The Place: The York, 5018 York Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-255-9675.
The Hours: 10:30a.m.-2 a.m. Mon..-Sun.
The Digs: At Highland Park's The York, a towering shelf of booze looms over the L-shaped bar. Televisions partially obscured by low-hanging bulbs come to life with Lakers games, and a stretch of comfortable cushioned seats lines the other side of the shelf.
Simultaneously crafted and self-consciously unvarnished, gastropub signifiers pop up at every point: high exposed ceilings, brick walls, broad glass windows that create a warm, inviting atmosphere, and a chalkboard menu hawking Sriracha-soaked chicken wings ($10), fried garbanzo beans ($3), and several cheese-laden substances anointed with that bane of upscale pub grub — truffle oil.
The Verdict: The York will feel edgy only if you're accustomed to drinking strictly at airport tiki lounges. While the bar probably sees itself as hip and happening, what stands out is not the vibe, but what's in the bottles. The beer list is broad and worldly, featuring delights like the sludgy Old Viscosity and the distinct, bittersweet La Fin du Monde.
If beer doesn't appeal, a hefty wine list heavy on Californian selections awaits. If you're looking for a spot for post-work drinks, you could do a lot worse. The York compensates for what it lacks in true grit and character — the hallmarks of truly cool haunts — with quality libations and the sort of quasi-stoner-grub that accompanies them perfectly.
Overall Grade: B
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