The Best Of Drinks, Part I
Chances are your boss wont go looking for you a cheap
pitcher of beer, which is one reason the Poop Deck gets the BoB nod for
best place to hide from your boss, as well as best cheap pitcher of
beer. Photo by Kevin Cody
Poop Deck, The Strand, HB -
There is no better way to
celebrate your patriotism and honor our past and present war heroes than
with a pitcher at the Poop Deck. War Veteran and owner Bill selected his
crew, four Vietnam vets representing the four legions of military service,
back when they returned from the war with no other employers willing to give
them a second chance. Just dont question their military affiliations or
youll start the boys warring amongst themselves: Yeah I was trying to take
a leak in peace when jackass says to me, You know, in the Army they teach
us to wash our hands after we use the latrine. So I sez right back to him,
Well in the Air Force, they teach us not to piss on ourselves!
Just so you know, when its us against them they rally together and so
should we. God bless America.
Best place to hide from the boss
Poop Deck -
The very best way to hide from the boss takes some
foresight. When you get hired, mention to your boss that you have a twin who
hangs out around town, drinking and goofing off. Then later, when your boss
catches you drunk under the pier, pretend like you dont recognize him.
Hell think youre not you, youre your twin!
But failing that, the patio behind the old-school, nautical-themed Poop Deck
is a great place to hang out and a great place to hide, as cozy and
protected as the indoors but out in the open air!
Its also fun to hang out inside the joint, but your boss could skip down
the Strand, whip his head in the front door, and see you at the bar. Then
youd have one of those awkward moments when you try to look casual and
But back on the patio you can talk freely and laugh heartily without keeping
your head on a swivel like a wide receiver running a middle pattern in front
of the linebackers. Your high strung, type-A boss is too busy to wander back
to the patio unless he really wants to find you.
But its good to be armed with an explanation for him just in case. An alibi
would be good, and failing that a good sob story might help. But if you
choke in the moment, fall back on that last resort, honesty. If Mr. Buzzkill
catches you at the end of your three-hour lunch at the Poop Deck, look him
right in the eye and say, I cant go back to work. Im too pooped.
Best cheap pitcher runner-up: Scottys, The Strand, HB
Best place to hide from your boss runner-up (tie): Outdoor tables, Mickeys
Deli, Hermosa, Thirsty Club, Redondo Robb Fulcher
Best sake bar
Club Sushi, Hermosa Ave, HB -
The sake list at Club Sushi may not be as extensive as
others, but it is top notch. One rice wine not to miss is the Nygori Sake.
Thick and creamy with a hint of sweetness, says longtime bar manager
Terrence Moriarty. The real enjoyment, of this great spot, is the people
watching that goes with your celebratory shots of wine. Try to get a spot at
the bar and watch the South Bay crowd roll by.
Runner-up: Sushi Sei
Best Tequila bar
Margaritas can be tweaked to treat anyones fancy be
it sweet and mild or all out turbo firewater and all are available at
Panchos. Boasting over 100 types of tequila including one at $50 a shot and
one at $1,500 for the bottle, Panchos uses real fruit and fruit liquors
instead of mixes to make its strawberry, mango, raspberry, peach, and banana
margies. The most popular, the Naughtie Maggie, is Panchos version of the
Cadillac Margarita with Cuervo Gold, Grand Marnier and a secret ingredient
that may or may not be legal. Owner Abb Lawrence says, Its best enjoyed
with a designated driver.
Runner-up: Café Boogaloo
The Best Of Drinks, Part II
The Northend Bar and Grill was Hermosas Cheers before their was a TV
Cheers. One reason is bartenders like Christine. Photo by Adrienne
Christine, Northend Bar & Grill -
Hailing from Virginia,
Christine moved to the South Bay five years ago and has been tending bar at
the Northend the past four years. She began her South Bay bar career
bouncing around several local haunts. When asked what about bartending she
enjoys most she says, Really, its the Northend Bar that makes it so great.
I work for a fantastic couple, have fun coworkers and great customers. As a
matter of fact you can find her there most Saturdays, her day off, for
breakfast and mimosas. If I didnt work here Id probably hang out here
even more. You never hear anyone saying that about a desk job now do you?
