LOS ANGELES | When The Escondite opened up in Downtown Los Angeles in 2012, on the border of Skid Row and Little Tokyo, it built a reputation amongst those in the know as one of the best secret bars in town for great beer, tasty burgers, and fantastic live music. The food and bar scene in downtown LA has changed a fair bit since 2012, but the Escondite still stands its own as one of the best bars downtown.
There’s not much to give away what lies inside when you walk outside the Escondite, but step inside and you’re greeted with a sort of dark, dive saloon themed space with a long bar and door leading to a hidden patio. Antlers, a cow skull and a whole lot of other American western paraphernalia line the walls, and there’s an Addams Family pinball machine for good measure. Music is mostly soul and R&B tunes from the 1960s and ’70s, while at night this makes way for local bands playing live music that tends more towards the rock end of the spectrum.
For drinks, there are nine craft beers on tap along with a short but focused bottle list featuring a mixture of popular and harder to find brews. Wine drinkers have a choice from two reds and two whites, while the impressive spirit list warrants being drunk on the rocks, or as part of a seasonal fruit cocktail. We like the Frida’s Punch, with Oro Azul tequila, house made mango tamarind syrup, sliced jalapenos, and ginger root.
For food, a range of appetisers, sandwiches, salads and burgers are available, but when the time to eat comes, we recommend heading straight for the burger menu. The burgers are named after the TV shows that the owners watched while growing up, and to say that they are creative is understating things. All burgers are served with a choice of 6oz beef patty, chicken breast, or vegetarian patty as well as a choice of either fries or salad. The ‘Captain Kangaroo’ adds provolone, apple wood smoked bacon, and maple syrup inside a glazed doughnut bun, while Tuesday’s special, the John Belu-cheese, is filled with crumbled cleu cheese, battered, fried, then tossed in buffalo sauce and topped with cleu cheese dressing & Pringles for crunch.
Some might be turned off by the Escondite’s location, but it’s a great local’s bar with an unpretentious, friendly vibe (dogs are welcome in the patio) that gets all of the important things right. One of our favourite bars in downtown LA.
410 Boyd Street
Telephone: 213 626 1800
Mon – Fri: 12:00pm to 2:00am
Sat – Sun: 11:00am to 2:00am