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Best Neighborhood Bar (Mid-County) 


The bartender during happy hour at Barrister's is Kyla. Kyla Berlener. She's 32, a dark-haired whirling dervish with a personality the color of gold, as when the evening sun lights upon on the rows of dark liquors. Like her pours, Kyla's smile is generous. If there were a price of admission here (which of course there isn't), she'd be worth it all by herself. The bar is her living room and she plays the entertaining host. When newcomers inquire about her name, a regular named Bruce will invariably let out a playful whoop: "It's Kyla — K-Y, like the jelly, LA, like the city!" A cascade of laughter ensues, and though Kyla's heard it time and again, she laughs along too. ("Oh, Bruce.") Barrister's is a veritable Cheers, though it caters to a distinctly professional set — lawyers with briefcases, administrative assistants in short evening dresses and pumps, and stockbrokers in white shirts and glittery cufflinks (like Bruce). It's a merry little meeting place for grown-ups. The talk is lively, the atmosphere elegant, and the six TV sets are always tuned to a ballgame, Headline News or soccer. (Yeah, soccer fans are as well-stocked here as the number of draft beers on tap.) And did we mention Kyla?

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