Showing posts with label happy hour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label happy hour. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Lola's Mexican Cuisine (Long Beach, CA)

by @btsunoda

Two friends of mine both suggested that I try Lola’s Mexican Cuisine in Long Beach. Since I highly respect the opinions of both, I was happy when I was invited to this restaurant.
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Lola’s Mexican Cuisine is family owned and operated. They acquire organic local meats, sustainable seafood and local produce to prepare quality fresh food. “Modern Mexican Cuisine” is probably the best way to describe their cooking. The interior has a nice mix of different seating: booths, communal tables, and seating by the bar. Bold colors and eclectic Mexican folk art almost make it seem like you are inside of a restaurant in downtown Guadalajara.

Their Mexican Street Corn is an upscale version of elote.
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Fresh heirloom corn is removed from the cob, toasted and mixed with crumbled cotija cheese. Garlic aioli is drizzled on the top and chile powder is then applied. It is served in a small cast iron pan and was bubbling when it arrived at my table. Gone was the worry of biting into a corn on the cob only to see corn flying after you bite into it!

While I’ve had many variations of tacos, the “El Trio” taco combo sounded like something I would enjoy.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Happy Hour at Estate Restaurant and Bar (Santa Monica, CA)

by guest blogger @btsunoda

When the conversation at the next table is easier to hear than the person that I’m eating with, I’m generally not having a good time. This type of occurrence has been more frequent of late because many restaurants have adopted a bistro format with small tables and uncomfortable chairs. I recently had the opportunity to visit Estate Restaurant and Bar to experience their new happy hour menu, and luckily, Estate's layout provided plenty of space to diners to be comfortable.
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The interior of the Estate Restaurant and Bar is a modern take on what restaurants used to be like. Estate Restaurant and Bar has different seating areas and plush booths and individual seats. Because they don’t attempt to use every square inch of the restaurant, there is a general feeling of spaciousness. Even the bar has cushioned comfortable chairs.

Their happy hour menu had plenty of discounted food and drinks. We started off with the Tuna Crispy Wonton Tacos  ($9)
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Instead of frying taco shells, they use wonton shaped like a tortilla, just like classic tuna tartar. The contrasting colors and textures were both visually stunning and delicious. The tuna was fresh and the ginger nicely enhanced the tuna.

Char siu pizza with hoisin sauce? I had to see what that was all about.
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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bacchus Bar and Bistro (Irvine, CA)

by guest blogger @btsunoda

I recently visited Bacchus Bar and Bistro in Irvine. It is an upscale wine and craft beer bar. They also have a small kitchen where prepare a selection of appetizers, burgers and entrees. The exterior of Bacchus is deceiving because it sits in a shopping center but once you step inside, you are in an inviting and spacious area with a wine bar on one side and a retail space on the other.
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Bacchus offers over 350 bottles from around the world and has a wine bar where they can pour up to 60 different wines by the glass.
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I learned that they received the Wine Spectator award in 2014. Bacchus also offers 6 craft beers on a rotating tap along with 20 bottled craft beers. Glancing at the list of twenty, only five were from California. Belgian beers were prominently featured; there was a selection from Iceland and one from Italy.

Like their wines and craft beers, geographic diversity seems to be the desire for the focus of their cheese offerings. France topped the list with five different varieties. Holland was second with two and the US only had a single offering: Barely Buzzed from Utah. Fans of cheese from California, Oregon and Wisconsin may feel snubbed to not make the cut. Nuts, olives and various crackers and breads were also available. I was intrigued with the yuzu marmalade and the fig jam offerings as they probably go well with the crackers and breads. Some items are gluten free.

