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Our Favorite Friday Night Spots in Los Angeles

Published on Sun, Jun 21, 2020

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

We asked some of our team to share their favorite places to spend a Friday night around LA.

Friday night: the dawn of that much-needed weekend. We all have our favorite places or activities that bring back memories, or kicks off new ones. With the COVID-19 restrictions starting to ease up, it might be time for you to find a new Friday night routine. Whether it's a cruise, restaurant, viewpoint, date spot, there's plenty to choose from in Los Angeles.

These are some of the LACar team's favorite Friday night spots in Los Angeles.

Winnetka Bowl

20122 Vanowen St.
Winnetka, CA 91306

Winnetka Bowl
Winnetka Bowl

Wood shop work keeps me moving all week long, but Friday afternoons are for bowling. I’ll work until around 1PM then head over to Winnetka Bowl where so many familiar faces and sounds welcome me in. I can usually roll a few games before Ed arrives, often with his 11-year-old son. Jack typically bowls a couple of games before heading off to the arcade. Ed averages about fifteen pins more than me, but my 290 still beats his 286.

The regular crowd includes young and old alike with families more prevalent over the summer months. Groups of 20-somethings and the occasional work party are common. Ed and I wrap up around 4PM. After about ten practice games, Ed heads off and I go meet my wife and daughter to beat the crowds for an early dinner around 6PM. Friday afternoon bowling at Winnetka Bowl has proven to be a simple routine with wonderful rewards. - Harold Osmer, Contributor

Petersen Automotive Museum

6060 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036

The Petersen Museum
The Petersen Museum. Photo by David Zaitz.

When it comes to a Friday night date night, a museum may not always come to mind. However, if you're a gearhead and you're lucky enough to have a significant other who is one too — you'd be hard-pressed to find a more memorable date night than heading over to the Petersen for one of their after-hours events.

Join their exclusive Checkered Flag 200 membership, and you'll get access to exhibit openings that usually take place at night. These receptions include hors d'oeuvres and refreshments. There's nothing quite like admiring some of the coolest cars on earth in the glorious surroundings of "the Pete." - Glenn Oyoung, Editor At Large

Dog-De-Sac and Bob's Big Boy

4211 W Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91505

­My favorite Friday night LA spot was actually a double-header. The first being our cul-de-sac in the Hollywood Hills above Universal Studios in the early evening. Instead of car-time we had dog-time. For some strange reason we were inundated by 13 dogs living among eight houses plus a roving German Shepard belonging to an English film maker two streets below. Big dogs, medium dogs and some only as big as your head. Long hair, short hair, weird poodle cuts – anything. The two biggest and hairiest were called, I think, Belgian Bouvier’s belonging to a Movie Director and his actress wife.

Our friend Susan, who owns two standard poodles, but has since moved to Costa Rica, had the next two largest. The remainder were five small poodle mixes (terribly yappy). Two who belonged to an irascible 90-year-old who shouted at everybody all the time and held court most days. Two more who are/were owned by a highly successful TV writer, a fifth belonged to an Israeli lawyer who tried to bite his gardener at every opportunity and our golden retriever, Hugo – the world’s wonder dog.

It started quite innocently as a neighborhood gathering with a lot of tennis ball throwing, sitting on curbs and walls with lots of chatting and patting one dog after another. Then somebody made the wonderful discovery that dogs and drink certainly do mix. I think it was Susan’s boyfriend Ken who started bringing a large jug of Daquiris and glasses. Then the vino would arrive plus lots of snacks and a good time was had by all. In truth the entire cul-de-sac was smashed by 5:30 pm and several of its residents would have to be helped home.

 All those remaining on their feet would jump into a couple of cars and drop down the hill to enjoy the burgers, beer and especially the vintage car show at Bob’s Big Boy on Riverside Drive. - Stuart Rowlands, Contributor

Old Town Monrovia Street Fair

Myrtle Avenue between Olive Avenue and Walnut Avenue
Monrovia, CA

The 29th Annual Old Town Monrovia Car Show, hosted by Street Rods Forever. Photo by Roy Nakano
The 29th Annual Old Town Monrovia Car Show, hosted by Street Rods Forever. Photo by Roy Nakano

Los Angeles magazine calls it the closest thing to Mayberry for those looking for a small town adventure in the LA area, The LA Times seems to agree ("Place to eat, drink and be Mayberry"). More specifically, we're talking about Old Town Monrovia, a strip along Myrtle Avenue that runs from Foothill Avenue on the northern end (Route 66) and Olive Avenue on the southern end (one of the fruit tree streets of this city).

LA Car's Glenn Oyoung next to his Ferrari Brothers Body Shop-prepared Gulf Racing soap box car for the 2019 Monrovia Old Town Derby. Photo by Roy Nakano
LA Car's Glenn Oyoung next to his Ferrari Brothers Body Shop-prepared Gulf Racing soap box car for the 2019 Monrovia Old Town Derby. Photo by Roy Nakano

Old Town Monrovia is the site of Street Rods Forever's five-block long car show. It's also the site of the newly revived Monrovia Old Town Derby. But on Friday nights, it's the site of one of the best street fairs in Los Angeles. Alas, like everything else, it was sidelined by the pandemic. Starting on July 3rd, however, the Monrovia Street Fair and Market will be back, albeit in limited, social distancing form. In these trying times, we are happy to have even an abbreviated version of the fair. - Roy Nakano, Senior Editor

My Couch With Jim, Arte, and Alex Trebek

Right now, both my wife and I have reached “a certain age”, (let’s just say we’re both able to get a break on the stupid-high ticket prices at our local movie theater). At said theater, ticket-buying people (like us) get there at the time that the movie has been advertised as starting. Once seated, they have to endure at least 10 (maybe more, seems like hours) minutes of ear-splittingly loud “coming attractions” and outright TV-style (some very purposely corny) commercials. These annoying ads range from neighborhood car dealers, newspapers, jewelers, drain rooters, and all other manner of local commerce.

We enjoy staying out of crowds, so our Friday nights are spent safely at home, with me in charge of supper, and Jeopardy on the TV in the kitchen (I get about 75 - 80% of the questions that no one rings in on … how about you?).

Of course that is quite far from all we do. Our VCR has (at last count) stored up over 60 episodes of the great old western/steampunk series, “Wild Wild West”. We watch a couple episodes, fast-forwarding though the commercials for back taxes leniency services, garage door repair, shake-on/comb-through hair care products, mesothelioma (which I’ve now learned to pronounce correctly), “final expenses insurance”, bad skin, bad hair, bad breath, bad teeth, bad-posture, copper-“clad” frying pans, seven or eight spots for car insurance, “but wait” commercials for face masks, Military-approved sunglasses, flashlights, and indestructible emergency table laps, 5-dollar foot-longs, no cash down - no payments for the next few years deals on new cars, and mail-order dog food.

In each episode, Jim and Arte are as fresh, fearless and funny as ever and it's always an extra-special treat when Doctor Lovelace shows up with some even-more-deadly-than-the-last-time invention that’s sure to see him take over and rule North America (once again and for sure this time). You know, one really does have to stand back away and admire that little guy’s pluck, don’t you? 

PS:  I hear that the “Scorpion” series has been pulled out of mothballs and is playing on one of the backwater channels, anybody know which one? - Doug Stokes, Editor At Large

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