The Yard

The Yard
119 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Parking: Limited Metered Street Parking, Public Parking Garages – 1st 2 hours free, $1 every 30 minutes after, Flat Rate of $3 after 6pm
Daily, 5-7pm, all night on Monday nights, $3 Beers, $5 Margaritas & Wine, Select Eats for $5-6
I’ve been wanted to check out The Yard ever since The Minty and Uncouth Gourmands wrote about their visit on the latest Hot Bartender Crawl. Since Uncouth Josie and I were long overdo for a cocktail meet up, I suggested that we meet at The Yard before I headed off to Chicago.

I met Josie at the bar, my favorite place to sit for happy hour investigative reporting, and I was glad I did because I was able to meet Bartender Blake, as seen on the Hot Bartender Crawl. The Yard gives off a chill, neighborhood bar feel rather than the overcrowded, hustle & bustle of the nearby 3rd Street Promenade. As I took photos of the menu (to avoid hand cramps from writing it all down), Bartender Blake let me know that the menu changes often. With a menu that includes farmer’s market fresh ingredients for food
and drink, I can’t be mad at that. At all.

For drinks, I started out with a $5 glass of pinot grigio. After watching (and smelling!) Blake mix fresh fruit cocktails, I was anxious to try one of them, any of them! Blake was so sweet to offer us sample sizes of the Blood Orange Fizz, a gin fizz with a blood orange twist. Next up, I ordered my favorite of the night, the BackYard Lemonade, made of gin, ginger ale, lemon juice, St. Germaine, & a hint of mint. As $11, it is not a happy hour cocktail but I just love any cocktail that includes lemonade. Lemon Drop Martinis used to be my drink, but sometimes I would drink so many that I would lose my voice – oops!

The fun of enjoying happy hour with a foodie is that you end up trying different foods instead of just the usual order of fries or calamari. We shared the fresh fish tacos ($5 at happy hour) and a variety of fresh cheese & tomatoes on special for their Thursday Grilled Cheese Night. To add more to our food adventure, we got to buddy up to former Top Chef cast member Chef CJ who brought us a couple of different sample dishes that were not on the menu.

The Yard has been around since 2008, and I was surprised to not have heard of it before. I’m sure that its proximity to the 3rd Street Promenade overpopulated with tourists and street performers is what kept me away. The bar wasn’t touristy at all. The crowd included a diverse mix in their late 20s/30s who likely came straight from work. No beer pong here. After my happy hour visit, I would for sure go back.
Rating: 5 Martinis

*Photo of Bartender Blake courtesy of The Minty

Yard Santa Monica on Urbanspoon

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