Posts Tagged ‘Happy Hour’

643 North is welcome addition to Chinatown

Don't Drink This cocktail at 643 North

Don’t Drink This cocktail at 643 North

Chinatown is the new downtown.

That’s what it certainly feels like, with newcomers such as Chego, Starry Kitchen and General Lee’s making their way into the historically low-income neighborhood just north of its rapidly gentrifying big brother, downtown Los Angeles. And now comes 643 North, a restaurant and bar from Los Angeles native and owner of Michael J’s Catering, Michael Ourieff.

643 North, named for its address at 643 N. Spring St., is a new concept for Chinatown. It serves non-Asian food, for one. But unlike its neighbor across the street Spring Street Smoke House, which specializes in barbecue, 643 North offers a full menu ranging from a pickled beet salad and a lamb burger to a roasted eggplant pizza and ossobuco ravioli. And there’s a full bar with a decidedly drinkable cocktail menu.

Chef Oz Ramuco (Dar Maghreb, Caffe Opera and Bistro, The Roosevelt Hotel) helms the kitchen here, and Bar Manager Adam Acuff (Blue Palms Brew House, Far Bar) designs the cocktail program.

Some menu standouts include the mini grilled cheese sandwiches with roasted pears, white and yellow cheddar, wild arugula, honey mustard and white truffle oil, which thankfully aren’t heavy on the truffle oil. The beef sliders come perfectly cooked — which is no small feat, mind you — and are made with grass-fed beef patties, pickled red onions and white cheddar on brioche. When it comes to the mains, the seared diver scallops are buttery and come on a bed of parmesan farro and asparagus tips.

Mini grilled cheese

Mini grilled cheese

Beef sliders

Beef sliders

Scallops

Seared diver scallops

Do not skip dessert here; get the butter cake, which arrives at your table warm, topped with vanilla sugar, chantilly crème and raspberry coulis. So simple, yet so good.

Butter cake

Butter cake

As for the cocktails, first and foremost I have to applaud Acuff for having a menu dedicated to building your own martini or manhattan. This is brilliant. On the regular drink menu, try the Don’t Drink This (pictured above) made with Evan Williams Single Barrel bourbon, maraschino liqueur, Dolin sweet vermouth, Fernet Branca and fire. The seasonal Go Figure, with Avion reposado, Benedictine, Carpano Antica Formula vermouth, fig thyme syrup and pinot noir, is an interesting combo, especially with the addition of the wine.

Go Figure cocktail

Go Figure cocktail

There’s also a happy hour available Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6:43 p.m. (cute, huh?) with discounted bites, including the beef sliders, and $3 draught beer and $5 wine, martinis and manhattans. How can you beat a $5 manhattan?

So next time you’re in the area on your way to a Dodger game or just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown proper, pop in to 643 North. They’ll treat you right.

Note: This meal was hosted.

18

12 2013

Black Friday hangover cures: happy hour at The Backyard, afternoon tea at BLVD 16

Sausage, sauerkraut and mustards at the W Los Angeles' The Backyard

Sausage, sauerkraut and mustards at the W Los Angeles’ The Backyard

After all that Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, consider kicking back with some brews and bites at W Los Angeles‘ new happy hour at The Backyard, or cocktails and afternoon tea at BLVD 16 at Hotel Palomar.

Featuring beers from L.A.’s own Angel City Brewery and Bavarian-inspired comfort food from Executive Chef Dakota Weiss, The Backyard’s happy hour — offered Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. — is set poolside in a cozy, heated tent at the W hotel in Westwood, creating a winter beer garden for us Angelenos.

Waffle with short rib

Waffle with short rib

Here’s the menu:

*Beer nuts ($3)

*Potato pancakes with sour cream, chives and sweet mustard ($5)

–With Kobe hot dogs ($8)

*Waffle bites ‘n stout herbed gravy ($6)

–With duck confit ($7)

–With short rib ($8)

*Daily sausage with trio of mustards ($6)

*Housemade pickles ($3)

Everything is made in-house, including the mustards. Make sure to try the sausage special (the house made mustards are great), waffle with one of the tender meats, and potato pancakes with the Kobe beef hot dogs.

Potato pancakes with Kobe beef hot dogs

Potato pancakes with Kobe beef hot dogs

At BLVD 16, also in Westwood, take an afternoon break with some tea, mini sandwiches and sweets, available from 3 to 5 p.m. with 24 hour notice ($27 per person).