I repeated what my server said, “lobster grilled cheese” several times thinking that he had it mistaken for lobster mac & cheese. Brie and cheddar were melted with pieces of fresh lobster and served on toasted sourdough. Brie cheese added to the ‘gooey’ factor making each bite a multisensory and delicious experience.
 grilled

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Happy Hour at The Factory Kitchen (Downtown LA)

One of my favorite Italian restaurants, The Factory Kitchen in downtown LA, has started happy hour. The happy hour is on Monday-Thursday from 5-7pm and offers a variety of small plates, classic cocktails, and wines.

Among the food offerings was the roasted bone marrow with foraged mushrooms and herb salad for $11. There's certainly nothing to complain about when you have bone marrow for happy hour!

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The cocktails are only $8 each and includes choices like a well executed Boulevardier. This cocktail, invented in 1927, combines bourbon, campari, and sweet vermouth.
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The Factory Kitchen has an excellent sommelier in their Director of Wine, Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi, so don't skip over the wine offerings. Lambrusco is still a pretty rare find, but they have one (Cleto Chiarli) for $7 a glass.
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Saturday, February 7, 2015

$1 Tapas Blitz at Estragon (Boston, MA)

Did I tell you how bummed I was when I found out there's no happy hour in Boston? Yeah, happy hour deals on alcohol is illegal here. Sucks! But on the other hand, some of the restaurants here have great happy hour food deals. One such place is Estragon, a Spanish restaurant in the South End. On Mondays-Thursdays from 5-7pm is Tapas Blitz, where you can get tapas starting from $1 if you sit at the bar.

Among the $1 selections, the best choice is the Solomillo de cerdo (Seared Pork Tenderloin, Caramelized Onions, Mojo Picon)

Estragon
This is a really tender pork tenderloin on toast, and the mojo picon sauce is quite flavorful as well. For $1? I'll have three.

There are also selections of $3 and $5 tapas. The $3 ones include two jamon croquettes or a bowl of Fried pork belly ($3)
Estragon

Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy Hour at Melrose Umbrella Co Spans the Classic Cocktail Families

Who does't love happy hour? Cheap drinks, sometimes cheap food. But most of the time happy hour menu consists of only a handful of cocktails, which means limited options. Not so much at Melrose Umbrella Co.

Melrose Umbrella Co
I've heard a lot of Melrose Umbrella Co before, for having good cocktails, so I was excited to come in for happy hour. The decor is fun, and the name of the bar is actually related to an old photo of the great great great grandfather of one of the three bartenders who started Melrose Umbrella Co. You'll see vintage umbrellas along with vintage photos of the family around the bar.

OK, back to happy hour. At first glance the happy hour menu looks small, with a punch that serves 4 and 4 sections of cocktails. But the last section actually covers the four classic cocktail families with your choice of garnish and base spirit. Virtually unlimited choices!

First off, they served us a mini cup of the white sangria to start off the night (and "amuse booze"). This is the same sangria that comes as a 4-person punch and it is a crowd pleaser.
Melrose Umbrella Co
Let's start off with some of the happy our choices. There's the Nip Julep made with bourbon, mint, and peach, and only $5! The last section lets you choose between the four cocktail families: smash, fix, daisy, or maid. The "Fix" is your choice of base spirit with citrus, sugar, and your choice of garnish (I did bourbon and grapes). The Smash would be like a mojito with any spirit, and the Maid is made with cucumber, mint, and and citrus. Each is $9.
Melrose Umbrella Co

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Warm Up to Tiki Happy Hour at The Church Key (West Hollywood)

It may be winter (as if there's a real winter in LA), but you can pretend it's warm with The Church Key's new happy hour. Yep, they're going all tiki for happy hour, taking place Monday-Friday, 5:30-7PM. There's no bad season for tiki.

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Tiki cocktails are $9 each and there are plenty of fun options, complete with tiki mugs and excess garnishes. We started with The Professor (Selvarey Cacao, coconut, pineapple, orgeat) and Polynesian Pearl (Bacardi Superior, Bekrovka, lime, OJ, allspice, cinnamon, vanilla)
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As is always the case with proper tiki drinks, they are strong but dangerously easy to drink.

