While LA has its fair share of football fans, some Angelenos need to know where to escape when everyone else is glued to the TV. Listed below are five places where you can expect music, fireplaces, books, drinks and good food without goal shouts, jerseys, or even TVs! Gather your non-football fanatic friends and have “a ball” at one of these venues.
1159 N. Western Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90029
When you visit La Descarga’s website you won’t see much. That seems to be the way those in charge want to keep it––as mysterious and low key as possible. Luckily, no one can stop word of mouth! Little by little, this beautiful place is becoming a local favorite. La Descarga will take you to Cuba with music, drinks and cigars, all behind the confines of a facade that would never have passersby suspect of the going-ons inside. Plan ahead and make reservations, as getting in without one is difficult. And get dressed up for an extra point! La Descarga isn’t open on Sundays, but this is a great spot to visit when the rest of the football-loving population is glued to the TV for Thursday night football.
Cana Rum Bar
714 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
The first thing you need to know is that this is a membership bar. But it is an affordable membership: $20 will allow you plus three friends into the bar. As the name indicates, this place loves rum and every concoction that can be created with the spirit. Whatever you prefer to drink, you should probably try one of their special mixes. There are no TVs here, so you won’t be hearing any “goal” shouts. Instead, enjoy other kinds of entertainment––the bar often features live music and the Thursday happy hour runs late, relatively speaking, until 8 p.m. Best of all, if you stop by on Sunday (when it’s all football all the time elsewhere), you can join in on open swim, which allows you to become a member for any amount of money you’re willing donate to CharityWater.org. One warning: this is downtown LA and parking can be painful. Give yourself enough time to be able to consider the best parking option.
1805 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
If you want wine or beer but don’t want it spilled on yourself the next time there’s a Hail Mary, El Prado may be your spot. This is a small place, so in order to find seating, you have to arrive early. As the night goes on it becomes lively with people talking over the music playing from a record player. Come any night of the week when the game’s on––the bar is open until 2 a.m. daily. On Tuesday, “record night,” people can bring their own record and sign it up to be played (this would require that you arrive even earlier though). A perfect place for people watch, you won’t be thinking of football here at all.
11720 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
A great place for drinks or for dinner, Firefly is another venue that deceives outsiders with its facade. Once you step inside, the place makes you feel smart, beautiful and in love all at the same time (if you go with a date who also happens to prefer wine and dinner over football, this works better). Mondays and Thursdays offer late night dining from 11 p.m. to midnight and a bar open until 2 a.m., and you can come in on Sundays for drinks until midnight. Try a drink at the bar or dinner by a fireplace, but whatever you do, don’t skip dessert––the tropical sponge cake, key lime parfait and organic berries dishes are to die for.
630 W. 6th St, Suite 116-A
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Is a library the opposite of a football stadium? If you think so, this may be the place to run away to on game nights. Quite a few books rest on the walls, not that anyone reads them. Well, perhaps someone does during the day, but at night time this place is full of people––chairs, tables, standing space––everything is taken. On Sundays, while the rest of the world is watching the game, you can watch free movies. Library Bar’s Cinema Sundays offers up free flicks, $2 popcorn and great drink specials. This is the most fun you’ll ever have in a library.
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Dena Burroughs is a freelance writer living in Azusa, CA. She is a CSULA graduate with specialties in Creative Writing and Communications. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.