Unless you got lost looking for the on-ramp to the 110 freeway downtown, you'd never stumble upon the Monty if you didn't already know about it. That's part of what makes this unassuming dive on the eastern fringes of Westlake so appealing. From the outside, the spot looks as unsavory as the former topless club it once was. But once you get past the burly security guards and the (hopefully) ironic “please check your guns at the door” sign, the place reveals itself as a gorgeously restored Western saloon, whose immaculate, mirror-paneled, dark wooden bar stretches from one end of the train car–shaped tavern to the other. The jukebox, $3 cans of Olympia and a mounted buffalo head are relics of a simpler time, but every night's a party at the Monty. DJs including former The Germs drummer Don Bolles and L.A. rockers Fidlar spin punk-rock jams on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. With weeknights like these, just imagine how crazy the weekends must be. —Jennifer Swann

1222 W. Seventh St., Westlake, 90017. (213) 228-6000, montybar.com.

LA Weekly