The Verdugo

Ξ December 12th, 2007 | → 5 Comments | ∇ 90065, Drinks, Night Life |

Sitting quietly under an unassuming “cocktails” sign on the corner of Verdugo and Avenue 34 is Glassell Park’s newest attraction. The Verdugo is a surprisingly hip joint that seems as if it plucked straight from Hollywood—and this time I think I mean that as a good thing. “Unassuming” may have actually been something of an understatement. At 10:30 on a Saturday night, the surrounding streets were dark and abandoned. Nearby warehouses and empty lots surrounded by chain-link fence do nothing to give away what is lurking behind the small door under the afore mentioned sign. Stepping through reveals a stunning space filled with a smoothly lit curved bar, plasma screens (showing the hipster classic “2001: A Space Odyssey”), black booths and a definitively cool lounge in the back. Dreadlocks seemed to be the style of the evening for patrons, who all sat drinking beer and enjoying the fairly loud beats being mixed by the live DJ (who was sitting in a booth overlooking the bar). This is definitely a bar with a vibe.

Behind the counter is your standard full bar, but also an excellent selection of high-quality beers. The Verdugo takes its place among the very few bars that are willing to dedicate a tap to Delirium Tremens, one of the finest, richest beers Belgium has ever produced—and is incidentally a beer that is named after the symptoms of severe withdrawal from alcohol abuse. Naturally this is the first beer we drank. The service was fast and kind, but unfortunately the girls behind the counter knew nothing of the beers they were serving and quickly suggested taking a look at the menu for more information. A conversation with the Verdugo’s friendly proprietor revealed that these were not his normal bartenders, but rather a couple girls filling in and this was in fact their first night. Clearly the solution in a situation such as this is to simply order as many beers as possible and decide for oneself—a strategy that allowed me to discover that none of us at YORK BLVD. are fans of Fuller’s London Pride.

Another bit of confusion surrounding the Verdugo is their schedule, and unfortunately we were not able to get to the bottom of this in our visit. Even a loyal reader here posted “I thought Verdugo’s was still closed?” Like an on-again-off-again girlfriend, nobody seems to know that exactly is going on over there. The bar reportedly opened a few months ago, but Citysearch currently lists them as “Temporarily Closed.” One very upset reviewer on Yelp posted an angry comment about going there on a Saturday night and finding no signs of life. And for a place as hip as it was, it sure seemed as though the word wasn’t out about being open. Instead of people packing in around midnight, the place quieted down.

So get the word out. The Verdugo is open. It’s a definite change of pace from the other local bars, and something that may appeal to those that think the York is too laid back or Johnny’s is too much of a dive.

The Verdugo
3408 Verdugo Road
(323) 257-3408


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