Few cities conjure the image of old school glamor quite like Los Angeles, a city steeped in celebrities and ostentatious opulence unlike anywhere else. Luckily for dive bar enthusiasts, that backdrop makes for fertile ground when to comes to creating dive bars that mix timeless authenticity with a dose of the Rat Pack here or Elizabeth Taylor there. Santa Monica institution Chez Jay
may be one of the city’s best such examples, the dive bar said to be the secret hideout of JFK and Marilyn Monroe during their swirling romance.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame today looks a bit more like a run-of-the-mill sidewalk in a somewhat sketchy part of town, but dive bar Frolic Room
remains a gem along its path. Rivaling Chez Jay in its celebrity connections, proximity to the famous Pantages Theater creating post-Oscar, celebrity-drenched after parties.
The West Coast beach vibe of course plays into the Los Angeles dive bar scene, Tiki Ti
one such beneficiary as the city’s tiki cocktail destination. The bar serves no beer and no mixed drinks but does offer over 80 custom concoctions, some of them created by Tiki Ti themselves. There are other nautically-themed spots of course, like Koreatown’s HMS Bounty
, adding to the rich dive bar tapestry of the city.
All told, the mixture of history and alcohol takes on a special feeling in Los Angeles, that vibe infused into the countless dive bars that dot the sprawling metroplex. Each dive bar here feels unique, authentic and like it could only exist in Los Angeles, populating the city with must-visit dive bar destinations.