There is no sign outside. But the deep red panels interspersed with wood panels and large glass windows that are open on a warm day, sitting on the north corner of Santa Monica Blvd, just west of the 405 freeway, will catch your eye. This is The Nickel Mine, West Los Angeles's newest sports bar.
The long v-shaped bar is surrounded by large flat screen televisions playing a variety of live sports games. But, The Nickel Mine is more than a sports bar. It is a cocktail bar, a whiskey bar, a gastropub and a fun neighborhood spot to hang out with friends.
Unlike your typical sports bar, The Nickel Mine has an impressive whiskey selection with more than 50 choices, two dozen draft beers and one dozen wines. There is also a fun cocktail list that goes beyond typical well-drinks.
The venerable Julian Cox has done it again. Along with his equally talented team, including Kristina Howald, Dave Kupchinsky, Nick Meyer, Eric Costantino and PJ Myers-Chase, they have put together one of the best new bars in Los Angeles, The Fiscal Agent.
The Fiscal Agent is an intimate bar located above Barrel & Ashes in Studio City. There is no sign out front, but you will see the doorman standing just next to Barrel & Ashes. Despite having a doorman, there is nothing pretentious about The Fiscal Agent. It is warm and inviting with cool music playing. There is limited seating, with a handful of small tables and comfortable lounge chairs in what is like a living room. And the marble bar is like sitting at the kitchen counter, where you can watch the bartenders create drinks while chatting with them. The back bar is beautifully lit with a disco ball adding just the right amount of light.