We've got all the answers you'll ever need. Here are 10 happy hours that work extremely well in specific situations. Save this list for the next time you've got the munchies - or a crabby tourist.
Best Happy Hour When You're Single: Birds
In a shaded glen on Franklin Avenue, just east of where it intersects the 101, lies a trendy yet isolated block of history-rich Hollywood. The area's best-looking residents flock here to get coffee at Bourgeois Pig or catch a comedy show at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. By far the most approachable and affordable establishment on the stretch, however, is Birds. A rotisserie chicken café by day, at happy hour, it dims its lights and fills up with the area's young, weird, single and successful, who casually sip $3 wells and $3 draft beers looking for that next banter buddy. Empty barstools are mere conversation starters for the diverse Birds crowd, and rentable Jenga and Connect Four games ensure the post-work social sessions stay lubricated straight into Ladies Night (Friday, 11 p.m. to close), when all drinks destined for female mouths are half-price. 5925 Franklin Ave., Hlywd.; (323) 465-0175, birdshollywood.com. Happy hour weekdays, 4-6 p.m.; all well drinks, draft beers, wine and cocktails are $3 or $5.
- Sarah Bennett
Best Happy Hour When You're on a Date: Cliff's Edge
At Cliff's Edge in Silver Lake, strings of lights, candles and warm wood touches all build to romantic intimacy. All hours are happy hour at the bar, where you can order a $7 cocktail chosen daily by the bartender, or a $3 beer. First dates (set up blind or online) are in luck: There are always plenty of people around to provide a buffer and lots of fun historic details to discuss - 1920s chandeliers salvaged from the Opium Den hang above the bar and reclaimed wood panels line the walls. If the night is going well, venture onto the patio for dinner. If it falls apart, a word to the wise: Escaping your date by scaling the ancient tree piercing the patio is ill-advised. 3626 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; cliffsedgecafe.com. Happy hour Monday through Thursday, 6 p.m.-mid.; Friday-Saturday, 6 p.m.-2 a.m. - Erika Bolden
Best Happy Hour When You're Starting Early: Cole's Red Bar Car
Fittingly, the website for Cole's Red Car Bar quotes Humphrey Bogart: "The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind." With Cole's happy hour starting at 3 p.m. on weekdays - and running all day Tuesday, from 11 a.m. to closing - there's no reason to be a few drinks behind, ever. Cole's "Holy Trinity" is three of the most classic cocktails: the old-fashioned, the Manhattan and the Sazerac. Other selections range from the Moscow Mule (vodka, ginger beer, fresh-squeezed lime juice in the traditional copper mug) to the Martinez (Bols genever, sweet vermouth, orange curaçao, Angostura bitters). All menu drinks are $8 during happy hour; well drinks and beer are $5, with wine and bubbly $6. Add half of Cole's famous French Dip, served with fries for just $5, and your day is complete before the clock strikes 5 p.m. 118 E. Sixth St., dwntwn.; (213) 622-4090, colesfrenchdip.com. Happy hour drinks, weekdays, 3-7 p.m. and all day Tuesday; happy hour food, weekdays 3-7 p.m. - Lesley Jacobs Solmonson
When it's time for happy hour, there's always your neighborhood bar. But you can't just hang out there all the time, and special circumstances call for special places. Where to go when you have friends who have never been to L.A. before - and are desperately in need of something soothing after a day sightseeing in Santa Monica? Where to go when you're on your way to LAX - and you suddenly get that alert that your friend's plane is landing a full hour late? Where to take vegans? Where to take a date? And where to go when you're really, really thirsty at 3 p.m.?