By Elijah Bates
A couple of pals. A few brews. A day and a night. And nothing to lose. It doesn’t get much better than a galavant out and about with a few of your best best buds. Unfortunately, if you’re not careful, such a situation can easily turn into a totally unnecessary, Sex in the City 2-style waste of time really quick.Take it from me, a guy who both loves Los Angeles and has rarely ever held a martini glass, there’s a much better way to spend time with your boys than by taking on this city as if it were Manhattan — this is LA, baby! And though there’s definitely the nuisance of having to deal with an infrastructure masterminded by Mr. Magoo, there’s also an ocean, the constant smell of sun tan lotion and a lack of snow all year round. With an infinite amount of ways to take on La-La-Land for a guys’ night out, here’s but one example, starting well before the sun goes down…

Photo Credit: Poseidon Stand Up Paddle Surf

Poseidon Stand Up Paddle Surfing

1654 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 694-8428
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Price: Varies. $120/1.5 hour lesson, $40/2-hour rental, $80/day rental

Fact: You guys can golf when you’re 50. And fat. But while you’re still young and in shape, do yourselves a favor and give stand up paddleboarding a try, courtesy of Poseidon Stand Up Paddle Surfing. Watch the sun set over the Santa Monica Mountains before making your way east and a bit more into the city. True, the Pacific Ocean might be a bit colder than a day out on the country club, but it’ll be worth your while when a two dozen dolphins surround you and induct you into their pod. Plus, the upper body workout will leave you feeling as buff as can be.

Photo Credit: Bar Food

Bar Food

12217 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 820-3274
Hours: 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.

All that paddleboarding will leave you and you friends feeling famished, and pretty parched too. The solution? A jolly ol’ jaunt over to Bar Food, the finest of stops on the way into West LA. Not only do they feature 24 of the best, handcrafted beers in town, each on tap, but there are also free hot dogs during happy hour (5 to 6:30 p.m.). That’s right, I said “FREE!” Given that this is a guys’ night out in a town of extravagant prices, and the fact that the hot dogs are as delicious as they are ridiculously inexpensive (i.e. free), taking in some Bar Food is far from a bad idea.

Photo Credit: Elijah Bates

Penthouse Billiards

1810 Wilcox Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 465-1413
Hours: 1 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Price: Varies. $3/hour rental/single player, $4.75/hour rental/two players

Exercise? Check! Happy hour with free hot dogs? Check! Now all you need is a seedy hole-in-the-wall where you can rack ’em up and shoot some pool. So, grab the gang and head on over to Penthouse Billiards. There’s rarely a crowd, thus ensuring that getting a table shouldn’t be a problem. Likewise, the per-hour-price is as cheap as LA gets (less than $5). It’s a perfect place to stop before you wind up waiting in line at a club. Plus, you and your buds will have a great time cracking jokes about the fact that Penthouse Billiards is located just above Pla-Boy Liquors.

Photo Credit: Son of a Gun

Son of a Gun

8370 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 782-9033
Hours: Mon to Thurs, Sun 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.; Fri to Sat p.m. – 1 a.m.
Website & Reviews

Facebook, con your buds into a seafood experience unlike anything else Beverly Hill has to offer with Son of a Gun. True, you might drink so much later on that a majority of your night out will brown out, but vague memories of steelhead roe will definitely remain. Imagine if Solvang got its hands on the lox and cream cheese concept, and turned it into a maple-infused pumpernickel bagel entree that’s as much dessert as it is dinner. Heaven in a spoon, boys. Heaven in a spoon.

The Standard Rooftop Bar

500 South Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 892-8080
Hours: 12 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

By this point, you guys have taken a pretty original approach to the night as a whole, so why not conclude it with something a little more standard, like a trip to the Rooftop Bar at The Standard in Downtown LA? With bar service till 1:30 AM, you can be sure to soak up some suds to while taking in the panoramic view of Downtown LA in all its lit-up splendor. And considering it’s a posh and popular enough environment attracting all sorts of out-of-towners, you can rest assured that any rendezvous accompanying this guys’ night out will be no strings attached, whether you like it or not.

Elijah Bates lives in Venice Beach. When he’s not taking advantage of happy hours throughout the city, he surfs en masse, evading stingrays like they’re trips to the dentist.