The Hidden Gem : The Escondite, Downtown

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Between cleverly named burgers like the “Captain Kangaroo” and signature cocktails like the “ChataFUGup”, what doesn’t already sound fucking awesome about this place? But oh, does it get better. The Escondite not only offers awesome, affordable, unique (in title and in taste) foods and beverages… it has one of the best view of Downtown LA, they have a covered patio, and a free parking lot. Yes. Their very own. Free. Parking lot. Need I say more? Well even if you we’re immediately sold on the view and free parking lot bit, I’m gonna share more reasons as to why The Escondite has become one of my personal favorite Downtown LA hang outs.

I have a penchant for dive bars, but not like, sketchy dive bars… dive bars in the sense that it either, one, seems divey on purpose, two, has quite a bit of history and it shows in the decor, and/or three, it serves up cheap drinks. Oh and any place with antlers for decoration; automatic stamp of approval. I have made it a point to scout all of the dive but not too divey bars Los Angeles has to offer, and about a year ago my boyfriend took me to Escondite on what was to be our second date. Smart guy knew I had a love for bars that we’re distinctive, woody, dim, and a little (intentionally) rough around the edges. We sat in a booth by the bar and enjoyed beers, burgers, and the buffalo mushrooms (a must get). Despite the chilly November night air, we then decided to take our beverages out to the patio and post up on the bar stools that faced the immaculate view of the Downtown city scape. First of all that view, and the whole still quiet crisp night thing… so romantical. Gentleman take notes, as this is an awesome place to take a date, namely because it’s an incredibly unique date spot (it’s a genius date spot as far as “date spots” go in LA), it’s a casual relaxed joint, they serve (delicious) inexpensive drinks and food, and for the most part it’s pretty low-key so you can actually speak in a normal tone of voice and enjoy a conversation with your company.

I come back to Escondite all the time, so yes that means I drive from Culver City to Downtown, even during the week, just to feel the strange satisfaction of parking for free, and to get my dive bar date on with a friend or my  manfriend. I have to say though, this place is particularly special because there’s something oddly magical and awe-inspiring sitting on those bar stools on the Escondite patio, starting at all the tall buildings and Downtown city lights. It’s something every out-of-towner and Angeleno should experience. Best day to go to Escondite is any day, they’re open seven days a week and have something cool going on just about every night. Monday’s are “All Night Happy Hour” meaning $5 craft beers, $4 cans, $3-5 appetizers, $4 well cocktails, and $4 house red or white wine. Tuesday’s are “Two-fer Tuesdays”, where starting at 9pm you can get 2 BYO burgers and 2 beers for $22. Wednesday’s are “Whiskey Wednesdays” (um yes please?) meaning starting at 9pm you can get a $3 Kentucky gentlemen, $5 Jameson, Jack, Makers, Buffalo Trace, and Bulleit. Thursday’s are “Triple Threat Thursday’s” where you can get a shot, a BYO burger, and a beer for $20. Of course it wouldn’t be in true Los Angeles fashion if they did not offer a Happy Hour Monday – Friday from 5-8 pm, or offer a weekend brunch.

The Escondite is not so much one of my LA foodie havens as it is one just of my favorite bars (that also happens to serve awesome food). This place fits right in with Los Angeles yet it is so different from any other restaurant/bar establishment at the same time. It’s definitely an understated and almost under-appreciated gem hidden in this incredible, yet vastly saturated town. Honestly though, visiting The Escondite is a must for any Angeleno and appreciator of truly “rustic” bars, it will be an experience you will want to have again and again.

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