The strangest thing about Goal, LA's newest upscale sports bar, isn't what's there. It's what's missing. Recently soft-opened on a stretch of W. 3rd St. known more for chic cafes and fine dining, Goal offers the de rigueur décor of a sports bar: dark wood, leather booths, plenty of flatscreen plasma TVs. Goal also showcases 40 vintage black-and-white sports pictures featuring all manner of sports teams: the Jets, the Cubs, the Bears and even the Brooklyn Dodgers. Notice anything missing? That's right, no Los Angeles teams in that gallery. The closest you'll get to L.A. athletic glory is a shot of the coliseum.

Maybe Kristofer Keith and the Spacegrouft Group didn't want to drape the bar in clichés of sports jerseys and purple-and-gold (or crimson-and-gold or blue-and-gold). Fair enough. But in a city that's hosted two Olympic Games and boasts the Lakers, the Dodgers, the Angels, the UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans, it seems like a strange oversight. Or not. Perhaps it's the perfect symbol for the rocky romance between traditionally working-class sports bars and sleek Hollywood nightlife.

Goal officially opens this Friday, March 19th.

Goal: 8334 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles; (323) 655-5955.

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