4.11.2012

Isla Cantina

8788 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
310.657.8100

Parking: $6 Valet; Limited Street Parking
Days: Daily
Time: 4-7pm
Drink Deals: 2-for-1 on All Drinks, priced from $8-$14
Food Deals: $4-7 select appetizers

This past weekend, JB & I were so pumped after seeing 21 Jump Street, we decided to keep the party moving to happy hour at Mirabelle On Sunset. We probably should have checked the site first because upon arrival we learned that Mirabelle is closed for construction. Never to let a few taped up windows stop us, we kept it moving to 2 doors down to Isla Cantina.

I was well aware of Isla Cantina’s Happy Hour because they are constantly tweeting about their 2-for-1 deals. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! We wish more places would advertise their happy hours.  As luck would have it (unlike my last happy hour!), we were properly greeted and it was confirmed that Happy Hour was in session.

Isla Cantina is made up of three different,small spaces: a rotunda, a backroom, & a patio. We chose to sit at the high top tables in the rotunda because it was the coolest looking space.  The acoustics, however, weren’t too great and the ringing phone often sounded like it was ringing right at our table.
Fish Eye view. Not buzzed view... yet.
For drinks, I expected their margaritas to be the big hit given the name of the bar, but it turned out that there were many specialty cocktails that featured alcohol other than tequila.

Isla Cantina Happy Hour Rule: When ordering 2-for-1, you can not place an order for one person and share the 2nd drink with your Happy Hour partner. Each person has to order their own drink.
These tall cocktails are 2-for-1!
That kind of rubbed us the wrong way as we wanted to try to pace ourselves for a long night, but we quickly got over it.  I settled on the Midnight in Rio, a cocktail made with blackberries, Leblon cachaca, St. Germain, & fresh lime; JB ordered the Especial de Alex, a cocktail made with Ultimat vodka, raspberries, strawberries, agave nectar, & pineapple juice.  For our 2nd round, we traded drinks. The cool thing is that they bring the 2nd drink after you finish your first. For the fun of photos, I usually like to have both drinks served at once, but it was nice to have my second drink fresh and not watered down when I was ready for it.
Sippin on cocktail #2  - Especial de Alex
For eats, we ordered chips & guacamole ($4) and calamari ($6), served with two dipping sauces. The food was good, but we weren’t too crazy about the service. It appeared that if one is not constantly ordering (even when still working on what’s on the table); the restaurant could care less and start clearing your table to turn it over for someone who will spend more money. Even though no one was waiting for a table… We were served two complimentary salsas with our guacamole so we quickly ran out of chips, but no one ever offered us more chips. However, the table next to us got their chips refilled at least twice while they ordered lots. The server even cleared JB’s water while my drink was half full.  Obviously, this made us uncomfortable and we left after I finished my drink.
Lots of dips, but not enough chips.
While I enjoyed the food & drink and location, I doubt I would return to Isla Cantina without the promise of more welcoming service.

-JG

Rating: 3 Martinis

Isla Cantina on Urbanspoon

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