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Local favorite: Hyperion Public a hangout for post-hipsters

The Silver Lake pub is a neighborhood spot with karaoke, lots of TVs, an inventive menu, and basketball in the driveway on weekends.

May 17, 2013|By August Brown
  • An inviting new pub in Silver Lake.
An inviting new pub in Silver Lake. (Lawrence K. Ho, Los Angeles…)

Like so many Hollywood night-life ventures, the idea for the new bar and restaurant Hyperion Public came about when a few friends looked around a room full of amped-up young guys chasing girls around, and thought, "Hmm, maybe we should open a bar together."

Granted, that first meeting ground was actually the local preschool where John Speaks, Paddy Aubrey and Akida Mashaka's kids attended. But the principle holds. Silver Lake's Hyperion Public is a friendly, occasionally rowdy and pointedly local pub that's becoming a staple hang for neighborhood post-hipsters since its October opening. "We wanted to make a place where you could walk in at 4 p.m. and accidentally wind up staying until 2 a.m.," Speaks said. But after a few rounds of cocktails, karaoke and their Pakistani tomato-lentil soup, you might not want to go home at all.

Where: Not to be confused with the also-delightful Hyperion Tavern just down the street, Hyperion Public is close enough to the Silver Lake Trader Joe's that you'll probably see that one noise-rock drummer you went home with loading up on six-packs of Simpler Times. Hyperion's bright and airy dining room opens onto the street with a picture-window view of its communal table. But the real action comes when you walk behind the building and up an unlighted stairwell into the bar, a cozy cave of dark wood and low ceilings covered in black tile.

Inside: Los Feliz dudes taking in a hockey game on the half-dozen TVs; thirtysomething ladies fresh off a Silver Lake Reservoir jog rewarding themselves with chicken wings and a few drinks; a pair of pixieish singer-songwriters who winkingly call themselves the Artists and harmonize to soft rock covers. Though located at the flash point of Councilman Eric Garcetti's famed Tri-Hipster Axis, the crowd is definitely civilians in the war of alt-culture one-upmanship (and thank goodness). Thursday karaoke nights often include big, sloppy odes to R. Kelly hits, and Speaks will probably join you on harmonies.

Your drink: The beer is crafty but not precious about it (Flying Dog, Allagash and North Coast Scrimshaw on tap). But start with one of the Hyperion Public's cocktails playing on local lore, like the Walking Man, with Stoli, muddled grapes and fresh-cut basil. Just don't have so many that you meet the tragic fate of its namesake (who died in a hot tub).

A substantial dinner menu includes such diverse items as buttermilk fried chicken and a quinoa-and-black-bean burger. Aubrey, the chef, ran a mac-and-cheese-centric Hollywood catering company before this, and he has a perpetual challenge with the cooks to invent a new flavor every night. "Once I was on a lomo saltado kick, so we made a mac-and cheese version of it with French fries sticking out everywhere," Aubrey said, practically aglow at the memory.

Why: Because almost every other late-night spot in Silver Lake is a sweaty music venue or a restaurant you can't afford. Here they have pickup basketball tournaments in the driveway on weekends. Get ready to stay a while.

Hyperion Public, 2538 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Open daily for dinner and drinks, with weekend brunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and happy hour 4-7 p.m. Mon.-Thurs. and 3-7 p.m. Fri. Draft beer $6-$8, cocktails $12.

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