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5 Great Places to Drink at Lunch

Lunch with a view at Neptune's Net
Lunch with a view at Neptune's Net
B. Mesirow

It is often the case that the good old days weren't nearly as good or even as old as they seem. In fact, those days were once the crappy, boring, degenerate present, and many relics of the supposed good old days became relics for good reason. Then again, there are plenty of habits from yesteryear that we fully support, perhaps the noblest of which is the three-martini lunch. Whether your idol is Draper or Lemon, Thompson or Artest, a nip or several in the middle of the day is often just the right balm for the wounds of the morning and the perfect way to round the afternoon's rough edges.

To further those worthy goals, and to encourage others to join us in the best kind of nostalgia, here are 5 Great Places to Drink at Lunch. Turn the page.

Shrimp, beer and ocean air at Neptune's Net
Shrimp, beer and ocean air at Neptune's Net
B. Mesirow

5. Neptune's Net:

The only relevant power at lunch at this fish shack on PCH is the horsepower of the motorcycles lined up out front, but that doesn't make it any less worthy of your midday booze budget. Order your basket of shrimp and fries or your Styrofoam cup full of chowder, grab a bottle of craft beer or a pitcher of light lager, and set up out on the patio. The sauces are neither organic nor house-made and your beer is in a tiny plastic cup, but it doesn't matter. The people-watching is outstanding (note the ornate head tattoos on the bikers) and the ocean-watching is even better (note the windsurfers just a few yards south). The magical blend of salty Pacific coast air and hoppy beer is better than any painkiller on the market, and a scientifically proven part of a pleasant afternoon. 42505 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu; 310-457-3095.

The setup at Tsujita LA
The setup at Tsujita LA
B. Mesirow

4. Tsujita L.A.:

Sometimes drinking is not so much about what you're drinking or how it makes you feel as it is about the act of drinking itself. The eating process at Tsujita L.A. at lunchtime feels more like a ritual than a meal, particularly if you order the specialty, tsukemen. If you don't know by now, tsukemen is basically a deconstructed bowl of ramen, with noodles and super-concentrated broth served in separate bowls. You're meant to grab noodles, dip them in the broth and eat. So how, you ask, does drinking fit in? Perfectly, we answer, if you slot it in after just about every bite. Tsujita offers but one beer on draft, Kirin, and only two in bottles, but this is for good reason. The super-carbonated, light Japanese lager is the perfect foil to the richness of the broth, immediately cleansing the palate of any remaining fat and preparing your tongue to face the dripping noodles as if for the first time. Between the convivial atmosphere and the trance-inducing grab, dip, bite, sip rhythm of a meal at Tsujita, the whole day could pass by without your noticing. Now that would be a day well spent. 2057 Sawtelle Blvd., West L.A.; 310-231-7373.



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