In addition to your usual Irish Coffee, O'Brien's in Santa Monica serves five other fun alcoholic coffee drinks. The Nutty Irishman, made with Frangelico, was beckoning (why are nutty Irishmen in bars always beckoning? Must be my red hair. And their beer goggles).
I wanted something unusual, so I went for the kioki - coffee mixed with Kahlua and brandy. It would never have occured to me to mix those liquers, but it really worked. The bartender made a fresh pot of coffee, and the float of heavy cream on top helped to make this my favorite drink of the night.
The benches were comfortable, and the decor was just Irish enough without being overwhelming. Some pubs can really overdo it with the wallhangings. The restaurant was clean and friendly. I immediately thought it would be a nice place to take my mother for lunch. My husband immediately thought it reminded him of TGI Fridays.
It wasn't overcrowded, and there were plenty of seats. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood. There were burly, laughing guys with Irish accents working the door. The barstools were occupied by 20-something blondes in short skirts. So if you're not in the mood for a coffee drink, you still might find something to keep you warm.
2226 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Photo by Elise Thompson for LAist