The owners of 38 Degrees aren't strangers to pressure: they opened their alehouse and grill just in time to participate in the 2009 Los Angeles Beer Week. Since that hurried opening, they've had the chance to take their time curating the restaurant's rotating list of 38 domestic and international draft and cask beers. Owner Clay Harding tries out at least 25 new brews each week for possible introduction into that list, always striving to represent a range of styles from brewers such as Epic Brewing Company, Full Sail Brewing, and Ballast Point Brewing Company. Chefs complement this draft roster with a menu of gourmet pub dishes inspired by several ethnic cuisines and a week spent spying on a UN ambassador. In the kitchen, they assemble calabaza and Korean short-rib tacos, curry-seasoned salmon cakes, duck burgers, and pork schnitzel.
For more than 50 side-splitting years, The Ice House’s stage has been propping up comedy heavyweights and future legends by the likes of Robin Williams, Lily Tomlin, George Carlin, George Lopez, and Jerry Seinfeld. Each week, the club continues its tradition of inverting frowns with an ever-growing lineup of up-and-coming jokesters, as well as occasional drop-ins by stars that have included Rob Schneider, Tom Green, and Nick Cannon. No seat within the intimate club is further than seven rows from the stage or 30 feet from the inflatable slides that serve as emergency exits.
The unassuming red brick building in the alley behind the Ice House in Pasadena may not look like much, but inside lies T. Boyle's Tavern—a no-nonsense two-level pub with a polished beer menu, hearty eats, 13 flat-screen TVs, and one 8’x10’ jumbo TV. The TVs flicker with the NFL Sunday Ticket’s games or broadcast USC and UCLA teams as they shoot a basketball, throw a football, or punt a volleyball. Nearby, a huge stone tiki head perched on the rough brick wall overlooks live bands as they belt out classic rock covers, blues, or ’80s hits.
Tall, round bar tables next to old wooden barrels hoist buffalo wings, pastrami burgers, and fish tacos that pair with dozens of bottled or draft craft beers, including tasty suds from Bear Republic, Rogue, Sierra Nevada, and Port Brewing. When regulars aren't sharing laughs over beers or frantically trying to answer trivia questions, they can head over to the dartboards or shuffleboard and pool tables.
“When [you] walk through the door, the first thing you’re gonna smell is bacon.” That’s a promise from Slater’s 50/50 founder Scott Slater, whose restaurant serves an infamous burger patty built from half ground beef and half ground bacon. Executive Chef Brad Lyons helped with the recipe, though the original inspiration came from the all-bacon patties Scott and his friends used to grill up during Chargers tailgate parties. For the restaurant, he decided to cut the bacon with high-quality beef that, like a baby's fake ID, is aged 21 days. As if the bacon-infused patties weren’t distinctive enough (as far as they know, Slater’s 50/50 the only restaurant in the world that serves them), Scott and Brad designed a DIY menu that lets patrons customize their burgers by size and with 11 cheeses, 40 toppings, 19 sauces, and four kinds of bread. Patrons overwhelmed by these options can instead order one of the specialty burgers, such as a Peanut Butter and Jellousy with creamy peanut butter, strawberry jam, and of course, thick-cut bacon. Bacon reappears throughout the menu, including as candied crumbles on brownies and in the syrup used in bacon milkshakes.
Bowling isn’t just a hobby at 300 New York—it’s a vibrant social experience worthy of luxurious flourishes. That’s why cushioned lounge seats flank each of the 32 mood-lit lanes in the main concourse area. Each of these lanes faces a large screen that flashes music videos and tutorials on how to remove stuck fingers from bowling balls. Up in The Loft, bowlers can lounge and take in views of the concourse while sipping cocktails from the full-service bar. A dedicated wait staff connects them to offerings from the onsite bar and restaurant—an eatery known for serving dishes from executive chef Chad Bowser’s menu. Some of Chad’s creations include two-bite chicken or beef sliders and hand-battered fried calamari that can be paired with anything from beer to specialty martinis.