10 Best High-End Happy Hours Around LA

By Lesley Balla  |  May 5, 2014
Credit: Petrossian

Not all happy hours are equal, and they aren't just ways to blow off steam from the office. Some are great options to check out top restaurants around town without breaking the bank. From endless sangria on the terrace at The Bazaar to dining for half-price at the tony Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, here are 10 great high-end happy hours to hit right now.

  • The Bazaar

    A new late-afternoon tapas and cocktail menu is now served on the terrace for the summer, a smart way to enjoy snacks à la Jose Andres, like sweet-potato chips, ottoman carrot fritters and steamed buns filled with uni and avocado, for $8, along with the regular Bar Centro à la carte menu. Select cocktails and wines by the glass are also $8, but the real deal is for the endless sangria for $12. Sunday through Thursday, 5-7 PM.

    465 S. La Cienega Blvd.; 310-247-0400

  • Nest at WP24

    The new more casual spot in the Wolfgang Puck machine is perfect for anyone not into committing to a full sit-down meal at WP24 but still wanting the Asian-inspired fare, craft cocktails and views from the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton in Downtown LA. But go for the Night Owl menu on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 PM to close, and you’ll find $8 food specials, $12 cocktails (a few dollars less than the norm) and the twinkling lights of the city below.

    900 W. Olympic Blvd.; 213-743-8824

  • Fig

    It’s a small window to get this deal at the tony Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica, but it’s worth making the extra effort for an early dinner or post-beach snack. From 5-6 PM, Tuesday through Saturday (weekend happy hour!), all drinks and everything on the menu is half-price. Yes, everything, from bacon-wrapped bacon to pommes frites, chopped salads, ceviche, scarlet quinoa salad and cauliflower risotto. Just no steaks. You also get a couple hours of free valet parking with validation from the restaurant. You can even sit by the pool, but only if you get there early enough. This happy hour is no secret: the place fills up fast.

    101 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-319-3111

  • Credit: Lesley Balla

    Bar Bouchon

    One of the best happy hours in the Golden Triangle, the ground-floor bar that spills onto the garden patio is the place to be between 4-7 PM, Monday through Friday. You’ll find $4 beers, $5 glass of house wine, $7 cocktails and snacks like steak tartare, truffle popcorn or $2 oysters on the half shell. And then you can stop at the bakery before you head out for a sweet treat for later.

    235 N. Canon Dr.; 310-271-9910

  • Drago Centro

    The best part of the happy hour at Celestino Drago’s lavish Downtown restaurant isn’t just the fried calamari with sundried tomato aïoli, chickpea fries with romesco verde, Kobe beef sliders with mushrooms and fontina, charcuterie boards with puffy fried gnocco or the carbonara pizza - all for $6 and under. Nor is it just the $7 cocktails, $5 beer and wines by the glass for $6-$8. It’s that the menus are served all day in the bar and outdoor patio lounge. When someone says, "It's happy hour somewhere," we're pretty sure they mean here.

    525 S. Flower St.; 213-228-8998

  • Spago

    Wolfgang Puck’s Beverly Hills flagship has been the place to celebrate special occasions and truly dine since 1997. But after its facelift and menu overhaul a couple of years ago, it’s more everyday than ever, especially with the bar menu, which includes everything from bincho-grilled chicken wings with soy glaze togarashi to house-cured pastrami sandwiches with coleslaw and sweet pickles and even a cheeseburger. Bites are priced under $15. Go between 9-11 PM on Tuesday through Saturday nights, and drinks are only $10 to boot.

    176 N. Canon Dr.; 310-385-0880

  • Petrossian

    Not only does the new happy hour at West Hollywood’s caviar house start an hour earlier than most (4-7 PM), but you can get caviar in myriad ways on the menu. There’s pressed caviar on the burger sliders and caviar aïoli for the french fries ($15), tequila-infused roe on the smoked-trout tacos ($10) and caviar on the mini lobster roll along with sea urchin ($15). There’s even caviar in the martini (at least stuffed in the olives) and also other specialty cocktails, plus wines by the glass for $6. The menu is available Monday through Friday.

    321 N. Robertson Blvd.; 310-271-6300

  • The Church Key

    The West Hollywood hot spot looks like your richest friend’s fantastic living room, so cocktailing here comes easily. Happy hour offers the best deals (and fun): shake-your-own cocktails and classics like Manhattans and Sazeracs for $6-$8; punch bowls for $14; and bites like Thai chile-glazed chicken wings, shrimp spring rolls and donuts from the dim sum carts for $4-$7. For something more substantial, the Happy Meal includes two sliders (one beef, one fried green tomato), addictive chickpea fries and a banana-rum mini-milkshake for $11. Monday through Friday, 5:30-7 PM.

    8730 Sunset Blvd.; 424-249-3700

  • Coast

    It’s true, the lobby bar at Shutters on the Beach is one of loveliest places to have a cocktail along the ocean, but its slightly more casual sibling, Coast, has the happy hour. Both supply great views of the bike path and pier, but when you’re at the Coast bar Monday through Thursday from 4-7 PM, you can get things like meatball sliders for $6, fish tacos for $2 and ceviche and chips for $5. Plus, happy-hour wines and beers are $6, and specialty cocktails like the Pomegranate Wave Martini are only $8. 

    1 Pico Blvd.; 310-587-1707

  • Comme Ca

    David Myers' bustling West Hollywood brasserie has a great deal, even if it's only for an hour. The Hourglass Menu features snacks like a trio of toasts (so on trend), including Skuna Bay salmon, beef tartare and blue crab; oysters on the half shell; tarte flambe; sliders; and pomme frites all for $9. Wines by the glass are only $5, and classic cocktails like Moscow Mules and blackberry Brambles are only $6. The best part is that the menu is available daily from 6-7 PM, so you can kick off a Saturday night here and move on.

    8479 Melrose Ave.; 323-782-1104