It’s 5 o’clock somewhere—or is it 3pm? L.A.’s latest batch of new happy hours includes an early kickoff, $3 pizza, deceptively simple martinis and 99-cent oysters. In a town with more than its fair share of pricey cocktails and dinner splurges, here are a few new ways to live large on a small budget.
Tarzana’s new wine bar sports more than 50 different wines spanning the globe, and while the full menu is worth a tour by the glass, the happy hour is where to touch down first: Find a half-liter of house red or white for only $10 every day of the week. You can also sip select beer for $3, and snack on cheese and charcuterie for $12, plus a handful of dishes for $8: wings in black garlic sauce; a wagyu burger with cheddar and sweet mustard; Brussels sprouts with soft egg and jalapeño aioli; and a chopped salad with house olives, cotija, basil and a sherry vinaigrette. Can’t argue with that.
The only time you’ll catch food being served in this sleek, Deco-inspired cocktail den is during this new happy hour, when the usual drink menu—inspired by the three acts that comprise every magic trick—gives way to a brief list of cocktails that pay homage to the neighborhood’s Old Hollywood roots. There’s only one food item offered, and it’s also a tribute to L.A.: the Bibo Dog ($6), a take on the Dodger Dog but here served with pickles, aioli and chili flakes on a traditional ballpark bun. When it comes to libations, the drinks are a throwback to the now-shuttered Dominick’s, where martinis reigned.
Because Bibo Ergo Sum’s cocktail program is designed by the beverage-titan Proprietors group (of Normandie Club fame), you know that nothing as simple as an appletini is going to be served as expected; to make theirs, they use a house salted-caramel apple cordial, apple brandy, clarified lime juice and a touch of grenadine. There’s also a martini-mojito hybrid; a lemondrop made with aquavit, vodka, gin, lemon cordial and clarified lemon juice, naturally; an espresso martini featuring house-made cold-brew espresso syrup; and a classic vesper. The best part? All of these martinis are only $6 each.
The Kimpton’s Everly Hotel, smack dab in the middle of Hollywood, kicks off its new happy hour on the earlier side. The Mediterranean-meets-Californian Jane Q starts it at 3pm every day of the week, when you can nab $3 slices of pizza, then wash ’em down with select bottles of beer and wines by the glass for $6 apiece. (And hey, with prices that low, ordering some of that killer duck confit monkey bread is still cool on the wallet.)
This Silver Lake noodle spot serves much more than its name suggests, including a handful of excellent snackable small plates—and thanks to a new happy hour, you can get ’em for only $5 a pop. We’re partial to the addictive roasted eggplant nahm prik dip with vegetable chips and crudités, but the salt and pepper chicken wings with shishitos are hard to skip, too. You can also nab $5 canned craft beer, $5 draft beer and $7 glasses of wine. And, oh yeah, there’s parking in the back.
This New American spot’s been bringing hearty fare to Sherman Oaks of late, including the usual gastropub favorites—mac ’n’ cheese, heaped burgers, braised pork belly—along with a few intriguing options: deconstructed short rib Wellington, lamb sirloin with chorizo ravioli, lobster Cobb salad, a full raw bar. During happy hour, find a blend of it all—but especially get there between 4 and 5pm, when oysters are only 99 cents each (max 24) with the purchase of any beverage. The rest of the happy hour offerings include lobster sliders with truffle aioli ($15), white bean purée with tapenade and pita ($8), a whole grilled cheese sandwich with tomato jam ($7)—you get the idea. On the beverage front, find $5 draft beers, $8 select cocktails, $5 glasses of red or white wine, and even a $17 champagne-and-fries special.
Mon–Fri 4–6:30pm at the bar, in the bar lounge or on the patio