First Cabin, Arcadia.
Don't get out much anymore, but here's a few from "back in the day."
Dive bars - Jasper's (Santa Ana), The Huddle (Costa Mesa), Garf's (Costa Mesa), Silky Sullivan's (Fountain Valley)
Less divey places - Habana, Memphis, Kitsch (Costa Mesa) Continental Room (Fullerton)
My all time favorite spot is the downtown Palm. I've been going for years before and after Kings games. The barkeeps are friends and any time I can go somewhere where they start making my usual drink when they see me walk in the door is tops for me. All the free shots help, too. Other than that, The Blue Boar and Velvet Margarita in Hollywood are high on my list right now, but quite possibly because they're just up the street and perfect for a Friday de-stress session with coworkers after work. I love the Bowery in Hollywood, too. St. Felix has a great happy hour, but the service is just awful. Such a shame. Back Abbey in Claremont has one hell of a Euro-beer selection, all served in proper glasses and chalices, and they have the BEST burger around in their Back Abbey Burger. If I'm just wanting solid, local beer, it's Golden Road in Glendale. In Fullerton I'm partial to The Olde Ship. I'm also a sucker for places that use nothing but fresh fruit and booze in their drinks like they do at Katsuya. What else...
you have a point about the bros in OC though. they're everywhere in HB. i really haven't been to goathill in more than 10 yrs now though so bros weren't really a prob. just as they weren't when i first moved to HB... :-/
everything else about living here is awesome though. :)
of all the places mentioned in this thread that i have been to, i still go to the olde ship - santa ana location. i go when i crave a pint in a pub setting. the food is hit or miss though. i have a scottish pub that only serves beer (no hard liquor, no food) down the street from me and i sometimes wonder if they'll let me go in for a mid afternoon pint once in a while with my toddler when it's dead in there but i have no idea what their rules are. i know i could do it if i were in europe though!
I used to love going to Mr. Lucky's Billiards on Hawthorne ave back in the day. My brother and I would be the only two arseholes tearing it up on a wednesday night (was my payday).
ahh the memories!
I think I still have their shirt with this logo