The Arsenal

Bar / Lounge / Restaurant
The Arsenal 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... Los Angeles United States 34.029586 -118.449482
3.6 18
The Arsenal - Bar | Lounge | Restaurant in Los Angeles.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

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

  • Hours:

    M–F 5pm–2am, Sa–Su 6pm–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth The Arsenal Review

The Scene

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...

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.

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Tip from Emma:

Already sick of the week? Head to Arsenal on a Tuesday from 9–11pm, when a magician goes around to everyone’s table and performs.

  • Crowd

    Local partiers and young professionals, birthday groups, and hip but unpretentious music lovers, 20s and 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    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.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    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.

  • Prices

    Appetizers $5–$8, soups and salads, entrées $10–$16. Beer $5–$6, wine $7–$14, cocktails $6–$7+. Valet $4.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual: nice t-shirts, jeans, Chuck’s, button-downs, blazers, blouses, funky dresses, flats.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    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.

  • Close By

    The Wellesbourne (10929 West Pico Boulevard) trades the armory for a library, and offers a slightly more sedate bar experience.

The Arsenal User Reviews

Average rating:
An Arsenal of Good Times
Gerard Nash G. Jun 3, 2013
My friends and I had decided to go to this place, as recommended by Yelp, and it was definitely worth it. The food they service is above average considering the price is only around $10, which is better than most places around the area, such as the quesdillias and the wings. They also have some great drinks, but the service can be a little slow. For us, it took around 25-30 minutes to get our entrees, but luckily, the waiters are really genuine, friendly people, making the wait less painful. Definitely a good spot to enjoy some hang out time with the homies.
Good food, good drinks, great prices!
Angela M. Mar 22, 2013
This is one of those places that makes me mad that I didn't know existed. One of my good friends and I were looking for a place that neither of us had been before and finally (after an hour or so of Googling, Yelping and grumbling tummies) we decided on The Arsenal. We checked out their website and jumped in the car. When we got there, we parked on a side street (look out for permit only areas!!!), bought some fresh squeezed orange juice from a little kid and walked in. This place was not what I was expecting, but it was better than what I thought. I love the atmosphere, I felt like I had time traveled back about 50 years or so. We settled on happy hour beer and tons of food (we wanted to try everything). A Mac 'n' Cheese pizza, the Modern burger and fries... and, last but not least, the Beignet battered Oreos. I will be back just for those damn Oreos.. and happy hour. Our server/waitress wasn't exactly friendly, but she wasn't bad either, just doing her job, and I don't fault people for that. There was a cute bartender, baseball on tv, music in the background.. overall, a great ambiance. I don't venture up to the westside too often, I'm a South Bay kid, but I will definitely be back here. It's relaxed, not hipster-infested and my kind of place. It's not fussy, but you'll be well taken care of and is a great place for a couple people, or a decent sized group.
so much fun!
Brittney B. Dec 3, 2012
Happy hour is amazing here! Really friendly waitress who just let me and my friends do our own thing and was very sweet and nice. Only thing is there is a new rule... NO SANDALS?? Lame. I don't love the inside, but the outdoor patio is great. We go here for post-work happy hours a fair bit - best to call ahead and reserve a table (no charge!). Happy hour food is actually pretty good - the pizza is handmade with fresh mozzarella, and not just some thrown-in-the-oven frozen brick.
Very Fun and Hip!
caroline h. Nov 30, 2012
This bar is very entertaining to go to because there are so many fun people that work here! I went here one time with my boyfriend and we laughed the night away because there was a magician who came to our table and made funny jokes and did the coolest tricks! I had never seen such a funny and entertaining man before. I loved this place because it was kind of old fashioned yet hip at the same time. There are a lot of hipsters. The food is also so good because they cook your food just right! You will love it!
Great
N. A. Nov 28, 2012
Loaded with eager locals and admirable cuisine, The Arsenal is one of the best bars in West LA. The ideal time to go is during Happy Hour, where I would personally suggest their $5 chicken wings or classic poutine fries. Their draft beers and well drinks are $3-$4, which usually leads to a few empty glasses of rum and cokes. Though if you're feeling fancy, try their Midori Sour's; not that they're at price discount but it just tastes good. The decor is probably one of the most striking parts about The Arsenal due to the assorted set of guns on the wall. But that personally doesn't phase me -- I'm from southwest Virginia and it reminds me of home. Whether you're a young professional or trying to be one, The Arsenal has an atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.
Chillin
Julie T. Nov 20, 2012
Great bar with several rooms for patrons to wander about including a patio area. Drew, the manager, and his staff are really cool. He helped recommend drinks and made sure that my friends and I had a good time. I had this delicious key lime pie martini- dessert in a cup. My friend heard that the Arsenal also had poutine, which is a nostalgic favorite of mine from Montreal. I had to try it. My friends and I split the poutine which is definitely meant to be shared. I'd say it was pretty delicious, and the best poutine I've had in the states. Unfortunately I went during First Friday in Venice so apparently a lot of the usual patrons were eating from food trucks, but I plan on going back to check it out again! Only unfortunate thing is that I wish it was near more popular bars.. It's a bit of an island.
