Monday, March 10, 2014

Where to Holiday: St. Patrick’s Day

Since St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Monday this year, it may be a little more challenging to go all out for the occasion, but it’s not impossible. Where there’s a will—and a #WilsonsGuide list for you—there’s most certainly a way.

I’ve been researching all weekend long to find you some of the best celebrations going on in the city. Whether it’s a quick lunchtime concert, a few green drinks at a bar, an all-out street festival or live entertainment on a 78-year-old ship the weekend prior, there’s definitely some way for you to get into the spirit, aside from wearing that same green shirt you wear every single year.

Here are my St. Paddy’s Day recommendations and also links to a few other lists that have some stellar suggestions as well. See you at one of these St. Paddy’s Day celebration soon!

The Merriment: The Celtic rock group the young dubliners will perform in one of downtown’s most popular outdoor areas, Pershing Square

The Location: Downtown

The Vibes: Open-air, crowded, urban, park

Good for: Here’s a great place to have lunch if you’re working, or will already be, in the downtown area. In addition to live music, Irish favorites like corned beef, fish & chips, and other goodies such as funnel cakes and kettle corn and even pints will be available for purchase. 

When-To-Go: Monday, March 17, festivities start at 11 a.m.; concert starts at noon

The $ Factor: Free for the concert

The 4-1-1: Pershing Square is accessible by the metro (Pershing Square (5th Street) stop on the red line) and also has underground parking; or it’s also walking distance from many buildings in the downtown area.

For more information: Website

The Merriment: Food, drinks and games with DJ Aaron Castle, DJ Waldo & DJ Timmy Two Shoes

The Location: Downtown, entrance at Wilshire & Hope

The Vibes: Lively, crowded, festive, outdoors

Good for: Getting in the Irish spirit with one of the oldest pubs in the downtown area. Casey’s has been celebrating St. Paddy’s day since forever; this is their 42nd St. Paddy’s day and their 4th annual street festival.

When-To-Go: Monday, March 17, 6 a.m. – 2 a.m.

The $ Factor: Free before 1pm; $10 GA after 1pm; $40 for VIP ticket (includes access into Casey’s)

The 4-1-1: A few fun facts: The building that Casey’s is in was built in 1916 as a General Store upstairs and as a Turkish bathhouse downstairs. There’s been a lot different establishments in the decades between the former bathhouse and the current pub it is today, including an exclusive cafeteria for the elite, a Spanish eatery and a private dinner club.

For more information: Website

Hand-Crafted Cocktails, Shots and Beers @ State Social House

The Drinks: Hand-crafted green cocktails and shots in honor of St. Patrick’s Day

The Location: West Hollywood

The Vibes: Lounge, sports bar appeal, four bars and a smoker’s lounge and Cigar Bar.

Good for: Cocktail connoisseurs who appreciate a well-made drink. There will be a ton of specialty cocktails for the day, including The Emerald, a blend of tequila, Melon Liqueur, Triple Sec and lime juice, and shots like the Shamrock Shooter, with melon liqueur, Irish Whiskey and Irish cream liqueur. There’s also the regular 20+ beers on tap and signature beer cocktails, such as The Hidden Gun with Irish Whiskey, Amero, orange bitters and Guinness Stout.

When-To-Go: Monday, 11:30 a.m. – 2 a.m.

The $ Factor: Beers $6-$12; cocktails $8-$13

The 4-1-1: State Social House also has quite an expansive menu from the former chef of Pink Taco and Katana, Chef Vernon Cardenas. Options include hearty items like a Whiskey Burger with Jameson-onion jam and Mac & Cheese with gouda and bacon.

For more information: Website 

The Eats: Comforting American classics

The Location: 17 restaurants in the L.A. area, including West L.A., Santa Monica, Torrance and The Valley

The Vibes: Casual, coffee shop vibes, open 24/7

Good for: Those who might not be able to go anywhere to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day. You still have a chance to feel part of the festivities by entering this special St. Patrick’s Day contest to win $40 worth of Norms coupons. The contest runs until Thursday, March 13 and is completely free to enter.

When-To-Go: Norms is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week

The $ Factor: $ - Low price point - some meals as little as $5 for a ton of food.

The 4-1-1: On Monday, Norms will roll out a $10.99 Paddy’s Day dinner of corned beef & cabbage and Irish style potatoes with soup, salad and Shamrock Sherbet.

For more information: Contest website

The Merriment: All the fun and green and beer you’d expect on St. Patrick’s Day, just a couple of days earlier, on Saturday, March 15.

The Location: Long Beach

The Vibes: On a historic ship

Good for: Those who simply won’t have the chance to wild out on the actual St. Paddy’s Day can at least still partake in this celebration. Go onboard for live entertainment from six bands, Irish fare (corned beef & cabbage, etc.), green beer, games and even to watch the conference tournament championship games, for basketball fans.

When-To-Go: Saturday, March 15, 7 p.m. – 1 a.m.

The $ Factor: $15 online; $20 at the door

The 4-1-1: There’s also a $159 deal to stay on the Queen Mary for one night, which includes concert tickets and a souvenir cup of beer voucher.

For more information: Website

Molly Malone's St. Patrick's Day Bash

The Merriment: One of LA’s most authentic Irish pub is featuring live bands all day and night, starting at noon.

The Location: Mid-City

The Vibes: Pub, dive bar, inviting

Good for: Bands like the Staggering Jack, The Dunrussagans, Green Ashes, Vagrant Nation and others will jam out at Molly Malone’s, which, in general, has a fantastic bar scene where you can even play darts.

When-To-Go: Monday, March 17, noon until close.

The $ Factor: $10; must buy tickets at the door.

The 4-1-1: Molly Malone’s has been owned by the same Irish family for more than 40 years.

For more information: Website

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration @ The Original Farmers Market

The Merriment: Music and merriment in L.A.’s oldest farmers market.

The Location: Mid-City

The Vibes: Outdoors, packed, lively

Good for: All ages can enjoy the live music and Irish food from Magee’s Kitchen (and green beer and imported Irish beers for the 21+ crowd).

When-To-Go: noon-3 p.m. to see Glen the bagpiper; 6-9 p.m. to hear Jerry McClean play Irish folk music on the West Patio

The $ Factor: Free

For more information: Website

I also compiled a list of websites that have even more great recommendations:

CBS Los Angeles’ Best 2014 St. Patrick’s Day Bars In Los Angeles: 
Features five well-known Irish bars, their descriptions and a map of where they’re all located. Three are in the San Fernando Valley area (Ireland’s 32, Maeve’s Residuals and Timmy Nolan’s Tavern and Grill); Brennan’s Pub is in Marina del Rey and Casey’s Irish Pub is downtown.

CBS Los Angeles’ Best Family-Friendly Activities In Los Angeles For St. Patrick’s Day 2014: Also from CBS Los Angeles is a family-friendly St. Paddy's Day list, with options like the Los Angeles County Irish Fair and Music Festival in Pomona.

Red Tricycle’s Sham-rock Your Weekend: 
Another kid-friendly list; it has the Top 10 kid-friendly activities, from an authentic Celtic cafe—the newly opened Wild Thistle in Culver City—to a Leprechaun’s Lucky Gold Hunt in a Thousand Oaks park.

Saint Patrick's Day 2014 in the South Bay: 
The beach cities—Manhattan, Redondo and Hermosa—have a ton of pubs and bars, and as to be expected, will be swarming with specials the weekend prior and all St. Paddy’s Day. Plus there’s the 19th annual Hermosa Beach St. Patrick's Day Parade.

* All photos from respective locations' websites, except for the Farmers' Market photo. 

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