Drunk After Work: Palapa Bar at the Hotel Ménage, Anaheim
The Place: k'ya, in the Hotel Ménage, 1221 South Harbor Blvd., Anaheim; (714) 758-0900.
The Hours: 4-7 p.m. every day.
The Deal: Half off beer, wine and well drinks; list of cheap appetizers.
Courtesy of k'ya
The Scene: Pull up to the only halfway-trendy hotel on Harbor and your car will be valeted by very stereotypically OC young men. There are actually two bars, both of which have the happy hour; if you want to lounge in a gauzy hallway room, head inside, or for the "palapa" bar, head outside. You are in a hotel in the Anaheim Resort, so the bulk of your drinking mates will be tourists in desperate need of an adults-only moment. Happily for intrepid locals, the service is good and friendly; if you're not into tourists at the pool, sit facing the building.
The Sauce: Better than expected given the location; well drinks are higher-quality than normal, the beer selection is reasonable, and if you like slushy, girly, frozen drinks (mai tais, blended margaritas and the like), the barkeeps are pretty good at this one. If you're after high-end liquors, this may be a place to skip.
The Eats: A mixed bag. The burger ($5), while not up to McCormick's $3 happy hour special, is a good alternative to dinner. Chicken empanadas were crispy and well-seasoned; a little tub of chimichurri would have been perfect with them. The chicken nachos were a miss; oddly soggy chicken and congealed cheese tossed carelessly on top of chips, then drowned under salsa, guacamole and too much sour cream.
The Verdict: A good choice if you're meeting someone staying in the hotel or nearby, or for a quick drink before eating in the small-plates "street food" restaurant in the hotel; not a destination if you're coming from elsewhere in the county.
The Grade: B-; good service, but there are better places within 10 minutes.
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