Thursday, August 30, 2007


Hello to my three readers! I have been on a short hiatus from the blog, and for that I apologize. However, now that I'm a freelance writer (aka: unemployed) I will be updating in the coming month.

Stay Tuned!!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Vinoteca Wine & Beer Bar

A plea to my friends for happy hour ideas led to this great one from Amy. I have visited the bar, but have not yet had the opportunity to appreciate their happy hour. Amy assures me she is up to the task and we will conquer it together next week...stay tuned for the review.

In the meantime, a quick call to the restaurant gave me the specifics: From 4:00pm to 7:00pm all appetizers and some entree's are 50% off. Also offered is a special wine selection, although I didn't get the prices.

If you beat me there, please send me a review!

Vinoteca Wine & Beer Bar 1968 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles

Marie Callender's Grill on Wilshire

For some reason when tourists come into L.A. one of the top attractions on their list is the La Brea Tar Pits. My cousin came down to visit from Seattle and unfortunately it was something he wanted to check out. We took the drive in, struggled with traffic, and almost sacrificed life and limb to find a parking spot...only to find a small oily pit off Wilshire filled with 4 plastic dinosaurs. Pathetic.

Disappointed and by this time totally starving, we wandered down the street and stumbled upon an L.A. icon that is vastly overlooked in the "what new restaurant opened this week" mentality of this town.

What Stasha, another chain restaurant? Oh yes, but not just any chain...the best darn pie chain ever! Marie Callender's. Their flagship store Marie Callender's Grill located on Wilshire in the Miracle Mile has a decor that takes you right back into old Hollywood and, if you sit in the bar or on the lovely patio during the right time, you will find some old Hollywood prices.

Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 3:00pm to 7:00 pm. It includes: $2 OFF All Wine, Draft Beer & Cocktails and all appetizers are half price. With Jumbo Coconut Shrimp, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Mac and Cheese, plus a lovely grilled veggie plate drizzled with a balsamic reduction; you can't find a better place to meet up with friends before heading out to a free museum day!

Marie Callender's Grill 5773 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA

Would You Like Some Culture With Your Cocktail?

Who says that nothing is free? Well...ok...a lot of people do in Los Angeles. However I have made it my goal to find inexpensive and free things to do in this city and in the spirit of that I wanted to share this list of FREE DAYS at local museums!
I will keep the link in "my favorite things".

Heading to the Miracle Mile? Check out this happy hour before going to the museums.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

McCormick & Schmick's

I was flying home to Seattle a few years ago on Alaska Airlines and as a promotion they handed out to all their passengers a $50 gift certificate to McCormick & Schmick's. "Wow!" I thought to myself, "$50! I could eat like a queen!". My friend Justin and I decided to hit up the one on 4th ave. in Seattle. $100 later (not including the gift certificate) we stumbled out of the restaurant stuffed, but bewildered on how we were going to pay our rent next month. We knew we were in trouble when it stated on the menu that the prices were fixed for that date. I had never heard of the term "Market Price" before that cold day in July.

Yes, it's cold in Seattle in July...get over it.

If only someone had told me that they have some of the BEST happy hour deals, I would have been able to keep my apartment. So good, in fact, that they offer it at two different times during the day. I know what you are thinking...chain restaurant, ew...but seriously, give them a shot.

From 3:30pm to 6:30pm then from 9pm to 11pm you will find $1.95 menu items including a full 1/4 lbs cheeseburger and fries, beef skewers and salmon spring rolls to die for. Drinks are still pretty much full price, but the food is worth it.

I recommend the restaurants on Rodeo Drive and in El Segundo. I was turned off by the bar in Downtown L.A., as was my friend Jen unfortunately, thus causing her to veto any attempts by me to get her to meet me there. Damn those foodies!

McCormick & Schmick's, various locations throughout the U.S.

