Happy Holidays!!

The Happy Hour Tour is on holiday vacation for the next 2 weeks. We’ll return in January with new reviews from Memphis, Tucson, San Diego, New Zealand, and of course Los Angeles!

Please don’t forget to vote for your favorite LA Drinking Blog! Vote now through December 31st.

We wish everyone a safe & happy holidays filled with spiked egg nog, cider, & hot chocolate!

Jennie & Jessica


Pizza Fusion

7950 W. Sunset Blvd.
Suite 104
Los Angeles, CA 90046

1-hr validated parking in Sunset & Hayworth complex

M-F, 4-7 pm, $4 beers & $5 wines by the glass and five select appetizers/personal pizzas from $5-7 at this swanky new earth-friendly pizza place (New menu items! $7 Sojutini's - Lemon Drop, Pineapple, Spatini (Cucumber), and Jalapeno Infusion)

Pizza Fusion is a cool new alternative pizza venue ever so close & convenient to JB's office! We love the company's eco-friendly stance and their tasty pizzas (offered on a range of crusts including gluten-free, and made with organic ingredients), colorful salads, and the wonderful flatbread & dip trio. It was natural that we were totally stoked* to find out about their happy hour. In fact, we'd like to think our suggestion to make it 5-7 pm instead of 4-6 pm had something to do with their decision to go with a 4-7 pm happy hour.

After visiting Pizza Fusion's happy hour, we'll still say that we love the place as a restaurant, we're just not crazy about Pizza Fusion as a happy hour. For starters, the menu only consists of 5 food items, and you know us, we like variety! On top of that, the aforementioned wonderful flatbread & dip trio is one of those menu items, discounted $1 from the average price ($6 instead of $6.99). And yes, $1 could amount to 5 lbs of food at the food bank**, but in happy-hour-world-land, it's just not that good a deal. Other items include $5 house or Caesar salads and personal cheese pizza and $7 personal pepperoni pizza.

Drinks are about the same - $4 Fat Tires and Hefe-Weizen and $5 organic house red and white wines by the glass. Again, not much variety, considering their non-happy hour diverse wine & beer list. Luckily, they do offer my favorite beer family Lambic (this time in peach, yum!), but not at happy hour price. The deal isn't so bad at $6/glass, but again, not quite happy hour.

We do recommend checking out Pizza Fusion, the staff is super-friendly, the food is really good; the design is clean & modern. But check it out as a dining experience, not necessarily as a happy hour. Well, you can try the happy hour... if you live/work close by and/or want to take your favorite happy hour critics out for a Peche Lambic!

*And not just because we think we are the forgotten 90's gem, Shane McDermott, in the forgotten 90's gem, AIRBORNE.

** Give if you can, guys - it's the holidays :).

Rating: 2.5 Martinis for Happy Hour, 4 Peperoncinis for Dining Experience

Pizza Fusion on Urbanspoon


Ye Coach & Horses - CLOSED

7617 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA

Parking: Metered Parking on Sunset Blvd.
Daily, 4-8pm, $2 off all beers & well drink; $3-ish beers, $5-ish well drinks at this old school neighborhood bar

The Sunset Strip isn’t the only section of Sunset Blvd. that has Hollywood history. Just east of the strip, you’ll find Guitar Center, the home to Hollywood’s RockWalk ; All-American Burger, where Hugh Grant allegedly met Divine Brown; & Ye Coach & Horses, a bar that claims to be the 3rd oldest bar in Hollywood.

Ye Coach & Horses feels like the kind of bar that one might find in their hometown. It’s dark bar with very strong tint of red. All the seats, tables, & decorations are all mismatched, but somehow work together. There’s a cigarette machine and the register is so old that it might explain why this bar excepts cash only.

