Saturday, October 2, 2010

Happy Hour @ The Belmont

I like happy hours that have a flexible menu. None of those that only offer "Bud Light, choice of white or red wine, potato skins and fries". Don't get me wrong. I love fries. And I can drink the crappiest wine and still be happy. But sometimes, I want to pick from a wider selection of food, and I want to save more than just $1-2 off the regular price. After all, I expect more if I'm to rush out of work to partake of happy hour.

The Belmont in West Hollywood is a happy hour worth rushing to. It runs daily from 4-pm and offers 1/2 off all appetizers and drinks.

The menu above lists the items at regular price. Just half the prices off for happy hour. There's a nice selection including quite a lot of seafood options including snow crab legs.

We sat in their dining room but the most coveted spot is perhaps on their patio, overlooking the sidewalk on La Cienega. It's a smoking patio though, so it's not the best spot for everyone.

Even though they offer cocktails, we went for our usual drinks of choice (pinot grigio, stella and vodka soda with a splash of cran).

Golden Calamari dipped in buttermilk with spicy marinara sauce
I actually quite liked the calamari. It was nicely breaded and not greasy. I also liked the zing in the marinara.

Beer battered Fish and Chips with shoestring fries
I can't believe fish and chips are on a happy hour menu. Score! The fish of choice was a flaky halibut, and the plate was surprisingly rather larger with three pieces of filet. Although I appreciated that the fries were skinny (my favorite kind), I didn't like that they had seasoned it with a touch of rosemary. Please.. only salt is needed for fries. Or maybe a dash of cajun spice.

Mac and cheese
This is their signature dish. It's actually bursting with ingredients. Blue crab, applewood smoked bacon, scallions, tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, smoked gouda and swiss cheese. I tried to take a bite but I knew it was too much cheese for me to handle. Everyone else at the table really enjoyed it. Apparently it did have quite a smokey flavor, from the cheese to the bacon.

BBQ baby back ribs
The ribs were apparently cooked to order so they were not dry, howevert they were also not the juiciest ribs I've had. I did like the crispy onion rings on top.

I thought the happy hour at The Belmont was pretty good. The food portions were substantial and actually rather tasty. The 50% off was also a nice deep discount although the regular prices were probably slightly inflated. Unfortunately service was a little spotty. Our waitress was hard to flag down even after happy hour was over and we were trying to get more drinks at regular price.

Hits: HH prices, selections, fish and chips
Misses: service
Rating ***

The Belmont Cafe
747 N. La Cienega Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(310) 659-8871

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