News / Drinking

Five brand new happy hours to try in September

Spanish cocktails at Otoño in Highland Park
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Otoño

Summer may be coming to a close, but while much of the country is soaking up the last of their warm-weather days, in L.A., we’ve got an entire season of patio weather ahead. Take advantage of it with $1 oysters, $5 Japanese-inspired cocktails and mix-and-match amari drinks, all on some excellent patios. 

Connie & Ted’s

Our first menu focuses exclusively on briney, beautiful bivalves—and at a price that’ll make your wallet happy as a clam. Michael Cimarusti’s WeHo seafood mainstay just launched a new late-night oyster happy hour, where for 60 minutes of the evening, you can find a variety at only $1 a pop. The oyster selection can include specimens from Massachusetts, New Zealand, Washington, Baja, Virginia, British Columbia and beyond, and rotates frequently—many swapping out daily—and each oyster usually comes at $3.25 apiece, making this $1 eat-'em-while-you-can hour a total score. Unlike this spot’s regular (and also very solid) happy hour—Monday to Friday, 4 to 7pm—you can get this special anywhere in the restaurant, not just at the bar. 

Sun–Thu, 9–10pm

Hippo

Highland Park’s new neighborhood restaurant recently brought Matt Molina’s shareable plates and expert, ever-changing cuisine to Figueroa, and even more recently, it’s brought a handful of deals we can’t wait to try. Every day Hippo is open, catch one food special—recently, that’s taken the form of a $10 chicken meatball burger—as well as a killer $7 booze mix-and-match. If you’re ordering one of the “50/50s,” first you’ll pick your spirit, then you’ll pick your amaro, then they’ll stir it all up for you. You can also build your own negroni with your choice of base spirit ($9), or opt for “See-Thrus” ($8) made with clear spirits—and, as the Silverlake Wine team is also behind this restaurant, expect those rotating $8 wines to be well curated. This happy hour’s available at the bar, on the patio and at the small collection of tables next to the bar (the drink rail), so get there early to snag a spot—especially on weekends, when that patio and these specials make for prime day drinking.

Tue–Sun, 5–6pm

Inko Nito

Save for a trip to your favorite taco stand, it’s hard to make $5 last. At L.A.’s new fast-growing robatayaki chain, however—which has already sprouted up in London, with more to come—you can snag Japanese-inspired cocktails, draft beers, non-alcoholic concoctions and a handful of snacks, each at the cost of a Lincoln-faced bill. Whether you’re sampling the $5 small plates on the Arts District’s plant-dotted patio or checking out the new location along West Third, you can sip coconut highballs made with Suntory Toki, apple sake and coconut tea; house spritzes full of yuzu, Aperol, watermelon and sparkling wine; and nori-infused old-fashioneds sporting Suntory Toki and kokuto, a variety of brown sugar that’s imported from Okinawa. If you’re feeling peckish, there’s chicken yakitori, tofu kara-age, a Japanese caesar and more—and again, everything is $5. Bring some friends, order it all.

Mon–Fri, 5–7pm

Photograph: Courtesy Inko Nito/Lateef Okunnu

Otoño

When you enter Otoño, the first thing you’ll see is the rustic bar—and this is precisely where you should take a seat if you want to snag Siesta Hour deals. The chalkboard toward the front of Teresa Montaño’s new Spanish restaurant outlines the day’s tapas specials, which will set you back either $3 or $4 during a two-hour window. We’re talking toasts topped with caramelized onions, sherry aioli and Spanish blood sausage; some of the best and most garlicky pan con tomate you’ve ever eaten; and roe and sea-gin decorated oysters. Of course, it wouldn’t be an afternoon at a Spanish bar without a gin and tonic, which you’ll find on special for $8, along with other craveable cocktails—like the Rioja Sour, made with bourbon, lemon, bay leaf, tomato, egg whites and a tempranillo float. Looking for beer? It’s but $5 for all draft pours. Salud.

Tue–Sun, 4–6pm

Vinoteca

Head toward Beverly Hills and hold onto those summer vibes at Culina’s wine bar, Vinoteca, located just off the main lobby of the Four Seasons. It’s here you’ll find a chef’s selection of six domestic and imported oysters, plus a glass of Cesarini Sforza rosé, all for $20. Of course, if you’re looking for a more traditional happy hour, Vinoteca’s got that, too: Aperitivo Ora! includes bites and drinks at $7 a pop, which means you can snag cocktails, wine, spaghetti, carpaccio, honey-glazed chicken wings and other Italian-inspired bites and sips, all at a fraction of the price of the Four Seasons’ usual cost.

Mon–Fri, 4–7pm; oysters and rosé: daily, 4pm–close

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