Los Angeles, CA 91003
Parking: Free lot, street parking in the Arts District
Times: All the time
Drink Deals: Not technically a Happy Hour – $3 Schlitz, Tecate, and Bud Light; $8 for a Draft Beer with a shot
Food Deals: Nyet, but appetizers range from $4-6
If you’re going to get all technical on me, Villains doesn’t technically have a Happy Hour. But that’s just a technicality because really, what’s not Happy about $3 Schlitz Tall Boys all the damn time?! Especially at a cool ass space that looks like the best of the Wild West mixed with a little Gothic Romance, a side of Steampunk, and more artsy folks than you could shake your fist at!
The bro was in town visiting before his upcoming move (yeah for the visit, boo for the move) and he & Booze & I had already taken the subway to Chinatown and Little Tokyo, where we’d hit Far Bar (no weekend Happy Hour); then moseyed through the Arts District, where we’d hoped to visit Yxta Cocina Mexicana, one of the rare downtown Saturday Happy Hours I had hoped to review. Unfortunately, they were closed for a private event, so we hauled bootay over to Villains, whose goodness had been extolled by everyone from JG to Booze to Kitty Packard.
I was excited to finally visit the spot and loved it upon arrival – there’s a big free parking lot that leads right into the double-wide doors, which lead right into the heart of the bar, which sits in front of this amazing wooden mirror art. From the bar looking out, there are hundreds of colored glass bottles sitting on shelves along the large glass windows, filtering the light in their rainbow colors. There’s seating inside and outside and best of all, upstairs. This is where the Wild West comes in – sitting upstairs, I felt like I was in an old Western shanty-town keeping tabs on all the locals. Very cool.
Besides the $3 Schlitz, Villains also offers $3 Bud Lights & Tecates (which they had run out of). On top of that, they’ve got a wide selection of draft beers served in glass mugs for $6 – add a shot and it’s only $8. For a medium-sized draft beer + shot, it’s $10 and for a large w/shot, it’s $16. Prices go up for Premium & Super Premium drinks.
Not as budget friendly are the $10 wines by the glass, the $12-13 specialty drinks, and sadly, the awesome $9 Sno-Cone Fix that Villains is known for. Pick any fruit and any spirit and they’ll make you up a delicious grown-up Sno-Cone treat; I don’t think I’ve had a better cocktail in recent days than the fantastic Strawberry & Rum concoction I ordered. Booze got Lemon & Vodka, which was all right, but man, mine was better :).
As we had dinner plans to visit Wurstküche just a few blocks away, we forwent the dining experience at Villains, though I definitely plan to sample some vittles next time I visit. In the past, JG has tried the Grilled Cheese with Bacon Marmalade and loved how crispy the sandwich was. Some other exciting Happy Hour-y food options include Fire Roasted Corn on the Cob ($4), Bourbon Bacon Caramel Corn ($5), Wicked Fries w/ Parmesan & Parsley ($6), and Indian Peas – Deep Fried Chick Peas dusted with Chili-Lemon Sea Salt ($5). Dios mio, I’m salivating just thinking about my next visit!!
Final note – I mentioned arty folks at the bar, don’t be alarmed, it’s not Hipster Heaven, it’s more like “Shiiiiiiiiit… Anything Goes.” Everyone seemed super-chill from the nice bartender ladies to the other patrons to the cool bouncer enforcing the Dress Code at the door. The Dress Code sign leads me to believe the scene might get a little rowdier at night, but hey for a Saturday afternoon adventure, we say – head downtown!
Rating: 4 Martinis (pretty good for a non-Happy Hour!)