The Place: The Glendon Bar & Kitchen, 1071 Glendon Avenue, Westwood; (310) 208-2023.
The Hours: Weekdays 4-7 p.m. and 10 p.m -12 a.m.
The Deals: $5 beer, specialty cocktails, well drinks; $6 select wines; and half price appetizers.
The Digs: Around the corner from the fratty Westwood Brew Co. and down the street from the always packed happy hour at Palomino, The Glendon offers both students and professionals an upscale albeit not-as-busy place (at least on the Tuesday we went) to grab cocktails, lunch and dinner. Vaulted ceilings lend an airiness to the bar/restaurant -- which has taken over the old Moustache Cafe space -- while large windows out front light up the space during the day and present a view of sleepy Glendon Avenue during the night. Guests at the bar can catch the game on a couple of flat screen TVs while those on the dark wood four tops behind them can peer over their shoulders between sips of cocktails. The rest of the restaurant has banquette seating and plush high-back leather bar couches for those on dates.
The Verdict: It bodes well for this double happy hour (after work and after hours) that the deals aren't only for the bar area but rather the entire restaurant. And it's even more promising when the entire bar menu is half off, with comfort food like Tijuana grilled corn on the cob for $3 and baked mac-n-cheese for $4. And, the three pizzas -- large in size and perfect for sharing -- range in price from the $5.50 cheese to the $7 Glendon South with grilled chicken, barbecue beans and grilled corn.
Unfortunately, of the plates we ordered -- the Ugly Goat pizza, crab cakes and hummus plate -- we found all lacked a certain scrumptiousness. The Ugly Goat pizza, although possessing a nice, crispy crust, was bland and uninteresting. The crab cakes were decent, but were accompanied by an avocado citrus puree which tasted of exactly nothing. True, these dishes are fancier and better quality than your typical bar food selection, but at the same time they just weren't all that special.
The same can be said of the cocktails. Yes, it's exciting that there are $5 cocktails on the menu. But not exciting that they are girl drinks -- Cosmo, Apple Martini, Lemon Drop. For the Rumrise -- basically a Tequila Sunrise but with rum -- the juice is more prominent than the liquor, perhaps because it's a $5 cocktail. But at least it does a fine job of being something cheap and pretty to sip on. Stick to a well cocktail if you want to stay away from the sweet stuff. The beer selection also leaves much to be desired what with Stella, Budweiser and Shock Top Belgian White.
Suffice it to say that this happy hour is perfunctory at best. It's a nice alternative for sorority sisters put off by the crowds at Palomino and Brew Co., but if your standards for a great happy hour extend beyond the discounts and deals and you prefer to actually enjoy what you consume, this ain't the place.
Overall Grade: C+