Runner-up: Justine, Beaches, Manhattan each Boulevard, MB
Best happy hour
Aloha Sharkeez -
If you go to Sharkeez with
four friends during Happy Hour, weekdays from 3:30-6 p.m., dont make the
mistake of ordering four drinks because you will get eight or maybe that
isnt a mistake. The deal is two-for-one and if you dont know then its
your own fault. With 19 TVs, a satellite receiver to catch any and all
sporting events, high-energy music, free chips and salsa and a drink in each
hand you know why it was voted the Best of the Beach.
Runner-up: Shellback Tavern
Best pint of Guinness
Grunions Mike McLaughlin -
Guinness always taste best
when poured by a native Irishman and Grunion's owner Mike McLaughlin of
County Donegal Ireland does not disappoint. McLaughlin has been in America
for 30 years but frequently jets back to the motherland to keep up with
tradition and that sexy brogue of his. He and Irish-American Ken McClellan
took over Grunions from Bob Beverly on April first seven years ago - and
that's no foolin! They recently added three 93 inch high definition TVs to
the 40 some odd monitors, which line the joint and can air just about any
sport there is -- even those fake ones we Americans keep adding. Couple that
with great bar food, specialty lunch and dinner items, killer Happy Hour, a
full bar with plenty of Irish Whiskey, great staff and fun customers and you
have the whole package. Slainte!
Runner-up: Pitcher House poured by Jimmy
Best liquor store
Manhattan Fine Wines / Artesia, HB -
With the best prices in
town, in general about 35 percent below retail and an incredible selection,
owner Joe Chiewphasa runs a shop thats as close to an old fashioned general
store as you can get in LA. He specializes in rare and hard to find wines
and will special order anything you throw his way. Basically if it is sold
in this country, Manhattan Liquors can get it for you.
Runner-up: Abes Liquor, Pier Ave & Monterey Boulevard, HB
The Best Of Drinks, Part
Anyone who played soccer with the legendary Georgie Best and drank with
him after the match had better know how to pull a great pint of
Guinness, which may explain why Mike Mclaughlin got the readers nod for
this one. Photo by Adrienne Slaughter
Place To Drink Yourself Around The World
Najas Place -
Najas on the International
Boardwalk in King Harbor has been a landmark for almost as long as theres
been a harbor. Their claim to fame is a beer selection ranging from rare
Belgians to all of Californiaa micro breweries. Najas has 76 beers on tap
and over 400 bottle brands. Its hardly suprising that the local Strand
Brewers Club meets there. The next meeting is Wednesday, April 12.
Runner-up: Rock N Fish, Manhattan Beach Boulevard, MB
Side Door -
Just the name Side Door sounds like a place where
James Bond might be found sipping his favorite stirred drink. Heres a room
as comfortable as an Englishmans private club, where the management
understands the importance of everything being just right.
Runner-up: Mangiamos, Manhattan Ave, MB
Northend Bar & Grill -
Put a bar in a densely
packed neighborhood with no parking and you better hope youre on good terms
with the neighbors. There are no complaints about the Northend because as
likely as not, when the neighbors are home, theyve just come from the BoBs
Runner-up: Shellback Tavern, Manhattan Beach Boulevard, MB
Best cold coffee
Coffee bean -
Move over Frappuccino. Coffee Beans whipped
cream-topped, blended frozen drinks are favored in the South Bay. They come
in mocha, vanilla, caramel, white chocolate, green tea, and black forest.
Black forest is a crazy blend of mocha, cherries, and chocolate covered
Coffee Bean claims it is the quality of its product and using powder instead
of syrup, which sets its frozen drinks apart.
Watch out for refreshing lemon and mango flavors this spring.
Runner-up: Java Man. Cynthia Dizikes
Best chai latte
Coffee Bean -
Its creamy and delicious with just a bite of spice.
Coffee Beans chai latte is one of its most popular tea choices and perfect
for a blustery day on the beach. Coffee Beans chai latte is made from a tea
extract with a cinnamon flavor and is unique because vanilla powder is added
to make it sweet.
Runner-up: Java Man. Cynthia Dizikes