The Place: The Shack, 185 Culver Blvd., Playa Del Rey; 310-823-6222.
The Hours: 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Mon.-Thu. and Sun.; 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m. Fri.-Sat.
The Digs: There's a “shack” in every beach town. A few are sanctioned copies of the original four-decade-old Playa Del Rey location of The Shack, but all express the telltale signs of shack-ness: an exterior that warns of a shaky foundation, burgers that arrive in plastic baskets, thin addictive fries, beer that is much cheaper when purchased by the pitcher, televisions jutting out from every crevices, a collision of cheap but serviceable furniture, and bored aging barmaids.
With these elements intact, the “shack” will attract customers that fulfill further requirements: no shortage of beach dudes with sandy legs and shades hanging behind their heads, and twitchy might-be-tweakers who mill around and don't necessarily buy anything. In case you're wondering, The Shack is as shack-y as any “shack” you'll find.
The Verdict: Fantastic, of course. Who doesn't like a place like this? The Shack is no dive in the dark, dreary vein of old man hangouts. It's not a sports bar either, although sports are there. At The Shack, the lights are as bright as the sun pounding down on the beach just a few steps away.
There's no deception at The Shack, nothing trying to hide. Everyone from the Loyola bro taking on a wing-eating challenge to the contractors trying to put Budweiser on the endangered list is who they appear to be. The Shack is exactly what it appears to be too, the real article, not a hip construction of the “shack” with refreshing sour beers and organic duck wings dreamt up by someone who secretly hates the beach. The grill is open until 10 p.m. Sunburns are optional. Don't get a salad.
Overall Grade: B+
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