Name of restaurant: Bar Ama
Happy hour: It's called Super Nacho Hour and it takes place 5 to 7:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, 10 p.m. to close Monday to Saturday and 3 to 5:30 p.m. If you've eaten a bowl of Josef Centeno's Tex Mex queso and wished for queso nachos, here's your chance.
Centeno, who is also the chef behind Orsa & Winston next door, Baco Mercat and the new Ledlow, is making your wildest drunk food dreams come true with $5 bowls of queso nachos, a fried kielbasa taco ($5), short rib taquitos ($7), a potato and chorizo empanada ($7) and more. And to drink, $9 classic margaritas, beer and wine specials, including $5 Micheladas. On Margarita Mondays, the bar is also whipping up some seasonal margaritas. This past Monday, it was pineapple or cinnamon.
Best bang for your buck: The $5 nachos. It's a bowl piled high with hot, crisp tortilla chips covered in hot and gooey queso dip. It's topped with some guacamole, sour cream and salsa. If you add a fried kielbasa taco, you've got a meal. For the taco, a flour tortilla is stuffed with pieces of fried kielbasa sausage, slivers of sweet grilled onions, a cool cabbage slaw, a dollop of sour cream and some salsa. Dip the taco in the pool of queso at the bottom of your nachos — you'll thank me later.
What you're drinking: A glass of Sauvignon Blanc ($6), but a spicy Michelada or pineapple margarita goes great with a bowl of nachos, and any taco.
Who's at the next table: Two men saddle up to the bar and proudly tell the bartender they are there for the Super Nacho Hour in deep, superhero voices. A trio of friends exchange Christmas gifts over margaritas at one end of the bar, and at the other, a Jon Favreau look-a-like and his date hover over the seated bar patrons while they wait for a table, mesmerized by the plates coming out of the kitchen.
Uh-oh: Get there early, or you won't get a seat. By 5:45 the entire bar area was full. You don't want to be the Jon Favreau look-alike hovering without any nachos.
Service: Friendly and willing to let you try the wine before making a real commitment. He'll also help you save a seat for your friend who's running late.
Info: 118 W. 4th St., Los Angeles, (213) 687-7000, http://bar-ama.com/.
Occasionally a lush, but always classy about it. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_