days, and other days you mistakenly switch your boss’s colonic appointment to public on the company calendar. Do yourself a favor and dance it out tonight. There isn’t a rowdier, weirder dance floor on the Eastside than at Short Stop. The darkly-lit dive bar tends to have lines wrapped around the block on the weekends, so come early and prepare to leave drenched in sweat and euphoria.
If you’re on the Westside and just need a night to stop thinking about why you got into this business in the first place, Gaslite is your move. The dive bar on Wilshire is more or less a karaoke spot, but if you hit the right pocket of the evening (aka when everyone’s sh*tfaced), you will be greeted with a tiny little dance floor where absolutely anything goes. Gaslite is not where you start the night, it’s where you end up at midnight after a long night of playing nice at all the other bars.
If you’re ever looking for the largest collection of sh*tshow bars in LA, look no further than Main Street in Santa Monica. And the biggest mess out of all of them? Circle Bar. The smallish space isn’t necessarily going to jump out at you as you’re canoeing past it in a river of vodka, but you should definitely consider pulling ashore. The actually-shockingly ancient bar (it’s been around since the 1940’s) has a wild dance floor full of people excited to not have to use a fake ID anymore and strong drinks that make the crowded bar far more tolerable.
You go to Hudson not because the drinks are strong or because the filter in the photo booth makes you look like a teen model from Sweden. You go there because everyone else at this place is an actual model and you just want to reward your eyes after silent-crying under your desk all week. It can get pricey here, but the 4-7pm happy hour every day gets you $4 cocktails, beer, and wine. And the late-night menu (after 11pm) has a jalapeno mac and cheese you’re going to want.
Today was the company picnic at Griffith Park, and you asked your boss’s wife how far along she was. Turns out, she’s not pregnant. Leave immediately and get to Cha Cha Lounge. The Mexican cantina in Silver Lake admittedly gets rowdy late at night, but somehow the crowd never seems too obnoxious. There’s foosball in the back, a functioning vending machine, and tons of blacklight paintings that look amazing after too many beers.
It was just another remedial day at work until you tripped over your boss’s computer cord and everything came crashing to the floor. Life comes at you fast. And when you aren’t sure if you’re even going to make it to next week, go to Casey’s Irish pub downtown, rip a couple Fireball shots, and play ping pong on the patio until you tell a stranger you love them.
You wrote a nasty email to the other assistant in the office complaining about how terrible everything is here and accidentally cc’ed the whole company. The best way to forget about life at this point is to blow it out with some karaoke at Brass Monkey. This Ktown staple is not your private room, sing-to-your-friends situation. This is a one-room tavern where you sing to the people, and the people sing to you. If that all sounds too terrifying to you, don’t worry. Everyone is way too drunk on tiki drinks to realize you did Bohemian Rhapsody down an octave.
You completely forgot it was your long-distance boyfriend’s birthday yesterday, and he just called to tell you this isn’t working. Head to Bungalow, the sprawling bar/house/Greek system social in Santa Monica where you can get all the validation you need from a crowd that’s young, hot, and ready to get a little wild on a Saturday afternoon. Drinks aren’t cheap here, but the ocean is directly across the street and a cute guy from LinkedIn is looking at you, so things could be worse.
Q’s might just be the bro-iest bro bar is the history of all bro bars. Come to this large Brentwood spot any day of the week and you’ll find a whole bunch of single guys watching sports and girls doing a really good job of stealing their focus. There are beer pong tournaments on Sundays, happy hour from 4 - 8pm every weeknight, and a Wednesday night trivia situation that’s quietly the best one in Los Angeles.
Your boss wanted reservations at Jones Hollywood, but you made them at Joan’s On Third. A classic mistake, but now you’re dealing with a strongly-worded email about how she had to either wait an hour for a table or eat at Mendocino Farms across the street (she waited). Make tonight a 4100 Bar night. The large bar in Silver Lake has a fun crowd looking to get very intoxicated on PBR’s and a killer Moscow Mule. Bonus: on Saturdays and Sundays, there’s a guy who makes BBQ outside.