Name of the bar: Open Air Kitchen + Bar
Happy hour: 3 to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday at the newly converted West Hollywood restaurant, which was originally opened by the Broseph's Restaurant group (Brick + Mortar) as Fatty's Public House. The name represents the large open-air patio in front of the restaurant. The menu includes a selection of food, all priced at $4, including some classic bar bites, such as hot wings, truffle fries and onion rings, as well as full dishes you can actually call dinner. There's a house-made pita that comes hot and fluffy out of the oven with a sprinkle of paprika and a side of red pepper hummus and crudite, an entire dish of macaroni and cheese with smoked gouda, cheddar and a crunchy topping, and even a Caesar salad.
And if you enjoy munching on free popcorn, there's an old-school popcorn machine making fresh batches all night long in the back corner of the restaurant. To drink, you can order any well liquor, house red, white and sparkling wine, a Coors draft, Budweiser or Budlight for $4. If you work in hospitality and are in on a Monday, happy hour runs all night.
Best bang for your buck: Honestly, any of the food items on the menu. The burger isn't a slider, it's a burger topped with balsamic caramelized onions, cheddar cheese and arugula on a brioche bun ($15 on the regular menu). And when have you ever seen a kale salad on a happy hour menu? The salad comes with orange segments, tomatoes, currants, Parmesan and a nutty lemon tahini dressing.
What are you drinking: A glass of the house Pinot Noir or Pino Grigio, both by Rex Goliath.
Who's at the next table: Two tourists wearing matching khaki green shirts, shorts and backpacks finish their cigarettes outside then wander in for a couple glasses of wine. A young woman in neon workout gear runs up to a table of two male friends and promptly takes a tequila shot before sitting down and giving each of them a kiss on the cheek. All of the four patrons at the bar know the bartender by name.
Service: Very friendly, but not very knowledgeable.
Uh-oh: When asking what the well bourbon is, or if that's red pepper in the hummus, your server may nod, smile and say yes to whatever you suggest it may be, but after pressing a little harder, it's clear she really doesn't know. And the valet stand outside still has the Fatty's Public House logo on it. If you have a friend meeting you there, you'll need to explain that yes, it's the correct valet.
Info: 829 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 854-0756.
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