Both The Cheerful Tortoise menu and The Cheerful Bullpen menu brim with classic bar fare, which is served in sports-centric, wood-paneled eateries owned by the same athletics-loving mastermind. Prices vary between locations, but the menus both teem with sandwiches, pizza, appetizers, and more than 15 flavors of wings. Stomachs sick of waiting in line for the pool tables or karaoke can feast on spinach and artichoke dip ($6.49–$6.99), or dive right into the spicy ancho-chipotle burger ($7.49–$7.99). Amber beer-battered fish and chips inspire diners at both restaurants to affect a cockney accent ($9.49 small; $10.99 large). A plethora of pizzas, such as the spicy thai chicken pizza ($8.29–8.99), dot the bars' gastronomic landscapes, along with breakfast items that, like dance battles at high schools, are served all day long. Customers can also sit on the spacious patio and sip suds from a rotating roster of draft beers including brews from New Belgium, 21st Amendment, and Deschutes.
• For $10, you get $20 worth of upscale pub fare and drinks. • For $20, you get a bottle of wine (choose from Gnarly Head Old Vine red zinfandel, Oak Knoll pinot noir, 337 cabernet, Maryhill chardonnay, Ecco Domani pinot grigio, or Blue Nun riesling), plus a fruit-and-cheese plate (up to a $43.50 value).
Equipped with everything from pool to shuffleboard, these brotherly bars provide a modest food menu served up with sides of interactive table games and televised sporting games every night of the week. In between lofts at the dartboard, hang a fang on an order of beer-battered onion rings ($5.75) or a savory black-and-bleu burger ($9.25), and then shower your stomach with a refreshing brew ($3 domestics, $4 microbrews) or a spirited mixed drink ($5 from the well). Much like the international dateline, Blitz Pearl refuses to acknowledge time itself, which is why it serves breakfast all day strong with options ranging from french toast ($5) to fruit bowls ($3).
Claudia’s boasts more than just its history, though there’s plenty of that to crow about. Open since 1958, this spot shoehorned itself into the community by sponsoring a dominating AAU basketball team—the pub was even the subject of a documentary. Its historic elements have since been updated with high-definition screens and a suite of 20 satellite receivers.
The recently renovated Hollywood Bowl, enchants guests with polished corridors and automated scorekeeping. On Thursday–Saturday nights starting at 9:30 p.m., both locations activate their black lights and ample supply of firefly essence for cosmic bowling, when rollers negotiate tricky splits in a kaleidoscopic environment. At Hollywood Bowl, guests can enjoy burgers and beers at Club Hollywood Sports Bar in the glow of 14 47-inch TVs. Both locations also boast their own arcade room, where players can compete in classic games such as Frogger, skee-ball, and seeing who can carve a marble bust of a Roman emperor the fastest.
George’s has all the trappings of a dive bar: sticky floors, stiff drinks, a cast of bartenders and regulars who’ll likely remember your name. But unlike its dive-y brethren, George’s has windows that allow for plenty of light and food with a reputation of its own. Amid the inexpensive dishes is George’s celebrated fried chicken, which some claim is the best in the city.