Blue Hawaii (Malibu, blue curacao, creme de coconut, pineapple)
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I haven't had one of these in forever, but we let go of our cocktail snobbery for the moment because, well, frankly it tasted delicious. Interestingly, according to Wikipedia this drink should've been the Blue Hawaiian, whereas the Blue Hawaii uses a sweet and sour mix instead of creme de coconut. Either way, I know I would prefer the one with coconut.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Late Night Happy Hour at Fleming's Steakhouse

If you've shied away from dining at a steakhouse because of the price, head over to Fleming's Steakhouse for their "late night happy hour", which isn't all that late. Called "8 for $9 til 10", you can get 8 items for $9 each from 8-10pm. They also have a "5 for $6 til 7" which may be an even better deal, but the offerings are better for the later night menu.

The same deal is available at all Fleming's locations nationwide. Even better, at most Fleming's locations you also get happy hour prices on some drinks (8 wines and cocktails) including a flight of single malt scotches for $9! Alas, Boston doesn't allow alcohol happy hour (poor me) so I can only show you the food offerings.

First of all, even though you're only there for the cheaper food at happy hour, they still serve you the housemade bread - served with tomato basil butter and Chardonnay-infused gorgonzola sauce.

Flemings

Flemings
The $9 items that are offered are the same full size that you'd get from the regular menu and includes things like the Filet Mignon Flatbread (danish blue and monterey jack cheese, red onion confit).

The filet mignon was unusually tender for toppings you'd find on a flatbread. This is a steakhouse and it's filet mignon after all! This was probably my favorite of the things I tried.

For the $6 flatbread during the earlier happy hour, you get mushroom and artichoke instead of filet mignon.

 I didn't have the stomach room to try everything and had to skip the prime burger, which I am sure would make a great affordable dinner if you get off work late one day!
Instead, that evening I tried the lobster lettuce wraps (North Atlantic lobster, crumbled bacon, crisped onion strings, orange-fennel slaw, tarragon dressing)
Flemings

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Caviar at Happy Hour? Only at Petrossian (West Hollywood, CA)

There are plenty of happy hours in Los Angeles, but where would you find caviar on the happy hour menu? Well, at Petrossian - the renowned caviar purveyor - of course you would. For happy hour drinks you can get either the caviar cocktail or vodka at a discounted price, or $6 wines.

Let's talk about the food! Last year I put Petrossian's lobster roll as one of the best bites I had that year. The lobster roll was topped with sea urchin and caviar!

For happy hour, you can get a mini version:
Mini Lobster Roll, topped with Sea Urchin, Caviar, Fennel, Daikon, Chives, Parsley, Brioche Roll, Lemongrass & Garlic Aioli, French Fries ($15)

Caviar Lobster Roll
I went for a media preview so they had cut up the mini lobster roll into smaller pieces for us to taste. It's just as good as I remembered and made me want to come back in for a full size!

Other offerings include Tarte Aux Pommes de Terre (Potato Tart, Crème Fraiche, 20g Transmontanus Caviar - $24)
Latkes
The crispy potato tarts remind me of latkes - but topped with caviar makes it that much better, of course.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Scarpetta: The Best Happy Hour in Beverly Hills

Who would've guessed that Scarpetta at The Montage in Beverly Hills would launch the best happy hour deal around? From 4-8pm (Monday through Saturday) all the cocktails and food on the happy hour menu are only $8! And we're not talking boring cocktails or skimpy food portions. Just keep reading to see what you get (chicken liver pate? lobster croquettes?) !

Scarpetta has tapped mixologist Rob Floyd to design the cocktail menu. Even for the skinny drinks he made (for that LA crowd), he wanted the ingredients to be all organic. The Fortuna (peach vodka, St. Germain, peach puree) uses puree made with all organic Japanese peaches. Did I mention it was sugar free? He uses STIR sweetener, an organic sugar substitute.
Scarpetta happy hour
For a refreshing gingery drink, try the Amalfi: Crown royal with mint, lime, bitters, topped w fever tree ginger beer. Rob told us that Julep came from an Arabic medicinal drink, called Golab which originated in the 15th century.

