Los Angeles CA. 90048
Parking: $8 Valet, some street parking after 6pm on adjacent Orange Ave.
Daily, 3-7pm; $2 off all drinks, $20 margarita pitchers, $25 mojito pitchers; select appetizers from $4-6
Mid-Wilshire isn’t exactly known for its happening night spots. The strip that I’m envisioning runs from La Brea to La Cienega, has plenty of office buildings that keep the strip’s restaurants busy at breakfast and lunch. There’s also a sweet little residential neighborhood sandwiched north of Wilshire before Third Street and then also south of Wilshire. Despite the large numbers of people living in the area, you just never really hear about a big scene on this strip.
So I was pleasantly surprised by a fair number of Friday-night Happy Hour patrons visiting Life on Wilshire, an upscale sports bar/lounge that has been re-christened Varsity. The spots sit West on the strip – on the Northwest corner of Wilshire and Crescent Heights. The space is big – so big you might think there are not as many patrons as there actually were – 40 people in a small dive are always going to make it look more happening than 40 people at a large, open lounge. Still, LIFE seemed to make the numbers work; Booze & I popped by after work and were happy with the crowd – not too loud, not too quiet.
Booze started working in the area recently and her co-workers had said that Life was a little over-priced, but good. We figured we’d be fine for Happy Hour and we were. The drink deals during Happy Hour are very simple: $15 margarita pitchers, $20 mojito pitchers, and $2 off any drinks in the house – wine, beer, well drinks, call drinks, margaritas, mojitos, etc. This is a nice simple deal, but you kind of wish they’d post the prices of the drinks in the menu so you know where your $2 discount leaves you.
Their wine listing did feature price points, so I went with the $5 (during Happy Hour) Salmon Creek Cellars Chardonnay and it was delicious, with a nice “palate of apple, fig, and pineapple with a touch of vanilla.” Due to Life’s very limited draft beer selection, Booze forwent her standard black & tan and had a bottle of Stella Artois for $4 during Happy Hour.
The Happy Hour food menu is good – a selection of appetizers priced at $6 – Wings, steak sliders, mojito chicken skewers, calamari, quesadilla, jalapeno mac & cheese – as well as chips & salsa for $4. Booze had the jalapeno mac & cheese, which was nice & rich and I enjoyed the chips & salsa. The display was interesting, basically some big tortilla chips with pico de gallo poured all over them. I think I would have preferred the pico de gallo in a bowl, but it was still tasty.
Worth noting is the very nice lounge-owner, Mike, who introduced himself and explained about the bar’s transition into Varsity, the same kind of space but with more of a sports theme (Happy Hours will become Pep Rallies, you gotta love that!). It’s always nice to meet the owners and managers at our stops, so if we stop by your bar – say hi!
While an upscale sports bar isn’t exactly the ideal hangout for us HHT gals, we do hope that transitioning the venue brings about more of the clients they are looking to entertain – sugar daddies who will treat sweet & sassy girls like JG & JB to a nice Happy Hour.
Rating: 3.5 Martinis