The Place: Cinema Bar: 3967 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City; (310) 390-1328.
The Hours: Every day from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The Digs: The self proclaimed “oldest bar in Culver City,” with live music every night and no cover charge. The room is small, with wood paneling, a small corner stage, red floors and walls covered with stickers, framed posters and mirror-backed beer adverts. There is also a small sign that reads “If It Has Tits Or Wheels It Will Cause You Problems.” If the indoor area gets a little crowded or loud, there is also a surprisingly spacious patio out back. A call whiskey will cost you $6.50, and a can of PBR is just $3.
The Verdict: It's dark, the bartenders are low-key, and the atmosphere is relaxed but inviting. The live music can be nice in the evenings, and doesn't tend to be too overpowering, but if so, that's when the tables in the outside patio come in handy. It's the sort of place where you're just as likely to be left alone as are you to be talked to by a bus driver sitting next to you at the bar. In the afternoons, it's generally pretty empty, but whoever is behind the bar will never make you feel bad for knocking back a couple while watching a little soccer on the tiny T.V. perched up in the corner. Unless you hate live music, it is something of a perfect neighborhood bar: small but with room to move, welcoming but low energy, cheap but not filthy. The atmosphere can change a bit from night to night, which keeps things from getting boring, and if you forgot to eat dinner, Tito's is just down the street.
Overall Grade: A