The Place: Xlixe Pizzeria, 432 E 2nd Street, Los Angeles; (213) 620-0513.
The Hours: Monday through Friday 4-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday all day.
The Deals: $4 pints, $5 sangria, $4 wings, and assorted appetizers $1-1.5
The Digs: The brand new pizza joint is right at the end of a strip mall just blocks away from the Little Tokyo Gold Line station. Its brick-and-mortar neighbors specialize in the many varieties of Japanese cuisine, including izakaya, sushi, shabu-shabu, and more, but its spiritual neighbors lie a short walk to the south in the Arts district. The interior of Xlixe (pronounced 'slice') reflects this mix of influences, with a minimalist wood-framed aesthetic accompanied by the obligatory chalkboard, a graffiti-style mural, and, of course, shiny new craft beer tap handles. Eclectic as it sounds, it comes together nicely and the restaurant has a relaxed but cool vibe that's perfect for a mellow afternoon snack or early evening drink.
Turn the page for our verdict...
The Verdict: Xlixe is a restaurant that has some craft beer and not a beer bar that has some food, so you shouldn't go in expecting to find, say, Firestone XIV. Having said that, though, Xlixe does have a totally solid selection including regular favorites Stone IPA and Dale's Pale Ale among others, and the happy hour price of $4 per pint is great. It is true that there are places where that kind of cash will buy you a PBR and a shot, but if you value your taste buds (or your liver) like you value your wallet, this deal is at least as good as that.
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Our most recent visit to Xlixe was on their second day of existence, so we are ready to forgive them for not having the sangria prepared. They did assure us that it will be house-made, and at $5 a glass during happy hour that's a pretty solid deal too.
Highlights from the short but well-priced menu were an order of 3 oh-so-pungent garlic knots, which came out of the oven hot and fresh. We were still sweating garlic on the tennis court days later, and at just $1 for the whole order they were quite a steal. We were also partial to the Xlixe Twist, a whole potato skewered, then cut into a spiral and deep fried. Though it proved somewhat difficult to eat, it was a lovely and inspired take on french fries that we very much enjoyed.
Our time at Xlixe was pleasant and satisfying, but for some reason it was a little short of exceptional. Perhaps it is the abundance of carbs and the lack of greenery on the happy hour menu, and maybe even the sangria could put it over the top, but at the moment Xlixe's happy hour feels a little one-note. Still, settling for cheap pints of good beer and a bunch of bready bites is hardly settling at all, and we were happy to enjoy both at Xlixe.
The Grade: B+