Sick of taking heat from East Coasters about how every saloon in Southern California is some effete nouveau fern bar tarted up to look like it might have a pedigree stretching back to ancient times but that still reeks of eau de yup? Take them to Joe Jost's and shut them up forever.
Joe Jost's is the oldest saloon in Long Beach, and it is where hunger, thirst and pretense go to die. The beer comes in frosted 20-ounce schooners, the eggs are pickled on the premises, and the Joe's Special (polish sausage on rye) is a true classic. There is pool and snooker in the back room, and freshly roasted peanuts and cigars are sold behind the bar.
The wooden rail under the aluminum bar has been worn smooth by men who took their sons in for their first public drinks and by the sons who in turn came with their own sons. The booths and tables are dark and wooden and bear carved initials that have been varnished over again and again. The ceiling fans are old and made for function, not show. The walls are cluttered with old photos, foreign bank notes and snapshots of patrons in Joe Jost's T-shirts standing before the Alamo, the Eiffel Tower and the Great Wall of China.