Why is it that every character in every sitcom has zero issues finding that perfect neighborhood hangout spot? Oh right, because it’s not real. Whether it be Paddy’s Pub or Central Perk or Cheers, TV has a serious knack for creating ideal spots where every character can grab a drink, hash out their issues, and sing about smelly cats. Cut to the real world, and your best option is probably a crowded Starbucks whose employees still don’t know your order after two years. Is the true neighborhood spot merely a sitcom myth?
No, and The Tripel is here to prove it.
Located in Playa del Rey, The Tripel is as perfect a neighborhood hangout spot as you’ll ever come across. The space isn’t particularly big, but its modern, wood-paneled interior and massive floor-to-ceiling windows facing the street keep things airy and uncramped. And that’s important when you’re bitching about life to your friends over a few craft beers. The place can certainly get crowded on a Friday night, but it’s filled with the kind of people you want to spend it with - cool, unpretentious, and decidedly local regulars who aren’t out to prove a damn thing.
Let’s make one thing clear though - The Tripel is far more than your average locals bar and it starts with their food. At first glance, the menu reads as upscale bar food (hello, sweet potato tots), but then you spot steamed mussels and paella at the bottom and realize there’s a lot more going on here. There’s a $16 bowl of squid ink spaghetti we’d drive across the city for and a Tripel Burger (with duck confit, truffle, and apricot jam on top) that’s hands down the most underrated burger in all of Los Angeles.
Frankly put, when you’re hitting on all cylinders like The Tripel, it’s difficult not to find a reason to go. Heading back from the beach and want to snag a few IPAs with friends? The Tripel’s craft beer stock is easily the best in the area. Looking for a midweek date spot? Nothing beats cool vibes and a burger. Whether it be in a group, with a lover, or flying solo up to the bar, The Tripel has your back.
And if you ask nicely, they’d probably let you sing Smelly Cat.
The Tripel Burger
We said it once, we’ll say it again - this is the most underrated burger in the city. The intensity of the truffle and the sweetness of apricot jam work absolutely perfect together. Not to mention that duck confit, pork, and aged beef patty it’s all sitting on.
Sweet Potato Tots
These little guys won’t initially stick out amongst The Tripel’s insane menu, but they’re not to be missed. Light and not overly salted, this is the starter move for your table.
Squid Ink Spaghetti
This might be one of the best $16 bowls of pasta you’ll find at a bar in your entire life.
Steamed Mussels and Clams
Eating mussels and clams at a bar seems like a dare that you lost, but make no doubt about it - this is a must order at The Tripel. And it all starts with that Serrano Pesto Broth.
Not to be outdone by the Tripel burger, the Lamb burger is right on par with that honey-yogurt-harissa sauce and cucumber salad. Just order both and die happy.
Paella, in general, isn’t a menu item you see often, but here it is at The Tripel, and it’s excellent. A mix of duck, chicken, clams, and snails, this feast is far lighter than most paella out there and it’s clocking in at a cool $17. Have at it.