Name of restaurant: East Borough
The happy hour: "Communal Hour" at this new Culver City "fraiche Vietnamese" restaurant is every day from 6 to 9 p.m. Also, Sunday to Wednesday 9 p.m. to close and Thursday to Saturday 9:30 p.m. to close. Half a dozen dishes on the menu include daikon rice cake frites ($4), fried pork and taro spring rolls ($5), kale salad with toasted coconut and pickled mango ($6) and grilled pork banh mi ($5). The booze: bottled beer (or "bia") such as imports Saigon Expert and Beerlao Dark are $4; craft beer including Modern Times' Fortunate Islands, Great Divide's Colette Farmhouse Ale and Coronado Brew Idiot IPA is $5; and draft beer and cider are $6 a glass. Several wines by the glass are listed, for $7 each — such as the 2010 Reichsrat Von Buhl Riesling Sekt Brut, which is a sparkler; 2012 Weingut Winter Riesling Trocken; and 2012 Martian Ranch & Vineyard "Down to Earth" Rose.
Best bang for your buck: Go big and get the $9 pork belly and egg bowl: chunks of caramelized pork belly with a runny-yolked egg, fresh crunchy pickled mustard greens and sambal served over fragrant jasmine rice. While you're at it, get the chewy-crispy fries of daikon rice cake on the side.
What are you drinking? Smog City LA Saison and Eric Bordelet apple cider from Normandy, both on draft and both $6 a glass.
Who's at the next table? On a Saturday afternoon, big groups at pushed-together tables are ordering the $5 pork banh mi sandwiches – they're coming out by the dozen on aluminum trays. Sun-seekers populate the outdoor patio to watch the world whiz by on Washington Boulevard in the shadow of the Kirk Douglas Theatre. At the diminutive six-seat bar, you might have the bartender all to yourself.
Uh-oh: East Borough has a full cocktail menu but only beer and wine are available at happy-hour prices.
Service: Friendly and attentive.
Info: East Borough, 9810 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 596-8266, www.east-borough.com.