Rockaways Athletic Club
Even though President Bush made a visit to this local dive years ago to take a bite of the iconic state burger, this Rosewood mainstay somehow still manages to avoid most of the city's radar with their sign-less business-like brick building, almost nonexistent internet presence and slightly ironic name. It's a real neighborhood joint that sort of aims to stay that way, thanks to its loyal clientele that's kept the place running. The majority of the menu is good old American bar food, filled with fried things and burgers with fried things on it. There's really only one reason you need to come to Rockaways for: the pimento cheeseburger. Oozing in pimento cheese, it's a big, messy, tasty burger cooked just right with juices dripping everywhere. Washed down with a beer or root beer float, and you've got one of the best "this day sucks and I need something crazy" meals to get you through your day. Avoid the pimento cheese fries though, as they can be one of the most hit-and-miss items you'll ever have, and stick with the burger. Also, don't expect to be in and out in a hurry here. It's a bar, so plan on staying awhile if you want dinner at Rockaway.
Cock n' Bull Pub and Grille
Formally down the street where the Tap Room is now, Cock n' Bull moved to it's new location closer to USC about a year or so ago. It's a real football pub, and we're not talking about the football going on down the street. Signed soccer jerseys and memorabilia fill the walls of the restaurant, and games are constantly going on their screens when the major seasons are going on. For a pub though, their menu is limited and more American bar-ish, with burgers, po boys and the such. For the most part, it's decent, but rather ordinary stuff. I had their shrimp po boy the other day, which came with not that much shrimp, and overall just an okay eating experience. They have "bistro french fries," basically just shoestring fries, but admittedly pretty crispy. Overall, if you are a soccer fan, this is the place you need to be going, but for the food I would rather take a hike down to Rockaways for better versions of the same fare.
I usually just focus on the food, but for the Tap Room I have to say it's all about the beer. They've got the best selection of beers on tap hands down in the Rosewood area, and some very generous, knowledgeable guys behind the counter always willing to let you try out what they've got or talk beer in general. Located in the old Cock n' Bull location, as far as food is concerned they have the most limited menu of the three, but for just a relaxing, chill location for beer, it's pretty nice. For a drink, and maybe some team trivia Bingo on Tuesdays (not as mundane as it sounds, I promise), worth a visit.