The Upper West

3321 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403

Parking: Metered street parking, free after 6pm. $6 valet starting at 6pm.
Monday nights, 5-10pm, Tuesday - Friday, 5-7pm, $3 beers, $4 wines, & $6 cocktails, and bar food from $4-8

Forgive me, Jesus in LA, for I have sinned. It has been three weeks since my last happy hour.

It’s not that I’ve been intentionally not going to happy hour. It’s just that I have been in
production madness/very much in need of happy hour. That never happens and that won’t be happening again. I’m back.

For my first days of returning to my normal self, my friend, June, suggested lunch or happy hour. I chose the latter. I even chose a west side happy hour, closer to her office, so that we could start as soon as she got out of work and that’s how I ended up at The Upper West, my first happy hour back on the circuit. I been to The Upper West for dinner once before and was bummed that I had missed their happy hour so it was fresh on my mind as far as Santa Monica happy hours go.

It turns out there’s not much of a happy hour scene. Most people arrive later for a full meal,

which is the smarter choice since the bar bites aren’t much of a deal. As we were meeting up at dinnertime, we quickly got our grub on. I ordered two delicious ahi tuna tacos ($4 a la cart),which isn’t much of a deal at all due to their tiny size. Plus on the regular menu, you get 3 tacos for $12. You see what they’re doing here? Changing the wording does not make a happy hour deal if the prices are the same. Just saying.

June ordered the curried wings, which I recommend whether or not you’re a curry fan. However, June wasn’t crazy about the $8 price. Like the ahi tuna tacos, I think $2 could have been shaved off the happy hour price. The only price I could get on board with was the lamb nacho bites for $7 and perfect for sharing. As promised by the bartender, the nacho bites are more like mini tostados so every single chip is covered with goodness, or as he said “You won’t get any naked chips. Yes, I said naked.”

Now, you all know I didn’t go to happy hour just to stuff my face; we did cocktails, too! I ordered the peach caipirinha ($6), made with sagatiba cachaca, muddled with limes, and shaken peach nectar. Given the fancy digs of the place and wording of the drink descriptions, I expected to see fresh ingredients, not a shaken can of Kern’s peach nectar. The drink was good nonetheless. June opted for the ginger cosmo ($6), which she loved and made sure to share that with the bartender, but we both switched to the house white wine ($4) for our next and final round.

As for the crowd, The Upper West is not a place I would return to for happy hour. The acoustics in there are terrible as the crowd grows, especially when there are kids thrown into the mix. The first time I went there, there was a party with two screaming kids, one that ran around. This time - just babies. I love kids, I really do and I hope to have some of my own. Being from the Midwest, almost all of my friends have 2+ kids that I have helped wrangle from time to time, but they would never take their kids or allow them to run around a nice looking place like The Upper West. Target? Yes. The Upper West? No. Kudos for being kid friendly, but it just might not be everyone’s thing when enjoying an after work cocktail.

Perhaps with the family scene and the pricing, The Upper West is catering to the established career, family man and woman, not that crazed career singles, looking to mingle. After all, there is a happy hour for everyone and JB & I are here to find them.

Rating: 3 Martinis

Upper West on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails