Before spirit-themed bars were all the rage, there was Seven Grand. It may not be the biggest or sexiest bar downtown, but it's the best goddamn place to do the following things, at your leisure, in your own time: Sip a real Old-Fashioned (no cherries whatsoever in sight); puff a cigar, which can be purchased from the bartender and smoked on the patio; and play the part of pool shark. All without having to explain yourself to anybody. Why? It might be the animal trophies mounted on the walls that help make Seven Grand the ultimate mantuary (these include a boar and a bunch of jackalopes). It might even be the small décor details in this dimly lit joint, like the hunting-scene wallpaper in the corridor. But it's most likely the massive whiskey list, which would excite even the most dyed-in-the-wool dude (or lady) to try ordering something other than a Black Label on the rocks. The fact that the bartenders can chat for hours about the selections doesn't hurt, either. 515 W. Seventh St., 2nd floor, dwntwn. (213) 614-0736,

—Romina Rosenow

LA Weekly