If you’re like me and detest green-tinged beer or frat drinks named after a terrorist act (yeah, I’m old), then perhaps you’ll appreciate this roundup of where to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for some quality boozing. I’m talking craft cocktails, craft beer and beer floats. Just because it’s an alcoholiday doesn’t mean you gotta drink badly.
By the way, if you’d rather celebrate St. Paddy’s Day with Irish coffees, check out my Irish coffee roundup on LA Magazine’s Digest blog.
1886 Bar at the Raymond (Pasadena): I’m thinking enjoying a cigar and these Irish-inspired cocktails ($10 each) on the patio by the fireplace sounds like a lovely way to spend the holiday. What will it be? The 1886 Irish coffee, Irish Maid (Jameson, mint, cucumber, simple, lime) or the Smoking Jacket (Redbreast 12 Year, 1886 tobacco bitters, maplewood smoke, orange vanilla ash)?
The Bungalow (Santa Monica): This beautiful oceanside bar will be hosting an all-day affair with Fairmont Hotel’s Fig Restaurant barbecuing in the parking lot to pair with Bungalow’s cocktails as well as green sangria, green mimosas and Guinness on tap. But keep in mind that it’s also just a stone’s throw from the L.A. Marathon’s finish line so plan ahead.
Cole’s Red Car Bar (DTLA): The 213 bars have a slew of St. Patrick’s Day specials but I’m liking Cole’s for its $6 Jameson Picklebacks (atomic!) and Bushmills and Angostura shots as well as $8 Irish coffees, Guinness floats and Irish coffee milkshakes. And if you’re hongry there’s the $10 corned beef and sauerkraut on rye.
Del Monte Speakeasy (Venice): From noon to 2am, this Venice basement bar will feature Irish whiskey flights, free Irish stew and a specialty cocktail menu highlighting Irish ingredients. Take your pick of the Gaelic Sour (Jameson, orgeat, lemon, Angostura bitters), Green Medicine (Redbreast 12 Year, Connemara peated, lemon, ginger, honey), and Irish Punch (Irish tea time, Irish whiskey, Irish black tea, lemon shrub, lemon juice, nutmeg).
The Famous (Glendale): Barman Nick Vitulli has whipped up some tasty-sounding concoctions and drink specials for the occasion. Drink cheaply but well with $5 Tullamore Dew shots, Ben Franklin’s milk punch and Guinness and the $6 Thit Se Ar an Urlar (Gaelic for “He fell on the floor”): Green chartreuse, Aperol, Breckinridge bitter liqueur, Tullamore Dew. And try his cold brewed Irish coffee with Tullamore Dew coffee with homemade toasted pecan whipped cream.
Freddy Smalls (West L.A.): With a brand-new cocktail guy, things are looking up at this West L.A. restaurant (I’ll investigate further soon). But they’ll be throwing a “Get Lucky St. Patrick’s Day” party starting at 11am and going til close. The two holiday cocktails featured are a Shillelagh cocktail with Irish Dry Whiskey, dry vermouth, mint garnished with a clover microgreen and a Paddy’s Girl cocktail with Irish whiskey, maraschino, blanc vermouth and lime. For eats, they’ll be serving corned beef sandwiches with braised cabbage, pickled red onions and whole grain mustard for $12.
The Parish (DTLA): All weekend Chef Casey Lane will be offering up a “Lucky Bangers and Mash” menu ($19 for dinner only). And you can pair dishes like blood sausage and horseradish potatoes and Boudin Blanc with potato puree and stewed purees with a $7 O’Hara Irish Stout or Jameson shot as well as the $10 Irish Old Fashioned.
Short Order (Mid-City West): Mixmaster of all good cocktails Julian Cox created a special St. Paddy’s Day cocktail menu ($11 a drink) to enjoy at this Farmers Market restaurant. Man, I love this bar. Take your pick of the Chartreuse Swizzle (green chartreuse, falernum velvet, lime and pineapple juice), Cameron’s Kicks (Irish whiskey, lemon juice, orgeat, Meyer lemon twist), Irish Maid (Irish whiskey, cucumber, mint, lime juice), White Russian (Irish whiskey, coffee liqueur, cream float, nutmeg $11), and the Stout Beer Float (Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, scoop of stout custard $9).
Tom Bergin’s Tavern (Mid-City): I usually avoid Irish pubs on St. Pat’s but Bergin’s is too good to resist (plus it’s within stumbling distance of my house). But since this will be the first St. Paddy’s Day since its remodel this celebration will be epic. They’re going to try and sell 1,000 Irish coffees with Irish coffee stations set up in the bar and out in the tented parking lot. The lucky boozer who purchases the 1,000 Irish coffee will win a shamrock party and their name on one of the famous shamrocks papering the bar’s walls and ceilings. There will also be dedicated stout bars featuring Guinness and O’Hara’s to serve up Black & Tans, Half & Halfs and Black Velvets. For food, naturally there will be corned beef and cabbage, pretzels and fish and chips.
Tony’s Darts Away (Burbank): Duude, check out the delicious stout and porters that’ll be on tap all weekend at this Burbank bar: Ballast Point Victory at Sea Imperial Porter, Firestone Walker Walker’s Reserve Porter, Hangar 24 Chocolate Porter, and more! Tasty vittles available include corned beef or seitan and cabbage, a vegan shepherd’s pie, and Colcannon (Irish style mashed potatoes with bacon, onions, & braised cabbage, vegan version available).