Pasadena, CA 91101
Parking: Bodega is on Colorado Blvd., so bring some cash for any of the nearby lots or some change for the side street meters.
Daily, 4-7 pm (Monday all night, yeah!), $3 off wines by the glass, $7 off carafes, $8 off bottles, $2 off al beers, $6 Soju drinks, $5-7 select appetizers
Bodega Bar in Pasadena shares more than a few admirable traits with its sister bar in Santa Monica. Same happy hour specials, similar classy & upscale, yet very laid back vibe. But for my $$, the Pasadena location has an even cooler feature that the Santa Monica location can’t boast, the main section of the indoor bar essentially opens up to the outside patio area. So it feels like an outdoor summer space with all the 21st century accoutrements of a modern bar! I was disappointed that by the time Bodega Bar opens at 4 pm, the sun has shifted east, rendering the west-facing bar in shadow, but that's a minor complaint for such a grand idea as an open wall at a bar!
Like I said, the deals are fine - basically the same as Bodega in Santa Monica (link review) - $3 off wines by the glass, $5-7 food items. For this trip, I went for the $5 Private Label, the house white wine and opted for $5 bruschetta & olive tapenade and the $5 hummus w/ pita & apple. Still wish there were a couple more food options, but the bruschetta was fabulous and the apple/hummus combination made me wonder why I'd never thought to try the two together before! Instant classic!
And lucky for me, the bar's happy hour is daily, so no worries that I can't make it over in time on a week night - I was happy to have a wonderful lazy Sunday afternoon to just be... My pal, Sven, & I were the only customers when the joint opened at 4, but by the time we left an hour later, we had already been joined by at least five more groups of cool-seeming people (friends, parents & grown up kids, divorcee date night(!), etc).
It’ll be interesting to see what the upcoming Hollywood location will bring! Word on the street is the new location will open in June.
Rating: 4 Martinis