Dive Right In

June is Cookbook Month here at Diesel. To kick things off, Cheryl in Brentwood has a report on cooking’s dark twin–drinking!

Dive Bars. The name conjures a dark, somewhat seedy establishment replete with denizen barflies–a description which is, thankfully, true. Yes, I love these local haunts. They are unpretentious, serve fairly priced drinks, and you’re bound to find a character or two. I’m always on the lookout for a new place to try, but I usually like to hear something about a new spot before I wander in. Some dive bars are best patronized in a group or at least with an imposing escort until you get a feel for the place. In Los Angeles’s Best Dive Bars: Drinking and Diving in the City of Angels, not only are there a slew of joints to check out, they are also rated as to how safe they are to attend alone.

Another good guide series is Thirsty? (there is also Hungry?) for many big cities in the U.S. These books not only include bars, but where to grab the best coffee, juice, and boba in the city…and yes, they have a special section devoted to my beloved dive bars.

Some of my favorites, you ask? The Tonga Hut in North Hollywood, a kitschy tiki bar that’s been around for over 50 years, is a place where you can kick back and watch a cult movie on the TV or listen to the eclectic jukebox. Pat’s Cocktails leans more toward being a sports bar, but you can get some cheap eats and play a game of pool for only fifty cents. Let me know your favorites and I’ll add them to my list!

Before we hit the bars, here’s a quick reminder: today’s the last day to enter May’s Guess the Book Competition. It’s like a Pub Quiz with only one question! Go for it!

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