Thunderbolt only opened earlier this year, but it already feels like a lived-in neighborhood bar. Located next to Park’s Finest in Echo Park, its low-lit leather couches, dark green walls, and speakers playing Jay-Z (like old, The Blueprint Jay-Z), make it ideal for everything from a first date to the monthly book club you’ve tried to start no less than four times. The menu is a mixed bag of hit-or-miss Southern-ish bar snacks like buttermilk biscuits and pork belly burnt ends, so you’re better off eating next door. You’re here for the drinks - which exist in that dangerous, highly coveted Venn diagram of very strong but still genuinely tasty. Our favorites are the La Frutera, with tequila, mango, and tamarind (order it spicy), and the Tropipop, which is sweet and tropical like a piña colada, but filled with so much rum you’ll forget that you’re not actually on vacation. But pretty much everything here pairs well with a discussion about hypothetically starting Sapiens with your friends from college.
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Konbi is a daytime Japanese spot in Echo Park that’s famous for an egg salad sandwich. But it’s everything else that makes this place special.
Elf Cafe is a good place for a vegetarian Mediterranean dinner in Echo Park - as long as you order the right things.
Honey Hi serves healthy, gluten-free food in Los Feliz. More importantly, it’s a great neighborhood cafe.
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The Ordinarie is a Long Beach tavern with a creative take on traditional pub food.
Ddong Ggo is a lively Koreatown bar with a smoked-filled patio and excellent fried chicken.
Suggested by our writers
Bar Calo is a Mexican cocktail bar/restaurant in Echo Park that reminds you why you love LA.
Porridge and Puffs
Porridge and Puffs in Historic Filipinotown has Asian-inspired rice porridge, and a quiet, welcoming feel.
The Park’s Finest BBQ
A Filipino-Southern BBQ spot worth a visit. Hit it on Wednesdays for their try-it-all $12 special.
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