Meet in the Middle
Nick G. Oct 5, 2012
In the battle of East side vs. West side The Arsenal is one place that both "siders" can agree on as a meeting place. It is easy to get to for both gangs of people. Overall, a mellow joint with good drinks and good music. Even on crowded nights you can make friends outside of your own group, avoiding the pretension that hangs over some LA bars. Early evenings it is a good place to meet a few friends or business associates for a meal and a few drinks. A helpful and efficient staff help to top off a fun joint. Only low point is parking. It can be maddening to drive up and down Pico trying to find a parking spot. To save yourself any grief plan on using their valet.
Small, Divey, and Fun!
Chad F. Oct 5, 2012
The Arsenal is a great place to have your birthday party in LA if you're looking for something casual, unpretentious, and fun. The management is great, super nice and accomodating, and the bar has this cool, old school look to it - making it seem more divey and cool. It's very small, and sometimes it does take a while for get a drink, but the drinks are well-priced and strong. It's got an outstanding patio area and later in the evening has a great DJ and dance area. I worked for Fox for many years and this was the place to go to after work for drinks and fun. You can't go wrong with the Arsenal.
Easy breezy good time
Beth M. Oct 3, 2012
I live and work near this bar and have always had a good time. The restaurant side of the bar is sort of old school, but comfortable. By old school, I mean 70s/80s NYC type place, but great "feel good" food. You don't eat here for your health - you eat here to coat your stomach for a night of cocktails (and on the weekends - dancing!) Everyone's always been friendly here and the dress can either be casual or a little dressy, but too dressy and you might appear out of place!
Easy standby to meet friends or throw a party with well-priced drinks and food sure to please all your friends.
Alexandra S. Oct 3, 2012
Parking: easy street or valet. Door charge: none. Music: DJ or great jukebox and not shout-over loud. Decor: old school red leather buttoned booths dining room; 10-12 seater walk-up bar; or loung-ey outdoor patio that's smoking friendly with high 2-tops and 4-tops for your food/drinks or low cozy couches/coffee tables. If it was your neighborhood bar that you could walk to, you'd be set. Bathrooms: one only for the women which creates a regular line so plan ahead. Casual westside atmosphere that welcomes summer dresses/heels mixed with the tshirt/jean/flip-flops depending on your mood that night. They're always welcoming.
The perfect bar for happy hour
Melinda H. Oct 2, 2012
I’ve been going to The Arsenal for years and have enjoyed many a birthday party, date, and laid back night out with friends here.  They have a wonderfully priced happy hour filled with cheap drinks and pretty decent food.  The mac and cheese is heavenly.  If you’re there on Friday or Saturday nights, there’s a DJ present with a makeshift dance floor.  The bar area can get pretty packed, but there’s plenty of seating in the adjoining patio and restaurant areas.  The only downside is finding a place to park- it’s either valet or circling to find a spot on Pico or Bundy.  
It's Not a Club?
Victor H. Sep 18, 2012
The only reason The Arsenal is not a club is because its not big enough to be a club. I've been here a few times for friends birthdays and every time we end up dancing to great music. In fact you'll find the dance floor empty because the DJ always plays good music that ranges from rock, to 80s, to hip hop to reggaeton, yes I heard reggaeton one night. The crowd is young, hip and easy to get along with. Don't be surprised if you end up dancing with a stranger to some Notorious BIG. The food is not the best, at least the fish and chips I ordered tasted like cardboard and was left for the waiter to pick up. Drinks are fairly priced and good and they serve wine, fancy. The only bad thing was finding parking when we got there. They have valet but who pays for valet now-a-days? If you are an early bird you'll score a parking spot right in front of the entrance if not and valet is not your thing get ready to walkt a couple blocks (sorry ladies with high heels).
Many a Good Night Can Be Had at The Arsenal
Sara G. Aug 17, 2012
The Arsenal is a great place to meet friends from the east and west sides, the South Bay, and the Valley. It's geography is definitely one of the most appealing aspects of this spot. I'm not sure if this is still the case, but it used to be a go-to spot for Hollywood assistants and junior execs on the west side to grab drinks after work. If you're going to go, go on a Saturday night around 11pm, and head straight to the patio. I've always ran into random people from my past here - it's just that kind of place. The patio is also a great place to take over for a birthday party. There is both a lounge area, and a group of tables. You can basically reserve the entire patio hassle-free. It's covered so even if it's chilly, you're protected from the weather. I never remember what I drink here - but I do remember it being good.
A relaxing bar with great food too!
Daniel H. Aug 7, 2012
I went to Arsenal almost by accident a few weeks back with my roommate; we were going out to sushi on Pico only to find the place closed, and across the street happened to be the Arsenal, so we went to see if they served food. It was a clear evening, so we sat at a nice booth in the patio, which was a quaint respite from the busy street in front. Turns out their food selection is as extensive as the drinks, and there were so many mouth-watering options that it literally took me 15 minutes to decide. I finally decided on the roast turkey with garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables drizzled in gravy, and my friends California burger looked equally delicious when it came out. We both went through a couple of frothy draft beers during the meal, and were so happy by the end of it that we celebrated with a couple rounds of jäger bombs – which needless to say kicked off the rest of our night with a bang.
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