After a few happy hours apart, we reunited in between our work travels. Rather than map out a happy hour and work out a transpo plan, we opted to walk to a bar we often neglect. It didn’t take long to remember why: the jukebox is quite loud! Mind you on our entire visit, there were never any more than 8 people in this rather small bar. Thankfully, while the music not playing, we were able to chat with bartender Matt. He talked to us about their best nights (Friday), upcoming deals & possible party themes, and a steel rod floor board attached to the bar that was stolen from the bar to trade in for cash – Oh Hollywood!
I had a $5 cranberry & vodka that was served in a low-ball glass. Not crazy about the size, butthe happy hour banner on the web site reads $2 beers, but further down the page it says beers “as low as $2.” The bar includes bottles of liquor that one might also find in their hometown in the basement bar, Jeremiah Weed and Absinthe, that has label handwritten on notebook paper. Matt was nice enough to allow us to taste the Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea which was an alcohol version of peach ice tea.
Once Matt’s shift was over, we weren’t too interested in staying for much longer. Plus the cash only rule is quite inconvenient for us, as we can imagine most people these days. Before our visit, we went to 7-11 across the street to use their cash-back debit feature, but they only allow a $10 withdrawal. The bar does have an ATM, but we’re not down with fees.

As long as this bar can keep the jukebox down, this location can be nice to meet for a quick drink with a friend or lovah.

Rating: 3 Martinis


The Hudson

1114 N Crescent Heights Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046

Parking: Valet & Metered Street Parking (free after 6pm!)

Daily, 4-7pm; Sun. & Mon., 11pm-2am, $3 Beers, $4 Well Drinks, $5 Premium Drinks, $4-6 Select Appetizers

Update: Happy Hour now includes 4 wine selections for $6/glass!

The Hudson is the old home of The Boulevard, tucked in the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. & Crescent Heights Blvd. Since October 22nd, The Hudson has opened with style, offering a daily 5-hour happy hour and an additional 3 hours on select nights!

This happy hour adventure came about when catching up with a friend who lived within 2 blocks of the location. He swore by the Shroom Burger, which we can now vouch for, as well as the drinks. Upon perusing the happy hour menu, I learned that only beer & drinks were included in happy hour specials, no wine (the horror!)… at least for now anyway. When questioning that, I learned that this was in fact a bar that’s barely been open a week, including a soft opening for friends & family, so they are definitely still finding their footing. One can only hope that wine will eventually be included. Because the staff was so friendly, I can forgive wine being left off the happy hour menu. For now.

We caught up over our $4 vodka cocktails, which were surprisingly strong, given their small size. When it was time to order food, the server was very informative in recommending food for a place that had been open only a week. I already had my mind made up on the Shroom Burger, but my friend could not decide on a sandwich. Our server had good things to say about the Cuban Sandwich and the Philly Sandwich. It was nice to hear that she knew about both, and that she was not out to up sell anything. My friend went with the Cuban Sandwich. Unfortunately, during happy hour, the only things on special are fries, calamari, & onion rings, fish & chips, & mac & cheese. However, with sandwiches for $10 that include a side of fresh cut fries or mixed green salad, there’s not much room for complaints.

The Hudson is a good place for groups, dates, & friends. Whatever the reason for being there, you’re sure to find something you like.

There's really no where else to mention this, but there is a tree straight through the bar!

Rating: 4 Martinis

The Hudson on Urbanspoon



UPDATE: Boho is now located at -
6801 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

We hope to check out the new location & happy hour soon!

6372 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028-7323
(323) 465-8500

Arclight Parking Structure - $2 for first 4 hours with validation. Be sure to get stamped at the movies :)!

Monday - Friday - 4-7 pm, Saturday - 2-5 pm, Friday & Saturday - 11 pm - 1 am (kitchen closes at 12 am), $4 beers, $5 wines by the glass, $7 specialty cocktails, $5-10 appetizers & meals, & $8 pizzas!

Next to the Arclight sits several culinary delights:

1) The Le Cordon Bleu Kitchen Academy - on any given day, you can watch those cutie chefs preparing ratatouille and whatever else chef's make (I don't know what else they make, I've only seen Ratatouille) from the wide open glass windows open to the Arclight courtyard.

2) Club Sushi - We don't know if this place is open or ever opened, but we love that the neon sign that makes the joint look like it played host to a sashimi food-fight between Jem & the Holograms and the Misfits.

