Summer's here. Days are longer and throats are drier. Why not while away a lazy afternoon at one of the many Happy Hours around town? It's a surefire way to feel like you're on vacation without leaving the neighborhood. Here are some good, food-centric Happy Hours, both high-end and bargain-basement, in the 818 area code.
702 Americana Way (818) 244-5900
Monday to Friday, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Breezes from the fountains at the Americana waft through the modern Asian lounge, making Katsuya a great place to hang out with friends before a movie or after a shopping excursion. Be advised that Happy Hour participants are not allowed on the patio.
Reason to come here: Burning Mandarin cocktail with fresh serrano chili ($7), crispy Brussels sprouts ($6) and hand-cut sushi rolls ($5).
Dave's on Broadway
708 E. Broadway (818) 956-9123
Daily, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
You've driven by the vintage neon sign. It's time to stop in and see the inside of Glendale's oldest bar (est. 1934). Hits (and misses) from the '70s sound great in this cozy dive, which is cleaner than most. Three draft beers and three hot dogs set me back a whopping $7.50. Can't beat that.
Reason to come here: $2 beer, $3 well drinks and complimentary hot dogs.
150 S. San Fernando Blvd. (818) 524-2288
Daily, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Smack-dab in the middle of the toniest section of the Burbank Village district, the Backhouse has a wide selection of South Seas-inspired food-and-drink specials. Garlic-butter truffle edamame, Malaysian basil clams and crab wontons were some of our favorites.
Reason to come here: People-watching outside under the trees, sangria ($4) and grilled chicken yakitori with green onion ($2.25).
The Hollywood Way
1333 N. Hollywood Way (818) 845-4400
Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Flanked by a car wash and a motorbike shop, what looks like a bar is actually quite warm inside. Cute, hardworking bartenders keep things hopping. Excellent barbecue, good prices and sports on various TVs keep the loyal clientele (mostly male) coming back.
Reason to come here: Taco Tuesday ($1 for small but wonderfully smoky chicken, tri-tip, or pork tacos), $2.50 domestic beers and $3.50 well drinks.
The Fat Dog
2265 Honolulu Ave. (818) 236-4810
Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Montrose's popular gastropub is a sleek place to meet up with friends or lovers. I'm calling it high-end because of its European pub feel, but the prices are downright cheap. Imported and domestic beers are $3, house wine is $4. Appetizers like sweet-potato fries, mini Vermont cheddar cheeseburgers and crab-stuffed potato skins go for $3 to $6.
Reason to come here: The conversation and the menu, which can be found at http://www.thefatdogla.com/happy_hour.pdf.
3710 N Verdugo Road (818) 249-7147
Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
A strange little bar with a great feel. The shareable food plates ($5) with their Chinese-Mexican influences are unique and delicious, the cocktails ($4) are just fine. The pace picks up later in the evening with live music and dancing in the old dining room of the Sun Palace restaurant.
Reason to come here: Three words: Orange Chicken Quesadilla; three more words: Kung Pao Tacos.