Get Your Happy Hour On

SINCE TOPANGA DOESN’T HAVE A LOCAL BAR ANY MORE, WE FOUND SOME ESTABLISHMENTS NEARBY IN CALABASAS, SANTA MONICA, MALIBU AND WOODLAND HILLS FOR OUR READERS TO EXPLORE AND FIND RESPITE DURING THE HOLIDAYS.

The holidays have arrived and racing towards the end of 2017. Finding ways to slow down during this frenetic time is hard to do, so in the midst of all the shopping, planning and keeping up with everyday obligations, we thought a Happy Hour might be a good way to take the edge off of a busy day to relax and regroup with affordable libations and small bites.

Since Topanga doesn’t have a local bar any more, we found some establishments nearby in Calabasas, Santa Monica, Malibu and Woodland Hills for our readers to explore and enjoy.  

WOODLAND HILLS

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern located in the Village at Westfield Topanga is jumping with specials and the burgers are amazing. In fact, the famous Cowboy Burger made the top ten burgers list in May 2017 in the Orange County Register.  All burgers use certified organic, naturally raised top sirloin for a Burger and Beer special ($14).  The clam chowder is world famous and very tasty.  The Whiskey Shrimp and the Meatballs are crowd pleasers.  While you may not think of Happy Hour as a time for dessert, don’t miss the mouth-watering “Bananagetton,” fresh bananas, white chocolate pastry cream, brown butter crumble, pecan ice cream with salted Carmel pecans and white chocolate whipped cream.  Our recommendation is “Eat first, then walk it off” with holiday shopping. The specials change so keep checking the website for new ones coming up for the Holidays.

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern in the Village at Westfield Topanga, 6250 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA  91367; (818) 369-0005. Happy Hour: 3-7 p.m., Monday–Friday. (j-fat.com)

Geezers Public House, located on Ventura Boulevard in the Sprouts and Ralphs shopping mall, has a British flair based on the word, “geezer,” which to Americans means an old coot. For Brits, it defines a man’s characteristic stance outside a pub with a pint in his hand on game day. They commonly like football, scrapping, beer, tea and Barry white. Geezers often acknowledge other geezers by saying, “Geezer,” followed by a nod and thumbs up.

Sports fans gather here to watch the latest playoffs on split screens and enjoy a fun atmosphere with impressively eclectic and creative food choices and drink specials. We tried the Downtown Fruit Cart ($12), made with Casamigos Tequila with mezcal, partnered with pineapple-watermelon-lime juice and agave served in a fruit can with a fruit kebab topper sprinkled with spicy chili powder. Casamigos Tequila is a label launched by George Clooney in 2013 and sold in 2017 to the world’s largest spirits manufacturer, the British multinational Diageo for a billion dollars. The $4 Happy Hour drink prices are listed in red and there is something for everyone. We recommend the Poke Nachos with marinated Ahí tuna, crispy wonton chips, sesame, sweet chili soy, pickled ginger, scallions, Japanese wasabi tobiko ($12). Ralphs and Sprouts is near enough for any last-minute shopping before you slide into (or out of) Geezers’ first base.

Geezers Public House, 21733 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA  91364; (818) 436-2814. Happy Hour: 4-8 p.m., Sunday–Friday. (geezerspublichouse.com)

 

Tipsy Cow, an urban, vibrant Gastro pub, specializes in craft cocktails and brews, but if you’re in the mood for a Moscow Mule look no further the “Tipsy Mule” ($7), my new go-to mule drink. Their Happy Hour includes some healthy options as well as your typical sliders. The buffalo cauliflower is to die for, as well as the basil hummus, which I ordered for a private party and the guests were dazzled. Happy Hour specials are written on the chalkboard near the bar where they list some “Moo-Less” selections such as the Quinoa and White Bean Patty with avocado and roasted tomatoes with the house-made “Tipsy” sauce. All chicken and beef menu selections are natural, free-range, certified organic.  

