5018 York Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90042
Parking: 2-hour meters located in a lot behind the bar, also residential street parking
Monday-Friday, 3-7pm, $4 draft beers
Look at my blog-roll line-up and you’ll see the majority of my reviews take place in the West Hollywood/Hollywood Hills West jurisdiction. And you gotta forgive me; it’s just ten times easier for me for me to swing by any of these Happy Hour spots after my 9-6 work-day. Recognizing this and wanting to cover as much ground as possible – on my first beautiful sunny day off from work in a while, I knew I had to head at least 10 miles out for a new happy hour!
For this HH adventure, I traveled to Highland Park to visit Booze. I’m really starting to dig this area, because yeah, gentrification is happening, but it doesn’t feel like corporatization. There’s families, old shops, new shops, and there’s kind of a general feeling of people being pretty grounded. Even the “hipsters” seem a little more down-to-earth.
First, Booze & I took in a matinee of SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD at the $4 Highland Theatre. Please note that you get what you pay for with their happy hour movie pricing – dirty movie screens, not the best projection in the world, and movie staff that step in to watch the movie, but don’t close the door. Still, $4 = cool!
Next stop: one of Booze’s favorite local gastropubs, the York. The York is great – delicious food, a way cool jukebox that steadily pumped out the Rolling Stones, doo-wop, & some 80’s kinda-stuff, a good number of happy hour patrons, a nice beer & drink selection. But their happy hour isn’t so grand. On weekdays, from 3-7pm, you can get $4 draft beers, which saves you $1-2 (Booze & I enjoyed a combination of black & tans, Wyder’s Pear Cider, and the Eagle Rock Brewery Limbo). No food deals, no other drink deals. The good news is that the drinks aren’t that pricey anyway – $5 well drinks, $6 margaritas.
Comparatively, the food’s a little on the pricier side. We ordered a delicious manchego cheese plate with olives, arugula, honey, and grilled bread for $6 (not so bad), but our dinner sandwiches – for Booze a cheeseburger (which they’re known for) and my Portobello sandwich – with fries were both $13. Very tasty and not bad prices for rather gourmet items.
Booze & I theorized that they draw you in with promises of happy hour and are just so impressed by the food that you don’t care if the happy hour specials aren’t so wonderful. Which is fine, but as is the case with most bars that don’t have HH food specials, I don’t think it would hurt the York to offer a small selection of $5 plates during happy hour. Just so people feel like they’re getting a deal.
Though it’s not like the York is hurting for business – we were early birds there at 3 pm and over the course of the next several hours were joined by a bar-full of new friends (no, really, everyone seemed so nice there, we were making new pals left & right, literally some cool kids to our left and a new Aussie friend to our right). We did find strange the number of children – there were 3 babies and one 1 older child that got there around 5 pm. The kids were quiet & well-behaved and the families were gone by the time the 7pm rush started. So I guess props to the bar for having that kind of kid-friendly atmosphere and props to the parents for still having lives :)?
At any rate, I did very much enjoy my time at the York and would love to visit again. Though I think the next Highland Park HH stop is … the Cave!
Rating: 2.5 Martinis (for Happy Hour), 5 martinis (for general gastropub experience)