There's some kind of antler-based drinking game to be had here.
There’s nothing quite like a strip mall corner dive bar and Ye Rustic Inn along Hillhurst in Los Angeles’ Los Feliz suburb fits the bill nicely, down to the rustic, medieval-style sign along the top of the structure. Though many of Los Angeles’ most notable dive bars fall more into a lounge-like category than true dives, Ye Rustic Inn does well to mix the two vibes, using a hunting lodge-reminiscent interior to amplify what is otherwise a pleasantly divey interior.
Opened in 1971 and operated under consistent family ownership since 1997, Ye Rustic Inn has, of course, changed little over that time period, most of the interior decorations clearly well-loved over a handful of decades. Outside, the sign is naturally the star of the building’s exterior, but a large front patio commands an elevated strip mall-adjacent perch, home to a number of low tables. If the sign feels a bit medieval, the building itself runs a little Germanic, the crisscross wooden beams outside amplifying the effect.
Inside, Ye Rustic Inn has done well to drown out the relentless Los Angeles sun thanks to a deep brown color palette that can be found on nearly every available surface. The ceiling, painted brown, fades into textured walls painted, you guessed it, an even darker shade of brown. The Ye Rustic Inn space is split into two main areas, the front room home to the bar itself and a handful of plush, deep red booths that play well with the Los Angeles dive bar’s color scheme.
This front area looks, dare we say, rustic, thanks to a string of knick-knacks behind the bar and more than one antler chandelier suspended from the ceiling. A stained-glass window set behind exterior bars provides a bit of softness to the light that finds its way into Ye Rustic Inn, giving everything that nice warm feeling only found in a good dive bar. The dive bar decorations here include typical beer sign mirrors and the occasional license plate or signed sports jersey. In keeping with the hunting lodge-like theme there is, of course, a mounted jackalope that borders a shelf filled with sports trophies.
Wood paneling starts in the front room and stretches into a large rear space that includes additional red cushion booths, the secondary space feeling a bit more like a cozy, corner restaurant. Antler chandeliers are done one better in this rear room thanks to a set of sconce-style antler lamps dotted along the walls. This back room feels a little brighter as a result, offering a lounge-like counterpoint to the front rooms more straightforward dive bar atmosphere.
The Ye Rustic Inn menu is extensive, including dive bar-standard appetizers alongside grownup food like seasoned salmon and sirloin steak. The Los Angeles dive bar opens a bit earlier on weekends, 9 AM on Saturday and Sunday, opening up a breakfast menu that includes breakfast tacos and other related fare. But Ye Rustic Inn is particularly renowned for its hot wings, steeped in a vinegar-based sauce and often cited as some of the best wings in the city. Thankfully, the kitchen is open late, offering the option to grab a plate of highly-regarded wings as a cap to an evening spent at Ye Rustic Inn.