All the hours are happy hours.

I love happy hour.  Going straight from work, I’m already dressed well and there’s no dragging myself out once I’m already home.  Plus, I get to try new restaurants and bars and take advantage of some sweet deals.

DTLA makes me feel like I'm in a city again.

R and I decided to meet up for a DTLA happy hour after work and ended up picking Drago Centro because (1) it’s smack dab in between a purple line station and R’s work, an easy walk for both of us; (2) they have fancy cocktails, wine, and beer for $5 and substantial “I can replace dinner with HH” foods for $4; (3) it’s on Jonathan Gold’s list of 99 essential LA restaurants that we’re eating our way through; and (4) their happy hour is ALL DAY EVERY DAY.

I kid you not.  All the hours are happy hours at Drago Centro.  Everything off their “Small Bites” menu is at happy hour prices — drinks for $5-$6 and food for $3-$10.

We got there around 7.  R had a big lunch that day, so he wasn’t hungry.  That was a bummer because everything looked tasty and I was in the mood for grazing.  We got the olives and I got the sausage pizza.

marinated cerignola olives $3

sausage, rapini, mozzarella pizza $4

The olives were fat and meaty and tasty.  Not too salty.  The sausage pizza was pretty good, too.  It was pretty thin, but surprisingly filling.  I really enjoyed the slight bitterness of the rapini (Wiki tells me that’s the fancy name for broccoli rabe), which tasted a lot like collards or kale.  I was really digging the cheesy goodness.

For drinks I tried the gypsy queen and the pink lady.  R had the algonquin cocktail and the levitation ale.  The cocktails were mighty strong and I was definitely feeling it after half of the first one.  But, that didn’t stop me from ordering the second.  Hey, I didn’t have to go to work in the morning.  Don’t judge.

                   

gypsy queen $5 - bitter, herby, delicious

algonquin cocktail $5 - not-so-pleasant combo of fruit and whiskey

pink lady $5 - fruity gin yumminess

The atmosphere is pretty swank.  We sat at the big communal marble table in the bar area.  When we first got there, I had preferred a spot at the bar, but there were no seats.  I’m glad we ended up sitting at the communal table though because we got to meet some nice folks.

Another great thing about happy hour is that people seem more open to talking to strangers and I love that.  I spoke with a women who was there dining and drinking solo (my kind of gal).  When she left, she thanked me for being “so sweet”.  I don’t think I said anything particularly sweet, but it was nice to hear.  I guess she was surprised someone went out of her way to strike up a conversation.  Bringing a little MW to LA, I am.  We also met a group who we chatted up with for a while and who ended up buying us tequila shots.  One of the guys told R and me that we looked happy and good together and that we “gel”.  I think so, too.  It makes me delightfully happy that we give off that vibe.

It was a good night.  I really have to give a huge shout-out to Vixen’s L.A. Happy Hours, an amazing blog and resource I found on Twitter.  Girl’s done a ton of legwork and weeds out the bad and highlights the good for all of us.  And, she even has them organized by parts of town!  Love.  I agree with Vixen that Drago Centro is one of the good ones.  I’m looking forward to more happy hours there.  And, checking out the other ones Vixen recommends.

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