OK, to call this first place a restaurant at all is a stretch, but when you are drinking ‘food’ sometimes becomes a more loose term.  Here are some options for Labor Day weekend, or anytime really, that are cheap, fun and cool alternatives to your usual spots.  Unless these are your usual spots, in which case, why didn’t you email me and tell me about them?!

The Gold Room on Sunset Blvd in Echo Park is one of those spots where 4 bucks buys you a beer, shot of tequila and the sweet sounds of the Mariachi band (during the week, on weekends the band isn’t around.  Sign of the less ‘authentic’ crowd.  Oh, you hipsters ruin EVERYTHING!)  I thought the place was one of those no signage spots, but my friend showed me I hadn’t looked up.   There is also a renegade food system which is rewarding (especially after the beer-tequila-Mariachi combo) and that you have to be in the know to get. It’s called FREE TACOS!  Also, tons of free shelled peanuts.  The cheesy limo like interior (etched glass, neon pink and green piping around the mirrored bar) will make you love it even more.  This bar is one of the great things about Los Angeles, cheap beer, tequila and free eats along side fun, cultural happenings.  One recommendation, wear covered shoes (shelled peanuts + drunk people + urban living.)

If you are beach drawn this weekend, which is probably bound to happen both to escape the heat and the smell of flames that are pervading the city, I suggest a 3rd Street Promenade Restaurant called Monsoon.  Now you know it has to be good if I am sending you to the Santa Monica version of a strip mall, the Promenade.  It pairs Sushi with a Vietnamese look and late night salsa dancing. Exactly.   The restaurant has a huge first floor, and the second floor is only a wrap around floor, so you can look down on the open floor and see the sushi being made and the huge, lovely light fixtures. It is designed as if the whole place is built of bamboo.  It seems like Vietnam, and then you eat some great sushi while hearing salsa beats from a side room (so if you don’t want to salsa you don’t have it interfere in your Asian experience.)  You can salsa the night away on certain nights so check their schedule and have fun.


Enjoy your labor day weekend L.A.!

Food Labor Day from Santa Monica to Echo Park: Free Tacos, Fun Bar/Restaurants