Much like the name, the Passione (aperol, gin, sambuca, lemon) is made with fire and a delight to watch. I personally love aperol and really enjoyed this lighter drink.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekly $1 Oyster Specials!

A list of happy hours, half off wines and free corkage is great and all, but you know what's equally as good? Equally as important? OYSTERS. But oysters aren't cheap. Usually. Unless you find a deal for $1 oysters, so here's a list of where you can eat 20 oysters in one sitting any day of the week. Of course, if you know of another restaurant with this deal, please let me know!


Monday-Sunday/Daily
Chaya Downtown, 525 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071
$1 oysters daily, all night in the bar/lounge/patio area only (hat tip @dineLA)

Littlefork1600 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
$1 Naked Cowboy oysters daily, 5-7pm
EDIT: the deal is now $1.50 oyster of the day, daily 5-7pm and Friday&Saturday 10pm-close

Enterprise Fish Co, 174 Kinney St, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Mon-Sat, 4-7pm. Sunday 8-10pm, plus Fri-Sat 9-11pm

EMC Seafood & Raw Bar, 3500 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Daily 5-7pm

Green Hut Cafe, 808 W 7th St., Los Angeles, CA 90017
Daily after 3pm

Drago Centro, 525 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071
Daily, anytime on the bar menu, $5 for 4 Crystal Point oysters (OK so that's $1.25 each but pretty close and served with peach mignonette!)

Monday-Friday
Fickle, 362 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
5-7PM (+$3 draft beers and $5 wines)

The Mercantile, 6600 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
5-8PM (+ happy hour drink specials)

Chaya Brasserie, 8741 Alden Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90048
Chaya Venice, 110 Navy St, Venice, CA 90291
5-7pm in the bar/lounge/patio area

Sunday-Thursday
Faith and Flower, 705 W 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
$1 oysters with pink peppercorn mignonette, 5-6:30pm. Bar/lounge area only.

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Monday
The Hungry Cat Santa Monica, 100 W Channel Rd (@PCH), Santa Monica, CA 90402
1/2 oysters all night (OK, technically not $1 but half off makes $7.50 for half dozen. Close enough)

Delphine, 6250 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
 5-10:30pm ($1 East Coast oysters, $2 West Coast oysters)

Bar Marmont, 8171 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046
"Oyster at Cost Mondays" so the price will vary depending on the oyster, but supposedly they're no more than $1.50 each

Tipple and Brine, 14633 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
$1 oyster all night (4:30-11pm), bar/lounge/patio area

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Tuesday
MESSHALL4500 Hillhurst, Los Angeles, CA 90027
4-10pm (plus $5 beers)

Pearl's Liquor Bar, 8909 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
5pm-until they run out

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Wednesday
McCormick and Schmick's, http://www.mccormickandschmicks.com/
5-10pm

The Churchill8384 W. 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
6pm-close (hat tip to LAist)

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Thursday
Cliff's Edge, 3626 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
6-7pm ($20 for a dozen after)

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Friday
Caulfield's Bar and Dining Room9360 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
5-8PM

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Saturday-Sunday
Littlefork1600 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
$1 oyster of the day for brunch, 11am-3pm

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Sunday
BLVD16, 10740 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024
$1 oyster all day

Monday, July 30, 2012

Soleto: Solid Italian and Housemade Limoncello in Downtown LA

The South Park district in downtown Los Angeles is getting more and more exciting with two new restaurant openings. One of them is Soleto, an upscale Italian restaurant from the IDG Restaurant Group which took over the old Zucca space. Soleto is run by Executive Chef Sascha Lyon who is also in charge of the kitchen at Delphine.

