The term “happy hour” is at least partially misleading. Rarely does this special time of day last for merely 60 minutes. It sure lives up to half the promise of its title, though, invariably delivering a great deal of happiness to drinkers everywhere. Show us someone who doesn't love a great deal. No, really, show them to us, because they can probably afford our next round of overpriced cocktails.
But you can only consume so much inexpensive booze before a hankering for food takes hold. And since most bars keep happy hour discounts out of the kitchen, everything you just saved on drinks can easily end up bankrolling your drunken munchies. Avoid that trap by posting up at any number of fine bars across town offering markdowns on quality pub grub as well as grog. Here's our list of L.A.'s top 10 pub grub happy hours.
Sunset Trocadero Lounge, West Hollywood
One of Hollywood's classic watering holes is home to one of the city's longest-running happy hours. In addition to deep discounts on perilously strong martinis — and everything else at the bar — the Trocadero graciously runs all of its awesome apps at half-price from 6 to 8 p.m., every damn day. Nearly two dozen dishes on the cheap, ranging from pedestrian to gourmet fare, $2 shoestring fries all the way up to succulent baby lamp chops. The juicy, house-marinated cut of game would be a deal at the regular price, but at $8 it's worth battling frenzied crowds to procure. Happy hour daily, 6-8 p.m. 8280 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; (323) 656-7161.
Stout has been a Hollywood craft beer destination for nearly a decade. Rightfully so. The bar, open nightly until 4 a.m., continually pours from among the widest selection of microbrews available in L.A. And while they generally won't offer any savings on those marvelous pints, they're more than happy to take 50 percent off their entire food menu on weekday afternoons from 4 to 6 p.m. And this is hardly greasy bar fare. A thoughtful assortment of gastropub-inspired burgers with $6 price tags is criminally irresistible. The sweet potato fries served with house-made lemon basil aioli might just be the best side in the city. Happy hour Mon.-Fri., 4-6 p.m. 1544 N Cahuenga Blvd., Hlywd.; (323) 469-3801. stoutburgersandbeers.com.
Far Bar, Little Tokyo
Little Tokyo's Far Bar might be a craft beer lover's dream come true, but to anyone else, its happy hour is still nothing short of a fantasy. All day Sunday and Monday, and from 3 until 7 p.m. the rest of the week, you can stuff your face with Asian-inspired comfort food for $7 or less. Spicy tuna rolls, a sizable burger served with wasabi-fied french fries, and teriyaki-tinged sliders are packed with Asian flair and sit equally well next to IPAs and $6 bourbon drink specials alike. Happy hour Sun.-Mon., 3 p.m.-2 a.m.; Tue.-Fri., 3-7 p.m. 347 E. First St., Little Tokyo; (213) 617-9990, farbarla.com.
The Morrison, Atwater Village
This popular Atwater Village sports bar scores big with the home crowd by offering numerous daily specials. In addition to discounted menu selections during games, the daily afternoon happy hour menu features five drinks and five bar-food staples for just $5 a pop. A well-executed old-fashioned paired alongside two juicy sliders — jazzed up with ranch dressing and homemade barbecue sauce — will set you back $10, not a penny more. At that rate, regardless of how your team does, you're going home a winner. Happy hour daily, 3-7 p.m. 3179 Los Feliz Blvd., Atwater Village; (323) 667-1839, themorrisonla.com.
Bacaro L.A., University Park
Located just south of downtown, Bacaro is attracting visitors to this under-explored region of town by offering fun, Mediterranean-inspired small plates, built to share. The $14 pitchers of Sangria might also have something to do with its success. From 5 to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, the apps flow endlessly from the kitchen at $6 a plate. Shrimp-stuffed mushrooms, glazed pork belly skewers, polenta with eggplant salad and a half dozen grilled pizzas to choose from. And that barely scratches the service. Come early with a sizable group, as you could easily devote two full hours to tapas tasting before doubling up on anything. Happy hour Mon.-Thu., 5-7 p.m. 2308 S. Union Ave., University Park; (213) 748-7205, bacarola.com.
Mud Hen Tavern, Hollywood
This relative newcomer brought elevated bar food to a section of Hollywood that desperately needed it. For an effective cross-sampling of its flavorful fare, hit the Mud Hen from 5 to 7 p.m. on weekdays, when a smattering of small plates is offered at an average $5 apiece. The Marguerita pizza benefits from fresh tomatoes and basil, and is certainly a reliable accompaniment to $4 glasses of beer and wine. But you're better off exploring the lamb meatballs, invigorated by a topping of tangy yogurt and minty chimichurri. Stopping after just one is not an option. Happy hour Mon.-Fri., 5-7 p.m. 742 N. Highland Ave., Hlywd.; (323) 203-0500, mudhentavern.com.
Blue Palms Brewhouse, Hollywood
Any discussion involving L.A. pub grub must mention Blue Palms, Hollywood's beacon for beers, brats and burgers. A frequently rotating tap list, offering two dozen pints often priced at $4, should be enough to ensnare any self-respecting deal hunter. Yet Blue Palms goes the extra distance to please its customers, placing at least half a dozen menu items on special until 6:30 p.m. daily. A heaping mound of BBQ chicken–topped nachos is a steal at $6. And the $8 Brewburger, served with cheddar and crisped fries, just begs to be washed down in a deluge of fresh IPA hoppiness. Blue Palms has a beer — or seven — for that. Happy hour Mon.-Fri., 5-7 p.m. 6124 Hollywood Blvd., Hllywd.; (323) 464-2337, bluepalmsbrewhouse.com.
Villains Tavern, Arts District
Hipster-friendly Villains Tavern is a welcome addition to the ever-expanding downtown Arts District. It serves a lengthy list of libations for $8 until 8 p.m. — including several cocktails on tap and modernized mockups of classics. The rye-forward Mule Kick, for example, is a grapefruit-infused variation on a black Manhattan. Most of these offerings — with smoky, salty or savory undertones — are food-friendly, making the $5 happy hour food specials particularly enticing. Pistachio-laced fried green beans and crispy Brussels sprouts topped with pepitas and creme fraiche are standouts. Happy hour Tue.-Sun., 5-8 p.m. 1356 Palmetto St., Arts District; (323) 637-4153, villainstavern.com.
Blue Cow Kitchen, downtown
After-work specials are the name of the game here. From 4:30 until 6:30 p.m. every weekday afternoon, Blue Cow will mix up a well cocktail of your choosing for $5. A few drinks deep, and those crispy glazed Brussels sprouts quickly become akin to vegetarian crack. But at $6 a serving, your only concern will be how to duplicate the addictive maple Sriracha sauce at home. For more protein-forward noshing, the fried chicken sliders are a perennial crowd pleaser. Happy hour Mon.-Fri., 4:30-6:30 p.m. 350 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; (213) 621-2249, bluecowkitchen.com.
R Bar, Koreatown
A modern speakeasy requiring an easily fetched password for admittance might seem a bit kitschy, but you should be willing to put up with much more in exchange for cheap food and drink. Besides, this place is genuinely fun. They slash two bucks off a limited selection of comfort dishes (grilled cheese, burgers, tacos), and top-shelf liquor all day until 9 p.m. It might not seem that significant, but with the addition of $5 well cocktails, the savings add up. And, assuredly, the environment becomes increasingly inviting with each passing drink. Happy hour daily, 7-9 p.m. 3331 W. Eighth St., Koreatown; (213) 387-7227.
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