Five Great Places to Grab a Drink and Watch The Olympics

Photo via London2012.com

As if you didn't have enough going on, someone up and decided to put together the summer Olympics. It's a shame too, what with the beautiful Southern California weather always beckoning you outside. You could be sitting around a beach fire at Dockweiler or kayaking the northern reaches of the LA River, but instead you can expect to spend the next couple of weeks sitting in front of a TV somewhere. Still, there's something so magical about rooting for athletes you've never heard of to kick ass in a competition you didn't know existed, all in the name of national pride.

Because you just can't help yourself, we've gone ahead a compiled a list of the best places to watch the summer Olympics this year. From the opening ceremonies to the final shot of the Olympic torch being doused with a cooler full of Gatorade (that has to be what happens at the end, right?!), here are a few great places to catch the international action.

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The Fox and Hounds


With the summer Olympics being held in and around London, The Fox and Hounds is a natural place to enjoy the games. More than just an English pub with a loyal British ex-pat following, the Fox and Hounds is a dedicated sports watching venue. The TVs are regularly pointed across the pond for Premiere League soccer, so you can expect the well-behaved crowd to be locked into the Olympics as long as they're on. The food at The Fox and Hounds maintains a true British bent, with fish and chips a popular selection, along with bangers & mash, pasties and a selection of dessert puddings. With a draught Boddingtons or a cider in your hand, you can "ooh" and "aah" alongside the Brits every time they show the Tower of London.
The Fox and Hounds
11100 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604


Blue Dog Beer Tavern


Not exactly a rollicking supporter of the Modern Pentathlon, but your girlfriend is? Sick of all the hype surrounding this year's Moldovan class of synchronized swimmers? Not to worry, Blue Dog's got you covered. The popular Sherman Oaks drink spot has just enough TVs to keep the Olympics-minded folks interested, while you sip away at one of the best beer lists in the Valley. No matter where you hail from, you can expect a representative beer listed, from Affligem Blonde and Hofbrau Dunkel to Old Speckled Hen. Burgers and salads are also in great supply around these parts, as is mood lighting and close quarters during Happy Hour, which means you just might find yourself doing more chatting than cheering.
Blue Dog Beer Tavern
4524 Saugus Ave.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403


ESPN Zone at L.A. LIVE


While this pick is neither LA-specific nor particularly unique, you can't deny that the Worldwide Leader in Sports knows how to televise an event. Especially if that event is the Olympics, a weeks long behemoth of obscure competitions and high profile contests that often overlap. With more than 150 HD TVs, the ESPN Zone crew could loop in video of that squirrel on waterskis and you wouldn't even bat an eye. The food and drink choices are typical for L.A. LIVE, with wings and burgers taking center stage. And if you're worried about making it downtown and back in one sober piece, fear not: Metro is starting late night weekend service, so you can still catch every late night moment of the rhythmic gymnastics competition.
ESPN Zone at L.A. LIVE
1011 S. Figueroa St., Suite B-101
Los Angeles, CA 90015


Sonny McLean's


It may not be far from the Santa Monica beaches, but one step into Sonny McLean's will wash away any notions you had of enjoying the sunshine. The mossy green Irish bar has more than enough to keep you entertained, even if the Olympics start to wane. Pal up against a few out-of-towners for your own regional Olympics, with the dartboard and pool table acting as popular events. Or, sit back with a pint or a tumbler of whiskey to casually take in the Canoe Slalom. The menu here reads like a roll call for the opening ceremonies, with British, American, Italian, French and Greek dishes all waving their flags excitedly. If you're looking for a drink you can chew, try the Guinness.
Sonny McLean's
2615 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403


Big Wangs


What good are the Olympics if you can't talk a little trash? Wild-eyed nationalism is the true backbone of any international competition, and Big Wangs has more than enough fellas willing to irrationally scream at a television. You'd better bone up on your Croation Taekwondo entrants, because it's practically a guarantee that some guy in the corner is willing to throw down the moment he hears a misplaced umlaut. If you really want to show your superiority near one of the many TV screens, order up The Sasquatch, a boneless wing feast meant for four people. If you can't handle Alfredo sauce and chili on your French fry wing pile, maybe you don't deserve to be rooting for Iceland's equestrian team after all.
Big Wangs
1562 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028

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About the Author

Farley Elliott is a freelance food writer and comedian. He currently writes for KCET.org, SeriousEats.com, LAist.com, and L.A. Weekly. You can catch Farley doing comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Hollywood.
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