Los Angeles is far more expensive - $4 beers are a steal in this city. But I'll let you in on a little secret: it is possible (I swear) to drink like a WSU undergrad in Los Angeles.
Where you ask?: Gyu Kaku's Happy Hour. During these 7.5 joyous hours (exact hrs. vary by location) pitchers are $4.99 each. Single beers are $.99/ea and there’s a menu of tasty food at Happy Hour prices ($1.99 - $4.99 per item for plates of marinated and ready-to-cook meats and veggies.)
When we went last week we were so impressed by the cheapness of the pitchers that we immediately ordered three pitchers for the four of us to share. Hey, it was 6:15pm so we were in a rush to get orders in and three pitchers was still only the price of one drink at XIV. As it turns out the pitchers were bigger than expected and our eyes were bigger than our livers so we ended up canceling one of the pitchers before it came out. Either way, 2 pitchers of beer, 2 large hot sakes, 4 miso soupss, and 12 plates of food later we had had our fill of food and booze and left sated and happy (at around $25/pp total.)
Gyu Kaku has locations all over but the one we hit up on Friday was on Pico, near Westside Pavillion. The hours of happiness vary by location but the one on Pico has happy hour from 12pm – 6:30pm, and then again from 9:30pm – 10:30pm (M-Th, its 10:30pm – 11:30pm on F/Sat). If you're not familiar with their set-up (and thus grossed out that I mentioned above ordering uncooked meat), Gyu Kaku is a Japanese BBQ spot that brings you the marinated meats and veggies and then you cook your own food at your table over a little grill. So now ya know.
Check out their website for each location’s hours and pricing.