A spicy margarita from Las Perlas, left, and the view from Perch, right.
This past weekend, a group of us here in Los Angeles trekked to Downtown LA to engage in a lengthy and enjoyable pub crawl that lasted for just about twelve hours. Amazingly, we managed to keep our facilities about us, which was perfect since we then could appreciate the varied and eclectic watering holes we ambled into over the course of the day.
For those looking to make an excursion out of Downtown, definitely take notes. And also remember that we just barely scratched the surface…
Start off at beloved Downtown sausage factory, Wurstküche. I’ve yet to hear anyone express anything but total adoration for this place. If their faces weren’t blurred, you’d see that my friends Sly and m_ruv are quite delighted.
Be sure to order a tall beer with your sausage. The dark and “malty” Köstritzer is my drink of choice this day.
After lunch, head across the street to Angel City Brewing, a unique space that doubles as an art gallery. On the weekends, the biergarten opens at 2 PM.
Compared to the hustle and bustle of Wurstküche, Angel City Brewing provides a relaxing, airy counterpoint.
Don’t expect to drink anything but the beer here, obvs.
Next, hop in a cab and take it to Hill and 3rd. The taxi certainly undermines the “crawl” aspect of the journey; so if you wish to be a purist, hoof it up 3rd street on foot (or simply skip the first two stops and start your crawl here).
You’ll be right near the famed Angels Flight funicular. Take a ride if you want, but if you’re like us, you’ll want to head straight for the next booze stop.
Also of note: goats, which are brought in to graze the hillside. Catch ’em while you can!
Next stop: La Cita.
Entering the dark bar, chances are the only language you’ll hear is Spanish. Walk to the back, past the sign that says “El Patio,” and find yourself a booth in the dingy but perfectly awesome outdoor area (the aforementioned “El Patio”).
My friend Julia enjoying the La Cita experience. The bar has been ranked #15 out of 169 on Esquire’s “Best Bars in America 2011” list.
Show up at Happy Hour, and you’ll be treated to $4 margaritas and $3 micheladas, the latter of which are tangy and delicious. Order from inside, and your michelada will come with Clamato. Order from outside, and you’ll wind up with Tapatio instead.
If you’re really lucky, the bartender, Monica, will be cooking something for the fun of it. Here’s a plate of complimentary tamales she made. They were some of the best tamales I’ve had in LA. No joke.
Like us, you may find yourself at La Cita way longer than anticipated. When you do finally pull yourself away, head down the street to 448 Hill, atop of which is the new bar/bistro, Perch.
If you’re like us, you may wind up arriving a few minutes before Perch opens up. Take a moment to enjoy the cool lobby of the building (it’s really all you can do anyway). Either that or take a detour to Bar 107 or The Biltmore Hotel.
Be sure to consult the restaurant’s website, Perchla.com, as the hours fluctuate day by day. Strangely enough, Perch has its most limited hours on the weekend, not opening until 6 PM on Saturdays and closed entirely on Sundays. We’d like them to rethink that.
Upon reaching the actual bistro, it’s hard not to fall in love with the views.
The upscale French decor is a definite contrast to La Cita.
The views are tremendous. Grab the chairs in the corner, and you’ll be able to spy on Pershing Square all night.
Just indulge me while I take photos.
Perch’s cocktail menu is surprisingly meager, and of the four or five offerings, two were “out.” They were also unable to make Moscow Mules (no ginger beer) or anything with pineapple juice (no pineapple juice). Luckily, there’s an ample wine and beer selection. I happily settle for a lovely glass of bubbly.
My friend Fernanda joins in the fun.
Taking in sunset over the city more than makes up for the disappointing cocktail options.
The Deloitte building in all its shiny glory.
Gaaaaah it’s so purdy.
It’s no surprise we wound up lingering at Perch for about an extra hour than anticipated.
Just as pretty, if not prettier, when the sun goes down.
When you’re finally ready to move on, walk a few blocks over to Las Perlas, a tequila bar featuring an eager bunny at the entrance. Las Perlas can get crowded and a line does form; so be sure to get there on the earlier side.
The cocktail list at Las Perlas is mouthwatering. Be sure to try the spicy margarita, which instantly became the best drink of the pub crawl by a landslide.
From hip tequila bar to classic old school, trek across the street to Cole’s Red Car Bar for some food and drink.
It feels perfect in here.
Chances are by this time, you’re pretty hungry. Order one of Cole’s famous French dip sandwiches (which are far better than those at Philippe’s The Original, if you ask me).
The famed sandwich arrives. If you decide to get fries too, go for the sweet potato and garlic varitey.
Just because it’s a sandwich place doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking. Order a Moscow Mule.
Wander up to Spring Street Bar on — where else? — Spring Street. The place is lively, well lit, and full of beer options. It’s a great way to finish up the night. This is where we ended, but more adventurous spirits could forge onwards to The Falls (next door) or Silo Vodka Bar (nearby on 7th) or Seven Grand (farther on 7th) or the Golden Gopher (on 8th).
Last ones standing.
I know we had a fun time. Hopefully you will too! Here’s all the vital information for the bars we went to (and some we never made it to):
800 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA
(213) 687-4444 · wurstkuche.com
Angel City Brewing
216 South Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA
(213) 622-1261 · angelcitybrewing.com
336 S. Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA
(213) 687-7111 · lacitabar.com
107 West 4th Street, Los Angeles, CA
Millennium Biltmore Hotel
506 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
(213) 624-1011 · thebiltmore.com
448 S Hill St, 13th F, Los Angeles, CA
(213) 802-1770 • perchla.com
107 East 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA
(213) 988-8355 · lasperlas.la
118 East 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA
(213) 622-4090 · colesfrenchdip.com
Spring Street Bar
626 S Spring St # B, Los Angeles, CA
Ste A, 626 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA
Silo Vodka Bar
221 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA
(213) 891-1063 • silodtla.com
515 West 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA
(213) 614-0737 · sevengrand.la
417 West 8th Street, Los Angeles, CA
(213) 614-8001 · goldengopherbar.com