As 2011 comes to a close and the Tupacalypse of 2012 nears (I don’t really believe the Tupacalypse is coming, though I highly recommend Daniel Pinchbeck’s awesome tome 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl to quit fearing and learn to love the changes that could be at hand) – I sit here drinking my Disarrono & Cranberry Juice and reflect over the year in Happy Hour Touring. 2011 saw us hit the LA Wine Festival and attempt our first at home Twitter Wine Tasting and it also saw us continue doing what we do... visiting lotsa Happy Hours!
We’ve seen favorites close (so long Mexico (the bar, not the country)!); relocate (hello Boho at Hollywood & Highland); and well… some just stay golden like Ponyboy (love our standards the Woods and Bodega Wine Bar) And then, there’s a whole new batch of favorites – new spots we first visited in 2011, of which I present a select few below:
In 7th grade, I was in a play called Tied to the Tracks; mercifully, it only had a 2-night run!
This sign reminds me of it.
Villains – Downtown (Arts District)
Technically not a Happy Hour, but homegirl (that’d be me) just loves this spot – Wild West saloon meets American Gothic in an off the beaten path location in a crazy cool (and slightly scary) part of the downtown Arts District. Like where you might film a post-apocalyptic movie in LA and not need to dress the set! I digress… While the $9 Sno-Cones are well worth their higher price tag, you can also get by on less with Villains’ $3 tall-boys of Schlitz & Bud Light. Yay for Villains (boo for superheroes?)!
Yxta, beautiful Yxta!
Yxta – Downtown
Much agreed with JG’s inclusion of Yxta on her Best of 2011 list. This beautiful space is also a little off the beaten path too – that is unless you find yourself in Skid Row often (no judgement!) – and has phenomenal food and beverage! The restaurant is a primo-supremo event space so be sure to follow Yxta on Facebook so you can keep track of when they’re hosting private events so you don’t miss the fantab Happy Hour.
$5 Chickpea Fritters @ Public Kitchen
Public Kitchen – Hollywood
How do I love the Hotel Roosevelt? Let me count the ways. 1) The beautiful pool and Tropicana bar with bathing beauties and casual celeb sightings (Colin Farrell on his phone near the entrance – My ma about shat her pants, I told her not to because that surely would not impress Colin Farrell). 2) 25 Degrees and their truly wonderful Happy Hour where I can get a glass of wine and more French fries & onion rings than anyone should eat for like $8. 3) Another new and terrific Happy Hour at Public Kitchen, that tres tres chic restaurant with $5 drinks and an appetizer of the week (alongside some swell side items). The food is delicious and the setting is… sublime.
JB & Matching Frosty Stella at Second Story
Second Story Restaurant – South Bay
Sometimes it takes a visiting friend to get you to visit another part of town and find a new great Happy Hour. Thankfully, pal & HHT-enthusiast AP was in town for work and we made our way to a couple South Bay Happy Hours, of which the bomb was Second Story Restaurant at the Belamar Hotel. With a daily 4-7pm Happy Hour, Second Story offers up $4 drink specials (including draft Stella in a frosty mug!) and an assortment of bites (starters, entrees, AND desserts) for half-off – all in a chill nouveau-retro lounge at a boutique hotel!
Blood Orange and White Peach & Hibiscus Margaritas ($4.50 each)
Sure, you’ve got to head west for this one, but what’s an 8-hour drive for a rad happy hour with the most delicious vanilla margarita you’ve ever had (and maybe the first you’ve ever tried)? Half-kidding aside, I loved checking out this Happy Hour with Tucson-local AP; Blanco is a beautiful light & airy bar-restaurant with fantastically priced gourmet eats and drinks (½ off margaritas, $2.50 bottles of beer, and ½ off starters & ceviche).
What new favorites will 2012 find for The Happy Hour Tour? We look forward to finding out!
Until then, wishing you all a wonderful new year full of good booze, good-er friends, and being a good person – all about the GOOD!
Oh and Happy Tupacalypse ;)!