The Place: The Crosby, 400 N. Broadway, SanTana, (714) 543-3543; www.thisisthecrosby.com
The Hours: Mon.-Sat., 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
The Deal: $1 Pabst, $3 Sangria, $4 Well drinks, $5 happy hour menu, and happy hour prices all day Monday.
: Much has been made about the Crosby's hipster vibe, and its inventive menu under the guidance of head chef Aron Habiger, but this is also a fine place to booze: dark, with pulsing music and a long bar backlit to show its many bourbons, tequilas, vodkas and other spirits. Habinger is planning to hop on the cocktail craze and create specialty drinks and infusions--in the meanwhile, most people tidy up to their ales and wicked sangria (in white and red colors). It's a more-mature crowd just after work; the young kids don't start invading the spot until 9 p.m. or so.
The Sauce: Habinger is planning to hop on the cocktail craze and create specialty drinks and infusions--in the meanwhile, most people tidy up to their ales and wicked sangria (in white and red colors). Me? Their Manhattan up, created with Maker's Mark, is all I can ever drink here--they serve it in a glass better suited for soup, so massive it is. The chica, on the other hand, has proudly plowed through many brightly colored, massively sugared drink whose name I always forget once I'm working on that third Manhattan.
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The Food: I just declared the Crosby's $5 happy hour pizza a winner against its immediate competition: Memphis' $5 happy hour pizza. Five bucks also buys you vegan chili cheese fries, gooey and delicious, and their Starving Artist sandwich, a fine slice of bread fused together with Gruyere and a shot of hot pasta sauce. Want to splurge? Their monthly menu always hosts surprises, and the regular offerings get written about here almost as much as the taco acorazado.
The Verdict: If you've heard much about the Crosby but cringe when you see the lines at night, happy hour is the time to visit this gem. I just wish they weren't so cool so that they could sneak in a television to see some sports, you know?
The Grade: A