I say it's upscale, but Soleto has a pretty great happy hour (M-F, 3-7pm), especially where the food is concerned. There were quite a few items that were all really cheap and good! The portion sizes are quite good as well. Here are some of the happy hour items we tried:

Shrimp Oreganato ($5)

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This whole pot of shrimp for $5? You can come here for an early dinner during happy hour and have a feast!

This Sauteed Calamari with Anaheim chili and tomatoes is also only $5!
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Much more interesting and better than the typical fried calamari.

I also recommend the Charred Cauliflower, Grana Padano, parsley ($3)
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Grana Padano is a hard Italian cheese, similar in texture to parmesan cheese but milder. You'll see this cheese in many of Soleto's dishes. 

For drinks, there are sangria and "cello spritzer" (one of their housemade limoncellos/orange-cellos with soda) for $3.
OK, so that's happy hour. Now, on to dinner.

You won't really find duplicates from the happy hour menu here. The popular appetizers include Grilled Oyster Mushrooms, grana padano, white truffle lemon vinaigrette ($12)
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These earthy mushrooms were made even better with the sprinkling of grana padano cheese. I can definitely eat these all day.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Hour at Casa Vega, a Restaurant with a History (Sherman Oaks)

How old on average are the restaurants you know of in Los Angeles? Chances are, not that old. Even what we consider to be old have probably been around for about ten years. Well, Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks has been in business for more than 50 years. There's something to be said about that!

I was invited there recently to check out their happy hour. There's no separate happy hour menu, just $4.95 house margaritas, 20% off other drinks, and 50% off appetizers. The happy hour also runs from 2:30-7pm daily (in case you want to get your drinking on early in the day).

Other than the house margarita, they have other variations such as the blood orange (with blood orange soda though) and some frozen blended ones like the coconut margarita - think pina colada with tequila (regular price $7.95).

Coconut margarita
The food menu is extensive since long time customers complain when the restaurant tries to take their "favorites" off the menu, so it just kept growing. Most of them are the "typical" Mexican food you encounter, but they have quite a few interesting items as well. We tried a few appetizers. For me, the highlights were these two:
Queso Fundido (regular price $8.75)
Queso Fundido
A bowl of hot melted Jack and Cotija cheese, what a perfect food for drinking.


Lobster Quesadilla (lemon garlic lobster, jack and cheddar cheese, guacamole, sour cream - regular price $14.95)
Lobster Quesadilla
They actually use chunks of lobster in the quesadilla. The quesadilla itself was pretty inexpensive for lobster, plus half off? Quite a deal.
Mexican coffee For desserts they have flan and churros, but you can get an after dinner boozy drinks like the Senior's Famous Mexican Coffee. What's in it? It's apparently a "secret recipe" but it's sweet and strong.

Checking out Casa Vega was fun for its history. The decor and the food is more of the mainstream/typical Mexican restaurants as opposed to some of the more regional specialists that are starting to emerge these days, but remember this place was opened more than 50 years ago! For the Sherman Oaks or Studio City locals, happy hour is a pretty good deal, especially when it goes on at 2:30!


Casa Vega
13301 Ventura Blvd
 Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 788-4868
 Casa Vega on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lexington Social House: Social Hour and Fried Chicken

Good cocktails in the heart of Hollywood, for cheap? We're not talking dive bars, here. It's possible during Lexington Social House's Social Hour, where all specialty cocktails are priced at $7 on weekdays 6-8PM and all night Sunday.

With the launch of Social Hour they also launched a bar menu (items from this menu are also $7 during social hour!)
Do try the Chipotle Pork Belly biscuits with aged gouda, fried egg ($14)

Pork Belly Biscuits
I have a soft spot for McD's sausage egg mcmuffin, but this is (of course!) so much better! Everything you'd ever want from a breakfast sandwich, even if it isn't breakfast time. Great buttery biscuits, thick and tender pork belly, fried egg with runny yolk. I will definitely get this again.

