Tacos and tequila? Bourbon and shrimp? Choose your own budget-friendly adventure …
By Angela Matano
There aren’t too many streets in Los Angeles tailor-made for a happy hour crawl, but the half-mile stretch of Rose Avenue between Lincoln Boulevard and Main Street is just the right length, with quite a few choices. Follow us toward the sunset!
Stop #1: Tacos and Shots at La Cabaña
La Cabaña is the OG of Rose Avenue. Its happy hour, from 3 to 7 p.m. weekdays, dishes up cheap house margaritas and even cheaper tacos. There’s also Dos Equis on tap for $5 and Patron Silver shots for $6. Keep it simple and just order a couple of tacos for $3.50 each. All the hits show up on the menu, from barbacoa to carne asada to carnitas. Sometimes nirvana comes in the form of salt, fat and a little tequila.
738 Rose Ave., Venice | (310) 392-7973 | lacabanavenice.com
Stop #2: Asian Street Snacks and Bourbon at Wallflower
Offering a much different vibe than the typical Venice watering hole, Wallflower makes for a great clandestine meeting spot — one part exotic Indonesian flair, one part Parisian seductive. The daily happy hour from 5:30 to 7 p.m. slings reduced-price cocktails such as the Hijau Bourbon (matcha tea, lemon, honey) and the Sama Sama (rum, mezcal, hibiscus, lemongrass, lime, chile, basil). The street snacks skew equally Asian, with the scorchingly good Bakwan (shrimp fritters). Throw on a trench coat and text your boo.
609 Rose Ave., Venice | (424) 744-8136 | wallflowervenice.com
Stop #3: Goat Cheese Hot Pot at Venice Beach Wines
This charmer should get some props for turning Rose Avenue from a forgotten road into a showstopper. Nuzzled snugly between two other patios, the covered patio at Venice Beach Wines caters equally to locals and insiders (I’ve seen my share of celebrities). The happy hour eats, available weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m., are true bar snacks; in other words, they don’t detract from the wine, but happily buttress it. Spiced almonds, Castelvetrano olives and an herbed goat cheese hot pot make for perfect nibbling. Of course, the wine is the star. Local and organic when possible, the wines served at happy hour include a couple choices of white and red plus one rose, expertly curated.
529 Rose Ave., Venice | (310) 606-2519 | venicebeachwines.com
Stop #4: Nachos and Kombucha at Café Gratitude
In another 180-degree turn, the happy hour at Cafe Gratitude refrains from hard alcohol entirely. From 3 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, drink with clarity
and chew with mindfulness while feeling satisfied with healthier choices. Get your kicks from
a house red or white wine, or embrace your virtuousness completely with a Gutsy (the local, seasonal Kombucha). Order up
a Sharing (nachos made with cashew cheese) or an Abundant (french fries loaded with blackened tempeh two-bean chili). It doesn’t get any more L.A.
512 Rose Ave., Venice | (424) 231-8000 | cafegratitude.com
Stop #5: Chili Poppers and Beer at The Firehouse
It’s hard to believe there is any place left in Venice as unpretentious as The Firehouse. It’s a breath of fresh air, actually. Served from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, the happy hour at this classic watering hole highlights a single wine offering and a few beers, ranging from Bud Light to Allagash White. The food choices range from happy hour staples such as chili poppers and Parmesan fries to more fanciful options, like spinach pancakes. Sushi rolls show up on the menu for a mere five bucks a pop. It turns out this is still Venice after all.
213 Rose Ave. Venice | (310) 396-6810 | firehousevenice.com