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.
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.