Tipsy Cow, 21028 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA. 91364; (818) 914-5451. Happy Hour 3-7 p.m.; Late Nite: 10-Close, Monday–Friday. (tipsycowla.com)

 

Monty’s Steakhouse, just “down the hill,” is a family-owned classic steak and seafood restaurant that is considered a “neighborhood gem.” It has been at the corner of TCB and Ventura for more than 65 years and has live music on weekends (Call first). While it does not have a Happy Hour, it opens for lunch and dinner Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 5-10 p.m.; Friday lunch 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., dinner, 5-12 p.m.; Saturday, 5-12 p.m.; Sunday, 5-10 p.m. If you’re not staying for dinner there is a fun bar with an imaginative Bar Food menu, also available in the lounge. Starters are the Shrimp cocktail ($14), Crispy Brussel Sprouts, Yellowfin Tuna Martini and Calamari ($12 each). We hear the martinis are exceptional. Make reservations online: montysprime.com.  Monty’s, 5371 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91364; (818) 716-9736.

 

CALABASAS

Saddle Peak Lodge is part roadhouse, pony express stop, hunting lodge and perhaps even a hint of a bordello.  Saddle Peak Lodge has been many things to many people in its long history. For 100 years, some say even more, Saddle Peak Lodge has been a place of enchantment, romance and great dining for generations of those who seek a unique experience.

Nestled deep in the hills of Malibu, along the creek that flows through Las Virgenes Canyon to the Pacific Ocean, the Lodge stands under fabulous Saddle Peak, a majestic rock formation in the Santa Monica Mountains. Saddle Peak Lodge has a unique bar menu with some items half-off for Happy Hour.  More important, for all you whisky drinkers, they have a new attraction on the third level of the lodge that just opened this fall. A great place to lounge and greet your family with an elegant relaxing twist.

“The Double Barrel” is the new whiskey tasting room featuring 400 well curated exclusive and rare whiskeys including Macallan 25-Year-Old Single Malt, Balvenie 30-Year-Old Single Malt, Glenfiddich 30-Year Scotch, Glenlivet Pullman Series, Jack Daniel Sinatra 100 Year, and more.

Guests can become a member of The Double Barrel by purchasing a bottle and leaving it in a designated locker to enjoy any time they visit the lodge with their guests.

Saddle Peak Lodge, 419 Cold Canyon Road, Calabasas CA  91302; (818) 222-3888; Happy Hour Nightly 5-10 p.m. (www.saddlepeaklodge.com)

MALIBU

Dukes is located off PCH in Malibu with an ocean view. A family favorite meeting place, its name is a tribute to “Duke Kahanamoku,” a surfing legend who spent time in Malibu as a lifeguard and competed in water sports and appeared in more than 20 Hollywood movies. You can order off the Happy Hour menu any day of the week, Monday thru Friday, but the Pau Hana or “Aloha Hour” has several special days in the Barefoot Bar. Taco Tuesday (my favorite) has the best fish tacos around. Wine Wednesday gives $20 off bottled wine with the purchase of two entrees or more and Friday is Mai Tai Madness with Hawaiian Dancers. Surf on down to the Barefoot Bar and say “Aloha” to your friendly bartender, then go watch the surfers from the back patio as the California sun sets.

Dukes, 21150 Pacific Coast Highway Malibu, CA90265; (310) 317-0777. Happy Hour:  Monday all night. Tuesday–Friday 4 p.m. to closing in the Barefoot Bar. (www.dukesmalibu.com)

SANTA MONICA

Enterprise Fish Company is probably the best Happy Hour deal in town.  Located a couple of blocks from the beach in Santa Monica, it is nestled in oceanic foliage with a heated patio in back and a fire pit to warm your hands while you sip your hot toddy and indulge in seafood delights. Monday night they have a lobster special and Wednesday all-day $1 Oysters. On the Happy Hour menu, reel in the soft-shell crab sliders and crab cakes with fresh crab, no fillers. The spicy Calamari is also great. They have an extensive Happy Hour menu with lots of reasonable choices you may get hooked on. The catch of the day to go with your fish will be the Lychee Martini. It’s no wonder this place has been voted “Best happy hour in town” for years in a row.  There is lots of indoor seating, a full bar and TV. I prefer the outdoor heated patio and fire pit on a cool evening. It’s a great place to gather with friends or to chill out after picking up visiting family from the airport.

Enterprise Fish Company 174 Kinney St. Santa Monica, CA 90405

(310) 392-8366   Happy Hour 4:00-7:00pm Monday -Friday. (enterprisefishcosantamonica.com)

Cheers to the Holidays! Go! Get your happy on!

 

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