Afternoon tea at BLVD 16

Afternoon tea at BLVD 16

*Sweet & savory sandwiches

–Cucumber: cream cheese dill aioli, watercress salad, lemon vinaigrette

–Prosciutto: sliced red onion, avocado, fig aioli

–Peanut butter: house marmalade, banana

*Pastries and sweets

–House seasonal scones with clotted cream, fruit preserves

–Butter tea cookies with house marmalade

–Chocolate covered strawberries

*Selection of Mighty Leaf teas

*Choice of bubbly ($10)

The scones are nice with clotted cream, and the prosciutto sandwich offers a nice savory balance to the sweetness of the cookies and marmalade.

Afternoon tea snacks

Afternoon tea snacks

If you’re here on a Tuesday, check out the Trees on Tuesdays cocktail menu ($9 each) featuring Greenbar distillery spirits. For every drink sold off this menu, Greenbar will plant a tree.

*Sittin’ Pretty: Tru vodka, Fair goji berry liqueur, Marie Brizard triple sec, fresh lime juice

*Barbados Winter: Crusoe spiced rum, Velvet Falernum, Aperol, fresh lemon juice, pineapple juice, clove syrup

*Herbal Remedy: Tru gin, green Chartreuse, Bar Keep lavender bitters, lavender flowers, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup

Barbados Winter

Barbados Winter

Note: These tastings were hosted.

02

12 2013

Happy hour report: Public School 612

PS 612

Recess happy hour at Public School 612

If you’ve been to the downtown L.A. Daily Grill lately, you may have noticed a separate bar space just past the host stand. That’s Public School 612 (AKA PS 612), a new gastropub concept from the owners of the Daily Grill restaurants. This is the first of what the owners hope will be many PS 612 locations.

The bar opens every day at 4:00 p.m. and features food and drink, including a nicely edited beer list. There’s also a Recess happy hour on weekdays from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a bar bites menu that tops out at $4. The drink specials don’t include the bar’s cocktails, but there’s a $4 handle of beer (that’s actually available all night long), a $5 Skinny Margarita and a $10 carafe of wine.

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09

08 2011

No more Mr. Douche Bag: Les Deux redux

Smashed Irishman at Les Deux

The nightclub formerly known as Les Deux (of “The Hills” fame) is now the gastropub Les Deux. Les Deux Estate, actually, but you can keep calling it Les Deux. Anyway, the folks behind The Buffalo Club in Santa Monica took over the former nightclub space and turned it into a classy restaurant and bar with a more-than-respectable food and drink menu.

I recently visited the new Les Deux during happy hour, which goes until 7:30 p.m. but applies only to food. Boo. But the cocktails are really pretty great, so that makes the $12 to $15 price tags a bit more bearable (not really; those are steep prices!). Anyway, if you’re going to shell out for one of the drinks on the menu, try the Smashed Irishman made with Jameson whiskey, lemon, basil, red bell pepper, honey and a Guinness reduction float. It’s reminiscent of Rivera’s Blood Sugar Sex Magic, which is one of my favorite cocktails. If you’d like something custom made, ask the friendly mixologist behind the bar for a Dealer’s Choice, which he will create for you based on your preferred flavor profile.

The grilled cheese with caramelized onions is also a good choice, though the tomato soup that comes with it is just OK. When I was there, it seemed that the staff was still working out some kinks: I ordered the grilled cheese off the happy menu, which listed fries as the accompaniment, but got the soup, which is part of the dish on the regular menu. Oh, well. The mac and cheese is another worthy menu item, with its topping of bread crumbs and a bruschetta-like mixture giving it a little something special.

Grilled cheese sandwich with caramelized onions

Mac and cheese

Les Deux is definitely going to become one of my go-to Hollywood happy hour spots. Now, if only the cocktail menu were part of the discount…

Further reading: Les Deux Estate, a Hollywood Sequel You Need to See by Thirsty In LA

21

01 2011

Happy hour report: Chaya Downtown’s Japanese beer garden

The downtown location of Chaya, a Japanese-French brasserie mini chain, has recently launched a weekly beer garden menu available on its patio every Monday night throughout the summer. This is a once-a-week special menu offered in addition to its everyday happy hour menu, both of which are available all night from 5:00 p.m. to close. Not too shabby!

The beer garden menu features yakitori skewers ($2 each) grilled on the patio on new hibachis and include chicken, short rib, beef tongue, shrimp and shiitake mushrooms. I was recently invited by the restaurant to try the new skewers, and I liked the chicken the best, which shows mastery in grilling skills, I’d say. All the others were good, too, though the shiitake were a bit dry for my taste. Maybe top them with some of that teriyaki or chimichurri sauce that come on the other skewers?

