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Red Herring DTLA
Photograph: Courtesy Red Herring/Jennifer Chong

Five brand new happy hours to try in January

Your guide to new late-night menus, $5 beers and more

By Stephanie Breijo
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Welcome to 2020, where you can already kick off the year with new happy hour cocktails at some of 2019’s best new L.A. bars. We think we’re going to like it here, especially if January’s new deals are any indication of the months to come: Between new late-night menus, a killer special from the city’s top sake bar, and $5 beers in one of Downtown’s most beautiful bars, we’ve got high hopes. And hey, if you’re observing Dry January, there are plenty of new food specials on offer, too.

APL

Whether they’re pouring in from a show at the Pantages, just spent the day sightseeing or are simply looking for quality cuisine and refined cocktails, late-night revelers have a new destination just off Hollywood Boulevard. Adam Perry Lang’s nouveau steakhouse (and lunchtime BBQ gem) just announced an evening happy hour that features a high-low mix of Perry Lang’s expert, meaty cooking. You can opt for APL’s more dinner-leaning bites such as the beef tartare for $12, or go for comfy, casual BBQ fare with sweet cream biscuits ($7) and sticky pork spare ribs ($10). To drink, look for $10 negronis and house drinks like the Coco Punch, made with rum and nutmeg.

Tue–Sat 9:30–11pm

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OTOTO

The best new bar of 2019 just launched its first happy hour special, so, naturally, we’re all about it. Echo Park’s charming and cozy sake den isn’t offering a handful of discounted drinks and bites, instead going with just one weekday-only deal that’s quite the steal: For $18, you can snag a chilled cup of sake and a Japanese chicken katsu sando (which, by the way, happens to be one of our favorite new sandwiches of 2019, too). This is one of the city’s top watering holes with excellent drinking bites, so why not combine the two with one fell swoop?

Mon–Fri 5:30–7pm

Red Herring

Alexis and Dave Woodall just moved their romantic Eagle Rock restaurant to the heart of Downtown, and in addition to a more eclectic food menu, the husband-and-wife pair added a little something else to the new location: a full bar program. Take advantage of Red Herring’s new cocktails at happy hour, when you can find a handful of them discounted to $10 a pop: a traditional vesper, a Manhattan and one of their house signatures, the Hot Neighbor, made with blanco tequila, cucumber, mint and lime. You can also use the happy hour to explore their wine menu, with a white, rosé and a red each priced at $8 per glass, or the select craft beer and cider priced at $7, not to mention Dave Woodall’s seasonal, globe-trotting bites: persimmon ricotta toast for $9; crab cake for $10; smoked eggplant dip with tahini and herbs for $8; Brussels sprout salad with parmesan, breadcrumbs and kumquat for $8.

Mon–Fri 5–6:30pm

V DTLA

One of the most gorgeous new restaurants and bars in town closed out the year with a new happy hour, making V DTLA even more of a picture-perfect spot to sip in 2020. Settle in at the horseshoe-shaped bar, all brass and marble and gleaming, then enjoy $8 cocktails, $5 beers from Spain, Mexico and beyond, and $6 glasses of wine beneath the hanging plants. Hungry? The Mediterranean-leaning menu has a few plates on offer during happy hour, including rosemary-marinated olives on ice for $5; margherita pizzas for $10; and burrata with pistachio and cracked pepper for $10. 

Daily 4–7pm

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Yapa

Little Tokyo’s Nikkei cocktail bar is well worth visiting at all hours, but when this Japanese-Peruvian destination has not one but two happy hours available, there really feels like no excuse not to drop in for a drink. From Wednesday to Friday until 7pm, find select cocktails—historically grouped in categories of Shakespearean, U.S. military and post WWII—at a discount for $8 apiece: that means classics such as Singapore slings, Moscow mules, Hemingway daiquiris and more. If you’re more of a night owl, the bar also recently launched a late-night “buti” happy hour, where you can find Peruvian butifarra sandwiches—small and satisfying—for $7 apiece in varieties such as pork with pickles and lettuce; beef asado with salsa criolla; and avocado with tomato and hardboiled egg. The late menu even sports sausage-topped fries for $6, or regular fries for $4, perfect for sopping up that carefully curated pisco selection.

Wed–Fri 5–7pm; late-night Thu–Sat 11pm–1:45am

Looking for more new deals and spots to sip?

