The reason you sneak into your parents’ rooms when you’re a kid is because there’s cool shit in there – if there wasn’t, they wouldn’t try so hard to keep you out – and nothing is as sacred or taboo as dad’s workroom.  But life is full of disappointments, and just like the day you discovered that Santa Claus was fake and that your dog didn’t actually run away last summer and that Harry and Hermione were never going to be together, you eventually find out that your dad’s double-locked repository wasn’t hiding anything but a stash of brandy and a bunch of nude photographs that look a lot like mom.  For an experience less scarring than your father’s office, try Father’s Office.

If you were reading this out loud in a crowd of people just now, someone inevitably yelled out, “Try the Office Burger!” I am not psychic, this just happens. Every. Single. Time.  For reasons that remain mysterious, people can’t help recommending this menu item to anyone who even mentions the bar Father’s Office. I understand that this burger – which you cannot alter in any way – is supposed to be good, but I don’t understand why people who haven’t ever tried it still insist on everyone else trying it. I didn’t, but not because I felt like sticking it to conventional wisdom. First of all, every patron I talked to called the burger “famous” or “popular” or “renowned,” but nobody said that it actually tasted good. This makes me think the Office Burger is more of culinary celebrity than a distinguished delicacy. Plus, I’m a college student – I don’t have 13 bucks to spend on a slice of dead cow. Despite the Office Burger debacle, my palette and pocketbook are more inclined to beer than beef, and beer is something Father’s Office has in spades.

When asked what made Father’s Office one of the most-recommended bars in the area, doorman Adam Hebel says, “It’s the selection; the product. It’s good beers, good wine, good spirits – and free parking.”

While the close parking is appreciated, the beer selection was sensational; eliciting the kind of feeling your father’s office simply couldn’t live up to. There are seemingly more microbrew beers to choose from than you could count, covering a range from super-sweet berry ciders to hunger-sating double-bocks. The spouts cover an entire, enormous wall on the backside of the building, and face the bar’s spacious indoor seating and luxurious outdoor patio, which runs the length of Father’s Office. The mood is mellowed, almost sophisticated, but there’s an undercurrent of youthful exuberance that can’t be ignored.

 “It’s an adult establishment. No kids allowed,” says Hebel, “but there was a line of people waiting for seating earlier – and it’s Monday.”

You can try Father’s Office at either of it’s two west L.A. locations: one near Lincoln and Montana in Santa Monica; one just off of Venice in Culver City’s recently revamped Helm’s Avenue Walk. Whatever preconceived notions you might have about Culver City, this bar defies them. It’s significantly more upscale than what you’re used to finding there, but the amicable bartenders and chatty crowd keep it from being stuffy or pretentious. It might be hard to find a bar (or anything at all really) this comprehensively wonderful in Culver City of all places, but Father’s Office doesn’t rest on its noble novelty, outdoing itself by providing a gourmet menu, myriads of microbrews, and an über-fun hiding place that lives up to its hype. In a world rife with inadequacy, Father’s Office will give you something to believe in.  

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