While the cat’s away, the mice will play, or in this case I suppose it would be the other way around: while the mice are away the cats will play. Or, to get to the parallel, while the kiddies are sleeping over at abuelita’s y abuelo’s house two nights a week for the three weeks of summer school in the valley with their cousins Aiden and Corrine, the parents will utilize the quality me-time hitting some relaxing local Happy Hours — you know, those places you always drive by on the way to this swim class or that lacrosse practice and never really get the chance to pop in and check out.
First up at the top of the month was a great little neighborhood place about a mile or so right down our street just WEST of Lincoln Boulevard called Oscar’s Cerveteca. Kicking back at a cocktail table on their outdoor front patio, we enjoyed a couple of craft beers, and for me, an additional 32-ounce bottle of Carta Blanca that was kept chilled in an ice bucket. The Happy Hour food was fun and good pairings for our $3 cervezas — two chicken empanadas ($4) for Irene and an L.A. Street Dogg ($5) for me, basically a bacon-wrapped hot dog with jalapenos, grilled onions, tomatoes and mayonnaise. By the time we left, the place had filled up and was buzzing like a Friday evening, not the Monday it was.
The following week we headed EAST to Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City. We had had dinner at Ben Ford’s (son of Harrison Ford) previous restaurant in Beverly Hills but not yet gotten around to visiting this gastropub in the heart of the Sony Studios district. It’s a great Happy Hour bar scene here as well: Irene had an amazing heirloom tomato salad with fresh burrata, toasted hazelnuts and chickpea puree ($13) and a Racer 5 IPA (happy hour drafts are $4) while I opted for a half dozen kumamoto oysters with tomato jam vinaigrette ($2.50 each) and a Ford’s Pale Ale.
For our third outing, we headed NORTH from our house up to the Daily Pint on Pico, a local beer joint we’ve been to for a nightcap after various dinner occasions. This night we just wanted a quick after-work brew so stopped in for a Boddington’s (me) and Guinness (Irene).
Rounding out the compass during our July Happy Hour run, we took a short ride SOUTH of home to Waterloo & City on Washington Boulevard — yet another winner with its festive happy hour and top-notch bar food. Irene and I shared a trio of dishes at the bar including an artisanal cheese plate ($6), hand-cut pasta with wild mushrooms and parmesan ($7), and oysters with a mignonette sauce ($7). As is probably evident by now, we love the small plates! Happy Hour is from 4 to 7 p.m. with beer, wine and cocktail specials priced at $4, $5 and $7 respectively.
So there you have it. We look forward to The Happy Hour Summer Tour 2013!