The cocktail menu was created by barman Kyle Ackley, who used to work at XIV, and the cocktails are quite good and interesting (well, the bottom half. The top half consisted of mainly vodka drinks catered to the usual Hollywood crowd).

For my first drink I ordered the Palmera made with Zirbenz stone pine liqueur, pineapple juice, lemon juice, velvet falernum, angostura bitters
Palmera
This refreshing drink is a great one to start the night off with. Frothy, velvety, nice light grassy note.

Next bar food: Short rib panini, port salut, pickles, IPA mustard ($12)
Short Rib Panini
One word to describe this would be "rich". Very rich. The bottom slice soaks up the juices from the braised short rib and melted cheese.

My friend got the SPANISH HARLEM with tanteo cocoa infused tequila, maraschino liqueur, agave nectar, chocolate-chili bitters
Spanish Harlem
As you lift the glass, you'll get a strong chili aroma, but the drink itself is actually not spicy. Strong and balanced.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Hour at The Capital Grille Beverly Hills

The Capital Grille in Beverly Hills recently launched a happy hour, with $6 drinks and bar food every weekday from 4:30-7pm. To spread the word, they offered to host a happy hour for my friends and readers with complimentary food and happy hour-priced drinks! There's a bar next to the main restaurant downstairs, but you can drink while getting fresh air at the Terrace upstairs.

The happy hour food turns out to be a really great deal! For $6 you will get two mini tenderloin sandwiches, each with a thick, juicy piece of tenderloin steak and sauteed mushrooms. Who needs burgers when you can have steak?

Mini Tenderloin Sandwiches

Or, two lobster and crab cake burgers. That's $3 each for a lobster-and-crab-cake burgers! Last time I had crab cake I paid $13 for one. These were not one of those crab cakes that are mostly flour, these are filled with crab and lobster.
Lobster and Crab Cake Sliders

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Join Me for Happy Hour at The Capital Grille!

The Capital Grille in Beverly Hills has offered to host a happy hour for my readers, in promotion of their new happy hour bar menu. For those who join me during this event, The Capital Grille will provide free passed bar food including their lobster and crab burgers, mini tenderloin sandwiches, and lobster salad sandwiches (usually $6 during happy hour). The drinks (wine, beer, signature cocktails including Hemingway Daiquiri) will be $6.

The event will be on Tuesday June 14, from 5-7 pm. We will be partying it upstairs on their Terrace. Additionally, you can drop in your business card to win a $100 gift certificate!



The Capital Grille
8614 W. Beverly Blvd.
 Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 358-0650

Bring your friends, but remember to RSVP to me at gourmetpigs @ gmail by Monday 6/13, so they can prepare for the right number of people. You can also RSVP on this Facebook event page, but please only do one or the other so I don't double count!
Looking forward to seeing you guys there and sharing some food and drinks!

PS. There is complimentary valet (separate from the Beverly Center), enter off of Beverly just past San Vicente.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Edison Brings the Deals Back to Downtown

35 cent cocktails are back at The Edison, quite possibly the best happy hour deal in town! Better yet, they're now available on both Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5-7 PM, while you can get a $1 Millenium Cocktail on Fridays at the same times.

The 35¢ cocktail changes all the time, but expect competently prepared classics like this gin martini we had last week.

Five bar snacks are available for $5 each from 5-7 pm also and each comes with either Edison or Tesla (sweet potato) fries.

Kobe Beef Slider

Singapore Wings, with a sweet glaze.
My favorite bite of the night


Beer drinkers should watch out for the "Dog Days of Summer" deal, where you can get (kosher) hot dog, onion rings, and a draft beer for $10. If you get a glass of Chimay cing cent like I did, consider that that usually runs $9 a glass here. That means your hot dog + onion rings come out to $1.