Thunderbolt bar Park's BBQ Historic Filipinotown Los Angeles
Thunderbolt bar Park's BBQ Historic Filipinotown Los Angeles
Photograph: Stephanie Breijo

Five brand new happy hours to try in December

The Little Friend

Silver Lake’s the Friend was already one of our neighborhood favorites, so imagine our delight when the charming, fun-loving cocktail bar launched a location in Venice. Sporting the O.G.’s signature baby pink and brass motif, the sibling spot is cute and just as playful as the first André Saraiva, Jared Meisler and Mickey Madden venture—in fact, maybe even more so: You have to find the entrance, back around the Sunny Spot (just look for the mural of smiling stick figures all clamoring to get in). From there, it’s all bright and seasonal cocktails with local and organic ingredients, plus dancing under a disco ball. To make it all the more appealing, you can find some great deals on the happy hour, including $5 Peroni drafts, $4 PBR tallboys, $5 glasses of wine, $8 classic cocktails and $7 well drinks. 

Daily 6–8pm

M. Georgina

Michelin-starred San Francisco chef Melissa Perello just landed in Los Angeles, making a splash with her hallmark: refined California cuisine. Her first L.A. restaurant sits on a corner of the ROW DTLA complex and serves up shareable plates that should satisfy, no matter your taste or cravings: a spin on Indian saag, here made with chard, romanesco and house-made feta; heirloom-wheat pastas; delectable sourdough ice cream; kanpachi in tamarind broth—and on and on. The restaurant’s bar, cool and tucked away near the front of M. Georgina, offers a happy hour with drink specials and a few bar-only items, where you can snack on the more casual takes of Perello’s cooking. Every day but Monday, head to the bar for $8 old-fashioneds, $8 margaritas, $10 boilermakers, $5 Smog City pours and $8 glasses of wine. Round it all out with $9 cornmeal-crusted chicken wings with rosemary and Meyer lemon, and $5 marinated olives with feta.

Tue–Sun 3:30–5pm

Relentless Brewing Co.

Eagle Rock’s buzzing new beer bar keeps roughly two dozen brews in its draft rotation at any given time, which means there’s always something new to try—and from Wednesday to Friday, you can try these pours at a discounted rate, and do it during a generous four-hour window. (Speaking of windows, find a seat along the garage-door walls that open onto the neighborhood’s busy stretch of Colorado Boulevard so you can people-watch as you sip.) The happy hour at Relentless gets you $2 off nearly all draft beers—sadly sours and barrel-aged varieties aren’t included—and if you’re more of a cocktail fan, you can also get $2 off all well drinks. Our tip? Keep your eye on the bar’s social accounts and try and plan your visit to pregame events such as comedy nights, painting parties, mezcal tastings and tap takeovers. 

Wed–Fri 3–7pm

Sorry Not Sorry

Is loving rosé and millennial pink and karaoke basic? Look, we’re not going to answer that, but we’re going to say that we’re not here to judge, and neither is new West L.A. spot Sorry Not Sorry. The “playful rosé-forward cocktail bar” keeps things on-brand with cocktails named after movies like Legally Blonde and characters like Sex and the City’s Mr. Big, and the drinks arrive garnished with flowers served in glassware such as brass pineapples. During happy hour—which just so happens to run all night long on Mondays (#CaseOfTheMondays, etc.)—you can snag $2 off all cocktails, including what they’re claiming is the world’s best frosé, knocking them down to around $10 a pop.

Monday all night long; Tue–Sun 5–7pm

Thunderbolt

One of L.A.’s most exciting new bars just amped up its already-clutch offerings with a daily happy hour of special cocktails only found on that menu. Thunderbolt is all about Southern hospitality done with L.A. flavor, and we’re all about the cocktail list here, which sprinkles in nods to the neighborhood and the owners’ L.A. and Georgia roots (see also: the pandan-tinged P-Town Boxing Club, a nod to Historic Filipinotown’s heritage). There’s also a significant madeira focus, not to mention some of the best Southern-leaning bar bites in town (hat tip to sibling spot Park’s Finest BBQ, which whips it all up). But once you’ve made your way through all the goodness Thunderbolt has on offer, look to the specials board for the $10 happy-hour drinks, which have included the likes of Singani liqueur with mango, rice milk, cardamom and anise, or with apricot, mint, ginger and soda.

Daily 5–7pm

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