I woke up on St. Patrick’s Day craving corned beef and cabbage, so I dug in the back of my closet and found my lucky sneakers. Yes, I have green Nike sneakers that I wear once a year on St. Patrick’s Day. All my friends are working, so I am going to do this alone until they meet up with me at 3pm. I headed straight to Riordin’s Tavern, next to The Pantry on Figueroa. It was just after noon and the place was crowded with people on their lunch breaks. I was lucky (must be the sneakers) and found a single seat at the bar. I was seated right by the beer taps where I watched the bartender put a drop of green food coloring in the glasses before filling them with beer. Gross! I have never drank green beer and I will never drink green beer. I don’t know why people want to add food coloring to beer. The thought of it just grosses me out. Since I didn’t want the green beer, I ordered the Angel City Brewery’s Vanilla Porter. Why? Because it had a fancy red handle on the tap. I won’t drink green beer, but I apparently will drink black beer. This stuff was so dark. I also ordered the special: corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and peas. The staff here was busy, after all it is lunchtime on St. Patrick’s Day, but they weren’t that friendly. Neither were the people sitting on either side of me at the bar. One couple was talking business the entire time. Um, it’s St. Patrick’s Day and you are sitting at a bar in an Irish pub, do you really need to discuss mergers and acquisitions? And the guy on the other side of me, he just had his back to me the entire time! My food arrives and the plate is stacked. There is enough corned beef here to feed a small family, but I was raised not to waste food so I packed it all away and washed it down with my black beer. Okay, I had enough of this place. The food was good, but the crowd was kind of boring.
My lucky sneakers and I walk up Fig and turned on 7th to Dublin’s Irish Whiskey Bar. There are barricades up in front because they are apparently expecting some huge crowds today, but there is no one in line. I show my ID to the huge doorman and I head inside. There was no one in line because they were all already at the bar. This place is packed. I quickly get distracted by the funky smell. It smells like freshly grated Parmesan cheese… the pricey kind that is really pungent. Before I can obsess about the odor, the bartender points to me. I know I don’t want another dark beer, but I panic. I don’t know what I want. I blurt out “Bud Light.” The bartender turns to the tap and filsl a plastic cup with… wait for it… green beer. Remember my tirade about never drinking green beer? Well, I am now. I am standing there in the middle of the room with a plastic cup of green beer when suddenly the lucky shoes work their magic and a seat at the bar becomes available. As I said earlier, this place is packed. What are all these people doing here? It’s 1pm on a Tuesday. Don’t you people have jobs? I’m sitting here just people watching and eavesdropping on conversations. A bunch of ladies just asked the bartender to put on this plastic green hat. He declines and tells them it is bad luck for a bartender to wear a hat behind the bar. Is it true? I don’t know but the bartender is one of the most attractive men I have ever seen. He looks like an action hero straight out of big budget Hollywood blockbuster. I wanted to use my cell phone and take a picture for you, but I’m not that bold or that drunk yet. I overheard someone call him Justin. If you are ever walking by Dublin’s, ask the bounder if Justin is working. If he is, you need to head inside and get a drink. I’m distracted again. This time by a woman who just wedged in between me and the guy next to me. She orders a Grey Goose vodka and orange juice. The second it is delivered she sucks it down in one giant gulp and leaves. Okay, I think I will too. Bye Dublin’s… see you soon Justin.
You can’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in DTLA without going to Casey’s Irish Pub. They close down an entire block of Grand Avenue and throw a huge street bash. Now, either I’m getting tipsy or it was a really short walk, but I make it over to Casey’s in seconds. I arrived before 3:30pm so I avoid the $10 charge to get in the festivities. This place is crowded too. The street is lined with beer vendors and beer drinkers. I need one more, but I need to make sure it’s not green. My choices are Guinness, green beer or Miller Lite. I opt for the Miller Lite and I get it in an aluminum bottle. Everyone around me has cups of beer and I have a crappy can? Oh well, I head down the stairs into the actual bar. This is where I’m meeting my friends at 3pm. There is no place to sit at the bar because there are no stools. They have all been removed to make space for the people. I find a great spot on the corner of the plywood covered pool table. This is where I decide to text my friends. I need to make them think they are missing all the action so I tell one of them that I am crawling down the bar like a cat and drinking my beer out of a bowl. I don’t know where this came from, but I’m entertained by the visual. Maybe I am drunk. I text my other friends who are meeting me at 3pm. “Where are you? I’m tired of drinking alone!” Well, I better get used to it. They are not coming. Okay, so now I am at a fork in the road. I’m three beers in and I need to decide if I’m going to have one more (which will really become three more) or if I’m going to call it a day. Right then this group of drunk girls (not really girls as in children, but young enough to be by daughters) sit on the pool table next to me. They are so annoying. I feel like I’m at a Taylor Swift concert. It’s a sign. I need to get out of here.
I’m not much of a day drinker. I walk home a little buzzed. I’m passing everyone sporting their green shirts and beads. They are just starting their St. Patrick’s Day adventures in DTLA as I’m ending mine. I get home and crawl in bed. I wake up a few hours later with a massive headache. I blame the shoes. I put them back in the closet until next year.
Riordin’s Tavern 875 So. Figueroa Street 213.627.6879
Dublin’s Irish Whiskey Bar 815 W. 7th Street 213.627.6900
Casey’s Irish Pub 613 So. Grand Avenue 213.629.2353