Mistakes are the portals of discovery. At least that's what James Joyce, one of Ireland's most famous writers — and a notorious drinker — once said. The phrase rings particularly true on St. Patrick's Day, the saucy Irish holiday that is marked by an epic consumption of alcohol and plenty of corned beef and cabbage. To honor Joyce, we make the annual mistake of drinking too much and discover that we wake up feeling green. Here are some of our favorite places to make those mistakes and many others this Sunday — framed by the back of a cab, of course.
Tam O'Shanter, 2980 Los Feliz Blvd., L.A. (323) 664-0228; www.TamOShanter.com
The Tam, as this venerable Scottish-themed institution is called by its regulars, throws a giant St. Paddy's Day party every year in a tent in its parking lot. Live music by Dublin Public, Slugger O'Toole, Ploughboys and Emerald Society Pipes & Drums provide distraction while tasty pub fare and specials on green beer lubricate the proceedings.
Wirsthaus, 345 N. La Brea Ave., L.A., (323) 931-9291, www.WirsthausLA.com
Kegs and eggs. What more needs to be said? From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. this German sausage bar will offer a $27 special featuring eggs done your way alongside a savory sausage, a side of fried potatoes and all-you-can-drink draft beer. The first 20 people through the door also get a free 1-liter glass stein.
Tom Bergin's Tavern, 840 S. Fairfax Ave., L.A., (323) 936-7151, www.tombergins.com
This recently renovated Irish pub is planning a sodden affair beginning at 6 a.m. and not ceasing until the last drop is swallowed at 2 a.m. Sop up specials on stout beer and other drinks with all-day Irish breakfast specials as well as cottage pie, fish and chips and charred oysters.
St. Patrick's Day street festival at Casey's Irish Pub, 613 S. Grand Ave., L.A., (213) 629-2353; www.213nightlife.com/caseysirishpub
Casey's is closing down the streets around it, between 6th and 7th and Wilshire Boulevard in anticipation of more than 15,000 guests throughout the day and night. The shenanigans begin at 6 a.m. with a breakfast special featuring Lucky Charms, bacon, eggs and toast, and end at 2 a.m. after a day of Reuben and corned beef sandwiches, plenty of whiskey and beer specials, and live music. The event seems to have drawn a following: Last year Casey's went through 200 kegs of Guinness and 60 cases of Bushmills.
Rock & Reilly's, 8911 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 360-1400, www.rnrpub.com
Leave it to the Sunset Strip's notorious Irish whiskey bar to throw one of the biggest St. Patrick's Day bashes on the Westside. On Saturday, the back parking lot will be transformed into an outdoor festival grounds from noon to 10 p.m. featuring food trucks (Coolhaus, Famous Germany Bratwurst, Joe's Pizza),DJs and loads of festive whiskey and beer specials.
This tony Venice drinking establishment houses one of the oldest bars in the city — a basement speak-easy that hosted the rich and powerful during Prohibition. There will be no such limitations on Sunday, however, when free Irish stew will be served all day alongside $5 Irish punch and $8 Irish whiskey specials. Traditional Irish bands will also take the stage to keep the party hopping.
The Federal Bar, 5303 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, (818) 980-2555, www.thefederalbar.com
Enjoy drinks and dinner downstairs at this cozy NoHo gastropub before heading upstairs for a dance party featuring DJ 4tify and DJ Sayer. Food specials include $10 Irish nachos, $12 green eggs and corned beef flat bread, $10 Reuben sliders and Irish soda bread cupcakes with Jameson-Bailey's frosting. Speaking of whiskey, specials begin at $6. There are also $5 Guinness pints on draft.
The Tap Room at the Langham Huntington, 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena, (626) 568-3900, www.langhamtaproom.com
Sometimes you feel too grown up and too, well, tired to party like a rock star on a Sunday, which is why you might want to spend a few hours soaking up the sane tranquillity of this lovely hotel bar. Specials include a Bacon Paddy cocktail made with Jameson's, maple syrup and muddled strawberries in a glass rimmed with bacon bits, as well as $15 corned beef sliders and $8 bacon-braised Brussels sprouts.