O'Brien's Irish Pub & Restaurant (Main Street)

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O'Brien's Irish Pub & Restaurant (Main Street) O'Brien's Irish Pub & Restaurant in Santa Monica, CA offers live music nightly & a great Happy Hour. Grab some pints & charm in LA with Party Earth. Los Angeles United States 33.9987255024382 -118.480111062527
3.17 14
O'Brien's Irish Pub & Restaurant (Main Street) - Pub | Restaurant | Sports Bar in Los Angeles.
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Party Earth Review No matter the time, ’tis standard at O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Restaurant to find live Celtic beats blazin’ and a raucous young crowd knee-deep in Guinness and banger sandwiches. Sunny Santa Monica afternoons – all 360 of... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    Daily noon–2am
    Opens half-hour earlier for major soccer events and 9am on Sundays during NFL season

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth O'Brien's Irish Pub & Restaurant (Main Street) Review

The Scene

O'Brien's Irish Pub & Restaurant in Santa Monica, CA offers live music nightly & a great Happy Hour. Grab some pints & charm in LA with Party Earth.

No matter the time, ’tis standard at O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Restaurant to find live Celtic beats blazin’ and a raucous young crowd knee-deep in Guinness and banger sandwiches.

Sunny Santa Monica afternoons – all 360 of them a year – lure local business types and casual shoppers to the small corner patio, where they indulge in Irish favorites like shepherd’s pie and a daily Happy Hour that runs from noon till 7pm.

Flat-screens around the central bar show diehard favoritism to rugby, but are tuned to other major sporting events when the lads aren’t on the field, while seemingly endless beer signs and Gaelic-themed posters cover the beer-stained wood-paneled walls.

A loud event is guaranteed every night, whether its Trivia Wednesdays, rock bands on Fridays, or the mix of live karaoke, ska, and country that sets up on Saturdays to blast the eardrums out of the frat boys and fun-loving groups of girls slinging pints and singing along.

Even acoustic guitar players and budding comedians can get in on the action during the week, when they take the stage with their home-spun acts to play to a mix of supporters and partiers who are just stumbling through on the way to the restroom.

Attracting lovers of Irish drinking culture and revelry since 1995, O’Brien’s Irish Pub keeps the fun going from the first whiskey-laced morning coffee to the final order of Smithwick’s at last call.

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Tip from Emma:

For some true Irish flavor, check out the traditional jam sessions that take place on the patio most Sunday afternoons during the summer. You can also drop in on the 17th of each month for regular specials and Irish music as part of their ‘St. Practice Day.’

  • Crowd

    Mostly casual area business types and Main Street shoppers taking a break during the day, transitioning at night to young frat guys, rowdy drinkers, sports fans, groups of girls on a fun night out, and festive lovers of Irish bars, 20s to late 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Live events nightly from around 9pm including rock bands, ska, traditional Irish ballads, country rock, and more.

    Trivia nights and comedy shows follow live bands, usually on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

    Five flat-screens tuned to sports and a projector in rear room.

    Caricature artist drops in twice a week or so during evening hours.

    Check venue website for full details.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Menu of pub food includes traditional Irish favorites like shepherd’s pie and fish and chips, as well as burgers, wraps, and quesadillas.

    Dog-friendly patio.

    Happy Hour daily noon–7pm. Brunch served Su noon–4pm.

  • Prices

    No cover charge. Brunch $10. Appetizers $4.50–$12, salads $8.50–$13.50, sandwiches and entrées $9.50–$17.50, desserts $6. Beer $4–$7, wine $7/glass or $28/bottle, mixed drinks $7+, cocktails $8–$10, brunch cocktails $5.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual: t-shirts, jeans, tank tops, baseball caps, light button-downs, cute skirts, shorts, fitted halter tops.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Wednesdays for the festive trivia night, Thursdays for awesomely (bad) comedy, or Friday and Saturday nights for loud music to either prime or carry the night.

  • Close By

    Circle Bar (2926 Main Street) kicks up the vibe after 10pm when lots of hotties and ex-frat boys flood the dance floor.

