The Federal Bar

5303 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601

Parking: Free Lot!
Days: Daily
Times: 3-6pm
Drink Deals: $2 off Beers, $3 House Wine, $5 Manhattans, Martinis, Margaritas, Mojitos, Old Fashioned, & Side Car
Food Deals: $2-off all “Pass Arounds”  

Last year, I visited The Federal Bar when it first opened. There were many, many kinks to be worked out so I swore off the place until they got a Happy Hour. Well, not only do they now have a Happy Hour, but it’s also daily!

On a Sunday Fun Day, JB & I ventured out to North Hollywood to check out The Federal, followed by Firenze (review later this week!).  We selected a booth in the corner so we could get the full scope of the place and enjoyed our people watching. For a Sunday afternoon, The Federal drew a pretty decent and diverse crowd. 

JG + JB + cool manis + cocktails = a great Sunday Fun Day
I kicked the day off with a minty fresh mojito ($5) to go with the summer breeze; while JB ordered the Old-Fashioned, here made with lots of orange ($5).  The drinks were good, but it was the appetizers that are worth writing home about. You see, the appetizers are humorously called “pass arounds” and they are $2 off during Happy Hour. I joked that it sounds like something a lower class family would call appetizers when they try to impress some bourgeois in-laws to be. I can see the movie now, starring Roseanne with a flashy tray of pigs in a blanket! “Ya wanna pass that pig in a blanket tray around, hon?”

Old Fashioned & Mojito - $5 each!
For “pass arounds,” JB & I ordered the grilled artichoke ($5) and for meat eating me, the mini-stuffed blue cheese burgers ($6).  Although not on happy hour, we also split a cheese plate (3 cheeses for $10) with Old Amsterdam (gouda), Purple Haze (goat cheese), and La Tur (goat, sheep, & cow milk) cheeses.  The cheese plate and artichoke were pretty amazing, but my burgers were not. While they were good, I could not taste a hint of blue cheese. 

No blue cheese here....
...but lots of cheese & treats here!
We were also going to split the fried feta olives ($5) but the server told us that they were out of them so we got some House Fries instead ($5 not on HH).  Maybe they were out of blue cheese, too? And when our friend Ad-bot came to join us, they didn’t have his original dark beer choice and he ordered the special coffee beer, which just wasn’t quite what he was looking for. It was quite disappointing because on my original visit, The Federal was out of a few food and drink items; a year later they’re still running out of items early in the day. The menu was also a bummer for JB with its lack of vegetarian options (thank heaven for cheese plates!).  Even market fresh restaurants with rotating items, like The Yard, keep items in stock so I’m not sure what the story is with The Federal’s inventory.

While the food and drinks were good, I would still only visit for happy hour only. The prices are good and the in-stock food is great, but the service still leaves something to be desired, especially to pay for regular priced items.

- JG

Rating: 3 Martinis

The Federal Bar on Urbanspoon

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