Finding your inner Irish spirit is easy when you’re at Sonny McLean’s Irish Pub. The traditional pub pays homage to its roots with a variety of classic Irish fare, an extensive whiskey shelf (Bushmills, Jameson, Kilbeggan, Knappogue and Teeling Small Batch), and imported beers (everything from Guinness Ireland’s famous Black stout and Smithwicks Irish Ale to Germany’s Hofbrau Original Lager), which makes it the perfect hangout on the Westside to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, not to mention the annual daylong party these guys host. As for great food try the kitchen’s Wagyu corned beef served with boiled baby red potatoes, green cabbage and a mustard cream sauce, fresh Canadian cod fish and chips, and although more of an English dish, Shepherd’s Pie is made with ground lamb and Guinness Stout. To add, Sonny McLean’s is known for its sports bar – patrons can catch any game, any time, from anywhere in the bar; there are 23 HDTVs in the house.
This St. Patrick’s Day venture to Molly Malone’s Irish Pub for a traditional Dublin experience. 1969 is when it all started, and today Molly Malone’s is a neighborhood tavern where guests visit to get their Irish on. Here you can eat your favorite Irish dishes (Dublin Bay fish and chips, Galaway grilled ham and cheese, Paddy melt and Kildare hot corned beef sandwich), while sipping a pint or Irish spirit, and hearing live music. Molly Malone’s is one of the best small venues for live music. Irish beers served at the bar consist of Harp, a blonde lager made in Dublin, and Guinness Draught. Cocktails that are a total treat here include Molly Malone’s Irish coffee (consisting of coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar and topped with a heavy cream froth) and the Irish Car Bomb shots for chugging (Bailey’s and Jameson are poured into a shot glass. Guinness is poured in a beer mug. The shot glass gets dropped into the Guinness. And, you chug it).
If you are cruising up Fairfax Avenue, you can’t miss the lit up green shamrock sign that is home to Tom Bergin’s, a historical pub which opened in 1936 (yes, more than 80 years in business). Famous for its iconic Irish Coffee, Tom Bergin’s welcomes Los Angeles to kick up its heels and show its green spirit on St. Patty’s Day this year. The bar features a Guinness selection (Blonde, IPA, Harp Lager), Magners Irish Cider) and famed cocktails — Old Fashioneds, Irish Car Bombs, Whiskles (a pickleback with Tullamore DEW and housemade pickle juice). Cherished fare must be ordered such as the Naughty Cow (a plate of smoked shaved beef which is injected with whiskey and whipped horseraddish on the side), corned beef and savory cabbage, fish and chips, of course, and mac ‘n cheese created with a tasty Irish cheddar.
Rock & Reilly’s is a rocking Irish pub where the party never stops, which is why you’ll want to be here on March 17th. To celebrate, bring your crew for inspired Reilly’s mothers milk whiskey based cocktails including Reilly’s Hooch (a citrusy and fruity concoction made with pavan liqueur), Irish Mule (Bundaberg ginger beer), The Ginger Bitch (fresh lemon, apple pie shine, cranberry and ginger ale), and other spirit based beverages. Lager enthusiasts can enjoy any three beer flights offered highlighting Guinness, Kilkenny, Harp, Smiddick’s and IPAs. Onto the best Irish grub…if you are rocking at Rock & Reilly’s you have to order its Irish Nachos (housemade kettle chips are smothered in Irish cheddar and topped with peppered bacon and corn salsa). They are a life-changer.
Located in the heart and soul of Santa Monica, Finn McCool’s Irish Pub welcomes the hustle and bustle of the area everyday of the week. Regulars know Finn McCool’s as a comfortable Irish pub with plenty of nostalgia and international flare. Geraldine Gilliland (award-winning chef and owner of McCool’s) shipped her late step-father’s Irish artifacts from his pub to Santa Monica, thus, creating a tribute to him and popular bar. There are more than 200 whiskeys (the whiskey menu alone is like 4 pages long) served and categorized by region (Highlands, Islay, Lowland, Speyside), single malts and blends, and by country. The bartenders are super knowledgeable and can guide you through all of the choices. Additionally the bar serves 18 draught beers and plenty ‘o cocktails including an Irish Old Fashioned, Black Wednesday (bourbon and black cherry soda) and its own take on a Manhattan (named McHattan). Beer cocktails and a wine list round out the bar menu, as well. The food? Ms. Gilliland is behind the kitchen serving some of the best fish & chips in L.A. You can check out the live music which is hosted most nights, including St. Patrick’s Day.
By Sheryl Craig