9015 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Parking: Metered parking along Sunset Strip, $3 valet
Daily Drink Specials from 5-7 pm at Sunset Strip’s West-End Rock Standard
The other J & I used to love going to Hamburger Hamlet a few blocks west of Rainbow Bar & Grill. The décor and patrons are so immaculately preserved in their 80’s finest, we liked to pretend we got an A on our science project and our parents were taking us out to celebrate. Well, the Rainbow Bar & Grill is kind of like this, a bar that time forgot at the western end of the Sunset Strip – except instead of being a grade-A science student, we’d be more like a young Anthony Keidis out with our dad, supplying drugs to the Who and Led Zeppelin (can’t wait for the HBO show).
Rainbow Bar & Grill has a better deal on their hamburgers and drinks to boot; we paid $6.50 hamburger and fries and a $4 vodka-soda. And the bar’s quiet, calm happy hour belies what we believe must be a somewhat raucous late-night scene (or at least has seen many raucous late nights in its past). We say quiet as in not too many patrons and also featuring surprisingly quiet patio seating along Sunset. The loudest sound we heard was soundcheck at the Roxy, which just served to remind us we were in the den of rock.
Speaking of dens, although we dined on the Rainbow’s patio, a trip to the bathroom revealed that the inside of the joint looks a lot like someone’s den from 1978, complete with a fireplace and game tables, carpet and furniture that hasn’t changed since then, and a million pictures celebrating the club’s rock’n’roll history as a go-to-hangout for performers like John Lennon, John Belushi (who had his last meal here), Jim Morrison, and acts like Motley Crue and Poison.
The food was good; fries were like thicker In’N’Out fresh fried potatoes – yum! Our waitress was cool and no-nonsense as appeared the rest of the staff. Although everything here was very cool, we were a little disappointed at how quiet the happy hour was. But the prices were right as was the nice-long time-frame, so we would recommend this happy hour as a stop on your Sunset Strip happy hour tour. Or come back later in the night to watch the ghosts of Rock’s past, present, and future.
Rating: 3 Martinis