The Place: Prince O' Whales. 335 Culver Boulevard, Playa Del Rey; (310) 823-9826.
The Hours: Fridays from 3 to 6 p.m.
The Digs: Sixty-something year-old Pee Oh Dubs, as it is often called, offers a variety of divey drinking environments. The patio out back is usually weird and empty, save for the odd shirtless bro trying to play ping pong. When you walk in the front door, you're in a kind of odd no-person's land, half-inside and half-outside, where you can stare up at crappy televisions and smoke cigarettes if you wish to do so. To your right is the quiet bar. People eat here and watch basketball games on nice flat-screens studding every available swath of wall space. The codgers and aging flies hunker down at the plain wooden bar, usually opting for Budweiser or a little glass of something brown. Back across the hazy no-person's land, there is the loud bar, where funk bands, country acts, and all manner of bizarro soul-reggae-jazz-grunge fusion groups perform live.
This sounds awful, but when you're tearing through pitchers of yellow froth, miles away from the significantly hipper, much — ahem — classier bars you surely almost always frequent, swaying along to some Loyola Marymount kids' ragged butchering of an R. Kelly song is somehow freeing.
The Verdict: To say that Prince O' Whales offers something for everyone would be something of an overstatement. The Happy Hour experience itself isn't a big draw. Bands don't play until nine or so, and the Monday night blues “pro jam” is probably the best vibe anyway. One thing Prince O' Whales does have going for it though is, oddly enough, the food, which includes some deadly chicken wings and solid burgers. As with most bars, fried stuff is tops here, particularly the onion rings — large and light, like salty halos.
Overall Grade: B