Bars trace their roots to the watering holes of the Old West that gave workers with a place to meet up with friends, enjoy a refreshing drink, and let their horses play a game of table tennis. Dust off your drinking boots with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of well drinks, cocktails, and appetizers at Angels & Kings.
Angels & Kings' libation specialists eschew nightlife hurdles, such as table minimums and guest lists, to create a neighborhood-bar atmosphere centered on music. Guests can snack on dishes from the bar's appetizer menu, such as the mini chicken tacos with savory salsa or barbecue-chicken pizza dusted with fried cilantro ($7–$8). Well drinks ($6) raise spirits and call drinks ($7) give bartenders a chance to practice their tumbler juggling while putting their PhD in mixology to work. Customers can engage in friendly conversation seated atop leather barstools or plush couches, as flickering candles tempt guests to roast miniature s'mores.
When one steps inside, Geisha House "can feel like another planet," says the Los Angeles Times. A self-described "surreal, high-class brothel," Geisha House pays homage to Japan's late-night history and adds modern twists such as backlit neon panels in sultry shades of red and pink. A curved mezzanine grants a bird's-eye view of candlelit tables crowned with specialty rolls full of burdock root, tempura flakes, torched lobster, and other adventurous ingredients. Chatter emanates from a 50-foot sake bar serving the Japanese rice liquor straight or poured into specialty cocktails, sips of which flank bites of carpaccio, mongolian lamb chops, and udon noodles in fragrant broths. A lively dance floor invites diners to remember the simple joy of motion and lets method actors cast as sprinklers fit in.