If one cocktail isn't enough (when is it ever?), be happy to know that everything else on the menu is 40% off during happy hour, so you can give my favorite the Brown Derby, a concoction of bourbon, honey, and grapefruit juice, a try.

PS. Radio Room is returning to The Edison on Tuesday July 13. This time they're featuring bartenders from Ward III in New York: Michael Neff, Kenneth McCoy, and Abdul Tabini.
Event starts at 8 PM with a $10 cover. Check out www.edisondowntown.com for pre-sale tickets so you don't have to wait in line!



The Edison
108 W 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 613-0000

www.edisondowntown.com
The Edison in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

Disclaimer: I was hosted by The Edison during this happy hour.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Weekly Wine & Corkage Deals - Los Angeles

This is a hopefully growing list. If you know of a deal, let me know!
Note: I haven't personally checked out these deals, so call first and confirm before you go.

Monday

  • Free corkage. Cafe Pinot, Downtown.
  • Free corkage (limit 1 bottle/2 diners). Il Forno, Santa Monica.
  • Free corkage. Josie Restaurant, Santa Monica.
  • Free corkage. Providence, Hollywood.
  • Free corkage. Ray's and Stark Bar, Mid City.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. Bar and Kitchen (at the O Hotel, downtown), Los Angeles.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. La Cachette Bistro, Santa Monica.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. Lazy Ox Canteen, (downtown) Los Angeles.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. Momed, Beverly Hills.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. RivaBella, West Hollywood
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine under $90. Taste on Melrose, West Hollywood.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. Wilshire Restaurant, Santa Monica.
  • $25 for any bottle of wine. Whist at the Viceroy, Santa Monica.

Tuesday
  • Free corkage. Cafe Pinot, Downtown.
  • Free corkage. Daily Grill, multiple locations.
  • Free corkage (limit 1 bottle/2 diners). Il Forno, Santa Monica.
  • Free corkage. Josie Restaurant, Santa Monica.
  • Free Corkage. Osteria Mamma, West Hollywood.
  • Free corkage. Ray's and Stark Bar, Mid City.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. Chaya Venice, Venice.
  • 1/2 off select bottles of wine. The Churchill, West Hollywood.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. The Hungry Cat, Hollywood.
  • 1/2 off most bottles of wine (some bottles excluded, ask server). Meet French Bistro, Culver City.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. The Raymond, Pasadena.
  • 1/2 off bottles of wine. Rush Street, Culver City.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. Bar and Kitchen (at the O Hotel, downtown), Los Angeles. 
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. Coupa Cafe, Beverly Hills.
  • 1/2 off select bottles of wine. Sadie Kitchen and Lounge, Hollywood
Wednesday
  • Free corkage. Cafe Pinot, Downtown.
  • Free corkage (limit 1 bottle/2 diners). Il Forno, Santa Monica.
  • Free corkage. Ray's and Stark Bar, Mid City.
  • Free Corkage. The Raymond, Pasadena.
  • Free Corkage. The Royce at The Langham, Pasadena.
  • Free Corkage. Colorado Wine Company, Eagle Rock.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. AKASHA, Culver City.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine from the Garden Courtyard list. Buffalo Club, Santa Monica.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. The Edison, Downtown.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. La Grande Orange, Pasadena
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. The Hudson, West Hollywood
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. Tam O'Shanter, Atwater Village
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. Wolfgang's Steakhouse, Beverly Hills.
Thursday
  • Free corkage. Cafe Pinot, Downtown.
  • Free corkage (limit two). Meet French Bistro, Culver City.
  • Free corkage. Ray's and Stark Bar, Mid City.
  • 1/3 off all bottles of wine. POP Champagne & Dessert Bar, Pasadena.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. The Edison, Downtown.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. Saddle Peak Lodge, Calabasas.

Friday
  • Free corkage. Cafe Pinot, Downtown.
  • Free corkage. Ray's and Stark Bar, Mid City.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. Saddle Peak Lodge, Calabasas.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. Il Buco Ristorante, Beverly Hills.

