It's the big game Saturday night. Bruin fans know the annual contest against the Trojans is the highlight of the year, when hopes rise and the arrogant fans across town can be brought down a peg or two. Or three. Or four, as in 7-4, USC's record this year. In other words, this is a winnable ball game for Rick Neuheisel's blue and gold crew. So don't just sit at home and watch it from your couch, raise a glass with other UCLA fans at one of these watering holes.
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. but we recommend getting to any of these places early to ensure a good seat.
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1. Barney's Beanery will be hosting a viewing party at its Westwood Village location beginning at 5 p.m. The HD screens will be sure to entertain and if the game gets out of hand, there's always the scores of beers on tap and the world famous chili to distract. 1039 Broxton Ave., Westwood (310) 443-7777.
2. Westwood Brewing Company is a reliable place for some good burgers and beers, not to mention plenty of UCLA partisans ready to commiserate while the game is on. It will sure to be pretty crazy, so get there no later than 7 p.m. to start enjoying the $3 beer specials. 1097 Glendon Ave. (310) 824-0820.
3. Yes it's a chain but if deep dish pizza is your thing, BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse will definitely have the game on while you partake in a slice and a beer. Get there before 7 p.m. if not earlier to get a good seat for the action as this campus-adjacent place usually fills up quickly. 939 Broxton Ave. (31o) 209-7475.
4. Suppose you want to watch the game but holiday shopping is also on the agenda? Park yourself for a spell at Ummba Grill at the Westfield Century City mall. The stiff drinks and warm fire pit go well with the high-def screen on the bar's outdoor patio. And try some South American churrascaria food while you're there. 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., second level of mall, near the movie theaters. (310) 552-2014.
5. If you want to feel like a foreigner in your own town, check out hole in the wall Philly West Bar and Grill, home to many an East Coast transplant. The vibe may be Back East but the divvy ambience, cheap Pabst Blue Ribbon and greasy but good cheese steak sandwiches will let you know you're in a college town bar. 1870 Westwood Blvd. (310) 474-9787.