O'Brien's Irish Pub & Restaurant (Main Street) User Reviews

Average rating:
Irish and accessible
Peter M. Jul 24, 2013
Irish Pubs are classic hearths of late night activity and O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Restaurant is no exception to this rule. O’Brien’s attracts a younger crowd that can be rather eclectic depending on the night, but you’ll be to spot someone with a Guinness or Whiskey at all times. O’Brien’s does not deviate from the standard formula for an Irish pub. Wooden furniture, sports memorabilia, and vaguely Irish mementos are scattered about the area. While this cannot be considered a fault, the accessibility of the bar takes away from the authenticity to an extent. If it weren’t for the wide array of Whiskeys it could be mistaken for a sports bar. The food at O’Brien’s is your standard greasy bar food. Good enough to push off that hang over that is on its way tomorrow, but, again nothing particularly new. The prices for food and drink are reasonable, especially so during happy hour. There is nothing bad to say about it really. One thing that cannot ever be underappreciated is the fact that the bartenders know how to pour a Guinness properly from a Nitrogen Keg. For those in the know this is a must, but even for those who may have odd craving for Guinness when visiting O’Brien’s, the beer will good. Every night at O’Brien’s is loud and this is a good thing. Bands of every genre play here and when there is a vacancy this is filled either with Karaoke or some sort of musical equivalent in the back. It can be appreciated that this bar can act as a venue for upcoming talent, whether the talent is there or not. O’Brien’s pub is always fun and while it isn’t an embassy for Irish culture or a new take on Gaelic culture it doesn’t need to be. Irish bars are timeless anyplace they are found on the planet. And remember, never touch your Guinness until the bartender hands it to you. Perfection takes time.
A Fun Pub on Main
Randall H. Jun 26, 2013
When I lived in L.A. I didn't know anyone at first. I decided to go out by myself, and settled on O'Briens. I did a car bomb and got a Guiness. Prices weren’t too bad. There was a band playing (Ground Zero) and they were awesome. I had a blast sitting in the back room listening to them play. I know they don’t always have concerts, but when they do, you should check them out. Good bands and a cool space for viewing/dancing.
Not too shabby for bar food!
Shannon D. May 30, 2013
O'Brien's is one of many bars/restaurant along Main Street in Santa Monica that offers both libations and food. A good place to go if you're looking to have dinner to absorb all the alcohol you'll be having across the street at Circle Bar later in the night... yet this place still has the ambiance of a bar. Even with a full menu and tables and booths, it basically feels like you're eating dinner at a bar. As long as we're okay with that... My girlfriend and I came here and immediately spotted an empty booth (it's self-seating here). Our waitress immediately brought us menus and took our drink orders... the menu offered everything from fish tacos to pastas to burgers. Not too shabby for "bar food". My friend ordered the fish tacos and I decided on the grilled shrimp salad. I wish I had taken pictures! The food was presented very nicely and my friend LOVED her fish tacos. She proclaimed it the best she'd ever had. My grilled shrimp salad came with 6-8 GENEROUS pieces of huge, plump grilled shrimp, seasoned with lime juice and spices. I think an entire avocado was splayed on my salad, too! It was seriously one of the better entrée salads I had in a LONG time. I wanna say almost comparable to Cheesecake Factory's epic entrée salads... To top it all off, service was also excellent. We never lacked for anything and our server was prompt to clear our plates and ask if we needed more drinks, etc. O'Brien's is a surprising standout for me amongst all the other restaurants on Main St. Highly recommended!
Great food and better people
Paul G. Apr 11, 2013
O'Briens is more than your typical Irish pub. It is a haven in the heart of Santa Monica. The atmosphere, the food and the music are a delightful break from the world outside. More importantly, the staff are friendly, attentive and really care about their customers.
Irish pub on the SoCal beach
Craig B. Dec 12, 2012
A couple of friends and I stopped here between games (we were in town for beach ultimate tournament called Lei Out; see my reviews for Santa Monica Beach and Santa Monica Pier), and we loved it. We were really just looking for a place to catch the 49ers game in the lead up to the Super Bowl, but we wound up actually really liking this place. It looks like your standard Irish pub--lots of wood, Guinness paraphernalia everywhere--but there were actually some old Irish fellas hanging out there in the middle of the day. The fries were amazing and you can’t go wrong with a Guinness, so if you’re in the area you should make an effort to check it out.
