There are a whole bunch of run-of-the-mill sports bars in Santa Monica, where you’ll find Brentwood bros drinking Bud and watching college football. Sonny McLean’s is not one of those places. Or it’s at least a lot more than just one of those places. Sonny’s is a bit like walking through a portal three time zones east of here - there are characteristically surly bartenders, some great IPAs on tap, and extremely heavy pours. It’s a Boston bar, but unless you’re there during a huge game, no one is going to harass you for wearing a Dodgers or Kings hat (maybe leave the Kobe jersey at home, though).
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Dives, karaoke spots, and... some of the best burgers in LA? There’s a lot more to Santa Monica bars than you probably think.
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The Misfit Restaurant + Bar
The Misfit is located uncomfortably close to The Promenade tourist hellzone, but when it comes to this laid-back restaurant, we grin and bear it.
Elephante is a rooftop bar/restaurant in the heart of downtown Santa Monica with great views and a crowd of bankers.
The Santa Monica location doesn’t have the magic of the original Ktown location, but El Cholo is still fun and serving solid old-school Mexican food.
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Clayton’s Public House
Clayton’s is a Victorian-themed bar in the Spring Arcade downtown. It’s as cheesy as it sounds.
Barney’s Beanery in Redondo is a more low-key location of this sports bar mini-chain, with bar games, nachos, and a water view.
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Santa Monica’s Rustic Canyon may have hit it’s tween years, but this farm-to-table spot is better than ever.
Esters Wine Shop & Bar
Esters in Santa Monica might be known as that place you drink at before eating at Cassia, but this wine bar very much stands on its own.
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