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.
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.