Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish at heart celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Here in the States, it's an excuse to go to your favorite Irish pub, drink green beer and eat a corned beef sandwich. But there's a little more history behind it.
Turns out, Saint Patrick wasn't even Irish. He was born in Roman Britain, kidnapped at 16 and brought as a slave to Ireland. He escaped, returned and is credited with bringing Christianity back to Ireland. He died March 17, 461, and since, the date has been celebrated as the Roman Catholic feast day of the patron saint of Ireland.
Now that you know the history, it's time to celebrate. Here are a few places around town offering drink and food specials.
The Bungalow: The Santa Monica restaurant is throwing a St. Patrick's Day party with green chocolate chip cookies, corned beef and cabbage, green sangria, green margaritas and more. There will also be live Irish folk-tune performances by the California Feetwarmers and Brianna Falcone. Reservations are recommended and the festivities take place from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. 1010 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 899-8530, www.thebungalowsm.com.
Casey's Irish Pub: The downtown L.A. pub is hosting its 42nd annual St. Patrick's Day street festival. The party starts at 6 a.m. with green beers, Guinness and Jameson, music from local DJs and aphoto booth. There will also be pizza from Pellicola Pizza and reuben and corned beef sandwiches from Casey's. Admission is free before 11 a.m. and $10 after. 613 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 629-2353, www.213nightlife.com/caseysirishpub.
Lucky Strike: The bowling alley and restaurant is serving its newest burger of the month creation, the Irish Burger. It's a 1/3-pound beef patty with iceberg lettuce, Tillamook white cheddar, grilled onions, bangers and Guinness BBQ sauce on a brioche bun with potato chips. It's available at all Lucky Strike locations throughout March. www.bowlluckystrike.com.
The Pikey is throwing its third St. Patrick's Day celebration Friday, Saturday and Tuesday. There will be a DJ along with special Irish-inspired menu items including corned beef with pease pudding and dumplings; lamb-stuffed cabbage purses; colcannon with pork sausages; plenty of Guinness and flights of Irish whiskey. 7617 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 850-5400, www.thepikeyla.com/.
Public School [310, 805 and 818]: The Culver City, Thousand Oaks and Sherman Oaks locations of the restaurant will offer specials March 14-17, including the Dagwood Reuben sandwich, made with corned beef, stout-Dijon mustard, Emmental cheese and bacon sauerkraut on rye; the Dragoons Irish stout short rib with shaved horseradish; and the Murphy's Law cocktail with Red Breast 12-year Irish Whisky, muddled cucumber, mint, lime and bitters. www.publicschool310.com.
Tam O'Shanter: Tam O'Shanter will open at 10 a.m., a party tent in the parking lot will open at noon, and the music starts at 2 p.m. Entertainment includes the Ploughboys and Whiskey Sunday. The tent will offer a variety of Irish-themed eats with sugar shamrock cookies, Bailey's cupcakes and corned beef and cabbage, green beer and more. 2980 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 664-0228, www.TamOShanter.com.
Tom Bergin's: The Irish pub is throwing an indoor and outdoor bash from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., with no cover charge. Beginning at 11 a.m in the parking lot, there will be a Guinness truck pouring Guinness Blonde and Harp Lager on tap; a live band and DJ and more. The pub's Bergin's Brew, which is an Irish lager made exclusively by Rogue Brewery for the restaurant; green-dyed Miller Lite, and Guinness, all priced at $8 a pint. Irish Coffee, Old Fashioneds, Irish Car Bombs and more will be available for $10. From 6 to 10:30 a.m., there will be traditional Irish breakfast with eggs, bacon or bangers, Irish beans, grilled tomato and toasted sourdough. From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., expect corned beef sandwiches, grilled chicken sandwiches, Irish grilled cheese and more while supplies last. 840 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 936-7151, www.tombergins.com.
The Whisper restaurant and lounge: This bar at the Grove has created its own barrel-aged libation called O'Boyles Wager. It's made with Tullamore Dew, Clover Honey, Murphy's Red Ale and nutmeg. Then there's the O'Doyles Wager, which is the O'Boyles Wager, aged in an oak barrel for three to four weeks before it's ready to be served. 189 The Grove Drive, F90b, Los Angeles, (323) 931-0202, www.whisperloungela.com/.
First round is on me. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_