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Tapenade happy hour is serious about Brussels sprouts, lamb tacos and $4 wine

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If you've survived the gastro-pub movement that's swept through L.A. the last couple years, you may be familiar with a condition called Brussels sprout fatigue. Everyone's got them on the menu, and most are fried. Rest assured, we're all going through the same thing, but sometimes you try some that you absolutely need to share. And you remember why they're popular in the first place. The crispy Brussels sprouts at Tapenade are those Brussels sprouts. And during happy hour, an entire bowl is $6.

Tapenade, the newly opened Mediterranean-style restaurant on Sawtelle in West L.A. has just launched its happy hour menu, with a sampling of chef Ressul Rassallat's favorite bites, including the Brussels sprouts. Monday to Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. all the food on the happy hour menu is $6. 

The restaurant is on the corner of a busy shopping center with a large outdoor patio and a square bar in the center of the restaurant. When happy hour launched Monday, more than half of the diners sat at the bar with one, or in some cases two, bowls of the sprouts in front of them. 

PHOTOS: Inside Tapenade's happy hour

Rassallat takes his Brussels sprouts seriously, with large bins of them in the kitchen. Workers diligently peel the leaves off for hours to feed the chef's obsession. He makes six different kinds, but for happy hour you can get the Thai style, with mango, peanuts, Thai chili and spicy rice vinegar or the Spanish style, with ham, Manchego, almonds and a sherry vinegar. 

Other happy hour highlights include the lamb crisp, which is actually more of a lamb taco (three to an order) with goat cheese, rich red wine onions and scantily dressed frisee in a hard shell, the goat cheese tapenade with brioche toast, and the short rib panini with truffle fries. There's also a grilled squid with tomato, beans and chorizo. 

All the portions make for a light, affordable meal or pre-dinner snack with a $4 glass of wine or beer.

11301 W. Olympic Blvd., No. 116, Los Angeles, CA 90064, (310) 312-6233, tapenade.la

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