Yakitori, from top: shrimp, beef tongue, shiitake, short rib and chicken

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26

04 2010

Happy hour alert: Oliverio at Avalon Hotel

Oliverio at Avalon Hotel. From Curbed LA.

Oliverio, the restaurant that took over the old Blue on Blue space at the Avalon Hotel last fall, now has a twice-weekly happy hour. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Oliverio’s bar and cocktail menus are half-off, which means all cocktails are $7 instead of the regularly priced $14. The Lombardia made with bourbon, apple, cinnamon and orange sounds good to me (I love bourbon!). Food includes a goat cheese and black summer truffle pizza for $11 (normally $22) or truffle and parmesan fries for $4 (normally $8).

Note: I haven’t been to the Avalon’s restaurant since it was Blue on Blue under Chef Scott Garrett. Now that the space is Oliverio under Chef Mirko Paderno, I’ll have to go back and check it out.

31

03 2010

Weekend eats

Plan accordingly.

  • Friday: Get into the fall spirit with a free 12 oz. pumpkin ice blended or latte from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Oh, and did I mention it’s free? It’s free. I love free!
  • Saturday and Sunday: Nurse that hangover with a Brats and Beer special at Rush Street in Culver City. For $10, you’ll get a brat, fries and a PBR. You’ll even have your choice of truffle fries, sweet potato or seasoned tater tots. And if that PBR isn’t strong enough for you, for $20 you can get bottomless mimosas or Bloody Marys (you can even build your own at the restaurant’s Bloody Mary bar).
  • Sunday and Monday: 25 Degrees, home to a very tasty burger, now hosts NFL nights with game-time specials of $2.50 cans of PBR, half-off all other beer (which comes out to $3.50), $8 for half dozen and $12 for a dozen wings (either buffalo or spicy soy BBQ), and $10 for a plate of chili cheese fries. And for the rest of the week, 25 Degrees has happy hour deals every day — yes, you read that correctly — from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (early, I know) of half-off selected wines and cocktails, beer, milkshakes, and side dishes.

15

10 2009

Ridiculously good cocktail: Rivera’s Blood Sugar Sex Magic

From Looka!/Gumbo Pages.

From Looka!/Gumbo Pages.

Normally I wouldn’t dedicate a whole post to just one cocktail, but the Blood Sugar Sex Magic is like nothing I’ve ever tasted. I’ve been thinking about it, on and off, since first trying it a couple weeks ago before heading over to Rosa Mexicano’s par-tay. And then at a dinner last week, Matt of Dig Lounge brought it up, and now I’m thinking about it a lot again. So now I have to blog about it, plain and simple.

I had some time to kill before Rosa Mexicano, so Caroline of Caroline on Crack met me for some pre-party drinks at Rivera, which is conveniently within walking distance of L.A. Live downtown. After perusing the cocktail menu, my eye landed on the Blood Sugar Sex Magic: a perfect combination of rye whiskey, agave nectar, basil and red bell pepper. Yes, you read correctly. Since Caroline, who knows her whiskey, said she’d had the cocktail and liked it, I though I’d give it a try. And I’m sure glad I did. It’s absolutely amazing: fragrant, well-balanced, intriguing even.

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12

10 2009

Happy hour report: Le Merigot hotel

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Pomegranate cosmo (foreground), Berry belini

Like any smart hotel, Le Merigot’s Le Troquet bar in Santa Monica is now offering a happy hour deal, but it’s slightly different: it’s a late-night happy hour, from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Food on the bar menu is 30 percent off, and well drinks are 50 percent off.

I had never been to Le Merigot, so when the hotel invited me in to experience the new happy hour deal, I accepted the offer. The hotel is on Ocean Avenue near the Viceroy and Loews hotels, so I figured it would be a nice property and possibly a place I’d go to when I’m in the area.

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14

09 2009

First impressions: The Association

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I checked out downtown Los Angeles’ The Association bar last week for the first time, and I was pleasantly surprised at finding this hidden gem (just about literally — it’s right next door to Cole’s, but I’ve never noticed it before and passed it by this time because there’s no sign!). Esther of e*starLA and I stopped by the bar for its Twitter Tuesday special: $2 off cocktails from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and a free plate of cheese, crackers and grapes from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. I love free bar food!

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10

08 2009