Drunk After Work: McCormick & Schmick's
The Place: McCormick and Schmick's, 321 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim; (714) 535-9000.
The Hours: 3:30-6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.-close, Monday through Friday (but see note at end).
The Scene: The restaurant itself tries to invoke expense account chic, where be-tied titans of industry knock back strong, manly drinks while dining on seafood. The effect is spoiled somewhat by the fact that the restaurant is smack dab in the middle of the Anaheim Resort, with casually dressed families on break from Disneyland the main customer base. The bar is long and fairly narrow. Children are not permitted to sit at the bar, but are permitted to sit at the high tables in the bar area.
The Sauce: Middle of the road. Until recently, happy hour at M&S was full price for drinks and specials on food; some drink specials have crept in, which is a welcome change. Well drinks are predictably hard on the palate; go for beer or wine rather than house gin or vodka, though if you order mixed drinks they'll be made competently. Each day has a different drink special, and they change often; a recent Tuesday featured $7 Belvedere cocktails.
The famous McCormick & Schmick's $2.95 Burger
The Eats: The reason to come to McCormick & Schmick's, they have a generous happy hour menu (available in the bar only) with prices from $1.95 to $4.95. The best value by far is the $2.95 burger, a half-pound monster with fries. Chicken sliders ($4.95) are good; gyoza ($3.95) were fine. Fin fish poke ($4.95) was a salty, slimy miss.
The Verdict: This isn't the place for the after-work party, and it's hard to cut loose when there are kids in the bar. The acoustics don't lend themselves to a klatsch, either, unfortunately. For worn-out parents on vacation, though, it's a godsend. Come here for an early dinner and a beer, though; the burger alone is worth it.
The Grade: B-.
McCormick & Schmick's has two additional locations, not reviewed, in Orange County: 2000 Main St., Irvine; (949) 756-0505 and 2791 N. Main St., Santa Ana; (714) 558-1963. Happy hour times, prices and menus are set by the individual restaurant, so check their website before you go.
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