If you're a dog owner who likes to bring your dog with you when you go out to eat -- because your dog needs socialization as much as you do, because your dog is your muse, etc. -- no doubt you've developed an instinct for good and bad places to go with your best friend. Bad would be, say, Bludso's in Compton, where, owing to the fact that it's more of a take-out than eat-in sort of place, you may decide to leave your dog in the car (windows down, of course) while you fetch your order inside. And return, arms full of ribs and brisket, to find your dog trying to eat the smell of smoked meat in the air, and maybe too many people gathered around your car to witness your dog trying to eat the smell of smoked meat in the air. In which case you certainly throw your dog a bone on the ride back home, because that's the least you can do after all that.
Good, on the other hand, would be somewhere you and your air-eating, attention-getting, friendly, very well-behaved dog can actually hang out. In no particular order, here are five of our favorite dog-friendly spots around town.
If you're a wine person, there are quite a few wineries that will welcome you and your pup; if your drink of choice is a bit more sudsy, though, take your best friend with you to Golden Road Brewing. There, you both will be happy to find a "Doggy Deck," a fairly large area especially for dogs, complete with water bowls so both pets and owners will never be too far from their drink of choice. Sometimes a train will wail by, sometimes the dogs will bark in return, sometimes the television inside will have the hockey game on and you'll catch the Kings winning a playoff game. Not a bad way to spend a sunny afternoon. 5410 W. San Fernando Road, L.A.; (213) 373-4677.
If you park in the parking lot of the Echo Park location of Guisados, you'll note a patio -- a pretty sizeable one, actually, with plenty of tables. Perfect, then, for you and your dog: You can leash her to the railing, dash inside to order yourself a taco sampler, and someone will be kind enough to bring it out for you. Right, you shouldn't feed your dog table scraps, but if your best friend starts pawing you for a bit of your steak picado taco, well, you shouldn't blame her either. 1261 Sunset Blvd., L.A.; (213) 250-7600.
3. Beer Belly
Beer Belly just finished construction on its patio thanks to a successful crowd-funded project on IndieGoGo, so you now can relax in front of the craft beer bar with your dog, leash in one hand, nice craft brew in the other. And while your pup probably won't be too interested in your pint, best keep an eye on those duck fat fries. 532 S. Western Ave., L.A.; (213) 387-2337.
Since SQIRL opened a few months ago, it's been constantly but pleasantly crowded, with a menu that has expanded well beyond just toast and jam: You can have a lovely pasta dish or two now, and there are often stellar daily specials, like a recent scallop ceviche. And while the folks at G&B Coffee have ended their pop-up at SQIRL, fear not: There's still great coffee to be had courtesy Alex Guzmán and crew. It's almost icing on the cake, then, that you can have all these nice things with your pup at your side in the patio, or at one of the tables in front of the shop. 720 N. Virgil Ave., L.A.; (213) 394-6526.
The Sycamore Kitchen is set back from busy La Brea Boulevard, behind a huge gate that acts as a room divider of sorts: Los Angeles on one side, serenity on the other. If you get lost on your way to the other side, just park somewhere between 1st and 2nd and follow the smell of bread. Or, maybe more likely, follow your dog following the smell of the eatery's fantastic Double B-LTA. You'll be led right into Sycamore Kitchen's outdoor dining area, which is so luxuriously large and open that even the most persnickety pup (and person) can't help but relax. 143 S. La Brea Ave., L.A.; (323) 939-0151.
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