104 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401www.pourtal.com
Parking: Nearby SaMo lots, metered street parking
Monday-Friday, Monday – all night, Tuesday-Friday – 4-7pm, $5 select wines by the glass, $5 select appetizers
The next stop on AP’s & JB’s Monday - Santa Monica - Happy Hour Tour was Pourtal in Santa Monica, where Happy Hour goes all night Monday, and runs from 4-7pm Tuesday-Friday. The Monday that we happened to visit Pourtal was one of the hottest days on record in Los Angeles, luckily – Pourtal’s one block distance from the ocean kept us cool for our happy hour.
JG & I have been long overdue to visit Pourtal's Happy Hour since they a) their Happy Hour had come recommended from more than a few friends, b) Pourtal always show us Follow Friday love on Twitter, and c) well, we just love wine! We can see why our pallies wanted us to hit this spot up - Pourtal has a shit ton of wine and a fun way of sharing it. First off, during Happy Hour, they offer 4 selections of $5 wines by the glass. And the other cool wino thing is that they have a couple automated wine flights. Basically, you can buy a wine-debit card, which you then use to purchase individual tastings from automated wine-pouring machines. Now, for the tastings, they put together a flight of wines that go nicely together – the samples when we visited included “California Old & Rare,” “Bored to Death Blind Tasting” (inspired by the HBO show), “Genuwine Worldly Whites” and “Genuwine Worldly Reds” and the tastes cost anywhere from $1.50 to $6.50/taste. Great way to sample $115 bottles of wine! Now, during Happy Hour – Pourtal donates 15% of the tasting purchases to a different non-profit organization every two weeks. AP & I skipped on the tastings this time, but very much enjoyed our glasses of the $5 Gran Feudo Rosado on happy hour special.
Their Happy Hour also offers $5 appetizers including selections like bar nuts, hummus & pita, burrata, tater tots. AP & I shared the delicious $5 bar nuts – a mixture of almonds, cashews, walnuts, some sort of little seeds – tossed with cayenne, herb butter, brown sugar, and a hint of vanilla. The nuts were AWESOME! We met a new friend who worked at BOA across the street (where there’s also a Monday-Friday 5-7 Happy Hour we gotta check out!); she comes to Pourtal for their lamb sliders and she kindly shared her $5 Pita & Hummus, which was totally enough for the three of us to enjoy along with our other selections.
My favorite thing about Pourtal – outside of the cool wine pouring machines and the friendly customers and also the fact that it seems like a great place to visit on a date with a friend or even on your own – was their rad music selection, which alternated between Depeche Mode, Smashing Pumpkins, the Vapors, the Cure, the Smiths, and Duran Duran. I think God is their DJ…
The only thing I wish Pourtal offered was a weekend day for their Happy Hour – it’s hard for us almost-East Siders to make it over in time on a week night – though with the abundance of Santa Monica's Monday night all-nighters (The Yard and Copa d’Oro), maybe Monday is the new Saturday?!
Rating: 4.5 Martinis