Santa Monica, California 90401
Parking: $7.50 Valet, nearby SaMo parking structures (we paid $6 for 4 hours)
Drink Deals: $4 & $5 beers, $4 house wines, 20 %off select bottles of wine, $5 well drinks, $7 specialty cocktails
Food Deals: $3-10 Appetizers, $7 Sushi Rolls
Ya'll know I love when the Bro (PB) and Sis-in-Law (KB) come to town as we always manage to have our fun and scare up a little trouble. This particular Saturday night ended a such when a transient waiting at the Gates of Hell (aka the bus stop at NW corner of Sunset & La Brea) shouted at us, "Do any of you have a gerbil? Or a hamster? I'll bring the tape!" Eyes widened, we quickly hurried past to avoid any attempted gerbilling, and finished our night at our neighborhood Cheers bar, The Woods.
So that was the trouble :). The fun was several hours earlier, let's back up... PB & KB were in town with their pal, LB2, to celebrate KB's birthday with a little Happy Hour Tour of Santa Monica. After stopping at the non-Saturday Happy Hour of Ye Olde King's Head and then my beloved Bar Pintxo's Happy Hour, we found our way to the ocean-front MaKai Lounge just in time for sunset (and a Christmas Zombie crawl I wish I had gotten pictures of!).
We were very excited to end up here given the patio seating on Ocean Ave. facing the Santa Monica pier and Pacific sunset. The patio was great with a nice fire-pit to keep us warm. If it had been much cooler, the inside's swank lounge vibe would have been a fab alternative. The scene wasn’t all that busy when we arrived around 5pm, but there were a handful of couples and other patrons by the time we left.
We were quite pleased with MaKai's very nice daily 4-7pm Happy Hour that offers good deals on food and drink. Given that we'd already had beer, sangria, onion rings, pintxo's and patatas bravas at our earlier stops, we simply ordered from the $7 specialty cocktail menu and shared a $3 order of edamame (salted spiced with cayenne pepper!) and the $7 cut Salmon-Mango-Avocado roll (fishy, good). For the cocktails, I tried the Mojito recommended by our babe-a-licious server (PB called him Fabio), it was totally rad. PB had a $4 glass of the house white wine; KB went with something featuring a cucumber; and I believe LB2 had a simple martini - all really descriptive, I know.
But we were on a Tour, so as the sun set, we paid the bill and continued with stops at The Yard, Copa D'Oro, Palomino in Westwood, and finally back in our hood for gerbil requests and the Woods!
Rating: 4 Martinis