The List

To date, here is the list of reviewed happy hours by region:

Miracle Mile
Marie Callender's Grill

Santa Monica
The Penthouse @ the Huntley Hotel
Monsoon Cafe

Joseph's Cafe

South Bay
McCormick & Schmick's

Beverly Hills
McCormick & Schmick's

Los Feliz
Vinoteca Wine & Beer Bar

Mediterraneo, Hermosa Beach

Bill and I discovered this little tapas gem on one of our "I don't want to drive all the way into L.A. let's stay in the South Bay just once" kinda moods. Located on the pier in Hermosa Beach, Mediterraneo is a find in the middle of a frat boy haven. Sushi style menus are handed out upon arrival and to order one must write in the amount of each item one is choosing. Hand this over to the bartender and in minutes (literally) you are rewarded with a buffet of tasty little tapas. From Polpette (tiny little meatballs in a spicy tomato sauce) to Chorizo Bilbao (grilled spanish sausage with grapes) to an amazing Spicy Black Bean Hummus, you won't be disappointed. And the best part is Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 select tapas are 2 for 1 and drink specials are $2 draft beer (the good stuff, no bud light here) and $3 house wine (one white and one red and last I heard the red was a Malbec). Follow the link to the full menu.
On the downside, like I said before this is a frat boy oasis with tons of sports bars crowding your views of the ocean, parking can be a bit tricky, the bartenders are way surly (which after a couple drinks becomes a bit charming) and it's all the way the hell in Hermosa Beach.
I promise you, however, that if you make the trek down it will be well worth it.

Mediterraneo 73 Pier Ave (Cross Street: Hermosa Avenue)
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Monsoon Cafe

Ahhh...Monsoon. My go to happy hour in Los Angeles. Located on the ever-so-touristy 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica and part of the Global Dining family, Monsoon has a happy hour menu guaranteed to leave your belly and your wallet happy.

Happy hour takes place daily between 4pm and 7pm. Select beers, wines, cocktails and assorted sushi rolls are available for under $5. I am in the process of getting the menu and will post it as soon as I can.

The outside patio provides a full view of the spectacle that is the Promenade. If the no legged man doing acrobatics or the blonde girl from Kentucky singing pop songs and doing cartwheels or the little old man singing "Achy Breaky Heart" over and over again doesn't provide enough entertainment for you, stop by on Wednesday nights where after 7pm Monsoon provides free salsa lessons and live bands after 10pm.

Monsoon Cafe 1212 3rd St Promenade (Cross Street: Wilshire Blvd)
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Monday, February 19, 2007

Joseph's Cafe of Hollywood

As an Angelino, it's almost imperative to stay away from Hollywood during the day. Filled with tourists, traffic and let's not even mention the monstrosity that is Hollywood and Highland which apparently now they are trying to do the same with Hollywood and Vine (thank you W hotel). So I would understand that the prospect of going to Joseph's Cafe on Ivar during rush hour might make any self-respecting person in L.A. run for their local dive bar and huddle in the corner with a Jack on the rocks.
Don't you rush to judgment though, this restaurant that lives in the shadow of the "uber hip" White Lotus is a happy hour haven. Don't believe me? First, check out the menu:

Drink Specials
All Martini's & Margaritas $5
Well Drinks $4
Domestic Beer $2
Import Beer $3
Draft Beer $4
Wine by the Glass $4

Tapas & Apps
All Menu Items are $5
Calamari - fried or sauteed
Olive Plate w/Monchego Cheese & Jamon
Garlic Mushrooms
Garlic Shrimp
Skewers - Chicken, Fish or Lamb
Tuna Carpaccio
Pizza's - Margherita, Veggie or Meat
Rolled Tacos - Fish, Chicken or Beef
Chicken Quesadillas w/pico de gallo
Guacomole & Chips
Shrimp Cakes
Falafel Plate w/Tomatoes
Saganaki (flaming goat cheese)

Secondly, it's quiet and on the end of Ivar so you can find on-street parking easily.
Third, it's really pretty and I said to go. That should be enough, I think!

Joseph's Cafe. 1775 North Ivar Hollywood, California 90028.

The Penthouse @ The Huntley Hotel

One of my favorite happy hours in L.A. used to be at Toppers in the Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica. The drink specials weren't great and they didn't have the best bar menu in the city...but the views were spectacular PLUS all the chips and salsa you could eat!
When I learned that it had closed and was being replaced by a new restaurant called The Penthouse, I eagerly awaited it's opening to see if the happy hour tradition would continue. A call today to the hostess crushed my dreams. I was told they have a wonderful lounge menu but alas, no happy hour.


In any case, here is a lovely review by EaterLA.

The Penthouse 1111 2nd St., Santa Monica, CA 90403

Friday, February 16, 2007


This will be an ever changing site, so please check back often. As I'm new to this whole blog thing, I'm hoping that with the more I learn, the larger this will grow.
If you know of a great happy hour in your area please e-mail me at!

Happy drinking!