Westside neighborhood Mar Vista is up and coming, but it has mostly resisted the thorough gentrification seen in Santa Monica, Venice and the hipster Eastside. Still, a number of new markets, bars, restaurants (even a record store) now dot the area, and many are excellent. Our favorite drinkery is the Corner Door, found at, yes, the corner of Wasatch and Washington Boulevard. The decor is understated but the food and drinks are elegant and, at least during happy hour, quite affordable. The martinis will knock you on your ass, and their choice of an American pale ale in a can — Dale's — can't be beat. For noshing there are well-prepared grilled cheese sandwiches, seafood and various fried bits. And let's not forget the desserts, which can include cookies, ice creams and eclairs, items that are highly underrated as bar food. —Ben Westhoff
12477 W. Washington Blvd., Mar Vista, 90066. (310) 313-5810, thecornerdoorla.com.