The Place: Lazy Dog Cafe, locations in Huntington Beach/Westminster, Orange and Irvine
The Hours: Mon.-Fri., 3-6 p.m.; Sun.-Thurs., 9 p.m. to close (bar and patio only)
The Deal: Drink specials from $4 to $5; $1 off all drafts and well drinks; $4 house wine selections; 16-oz. house drafts, $3.75; personal pizzas, $5; regular pizzas, $2 off; reduced prices on all appetizers.
The Scene: With all locations in proximity to multiplexes and major freeways, you'll find a wide range of diners at your local Lazy Dog. With double the happy time, they capture the 9-to-5 crowd as well as folks looking for a haven open late. Sports fanatics will gather around the "hydrant" and mounted flat-screen TVs. When the weather's warm enough, the patio is the place to be. Proud pooch owners love the dish of water offered to guests on a leash. On cooler nites, the fire pit is another option. The coveted indoor spot for groups is tucked in a corner, with its upholstered wall bank of seating and adjustable table layout.
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The Sauce: Hooch for the masses--no mixologists here, and the fanciest drinks are the red and white sangrias, Sauza margaritas, and champagne mojitos. Order a $15 sangria pitcher if you find someone to share with. Ten beers on tap to choose from is always welcome--I especially like saving more than two bucks on my Guinness pint. For the ladies, there's always the no-nonsense $5 pink lemon drop.
The Food: A hummus trio features traditional, walnut-pesto and sundried-tomato flavors and is filling. The zucchini fries are straight out of Charlie's Chili. Cool and crisp, chicken lettuce wraps crunch with water chestnuts and peanuts. For hot-'n'-hearty fare, opt for the pizza--the honey chipotle barbecue sauce on the chicken imparts a subtle, sweet heat.
The Verdict: No 320 Main here, but sometimes, people want the easy life. Dual happy hours, fruity drink options and multicultural bites make for an ideal alternative to staying at home. Call a friend and be lazy together.
The Grade: A.