This Irish pub in the Marina differentiates itself from the other 'hooligans' with a unique twist: turtle racing every Thursday. It might sound slow and sluggish, but after a roast beef dip, some buffalo chicken sliders, and a few too many beers, it could seem quite riveting. Oh, and they also have live music and specials on St. Patty's Day, of course.
4089 Lincoln Blvd.
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
One of the best features of this Downtown Irish haunt is that it boasts a Monday night happy hour that goes from three in the afternoon until closing time (not for the faint at heart). Like many other businesses in Downtown it’s also riddled with history. Its building housed a general store and Turkish bath house when it was first built in 1916.
613 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
An Irish pub on Hollywood Boulevard? Who would have thunk?--except perhaps that lucky lad from Dublin with the four-leafed clover and stars in his eyes. However, this central H'Wood spot is keeping it real with a casual atmosphere and no door policy. Pub food is on the menu..alas with a local twist (you’ll also find So.Cal healthy treats like hummus and tuna tartar).
6263 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Apart from the, uh, 'McCool' name, this Irish pub is a consistent local favorite. They’ve got some goodies like Murphy’s Irish Stout and Newcastle Brown Ale on tap, along with something for the ladies: Magners Cider. If you like comfort food, check out their Sunday Roast which includes an authentic roast beef with Yorkshire pudding. And they’ve got one of the best happy hours around, as it runs through Saturday (4 to 7 p.m.) and features $3 drinks and apps.
2702 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
This Palms area pub is about as Irish as it gets in our land of sunshine and tans. On the eats menu: Shepherd’s pie. Beers include McEwan’s Export and Boddington’s Drought. Live music performances are a bit more diverse, running the gambit from rock and blues to--you guessed it--traditional Irish tunes.
3267 Motor Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Molly Malone’s has been a long-standing favorite with the local music community for its support of up-and-coming bands. The crowd is usually less typical of the usual Irish pub scene say on the Westside, and more of a cool little music spot not far from Hollywood that happens to veer Irish in theme. They’ve got yummy Irish coffee and their music magic happens six nights a week.
575 S. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
This warm and usually bustling local Santa Monica pub is a nicer alternative to the usual dark and dingy (condensed old beer stench-ridden) Irish haunts and sports bars. It’s got a little something for the ladies too: some semblance of atmosphere. The usual fare like fish and chips is on the menu, along with some less common entrees like Guinness pie. And they’ve got my favorite named beer by the bottle: Arrogant Bastard.
2941 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
This ranks as my #1 all time favorite Irish pub in LA. It’s not huge and can feel a wee bit claustrophobic in busy times, but it’s got a cultish local following, great vibes, a separate room for darts, pretty decent food and the very non-Irish entertainment feature of karaoke. I have some great memories of New Year’s Day karaoking at this cozy and always animated spot....foggy but nevertheless great.
2615 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
This is a nice laid-back pub and sports bar in which to leave Hollywood pretensions behind and share a pitcher with pals. If you’re into the sports aspect, they boast many flat screens. There are even a few in private booths if you prefer to hang with your own party. Timmy's serves the usual pub fare (meat-heavy entrees , chicken wings, etc.) with a nice winter comfort food option as well: Irish stew.
10111 Riverside Dr.
Toluca Lake, CA 91602
NOTE: After 77 years, Tom Bergin's closed in July 2013.
If Sonny’s ranks #1 with me, Tom Bergin’s is easily the #2 Irish pub in LA--especially for East and South Siders. The bar-centric setup forces some merry-go-round socializing--or if you prefer not interacting with the ‘riffraff’ there are more private booths. Tom Bergin’s--founded way back in 1936-- keeps its bar separate from its restaurant (which is in the back) but you can still order food from the former. This is a great rowdy, friendly neighborhood spot where you can watch sports matches or just make new friends.
840 S. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036