Judging a Happy Hour Beyond Its Cover: Hollywood’s Lexington Social House

Mette's Fried Chicken Tenders

There’s something about being a Hollywood resident that lends itself to glossing over most of the food and drink choices in my neighborhood. Believe you me, I love my area and all the conveniences it affords – but it’s because they all outweigh the inconveniences.

The Lexington | Earl grey-infused Woodford Reserve Bourbon, honey, lemon juice, orange bitters

There are inconveniences like the annoyances of walking past the Thursday through Saturday night crowd, as well as the douche spots themselves that I’d avoid any day of the week. Hemingway’s is an example of a place that I’d go and see Alex Straus make cocktails earlier in the evening but avoid at all costs at peak times. But now, I can add Lexington Social House to that secret non-peak-time list.

I was invited to take a peak at their Social Hour, their thematically dubbed happy hour. And it’s not shabby in the least. With the launch of their new menu, it’s a great opportunity to try new items during LSH Lite, which goes on at the bar Tuesday through Friday from 5:30 until 8 PM and all day Sunday. Their specialty cocktails as well as their entire menu is half-off during this time! Since I love sitting at the bar, anyway, I’ll gladly take my supper club to the stools.

Chipotle Pork Belly Biscuits

A sure menu bet is Mette Williams’ fried chicken tenders, an unordinarily juicy-crispy preparation. Looking for that hearty bite that doesn’t hold back? The Chipotle pork belly biscuits with aged Gouda and fried egg will be sure to satisfy you and then some.

As for the cocktails, designed by Kyle Ackley, I must applaud this Hollywood-and-Vine institution for putting the brakes on the vodka in their drink menu – just beware that there are pop rocks in one of them. My favorite cocktail, however, was the Spanish Harlem, made with tanteo cocoa infused tequila, maraschino liqueur, agave nectar and chocolate-chili bitters. It was a clean, strong yet flavorful drink and I ended up having another.

Lexington Social House is an unlikely place to find a Spago and CUT alum like Mette Williams, but alas – there she is, surprising everyone with her well-executed, comfort-driven menu. Social Hour is just the time to try it all out and wash it down at half-off. And that beats amateur hour any day. 

All food and cocktails were hosted.

1/2-Off Happy Hour:

Tue – Fri: 5:30 – 8 PM
Sunday: All night

Lexington Social House‎
1718 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90027
323.461.1700

Peninsula Hotel Hosts Taste of Beverly Hills Rooftop Cocktail Hour With Half-Price Tickets: Thursday, August 26, 2010

Speckled Jalapeno Margarita | Patron Reposado, Citrus Juices, Grand Marnier - muddled with Jalapeno

Ever tried out the Peninsula Hotel’s rooftop cocktail hour? Well, tomorrow’s a good time as any to check it out, as from 5 – 7 PM they’ll not only be offering drinks at half-price like every week but also a buy-one-get-one-free deal for tickets to Taste of Beverly Hills. All-weekend passes will be discounted to $350 from $500. (You can take a look at the regular prices here.)

Peninsula Hotel Rooftop Garden Restaurant and Bar

Choose one of their signature cocktails (regularly $16) – like the Kumquat & Citrus Punch (Ketel One, Malibu Rum, muddled kumquats, citrus juices), the Grape Cocktail (Hendricks Gin, Grapes, St. Germain Elderflower, lemon juices, club soda) or the Speckled Jalapeno Margarita (above). Or if beer or wine are more your speed, be glad because those are half-off, too. So before you go, take a peek at the schedule and list of attendees for each session so you know which one(s) you’d like to attend this Memorial Day Weekend (Thursday, September 2 – Sunday, September 5).

And as you’re basking in the sun or shade in the early evening on a rooftop in Beverly Hills, take comfort that your savings on Taste tickets will go towards your half-off happy hour libations. Don’t forget to enjoy your view! (And also don’t forget to bring your valet ticket to the rooftop to validate for discounted parking.)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

5 – 7 PM

Half-off beer, wine & cocktails
2-for-1 deal or $350 weekend pass to Taste of Beverly Hills

Peninsula Hotel
9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
310.551.2888

The Taste of Beverly Hills, Presented by Food & Wine
Adjacent to:
Beverly Hilton
9900 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
877.434.TOBH (8624)

FIG at FIVE Happy Hour Starts Tomorrow

Corn-Stuffed Squash Blossoms

I love FIG. Probably one of the best ever cheese plates I’ve ever had was there. Their ingredients are always fresh and inspire the very recipes Chef Ray Garcia creates in his kitchen. The natural light accommodates the beautiful furnishings of the dining room well, making for an ever-pleasant, cheery yet sophisticated ambiance in Santa Monica while highlighting the vibrant flavors of the food.

Blackberry & Sage (Fresh Sage, Muddled Blackberries, Michter's Bourbon, Green Chartreuse, Creme de Cassis, Freshly-squeezed Lime Juice)

And the cocktails! I’ve always found their unique recipes to be executed well and even thought-provoking. Just like their food, each drink is ingredient-driven – but you won’t find them too sweet like so many other fruity drinks floating around the city.

All this is important to remember as FIG launches their FIG at FIVE program, starting tomorrow on July 12th. Happy hours come and go but this “special” is for real. Every day, for one hour only, you’ll get to experience the entire FIG menu at 50% off! This even includes cocktails, so milk this hour for all it’s worth. Just make sure you are seated prior to 6 PM and you’ll be set for the deep discount off your bill.

I may be moving east, but FIG will be one of the reasons I’ll see you by the ocean…

Starts Tuesday, July 12, 2010

50%-off everyday: 5 – 6 PM

Dinner Menu

FIG Santa Monica
(Inside Fairmont Miramar)
101 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310.319.3111

The Hungry Cat Is Older Than My Cat: Last Day of Half-Off Specials Today

Photo credit to Atwater Village Newbie on Flickr

The bad news is, I rarely blog on the weekends. The good news is, the second of two days of The Hungry Cat’s 5-year Anniversary Celebration is today, all day – therefore, there’s still time to take advantage.

The celebratory special isn’t shabby, either. How is 50% off specialty cocktails, draft beer and all bottles of wine?! Though I can’t say I’m a regular, I’ve rarely had a bad cocktail at The Hungry Cat. Perhaps the only thing that would make tonight better is if they had simultaneously made this one of their Steamed Blue Crab Nights!

And, according to their latest tweet, after 5:30 PM they will be featuring 50% off oysters (grilled ones typically run $15 for a half-dozen) “and more”. And what exactly does that mean? Don’t look at me. Pop in to their Vine Street location to find out.

Hungry Cat’s 5-Year Anniversary

Today’s hours (special runs all day): 12 Noon – 11 PM

The Hungry Cat
1535 N. Vine Street
Hollywood, CA
323.462.2155

@thehungrycat