Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Whiskey Wednesday: LA's Best Whiskey Bar - The Daily Pint

I've complained fairly regularly that Los Angeles is short on places to drink quality whiskey. I can count on one hand the number of bars or restaurants that stock more than ten single malts. The opening of Seven Grand downtown gave us the first new bar in quite a while to have a substantial collection, but even Seven Grand's hyped whiskey list pales in comparison to a dingy bar in Santa Monica with great chops for Scotch...the Daily Pint.

Set on Pico Boulevard near the intersection of 23rd Street, right next to the Lazy Daisy cafe is the Daily Pint. Whereas Seven Grand is all kitchy, hipster simulacrum, the Daily Pint reeks of authenticity. It's medium sized for a bar, with a couple of tables, a few pool tables and a row of seats along the bar. As you sit at the bar, a long wooden shelf over your head is filled with Scotch bottles.

The Daily Pint has what I estimated to be a couple hundred Scotches, including a number of independent bottlings. There was an impressive range with a little something for everyone, though the Islay selection was less prominent than that of other regions (not a single Bruichladdich on the menu). Still, there was plenty to choose from, the atmosphere was relaxed and the bartender was attentive and polite without being overbearing. Prices range from as low as $8 for Sheep Dip (a vatted malt) to as high as $95 or $100 for older offerings.

In addition to malts, the Pint has a vast selection of beers on draught (it is the Daily Pint after all, not the Daily Dram) and a fifteen or so Irish whiskies, which is more than you'll find at most places.

If I had to pick between the Pint and Seven Grand, I'd definitely go with the Pint for both selection and atmosphere. I hope to return soon.

The Daily Pint
2310 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 450-7631

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