So many Irish bars, so little time â€” particularly on St. Patrick’s Day. Some are more “bare bones,” as one of our editors refers to them (that’s code for dive bar), while others can all too quickly cross the line into Riverdance territory. Here are a few that will be pulling out the green carpet on Wednesday the 17th with special events for the day, but thankfully don’t tread into that trendy $13-absinthe-cocktail territory. At these Irish pubs and eateries, you’ll want to saddle up for a proper beer and plate of corned beef hash.
Irelandâ€™s 32 Pub
Ireland’s 32 is so fantastically dark and dank, it feels like an Irish Isle hangout. On St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll find live classic Celtic and modern Irish music, with a few Irish dance numbers in between. Saddle up for a traditional Irish breakfast (an assortment of sausages, potatoes, eggs and beans) before noon, or stop by later for the corned beef and cabbage and a frothy brew.
13721 Burbank Blvd, Van Nuys, 818.785.4031, irelands32pub.com
Oâ€™Brienâ€™s Irish Pub
For the hardcore and hungry, Oâ€™Brienâ€™s is opening at 6 a.m. on St. Paddyâ€™s Day for a special Irish breakfast (the kitchen will remain open all day), with live music from 1:30 p.m. The lineup includes The PJ Smith Band, with Irish guitarist Vivian Campbell of Def Leppard fame. Ya, we aren’t quite sure how the heavy metal will to translate into bagpipes, either. But O’Brien’s Irish ex-pat owner William Oâ€™Sullivan has a great take on the traditional sausage and mashed potato classic, bangers and mash (okay, it’s an English dish, but we still love it) â€” he slices up the bangers and piles them onto a crusty baguette with grilled onions.
2941 Main St., Santa Monica, 310.396.4725, obriensonmain.com
One of our favorite Guinness-pouring pubs in Newport Beach is holding its St. Patrickâ€™s Day celebration a few days early. On Sunday at 1 p.m., you too can offer up your finest at Muldoonâ€™s 8thÂ Annual Sexiest Kilt Contest. There’s always plenty of house-baked currant bread on hand to sop up the classic Irish stew, and there’s a terrific slice of apple pie that’s big enough to share (but you won’t want to). Call 949.640.4110 to sign up as a kilt contestant, or just show up, fully aware you’re going to eat a few too many whiskey-marinated wings.
202 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, 949.640.4110, muldoonspub.com
The Irish, it seems, start early, even when theyâ€™re 5,000 miles from their homeland. The oldest Irish pub in Los Angeles (circa 1936) is also opening its taps at 6 a.m. on the 17th. We like to get our annual Snakebite (lager and hard cider) fix here, maybe with a few â€œwee burgersâ€ â€” if only because weÂ much prefer the name to “slider” any day of the year.
840 S. Fairfax Ave., Miracle Mile, 323.936.7151, tombergins.com