Happy hours combine food, drink, camaraderie and savings. What could be better than happiness at a discount price? Factor in some pleasant service and surroundings, and you’ve kicked an evening off right.
Happy hour works as an early dinner before catching a play or movie…or as a way to catch up with friends and still have hours before bedtime to do whatever you’ve been putting off all day. (Or is that just me?)
The Buzz profiled a selection of local happy hours back in 2016, but our area is experiencing an explosion in dining options, and happy hours are no exception – there are always new services to sample. Happy hours are also always popular, and many are even available on weekends. In this two-part series, I’ll spotlight places in the neighborhood and a little farther afield. Of course, proximity doesn’t mean you won’t be in a car, so I include parking information for all spots.
Address: 5665 Melrose Ave., at Lurcerne
Happy Hour: 4:00 – 6:00 PM daily
Parking: $8 valet parking or take your chances on the street (not on Melrose, though)
This fabulous new place is a welcome addition to Larchmont, not least for its happy hour. From the shrimp tartine ($9) to the moules frites ($14) and steak tartare maison ($15), Le Petit Marché puts a French spin on l’heure heureux. The wines ($8) are wonderful and the craft drinks ($8) and tap beer ($5) the perfect accompaniment to the menu.
Happy hour can serve as dinner, or just stay after 6:00 and eat more! The restaurant also does a terrific brunch.
Address: 788 S. La Brea Ave. (corner of 8th St.)
Happy Hour: 5-7 Tuesday-Sunday in the bar and patio (closed Monday)
Parking: two hours of free parking with validation in the building—the holy grail!
The high-end happy hour experience, Commerson is an elegant restaurant in the large apartment building spanning La Brea from Wilshire to 8th St. The food is excellent and worth the slightly higher prices ($8) than others in the immediate vicinity. The red snapper ceviche and truffle parmesan fries are standouts, as are the cheeseburger and fried calamari. And do try the red, a Spanish grenache.
Address: 600 S. La Brea Ave. (corner of 6th St.)
Happy Hour: 4::00-6:30 Monday-Friday, but I’ve been there on a Saturday and found the menu is available
Parking: $7 valet parking on 6th St., otherwise take your chances on the street
Whether you’re a craft beer aficionado or never touch the stuff, this is pretty close to the perfect happy hour. Inside is an actual brewery, with seven barrels visible in the back, and a full bar; outside there’s a patio where you can watch LA go by. The crowd is mostly young and the mood is upbeat, possibly because they’re there for some of the best happy hour deals in the area.
Unlike the other spots profiled, at the 6th & La Brea you place your order at the bar and get your drinks and a number for your table. Service is quick and friendly. Most importantly, the food items, all $6, are great and include some healthy and delicious options, like crispy Brussels sprouts in apple cider gastrique with pickled Fresno chili, fava bean dip with veggies, a Caesar salad with vegan dressing. Then there’s the full-size burger (also delicious), and a pretzel with beer cheese.
Note: This restaurant and three others in the area have created an OG Brew Pub Club, with memberships available at each brewery. Members receive a key chain (proof of membership) and one free crowler (32 oz. beer cans filled with freshly-brewed beer on tap). Lifetime membership is $50 per location, $150 for all four. The other three are the Stalking Horse, Bluebird Brasserie and Broxton Brewery.
Address: 5370 Wilshire (1½ blocks west of La Brea)
Happy Hour: 4:00-7:00pm and 11pm-close every day
Parking: Street only
Spare Tire is a classic sports bar with plenty of TVs. It’s where I come to watch the Dodgers in the World Series. And I’ll watch any other LA teams here when they make it to a Series equivalent. There are plenty of happy hour food choices and a selection of $5-6 beers, wine and cocktails—plus friendly table service.
The cuisine is pub food with a twist: Sure, there are chicken strips and fries ($7), a wood-fired 3-cheese pizza ($8) and beef sliders ($7), but there’s also street corn ($6), a chopped salad ($7) catfish sliders ($7) and beet salad ($7). The food is decent, the service friendly and the ambience comfy.
Address: 757 S La Brea Ave, 1 door north of 8th St.
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday, Sunday 5:30-7:00pm
Parking: Terrible, but you can use the Rascal valet for $6
This small, dimly lit spot is as close to a dive bar as you’ll get in the area – unless you go east to HMS Bounty (check out Part 2 of this series). They don’t serve food, but a friendly bartender sends those looking for that kind of sustenance to Rascal, just across 8th St.
Before you go, try a well drink, wine or beer for $5 ($6 Sundays) and play a game of darts, not necessarily in that order.
Address: 801 S. La Brea, corner of 8th St.
Happy hour: 5:00-7:00 every day, all night Mondays
Parking: $6 valet parking, or take your chances on the side streets (no parking on La Brea)
Rascal has made itself the go-to neighborhood hangout since its opening. It’s a fantastic place to meet friends, play board games and enjoy a wide-ranging happy hour menu. At $6.50 for a spicy fried chicken sandwich, mac and cheese or many burger choices, you get comfort food in a comfortable setting. HH drinks include the ever-popular Moscow Mule & Margarita, as well as red sangria and Cold Duck.
That’s it for this first round…but we’ll be back soon with even more local happy hours!