1320 Echo Park Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90026-3318
Parking: Metered & Free Street Parking
Drink Deals: $4 Tap & Bottle Beers, $5 Well Drinks & Select Wines by the Glass, $20 Select Wines by the Bottle; $7 Specialty Cocktails
Food Deals: $4-6 Small Plates
Extra Deals: Wicked Wednesday: $20 Select Bottles of Wine + $5 for all items on food menu
UnBrunch Sunday: $2 off beer, wine, and cocktails with any food purchase from 4-9pm.
Allston Yacht Club is located in a very warm space on Echo Park Blvd., just north of Sunset. The dining room is not much larger than a large dining room in a home, so it’s cozy. The walls are painted a warm yellow that picks up the Western setting sun during a summertime Happy Hour and the walls adorned with artsy posters. On top of that, the waitresses are very nice, so much as letting 2 on-their-way-to-drunk-asses (that’d be Kitty Packard & yours truly) sample the excess Basement Window martini they had made for another table.
I was glad to finally have a chance to visit the spot since I had heard good things about its Tuesday-Saturday Happy Hour and its Wicked Wednesdays with every item on the food menu item for just $5 and $20 select wine bottles all night, plus I really like the fact that it has Yacht Club in its name! KP and I found our way this time on a Saturday night after a terrific classic film screening of WILD RIVER at the LA Film Festival and before an art show at our friend’s gallery exhibiting hand-drawn maps of the LA area. A very hip night indeed – ripe for a hip Happy Hour!!
Don’t let the Yacht Club name trick you into thinking it’s all Cape Cod drinks and Maine Lobsters with dudes in madras shorts and loafers with no socks (I don’t know – I think I’m just cobbling together all my stereotypes of rich “Yalies” at a yacht club :) - the AYC is actually kind of a gourmet restaurant/bar whose website description sums it up well: “Serving up creative cocktails, eclectic small plates, good wines by the glass.”
Happy Hour falls along those lines as well and we set about to ordering the 2 glasses of Farnese Montepulciano, a very smooth red wine that’s definitely light enough for summer and several appetizers – Fries with Chimichurri (a parsley and garlic pureed dipping sauce) for $4, Flatbread with Swiss cheese and Shitake mushrooms for $6, and Jalapeno & Corn Fritters for $5. Everything tasted delicious – I especially loved the corn fritters with their crunchy outside texture and hint of spiciness and the Chimichurri dipping sauce with the fries.
Be warned that “small plates” does mean kind of small plates (except for the fries, which were more medium plate – KP and I went in pretty hungry and the small plates were almost just enough, but still left us slightly hungry. A visit to Barragan’s would remedy this, though I’m sure one more item from the Small Plates menu would have done it too!
Although I did kind of want to be adventurous with the $7 specialty cocktail Happy Hour list (including the Allston Sunrise (Vodka, Campari, Canton, Tangerine), a Dark & Stormy (with Peach-infused Dark Rum (yum!), Fresh Lime, and Ginger Beer), and more), I stuck with the Montepulciano for Drink #2 and KP had the Falernia Pedro Ximenez wine – a crisp and summery white wine. As mentioned above, our kindly waitress/bartender let us taste-test one of the Basement Window, a non-HH drink priced at $9. We were told that it would taste like a Tootsie Roll, which it totally did with its odd, but inventive mix of Tequila, Kahlua, and Pomegranate.
Happy Hour does run a little short – just an hour and a half on Tuesday-Saturday, but it’s all good with its Wicked Wednesdays and the fun sounding “Unbrunch Sundays” with $2 off beer, wine, and cocktails with any food purchase from 4-9pm.
Rating: 4 Martinis