OK, so Smog Cutter has been hipsterized a bit, what with all the karaoke and facial hair. But it's still the real deal, part of a circuit of area dive bars, including Gold Diggers and Monte Carlo, run by Thais. If you like your female bartenders mean and surly (the way bartenders should be), this is your place. Well drinks are relatively affordable, and the wood paneling and year-round holiday lights are a throwback to your drunk uncle's den. The cash-only Cutter has one of the worst bathrooms in the greater Virgil Village, which is saying a lot. If you're a ninja who can use your feet to open doors and operate handles, more power to you. But as a rumored haunt of Charles Bukowski, Smog Cutter is the perfect place to get a double shot of real. 864 N. Virgil Ave., Virgil Village. (323) 660-4626. —Dennis Romero

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