Best Place to Get Drunk After Chewing Out the Planning Commission
It’s been quite a while since there were so many homey little watering holes near the Civic Center, a section of town where the architectural style is quite often Late-Century Monstrosity — as in, the New Otani hotel, the gigantic Caltrans building and, very possibly, the new police station being built across from the L.A. Times.
These days, thankfully, an angry visit to City Hall can be easily followed by a bracing dose of liquor, thanks to the ever-increasing number of bars and restaurants in downtown Los Angeles. Hipsters hover at the Golden Gopher and the Broadway Bar, while chatty political aides — their lanyards firmly around their lapels — head over to Pete’s or 626 Reserve, a wine bar on Spring Street whose full-blast air conditioning is a tonic in deep summer.
But the place that provides the perfect blend of anonymity and intoxication is the Far Bar, the way-in-the-back spirits section of the reopened, remodeled Far East Café, a Little Tokyo icon that dates back to the Depression and was reinvented with great fanfare earlier this year.
The bar is nice, but the real place to drink is the outdoor courtyard, where brick surfaces are on all sides. For the discouraged public servant or neighborhood advocate, Far Bar is a place where people can’t spot you as they walk down the street — unless they’re peering very, very carefully through the wrought-iron gate that stands at the end of a narrow corridor. The brick walls are so high, it’s easy to forget that you’re even in Los Angeles. But then, the alcohol probably helps too.
Far Bar at Far East Chop Suey CafÉ ?347 E. First St., Little Tokyo, (213) 617-9990