Editor’s note: With the opening of the Expo Line’s extension to Santa Monica, locals have a new way to explore neighboring areas. The Daily Press will publish a weekly travelogue about what to eat, see and do near each of the stations along the Expo Line, continuing this week at the fourth non-Santa Monica stop: Palms.
For almost as long as Mondays have existed, so too has the axiom that only fools enjoy Mondays.
Good times from the previous weekend have vanished into obscurity, never to be heard from again. The next respite from the workaday grind feels light-years away, its promises agonizingly unfulfilled. A debilitating case of the Mondays has set in, and not even a viewing of “Office Space” can cure it.
If there’s an answer for Monday malaise, it’s a short walk from the Expo Line’s Palms station. Hiding in the corner of a strip mall between a nail salon and an Indonesian restaurant is Boardwalk 11, a popular West L.A. karaoke bar that hosts weekly pub trivia on Monday evenings.
It seems as though the Palms neighborhood, an increasingly popular pocket of town, was begging for a light-rail stop. The area boasts a plethora of eateries, shops and attractions, yet it’s residential density can make parking a formidable obstacle.
Weekly trivia is just one reason to venture into Palms. There’s a family-friendly farmers market Sunday mornings at the intersection of Motor Avenue and National Boulevard. There’s excellent Mexican food at El Nopal, including an unfathomably massive pregnant burrito special. And there’s the recent addition of Kogi Taqueria, the brick-and-mortar manifestation of Roy Choi’s famous Korean fusion food truck.
If you’re feeling ambitious, walk down to Venice Boulevard for even more options within a mile of the Palms station, including burgers and shakes at In-N-Out, delicious Cuban entrees at Versailles and standout dishes on the covered patio at Gaby’s Mediterranean.
But don’t forget about Boardwalk 11, where Sobriety Test Bar Trivia for more than two years has combined the fun-filled intensity of a TV game show with the riotous merriment of a football tailgate. It’s sort of like a college frat party, except that everyone is seated, adults are welcome and (most of the) attendees have real work to do the next day.
The veterans know to show up well before things start at 7 p.m. That way, they get in on Boardwalk 11’s standout happy-hour deals, including $4 beers (Bear Republic’s Racer 5 IPA and Goose Island’s 312 Urban Wheat, for example), well drinks and wine as well as discounts on select items from the food menu.
Bring a friend or five — each trivia squad is allowed to have up to six players. Grab answer sheets and pens from the table on the stage, come up with a team name that will elicit glares and groans from fellow competitors and prepare for eight rounds of fact-based fighting as emcees Eric Pierce, Stad St. Fleur and Bill Hammon pour on the snark.
Each round of trivia features a different format. In the one-question warm-up session, the team closest to the correct answer gets no points but instead wins a round of shots on the house.
From there, it’s anybody’s game. You’ll be quizzed on current events. You’ll submit answers on everything from history and geography to sports and pop culture. You’ll try to pick up on recurring themes. You might even be asked to name celebrities based on pictures of their noses or identify music artists based on warped clips of their songs.
It amounts to a two-hour episode of “Jeopardy!” but with a little more alcohol and a lot more fun.
And the trivia teams aren’t just playing for bragging rights. In addition to posing for photos with the championship trophy, the winners get $50 to keep their celebrations going.
Many players stick around for post-trivia karaoke, whether they’re feeling brave enough to sing Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” or just curious to hear their friend’s raucous rendition of Usher’s “Yeah.”
Yeah, your case of the Mondays has definitely been cured.
The Expo Line now has 19 stations covering 15.2 miles between Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica. A regular one-way fare is $1.75 and includes two hours of free transfers for riders using a TAP card. A daily pass good for unlimited rides on Metro is $7 and monthly passes are $100. Visit taptogo.net for more information.
Contact Jeff Goodman at 310-573-8351, email@example.com or on Twitter.