There are hip bars that try to be rec rooms and cool bars that try to be speakeasies, but the bar that replicates your real or imaginary abuela's living room and empowers locals to invest in their neighborhood is by far the most badass bar in L.A. That spectacular spot is Eastside Luv. The stuffed lounge chairs at the bar are covered in plastic (the fabric is by Pendleton, natch) and the back patio is open and waiting. The art is inspired by lowriders, masked Luchador wrestlers and historic Mexican cinema, a perfect mix of pride and kitsch. The high/low menu of beer and wine includes local micro-brews and, so the hipsters can keep up, Boone Farm Strawberry wine. Weeknights there is Spanish karaoke, aka MariachiOKE, and film screenings. Get on the Gold Line, head to Mariachi Plaza and settle in for a unique Los Angeles night. 1835 E. First St., Boyle Heights; (323) 262-7443,

—Rachael Narins

LA Weekly