Cool neighborhood taverns, like Chicago's Streetside Cafe in Logan Square.
One thing that this part of California does not have is beautiful old brick corner taverns. The kinds of places that you walk quickly to on a cold night, to meet up with friends and enjoy great beer and good bar food.
Streetside is a short walk from my brother's flat. We tend to hit the place when I'm in town and want to treat him to some grub in exchange for overnight use of his couch. Last time I was there with him in February we drank some fine ales from Bell's Brewery of Grand Rapids Michigan and ate greasy fried food.