Party Earth Review Fierce winds destroyed the original Arsenal in the 1870s, the Great Flood of 1916 laid waste to the second version, and a flicked cigarette burned the third incarnation to the ground in 1949 – but despite its accident... ... read full review
12012 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064
M–F 5pm–2am, Sa–Su 6pm–2am
Santa Monica / Westside, Los Angeles –
Fierce winds destroyed the original Arsenal in the 1870s, the Great Flood of 1916 laid waste to the second version, and a flicked cigarette burned the third incarnation to the ground in 1949 – but despite its accident-prone past, this fourth-time’s-the-charm drinking den remains a favorite among hip Angelinos thanks to its relaxed mid-week vibe, daily Happy Hour, and haphazard collection of deadly weaponry.
Groups of jeans-clad locals are the first to belly up to the lacquered bar or high-top tables in the main room, where they sample discount drafts under the haze of a vintage candelabra.
Hungry hipsters, meanwhile, take their vodka chillers to the wood-paneled barroom, where diners in cozy cherry vinyl booths attack a selection of munchies that includes macaroni and cheese pizza.
Patrons quickly discover that the walls are lined with everything from antique swords to replica rocket launchers – a nod to the tavern’s name – so if the glare of low-hanging daggers proves intimidating, more reserved revelers can escape to the patio – a sparse area crisscrossed by low-hanging exposed bulbs and lacking in any obvious instruments of death, save perhaps for the filter-less Camels the emo couples sprawled on the weathered banquettes are smoking.
Although DJs take the energy up a notch Thursdays through Sundays, guests won’t find lines out the door or a bumping dance scene.
Slightly quirky and a bit unsettling, The Arsenal nonetheless continues to stand the test of time – at least until its next calamity.
Local partiers and young professionals, birthday groups, and hip but unpretentious music lovers, 20s and 30s.
Ambient chill rock and pop, with the occasional funk or jazz number. Magicians on Tuesdays. DJs spin funk, Top 40, hip-hop, and rock Thursdays through Saturdays. Jukebox.
Bar classics like burgers and fries with gravy, as well as more adventurous offerings like macaroni and cheese pizza. Happy Hour M–F 5–8pm and Sa–Su 6–9pm.
Appetizers $5–$8, soups and salads, entrées $10–$16. Beer $5–$6, wine $7–$14, cocktails $6–$7+. Valet $4.
Casual: nice t-shirts, jeans, Chuck’s, button-downs, blazers, blouses, funky dresses, flats.
Fridays and Saturdays for the loud and lively crowd and a DJ who gets people moving – though never so much that the venue might ever be confused for a club.
The Wellesbourne (10929 West Pico Boulevard) trades the armory for a library, and offers a slightly more sedate bar experience.