Olivia C. Dec 3, 2012
O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Restaurant is amazing. I a huge fan of Celtic music and have spent many years looking for my favorite Irish Pub. O’Brien’s has made my top three list with its great décor and fun crowd. Always the nicest people gather here on any given night. It is open three hundred and sixty five days a year so you can always find a good time here. It is so nice just to sit down and have a Guinness with a few of your close friends and make a couple new ones in the process. The coolest people hang out here so you are bound to have a fun-filled night.
Choose O'Brien's to find your Molly Malones and Danny Boys - A social pub for a fun night out!
Danielle N. Nov 28, 2012
Far away from the touristy family area of 3rd St. Promenade, you’ll find a late night play haven. O’ Brien’s is one of the featured favorites of locals, who frequent an excellent nightlife area in Santa Monica on Main St. Parking is easy to find nearby(free street parking on Neilson Way after 8pm). The food at O'Brien's is good, its your typical greasy pub food-- the later your order, the better. The curly fries go particularly well with a few generously poured drinks. The bartenders are fast, friendly, and working hard for your tips. Order a delicious Magners – The Original Irish Cider, and drink like the Irish do! Sit down and have a ball goofing off with your friends, watching the latest sports events (there are TVs everywhere) or meeting new people. I've had several successful dates come from a wild night out at O'Brien's. It's a rowdy crowd of beach loving bros, sports fans, and the occasional Brit. The Santa Monica Dolphins (local rugby team) can be found in here on occasion. I also run into hipsters from time to time and a vast array of pub-crawlers wearing silly holiday-themed costumes. Entertainment to the max! Arrive early on Fridays and Saturdays if you plan to sit, the bar fills up fast. As far as creature comforts go: a two-stall bathroom is better than one! There is rarely a difficult line to deal with here. Drink up! Hot Tip: When you first arrive, get your stamp from Main on Main, the nightclub next door. This will grant you unlimited in and out access to the club for the rest of the evening without having to deal with the very long lines that show up past 10pm. Main on Main has a terrible bathroom situation, run next door to use O’Brien’s bathroom– the establishment doesn’t get angry at you for pulling those types of drunken shenanigans. O'Brien's is great for dates, and for groups.
This ones for the ladies...
Brent L. Oct 5, 2012
Gents--if you want to REALLY feel like youre in an irish pub, with swearing, singing, and the eventual regret of a nice spent blurry...BUT know you have to drag the ball in chain who will require clean toilet seats, a lack of smell, and the ability to say "this is so cute"--THEN WE HAVE YOUR BAR! Go and get your drink on. EVERYONE is irish in a pub...but dont have that constant worry of where your woman is, or if you will end up getting mugged on your way out. Just like most things in this part of town, its a swanky version of the down home, dive bar.
Low key night out.
Beth D. Oct 4, 2012
O'Brien's Irish Pub in Santa Monca is a great place for a beer and some pub food. It can certainly get loud and crowded but not in the "LA scene way". I appreciate the low key nature of the pub but it can still be a fun night out with the girls. I have been there on a number of occasions when they have had live music and even though it usually drowns out any hope of conversation, its still worth the trip. Of course it is easier if you live on the west side because it's in the heart of Santa Monica but even those east sides should try out some place on this side of the 405 once in a while. If you are in the mood for a low key, fun night where you don't have to worry about spending your rent money on cover charges and horribly over priced cocktails.
Fun Irish Bar
Matt M. Oct 4, 2012
I want to preface this post by saying that I have an affinity for any sort of Irish Pub or bar. I love Guinness so its nice to find a place in Los Angeles that pours it correctly. The atmosphere is fun and the place is sectioned off nicely (there's an outside patio, a few tables, and a performance area for live music). The bartenders know their drinks and even have the wherewithal to realize when patrons are too drunk for another drink. On a side note, the bouncers have always been helpful and never dicks to my group. A buddy of mine had a hard time standing up as he left the bar and the bouncer was nice enough to grab us a bottle of water for the cab ride home. It's a definite place to check out on Main Street. Dress comfortable but presentable, no one will care.
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