Sometimes it's good, even necessary, to take a break from the glam and roar of gay nightlife and simply hang out and chill. So if you feel like drinking a few beers with the buddies, playing a game of pinball, and listening to good but familiar tunes on the jukebox, Roosterfish in Venice Beach is the place to go. A part of the gay scene for more than 25 years, the relaxed neighborhood bar features electronic darts, a pool table, a “no attitude” atmosphere, a two-hour happy hour, $3 margaritas all day Wednesday and $3 burgers on Sunday afternoons. The two longtime owners are deceased, but the place has such a lasting esprit de corps that a group, including two longtime Roosterfish bartenders, inherited the joint and now run it. Even if you don't live near Venice, it's worth the drive, especially if you've been stuck in that West Hollywood/Silver Lake circuit. 1302 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. (310) 392-2123, roosterfishbar.com.
—Patrick Range McDonald