From the Disney lot to the digital hives of Culver City, a neighborhood-by-neighborhood guide to accelerating your Fourth of July patriotism by skipping work and watching USA battle Belgium at 1 p.m. on Tuesday
“We should leave work and go watch the game.” - Everyone
It's already a slow work week with the 4th of July on Friday. The “Out of Office until July 7th” replies are building up, and 1 p.m. is already the de rigueur time for lunch across the entertainment industry.
That's a golazo of perfect timing for kick-off as the USA battles Belgium in the round 16 elimination match of the World Cup at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday.
Let's compound the pre-4th productivity gap with enhanced soccer enthusiasm of all flavors – ginned up as an excuse to go to a bar, L.A. Kings-esque bandwagon, or genuine – with a guide of how not to commit the unpatriotic sin of watching the game alone.
Step 1: Convince your direct supervisor that online streaming does not do the “beautiful game” justice.
For steps two through “can we just go home now it's already 3:30 p.m.?”, read below.
Click to jump to your work neighborhood:
Disney Lot: Buena Vista Commissary
They have all the tables facing towards the screen, which makes sense since they have the rest of the country's eyes facing their cable cash cow ESPN's screens, with english language broadcast and streaming rights.
ABC Building: The Riverside Commissary provides a second “on-campus” option on the first floor of the ABC building.
NBCUniversal: With the commissary under construction, the match screens in the Temporary Dining Services cafe ( old Bank of America).
CityWalk: Just joking. You have a California driver's license, right? If you had this idea, contrary to what you may see on local news of large crowds watching sporting events here, they are not projecting the match.
CBS Studio Center (f.k.a. CBS Radford): Carla's Cafe is showing it in both english and spanish. Those “Big Brother” houseguests sequestered a few buildings away on the lot all summer have no idea what is going on.
The King's Head: (12969 Ventura Blvd.) Warning: There has been a pro-european clientele in here, but should be littered with Yanks. A great soccer pub.
Paramount Commissary: $100 million from “Transformers,” so uh, yeah, what work? Yup, it is on inside the cafe.
Cat and Fiddle:(6530 Sunset Blvd.) Pro: Watch outside in the huge courtyard. Con: They are putting in a $15/person/table minimum during the USA game.
*Opening Special* Cabo Cantina: (Sunset at Sweetzer) They usually don't open the metal gate until their 2-for-1 happy hour at 4 p.m., but on Tuesday they will be full of screaming gringos early.
Lala's: (7229 Melrose) If you're starting your day early, or optimistically scouting the US’ next opponent in the 9 a.m. game, this Argentine embassy on Melrose shows games on the patio.
Belmont: (La Cienega, just north of Melrose) They conveniently turn their tables to “stadium-mode” and have created a wall of monitors. The amphibious outdoors feel makes this a bright option.
Goal: (8334 Third St.) A celebrity favorite for sporting events, it's a bowling alley style cave with hopes that everyone will be yelling out the name on the front door in victory. It looks like this:
Barney's Beanery: (8447 Santa Monica Blvd.) As NFL fans know well, you have to wake up early in the morning to get a table here.
MGM, UTA, and Paradigm, I'm going to quote your Beverly Hills neighbor WME's client Jeff Probst here: “Got nothing for you.”
Industry lunch spots The Grill on the Alley (one TV at the bar), Barney's (closed for the summer doing renovations), and assistant favorite Greenleaf (lots of salad, but no TV), come up nil.
Best Bet: Sidebar (across from Cut inside the Regent Beverly Wilshire) rolled in extra TV's for the month and is pushing a “Mano de Dios” cocktail, cribbing Diego Maradona's historically controversial “hand of god” goal for Argentina that lifted them over England in 1986.
The Fox Lot: As much as you enjoy ESPN's beachside set and Bob Ley, prepare to say goodbye. Fox takes over the rights to the next World Cup in 2018 (which will fall in to a time zone abyss from Russia) and launches more conveniently with the Women's World Cup 2015 (in Canada).
They are committed. USA vs. Belgium will screen in News Cafe, Moe's Cafe, and the Commissary Grill.
Off the Lot and at the Mall: There are no TV's at snooty Craft. At the mall, Gulfstream has only two at the bar, while Seasons ups that with one big one in the dining room and will take reservations. If you are stuck near the mall, I'd try BJ's.
Sony Lot: As a global sponsor, Sony ads ring the pitches in Brazil. In Culver City, the lunchtime crowd in the commissary can check the game inside.
Rush Street: (9546 W. Washington Blvd.) This is the best bet for going off the lot in Culver City. They claim room for 399 “US fans”, splashing their allegiance on their homepage. With 15 wide screen TVs, they are ready.
Rocco's Tavern: (3843 Main St.) Because you can still watch from the outdoor patio, there is less guilt involved with being inside a dark bar on a beautiful workday.
Water Garden/Colorado Center/”Yahoo Center”: There is nothing in the Water Garden, and barely nothing in the Colorado Center, with only the Daily Grill offering soundless visuals. Employees of Yahoo, Hulu, and beyond, go plug in to the Santa Monica economy.
Daily Pint: (2310 Pico Blvd.) British owner Phil McGovern does interviews in his Chelsea football jersey and uses Oasis tracks in his marketing. This place makes a lot of “best-of” lists.
King's Head (full name: “Ye Olde King's Head”): (116 Santa Monica Blvd.) Packed, touristy, and a default option. They are requiring a “$20 minimum spend” per person or a $20 cover charge during the game, which will be on throughout the pub and restaurant spaces.
Cock ‘n Bull: (2947 Lincoln Blvd.) More soccer than scene, with a 135” projector screen and 4:00 a.m. openings for european matches.
On the Waterfront: (205 Ocean Front Walk) No more “could have been” – the US is a contender. Celebrate Team USA's narrow loss to Germany that got them to this game by stuffing down the german pretzels and beer from a seat right on the beach.
Nikki's (72 Market St.) A weekend night spot for the post college crowd, it's open special for #USABEL.
Finally, no matter how important someone is to your career, if they try to schedule a lunch with you on Tuesday at any Le Pain Quotidien, delete their contact info immediately. That traitor eats at the clandestinely Belgian chain.