3) BoHo - the ultra-cool and stylish gastro-pub at the corner of Ivar & Vine, catty-corner from that other culinary delection, Jack-in-the-Box.

And that, dearly beloved, is what we're gathered here to today to talk about, not Jack-in-the-Box, but BoHo! We love it! What is not to love? $4 Lindemans Framboise? Ultra-chill and modern-shabby-chic interior? Helpful and attentive servers?

It was an early dismissal day for me, so JLG and I headed over around 4:30 pm. Happy Hour takes place in the bar area only, but there's plenty of seats at the bar and then in the surrounding booth seats. The scene was pretty quiet - all couples (either couple-couples or friend-couples) and we were served promptly. I downed a couple $4 Framboise (but of course!) and an order of Belgian fries while JLG enjoyed the $7 Apple St. Germain. Drinks were above par and the fries were tasty and served with a lemony aioli and super-sweet ketchup.

We’d definitely recommend this place – either for a pre-movie bite & drink or just a good spot to get to know someone (just don’t expect to meet them here, there didn’t seem to be many singles!).

Rating: 4 Martinis

BoHo on Urbanspoon


Melrose Bar & Grill - CLOSED

8826 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Parking: $6.50 Valet, Metered street parking (free after 6 pm)

Monday – Friday, 4-7 pm, $3 beers, $5 martinis, margaritas, well drinks, wines by the glass, and select food items

Melrose Bar & Grill has plenty going for it: chill swank-meets-Midwest-cozy vibe, a charming staff of Aussie's, and local well-dressed regulars. The decor is homey and comfortable - with a fire place and nicely sectioned seating. The happy hour deals are okay bad, from Monday - Friday, 4-7 pm, $3 draft beers (normally $6), $5 martinis, margaritas, well drinks, and wines by the glass, and a limited selection of $5 appetizers - spicy chicken wings, cheese quesadilla, and eggrolls. But at the end of the day, I was not excited about the price of my bill for one glass of wine and what amounted to an order of chips with dip - $15 (with tax/tip). Granted, our $6 chips were not on the happy hour menu and we could've gone for the beer instead of the wine. And our bartender did warn us that our chips were just basically chips. The regular menu sounds great (albeit a little pricey), JG enjoyed the extremely tasty brownie sundae for $6.

All this said, neither of us were that wild about Melrose Bar & Grill. We didn’t love it, we didn’t hate it. And we’ve been to plenty to happy hours with similar deals so it may just be that the low-key vibe and having to ask for the food deals made us feel we should have gotten more bang for the buck. Given the bar's Melrose, west of Robertson, location in very nearly Beverly Hills, the pricing does makes sense. Also, the cozy scene would have been more fitting for a romantic date rather than a spot to catch up with a girlfriend.

We'd consider coming back, just need our Sugar-Daddy to bring us. Maybe on our way to STK!

Rating: 2.5 Martinis

Melrose Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon


Bar Food

12217 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025



Parking: Street Parking

Tues.-Sun. (closed Mon.), 5-7pm*, $3.50 Beers, $5 House Wine, $2-6 Select Food

*Happy Hour all night until further notice!

If you ask us about Bar Food, we might refer to it as the home of the free hot dogs or the place where we may or may not saw Freddy Krueger. No joke.

Bar Food is West Side spot that could attract a mature after work crowd, except there wasn’t much of a crowd at all. We’re not quite sure why there wasn’t a large draw on our weekday visit, but this spot deserves it. It earned points with us pre-visit for posting their happy hour menu on their site.

On our visit, we arrived straight from work so we were in the need of food and drink. Our friend inquired about the free happy hour hot dogs and the condiments that went with them. Answer: ketchup & mustard. Want more? As our server said – It’s a free hot dog. Touché and well done, server! We ordered a mixture of things: calamari, fries, spicy (but not really) tuna, & grilled cheese. The only thing not featured on the happy hour menu was the grilled cheese & tomato soup, but at $7.50, the regular menu has pretty decent prices too.

