As a city filled with transplants, Los Angeles has more than its share of people spending Turkey Day away from home, and chances are a good portion of them will be doing the only reasonable thing someone should do when spending Thanksgiving solo: Hit the nearest bar.
Sad? Depressing? No way, pilgrim. Before you know it you'll be rounding your third Scotch while you swap deeply personal stories with hard-drinking regulars, as if you were in a Bukowski novel. At some point, someone will play "Piano Man," and perhaps someone else will buy the bar a round of shots in an act of social commiseration. Indeed, it might be the only day of the year when everyone who pulls up a stool is granted honorary "regular" status.
While a good percentage of bars will be open Thanksgiving, there are certain establishments you should prioritize. These are places with stiff cocktails, dimly lit rooms, and slow saxophone solos echoing in the distance. Why shed a tear when you can have a beer, after all? Here are 5 bars to visit on Thanksgiving Day.
Located inside the Gaylord Apartments in Koreatown, you'll probably find some tenants who snuck downstairs for a drink while grandma was showing her vacation slideshow. what's better than a classy old-school place for a high-proof Manhattan and a nicely cooked baseball steak? Open at 12 p.m.
4. Dear John's
If someone had told you the Rat Pack used to perform here, you would probably believe them. The poached salmon with capers and prime rib might be only marginally better than your Aunt's dry turkey, but it's really about squeezing into a red booth to admire the crowd. Order a Johnny Walker Red, then request the country hit, "The Letter That Johnny Walker Read," and singly along the chorus: "Dear John..." Open at 11 a.m.
3. Liquid Kitty
The retro-heavy DJs at this Santa Monica cocktail will put you in an nostalgic mood (just what you need). There are cheap martinis, heavy on the gin, and bourbon egg-nog punch. Plus, bartender Damian Anastasio has heard enough family drama stories over the years he could probably qualify as a licensed therapist. Open at 8 p.m.
2. 4100 Bar
Cheap cans of PBR and pickle back shots normally have this Silverlake bar packed on Thursday nights. With the holiday clearing out the crowds, you can chat with the eclectic bartenders or save up your quarters and stock the jukebox with Al Green hits. Open at 8 p.m.
1. The Roost
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This lovable Atwater dive has a yearly Thanksgiving potluck where the bartenders cook up a turkey for hungry patrons. Bring a can of cranberry sauce or some green bean casserole, then toss back some drinks with your new extended family. Open at 2 p.m.