Sports are in full swing right now with the NBA Playoffs, the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the beginning of Major League Baseball season. In honor of all this adrenaline-filled activity, we decided to help out those poor Westsiders who are afraid of driving east by giving them our top 5 sports bars west of the 405. Yes, there are the obvious and excessively meathead-heavy spots like Hooters, Barney's Beanery, The Parlor and South, but we're just gonna go ahead and ignore those in favor of some spots with a little more local character.
Editor's Note: We have indeed made a mistake in this post, as Philly West, very clearly, is not west of the 405. We also apologize to any Valley and South Bay folks who feel they have been slighted.
5. San Francisco Saloon
Despite an incredibly uninformative website, San Francisco Saloon is a fun place to go for sloppy, old-fashioned bar food, beers and a relaxed atmosphere. They have a full bar as well, so you can always move on to shots of whiskey when the game goes south. We also love any place that still insists on writing their receipts out by hand.
Thing To Watch Out For: Giants fans (the Warriors, surprise surprise, did not make the playoffs).
San Francisco Saloon: 11501 W Pico Blvd., West L.A., (310) 478-0152.
It's a small bar with a very limited menu, but the things they do make are very good. You can't go wrong with a Philly cheesesteak (just take Mr. Gold's advice and make sure to ask for it with no tomato sauce), or the egg salad sandwich, made to order. If you want a lettuce salad, you're pretty much out of luck, though if Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution taught us anything, it's that French fries count as a vegetable.
Thing To Watch Out For: Phillies fans, Eagles fans.
Philly West Bar & Grill: 1870 Westwood Boulevard, West L.A., (310) 474-9787.
3. Sonny McLean's
Huge plates of heavy food are standard here, and it is the designated watering hole for New England expatriates in Los Angeles. But it does feel like a proper sports bar, a place where games matter, where fans care and where volume knows no ceiling. Just don't show up there if the Celtics wind up playing the Lakers in the finals again, unless of course you're from Boston, or like the feeling that you desperately want to punch somebody in the face.
Thing To Watch Out For: People from Boston (a good rule in general).
Sonny McLean's: 2615 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica,. (310) 449-1811.
2. The Daily Pint
On Friday and Saturday nights it can be a bit of a sweaty mosh pit in there. They put up a big projection screen for games though, and have shuffle board, pool and one of the finest selections of beers and scotches in the city. They don't serve food, but also don't seem to care one bit if you bring in your own.
Thing To Watch Out For: Karaoke night.
The Daily Pint: 2310 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, (310) 450-7631.
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1. The Shack
You aren't going to find a slew of specialty brews on tap from Belgium, Germany, or even Orange County here. But there are a lot of TVs, the owner (despite being from Philadelphia) is incredibly nice, they sell beer by the pitcher, and the wide ranging menu is surprisingly effective. In the end, The Shack is messy, hyper-casual, sports watching at its finest.
Thing To Watch Out For: More Phillies fans, more Eagles fans.
The Shack: 2518 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA - (310) 449-1171.