Alcohol & Spirits

5 Best Happy Hours on the Beach

Comments (0)


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 10:04 AM
click to enlarge Duke's - ERIKA BOLDEN
  • Erika Bolden
  • Duke's

It can be easy to forget that L.A. is an oceanside city. Brutal traffic and busy schedules prevent regular visits to the coast. But having a destination in mind makes the Pacific more accessible -- and when that destination also features a happy hour discounting wine, cocktails, beer and the occasional appetizer, your excuses for staying inland get swept out to sea. The waves crash, the seagulls squawk, the sun sets and the salt air dances with an aromatic mai tai or pale ale. What's not to love?

Also captivating: the chance to observe a rare breed of beachgoer, to be found only in its natural habitat. Whether you're watching a theater of absurdities on the Venice Boardwalk or taking in the lofty Pacific view from a hotel bar, the following happy hours by the beach marry deeply discounted drinks with the sublime vastness of the sea and some truly interesting people watching.

click to enlarge the view from Duke's - ERIKA BOLDEN
  • Erika Bolden
  • the view from Duke's

5. Duke's:

When you venture to Malibu, it's not usually to find the cheapest drinks in town. Yet even this affluent beachfront community has something close to working-class booze prices at Duke's, at least during Aloha Hour at its Barefoot Bar. There's plenty of dated kitsch at this Hawaiian-themed mainstay, but you'll hardly notice it when you're spellbound by the crashing waves and setting sun. Few places in town have such amazing proximity to the water -- from certain seats in the bar area (both outdoor and in), you could swear you were on a boat. Look for specials ranging from $3 beers to $5 mai tais, depending on the day, and $5 Bloody Marys at Sunday brunch. There are plenty of bar snacks to pull you from your rum-induced stupor and prepare you for the long drive home -- especially the fish tacos. Happy hour Mon., 3 p.m.-close, Tues.-Fri., 4-6 p.m. 21150 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; 310-317-0777.

click to enlarge Venice Whaler - ERIKA BOLDEN
  • Erika Bolden
  • Venice Whaler

4. Venice Whaler Bar & Grill:

Rowdy drinking is the status quo for the second-floor patio at the Venice Whaler Bar & Grill, perched where Washington Boulevard meets the Boardwalk. A true dive bar, the Whaler looks like Venice and feels like Venice, even if it's technically in neighboring Marina del Rey: Maxi dresses abound and no guy's look is complete without Oakleys on the top of his head. Not only can you see the little fishing pier extending out to sea, but you can also spy all the way up the boardwalk, where life plays out like a grungy soap opera stuck in the mid-'90s. Sip on $6 house wine and spirits and $4 draft beers -- look out for Lagunitas and Venice Beach Beer. Better yet, buy a pitcher for $15. Happy hour Mon.-Fri., 4-7 p.m.; Mon.-Thurs., 10 p.m.-mid. 10 W. Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey; 310-821-8737.

Related Location

Related Content

Now Trending

  • 4 Places to Get Good Poke in L.A.

    While even poke stalwart Sam Choy isn’t sure of poke’s exact origin, it's apparent that the current form of Japanese-influenced poke became pervasive throughout the “grindz” culture in the 1970s. Since then (and even more so since President Obama’s win), poke has become one of the go-to island food memories...
  • 6 L.A. Kickstarters That Wish They Were Potato Salad

    Do you love potato salad? Maybe you're one of more than 4,000 backers who collectively contributed more than $40,0000 in less than a week to Zack Danger Brown's now infamous potato salad Kickstarter, whose goal was initially set at $10. With ample publicity from nearly every corner of the mainstream media...
  • Want a Great Piña Colada?

    The Piña Colada is the national drink of Puerto Rico, where the name means "strained pineapple." While several bartenders claim ownership of the drink's creation, it can most likely be traced back to the 1948 invention of Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut (emulsifiers and all) in Puerto Rico, which meshes...


  • The Tasting Menu Trend
    In Los Angeles especially, but increasingly across the country, restaurants are either switching to tasting menus, putting a greater focus on a tasting-menu option (while offering à la carte items as well), or opening as tasting-menu operations from day one. The format that used to be the calling card of only the fanciest of restaurants is becoming ubiquitous, even at places where the waiter calls you “dude” and there isn’t a white tablecloth in sight.
  • Milo's Kitchen: A Treat Truck for Dogs
    Milo's Kitchen, a part of California-based Big Heart Pet Brands, is taking its homestyle dog treats on the road this summer with the "Treat Truck." The dogified food truck is making stops all over the country, ending up in New York early September. The truck stopped at Redondo Beach Dog Park Friday morning entertaining the pups with treats, a photo-booth and play zone. Milo's Kitchen Treat Truck offered samples of the line's six flavors, all with chicken or beef as the first ingredient, and all made in the U.S.A. with no artificial colors or preservatives. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Smoke.oil.salt's Spanish Cuisine
    Smoke.oil.salt chef (and Valencia native) Perfecto Rocher is valiantly trying to bring the experience of Spain, specifically Catalonia, to the brick space (under a tattoo parlor) on Melrose that used to be Evan Kleiman’s Angeli Caffe.