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Bar Crawl in Los Angeles: The Quest To Find The Guy In The Man

Something happens to guys when they decide to enter into a lifelong arrangement that includes the words, “For better or for worse” Guys lose the cool and become men. They no longer have the edge. When you have two kids at home, a mortgage, a bank account set up for college tuition and a coffee can for change that will eventually get you that dream vacation you don’t really exude your “guyness” anymore.

Sausages at Wurstkuche

Seems like a shame.

Because of the process of aging and the bumpy road of maturity I’ve found that a decent set of acquaintances helps with this problem. The process is pretty simple. A group of guys get together and spend some quality time doing guy things. While that might sound somewhat exclusionary it is what it is. Guys need the opportunity to bond. Male bonding, the bro-mance, a round of golf with trash talking or sitting at a bar with a few beers. It is all just a part of the male species schematic to cope with our daily struggles.

What better way to bond than with a bike ride to crawl a few bars in Los Angeles? 10 guys, dilapidated mountain bikes that have never seen the mud and are reserved for bike rides to get ice cream in the neighborhood and a goal to stay out late and drink too much. The wives are well aware of what is going on and a free pass is set up to waste a day away sharing inflated stories and sampling craft beers.

The Journey Through Los Angeles

  • Stop 1 1:00 PM: La Cita –The bar is dark on entering and sparsely populated with patrons. Music emanates from a back patio where an afternoon crowd swells and a tiny bar pours a revolving menu of beers on tap. This is a multicultural version of a dive bar. The hipsters mix it up with the dishwashers and the lawyers find themselves side by side with the artists.

    336 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013 http://www.lacitabar.com/  

  • Stop 2 3:30 PM: Wurstkuche – “Mom Jeans. They are kid of quirky and fun, she’s rocking them!” The one guy without kids made this observation. Not even sure why that is something a grown man would say but after I overheard it, I found it amusing. A group of guys at a sausage place where they serve a selection of twenty four imported beirs and some killer fries. Yes, we are mature enough that we realize that more potatoes means more drinking later on.

    800 E. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013 http://www.wurstkucherestaurant.com/ 

  • Stop 3 5:30PM – Villains Tavern – Beers in mason jars and everything seems to come with a shot of something. They have live music and bar food with a weekend crowd that can really fit into the tiny spaces alongside the tables. The décor is a cross between a yard sale in a nice part of town and the Pirates of Caribbean ride at Disneyland. BTW, you’ll stay here longer than you want because it has the right feel to it.

    1356 Palmetto Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013 http://www.villainstavern.com/ 

    It is worthy to note that a large group of guys will get lost at various points in the evening. At this point three guys were AWOL so I did the right things and went looking for them. I ended up stopping to try a few things at Church and State Bistro before continuing on in my quest to get the group together. (I found the other guys, the Bro Code forbids me from sharing the details) I tried a few things: Moelle de Boeuf, Oreilles de Cochon, Pate de Campagne. Bone marrow, pigs ears and Veal terrine. I am not an animal, I needed some nourishment.

  • Stop 4 9:15 PM – Cole’s – After a long pedal, as I escorted someone to the train station (Bro Code) I arrived at Cole’s after the party was in full swing. This is as close to an East Coast bar as you will get in downtown Los Angeles and it is an institution. The dark woods, the steps down into the bar and the street level view of pedestrians is not a typical LA dive bar experience. The drinks are super stiff and the French Dip sandwiches they are famous for are too small and only average. The atmosphere though is worth the visit.

    118 East 6th Street Downtown LA 90014 http://colesfrenchdip.com/

     

  • Stop 5 11:30 – The Down and Out – My notes from this place: (written after plenty of beers but still legible)

    Mug shots on the wall, a shakedown when you walk in and a really shady crowd.

    The Down and Out in Downtown LA, frankly when you get patted down before you walk into a bar you should be concerned but I let my old school neighborhood scowl take over and I got the free pass.

    Music that I could not recognize, $5 drinks and outfits that I have not seen since high school.

    Wow, all those years in school and this is where I end up.

    501 Spring Street, Downtown LA http://twitter.com/thedownandout The Down and Out 

Our last stop lasted but a few minutes as we were forced to race to the train station for the last train of the evening back to our real lives. By the time we ended our conversations on the train platform and I rode through my driveway only to drop my bike in my back yard it was 3:15 AM. I had 4 hours before it was time to get back to being a father. The Bro Code would prevent me from sharing any details with my wife but I’m sure the lack of skin on one knee, the bloodshot eyes and the mustard stains would tell a different story to her.

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