There are, of course, a half-dozen perfectly lovely restaurants where you can celebrate the day's end in charming downtown Culver City. But Oldfield's, the gloriously old-fashioned “liquor room” on Venice just a mile to the west, has them all beat. One reason is the parking lot — let's face it, when you're meeting someone for happy hour, you're almost always running too late to screw with five floors of a garage, and no one wants to pay a valet on their way to discount drinks. Also nice: the hours, which extend from 5 all the way till 9 p.m. The real reason, though, is significantly more exciting than these practicalities: Oldfield's really is one of the best cocktail bars on the Westside, with lively ambience and an ambitious drinks menu. At happy hour, you can order a Hemingway — Bulleit rye whiskey, maraschino, lime and grapefruit — for just $7. Same with the Blonde Comet, a refreshing mix of grapefruit and lime, Bourbon, créme de pêche and bitters. There's no real food menu to speak of, but the stylish, old-timey barkeeps will be happy to make you a panini. 10899 Venice Blvd., Culver City. (310) 842-8066, oldfieldsliquorroom.com.
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