We sipped on house wine and beers. There was always someone nearby to make sure that we never went thirsty. When we decided to keep the happy hour tour moving, the server was nice enough to split our checks without asking! We know it can be annoying to servers to split checks on multiple cards so when servers do it automatically it is ever so convenient.
On our way out, we met the owner Jason, who appeared to be tending to the exterior of the bar. He was very friendly, thanked us for coming, & wanted to know how we heard of the bar. We love a bar owner that appreciates the customers so here’s hoping this place gets hopping and we might be back again soon.

Rating: 3.5 Martinis

Bar*Food on Urbanspoon


El Carmen

8138 West 3rd Street
Hollywood, CA 90048

Parking: $6 valet or metered street parking on 3rd St. (free after 6 pm!)

Monday – Friday, 5-7 pm, $4 margaritas and $3 Tecates, food items from $2-5

Often before visiting a happy hour, we're sure to do a little recon work - obviously finding the happy hour times and deals, sometimes reading up on yelpers' reviews on service and their favorite menu items.

So, upon reading about El Carmen's Lucha-Libre-meets-Yellow-Submarine interior, we were very excited to check this place out!It was a Monday night when JB scooted over and bonded with new friend Kitty Packard over our share of $4 margaritas and some delicious $4 nachos, in the definitely lucha-libre-meets-yellow-submarine interior! And we’re happy to report that the deals are great for an after-work hangout – there’s the aforementioned $4 margaritas and nachos, and also: $3 Tecates, $4 quesadillas and ceviche, $2 guacamole, and $5 combinacion plate.

The scene is pretty quiet, there were a couple pairs of friends and dates. And well, the bartender was cool as a cucumber. Not only did he honor happy hour prices after happy hour was over (on account of his not telling us of last happy hour call - which we often don't get anyway), he also blamed a crazy click-it pen's explosion out of Kitty Packard's purse on the "ghost of El Carmen," not us goofy girls four margaritas into a fun night.

Rating: 4 Martinis

El Carmen on Urbanspoon


Barney’s Beanery

8447 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles
(323) 654-2287

Parking: $4 Valet, Limited Metered Street Parking on neighboring steets

Daily, 4-7pm, $2.75/ $3 draft beer, $3.50 well drinks, $12/13 pitchers & limited ½ priced appetizers

Well, thank you, Wikipedia for this interesting story
about Barney’s Beanery’s homophobic and storied history. We’ve been frequenting Barney’s for years and didn’t know that BB played host not only to to such icons as Judy Garland and Charles Bukowski, but also to a decades-long gay rights battle that only ended when West Hollywood became incorporated as a city and the new mayor marched in and took down an offending sign!

Politically incorrect history aside, Barney’s sits on the east side of West Hollywood and seems gay-friendly enough now. Gays, am I wrong? The place is indeed sports-y macho, it’s like a sports fan’s dreamland with tons of big screen televisions, arcade games, air hockey, and two pool tables. The vibe is not quite dive with pop culturally relevant collages lining every table-top, vinyl booth seats that sit low so you can scope all the available menfolk in the area. Trouble is, it’s kinda hard to meet a dude here since they all appear to be so invested in that day’s games!

Barney’s daily 4-7 pm happy hour is very happy indeed! Draft beers will run you $2.75-$3.00/glass or $12 or $14/pitcher, well drinks are $3.50 and select appetizers are half-off - Buffalo Wings, Chicken Fingers, Irish Nachos, Mozzarella Sticks, and Zucchini Sticks ($3.50-$5-ish at half price). Those apps are actually rather limited when considering the scope of the HUGE menu, but the menu items are all pretty nicely priced and we’re always apt to try something new (most recently the Veggie Chili with Guacamole and onion rings on the side! YUM!).

In all, Barney’s is a pretty reliable happy hour, you can usually find a seat, there’s always a diverse crowd, and thank goodness, they’ve taken down their damn Jim-Crow-for-gays sign!

Ratings: 4.5 Martinis

Barney's Beanery on Urbanspoon


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