Saturday

  • Free corkage. Cafe Pinot, Downtown.
  • Free corkage from 12-5PM. K-ZO, Culver City.
  • Free corkage. Ray's and Stark Bar, Mid City.

Sunday
  • Free corkage. AKASHA, Culver City.
  • Free corkage. Cafe Pinot, Downtown.
  • Free corkage. Celestino, Pasadena.
  • Free corkage and 1/2 off select bottles of wine. Chaya Brasserie, Beverly Hills.
  • Free corkage. Ray's and Stark Bar, Mid City.
  • Free corkage (if not on their wine list). Craft, Century City.
  • Free corkage (limit 1 bottle per 2 diners). Culina, Beverly Hills
  • $1 corkage. La Cachette Bistro, Santa Monica.
  • 1/2 off all bottles of wine. BOA Steakhouse, West Hollywood.
  • 1/2 off select bottles of wine. Chaya Downtown.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pasadena Wine Bar Renaissance? Part 2: Wine Detective

I passed by Wine Detective while they were still undergoing construction on one of my walks around Pasadena months ago. I didn't know when they would open but then I recently received an invitation from one of the co-owners, Lev, to check the place out.

Since this wine bar is just a few blocks away from Caltech (and my apartment) and thus an easy walk, I was more than happy to try it out for myself. A wine bar opening up within a stone's throw from Caltech can only be a good thing!

Wine Detective employs the Enomatic wine dispenser system, where the customer inserts a smartcard into the machine, chooses the wine they want, presses a button and receives a 1 oz pour.
The 1 oz pours (usually priced between $2-4) let you try a lot more wines than you would normally have, but it is cheaper if you opt for a glass. You can also get a bottle here and pay retail price + corkage fee.

The white wines are of course chilled and each pour is precisely controlled.
The wines here are all chosen by the four owners - and the four of them have to agree on the wines, which is probably quite an ordeal given people's differing palate. But, hey, I won't complain if I have to taste wine for work :P

Here you can also find some wines that you can't get at retail stores or are harder to find including Turley Howell Mountain Zinfandel and a selection of Charles Smith's wines.

While Wine Detective is not a restaurant, they do serve cheese plates, charcuterie, and some pintxos.

We got a cheese plate to share. A selection of three cheeses run $11.00.
Each cheese was served with the appropriate condiments. we got the verdecapra (a blue cheese from Italy), Roccolo (Cow’s Cheese from Italy), and a goat cheese that I can't remember. The blue cheese was pretty amazing, do try it sometime.

Duck Trio (duck pate, duck prosciutto, duck salami) - $17

Photo courtesy of Mattatouille

A plate worth getting, we loved all three but I loved the pate most of all, it was smooth and rich in flavor. I probably ate more than my share that night. I should also note that the bread that came with this and the cheese plate was quite good and went well with the cheese and charcuterie.

To soak up all that wine, LA&OC Foodie and I also decided to get some pintxos to share. A selection of 3 pintxos is also $11 and we chose: Pate (Duck Pate, Cucumber, Piquillo Pepper), Mozzarella
(Buffalo Mozzarella, Oven Roasted Tomatoes, Basil), and Serrano (Serrano Ham, Manchego Cheese, Oven Roasted Tomatoes).
These are pretty basic bites that work well with wines. I thought the Serrano could've used something extra since it was a bit dry for my taste, but again, I loved the pate.

Not only could I walk home after drinking wine, they also offer a 10% discount for those with Caltech or JPL id!
Also, for happy hour (M-F, 4-7pm) they are offering $5 glass of house wine and 25% off all food items.


Wine Detective
146 South Lake Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 792-9936
www.winedetective.com
Wine Detective on Urbanspoon


Other wine bars in Pasadena:
Noir Food and Wine
Vertical Wine Bistro

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