From grit to hip. Far Bar rises from the ashes of a famous vintage Chinese cafe.

Take a visual journey through the Far Bar in Little Tokyo


Story and photos by Raul de Paz


Downtown Los Angeles is quickly becoming a hub for some of the best bars in Southern California. Far Bar in Little Tokyo is located in one of the oldest buildings in Los Angeles, the historic Far East building, built in 1896. The site is the former home of the 1930s Far East Chop Suey Cafe that closed down after some major damage from the Northridge Earthquake in 1994. After some historical renovations, Far Bar opened its doors in 2005 and is now recognized as one of the best bars in downtown Los Angeles. Known for their masterful mixology and a selection of craft beer that is hard to surpass, the Far Bar is not to be overlooked. Treat your taste buds to a Moscow Mule, quench your thirst with a Witbier, or sate your hunger with any of the seven varieties of half-pound burgers. Did I mention they have Sapporo beer braised beef short rib tacos, bacon fried rice and wasabi fries?

Take a seat at the front bar with a great view of the Little Tokyo Village or walk a little further past the restrooms to the back bar, which easily resembles a speak-easy. Like the outdoors? Then go even further to the back patio that time seemingly forgot. Sit down under the stars and lights for a romantic evening or just enjoy the scenery with your drink of choice.

You know you’ve found it when you see the neon signs.
Always well lit, the bar beckons customers to enter.
An open seat, hooray!
With over ten televisions throughout the bar, you’ll never miss a game.
The Lost Abbey Red Barn Saison is one of my favorite starters.
Ryan makes a killer Old-Fashioned. Bulleit Rye is my poison of choice.
No, you’re not drunk. But the counterclockwise direction of this clock will certainly convince you otherwise.
Ever have a shot of bitters? It’s, well, real bitter.
With over 30 craft on draft, you’ll be sure to have a happy hour. Sorry, no Bud, Miller, or Coors served here.
I once attempted to drink every beer on this list. I made it all the way down to #7.
The Teriyaki Sliders pair well with the Saison. If you aren’t sure ask Theo, he’ll be sure to help you make a tasty selection.
With the bar this close to the patio your next drink is just a hop away.
I found it relaxing, almost meditative, to sit in the patio with a beer in one hand and a book in the other.
Next time, come in through the alley. The tourists will awe in your superior knowledge of Little Tokyo’s best bar.

Raul de Paz is a graduate of the Mt. San Antonio Journalism Program. He is a photographer and videographer for Kingston Brass in Chino, Calif. and a freelance photographer in Los Angeles. His photos have been featured in publications like the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

This story is a part of a special alumni series. Students who have graduated or transferred from Mt. San Antonio’s journalism program are featured weekly.

Substance is a publication of the Mt. San Antonio College Journalism Program. The program recently moved its newsroom over to Medium as part of a one-year experiment. Read about it here.