One day last week, our editor-in-chief came out of his Editors of the Roundtable discussion with a proclamation.
“Verily, go thou out into the shire and imbibe, that all may be shewn the way of the publican.”
“Go find happy hours, then write about them.”
“Did you just tell us to go out and drink? Repeatedly?”
“Yes. Once a week is plenty, though.”
So here it is, the inaugural edition of “Drunk After Work”, Stick A Fork In It's guide to the happy hours of OC and the LBC. If there are great cocktails out there, we'll point you to them, and if we encounter any bad mixes or snotty 'tude, we'll suffer so you don't have to.
The Hours: 4-7 p.m., weekdays.
The Deal: 50 percent off any small plate on the menu, plus some beer specials (mostly domestic big names).
The Scene: It can be difficult to find your way around the
parking lots and the mall; the bar is at the north end of the mall,
near the bowling alley and movie theater, but on the third level. Once
inside, the bar dominates the room: rustic wood and interior-lit glass
panels, and fully wood-paneled walls. The crowd starts out younger (there were a surprising number of
bros in Haute Surf Shop wear) but gets older and more professional
after 5 p.m. The music is similar to Jack FM, but without the
commercials. Easy to have a conversation, even at the bar with eight
televisions going over your head.
The Sauce: Drinks were a mixed bag. One of the signature cocktails (a chipotle
fruit margarita) was unavailable; their take on the Collins was a
little on the sweet side for this gin-head. The bartenders had
technical issues with the beer taps, which resulted in no head and beer
slopped down the sides. Simple mixed drinks (gin and tonic, margarita) are strong
and probably the best bet.
The Eats: Food is bar standard. Pretzel sticks with three dipping sauces were
very good. Tempura shrimp with three dipping sauces was quite good,
though not actually tempura. Loaded tots started off well but the
queso-type sauce got saltier as it cooled. Sliders looked awesome, though, with lots of fried onions.
The Verdict: If you're looking for a quick getaway from
Disneyland or an alternative to the two-hour waits at the restaurants
at the south end of the GardenWalk, order a beer and some fried food to
tide you over until the kids are in bed. If you're after a scene or
high-end mixology, move on.
The Grade: B-