Though watching sports in person has its charms, most stadiums are in fact hibernating flying saucers that could return to their home planets during any particularly desultory halftime show. Watch the home team in terrestrial comfort with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of American fare and drinks at The Varsity on Wilshire Boulevard.
The Varsity combines the leather-boothed sleekness of a lounge with a friendly, sports-focused bar and grill atmosphere. Gargantuan appetites can be gracefully subdued with starters off the dinner menu, such as the super nachos piled high atop a crisp foundation of chips ($8), or the varsity wings slathered in one of four sauces ranging from the tongue-prickling spice of the hot sauce to the dulcet, mouth-calming whispers of the honey barbecue ($10 for eight, $15 for 15). Main courses include signature burgers with palate-pleasing patties nestled snuggly under toppings including bacon and avocado ($12) or blue cheese ($10). Anglophiles can tip their bowlers to transatlantic fare with beer-battered fish 'n' chips ($12), while vegetarians can avail themselves of scrumptious greenery with salads such as the warm spinach ($9), perfect for a pre-blood-drive iron boost. An extensive drink menu features Blue Moon and Dos Equis XX on tap, 16-ounce cans of Coors Light, and high-class single-malt scotches to delicately sip or lap from the palm of your date's hands.
Meals are metabolized in a cozy dining room with low leather booths and couches, surrounded by sports memorabilia. Multiple HDTVs project sports to fans, while Wii allows post-game competition between wand-wielding virtual sportsmen. Monday night music, hosted by Emmy-award winning producer John Jones, aids digestion with euphonic chords, and Wednesday night trivia allows fact-mongers to test knowledge of ephemera on the field of gray-matter battle. Local parking is plentiful and free after 6 p.m.
- The Varsity might offer more tasteful conditions than ESPN Sports Zone and a bigger range of chow choices. – Hadley Tomicki, Grub Street Los Angeles
- From arriving until we departed the service and the atmosphere was just perfect and exactly what we were looking for. Unpretentious food menu, cold beers that kept coming and a staff that did regular check ins but wasn't bothersome. – alex c., Yelp, 1/24/11