When UCLA plays at the Rose Bowl during football season, the quiet town of Pasadena gets mobbed with thousands of screaming college kids. But every other day of the week, the bars of Westwood – that vibrant little neighborhood between Brentwood and Beverly Hills – is where Bruins fans unite. So if you're looking for the best happy hours in Westwood, you've come to the right place.
Palomino: For some reason most bars and restaurants host happy hour five days a week from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Don't get me wrong, that's good if you're getting off work at 5 p.m. But those of us who work non-traditional hours, have always had to make due with paying non-happy hour prices (talk about making a person feel sad). At Palomino in Westwood, however, they cater to pretty much everyone with an all day, every day happy hour! That means cocktails for $5, Coors light for $4, select glasses of wine for $4, and a wide selection of food – from sausage and mushroom pizza, to potatoes gorgonzola – for $10 and under. Let me stress this again, by all day, every day, I mean their happy hour never ends! Just wanted to make sure we're on the same page.
10877 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 150; 310-208-1960
Napa Valley Grille: It's a California themed restaurant and wine bar that mostly caters to the suit and tie crowd during lunch. But the twice a day happy hour, happening Mondays thru Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and once again from 9 p.m. to midnight, is what really draws the younger folks in. Ahem… UCLA students. And why wouldn't it? College kids are notoriously poor, and when a place is offering mac & cheese for $6, short rib tostadas for $5, and a host of different beers, wines and cocktails for $6 under, word spreads fairly quickly. You can check out Napa Valley Grille's entire happy hour menu here.
1100 Glendon Ave., Suite 100; 310-824-3322
Yamato Restaurant: Yamato has long been a favorite of UCLA students, mostly because they used to host an all night happy hour. That may not be the case any more, but their current happy hour, which starts at 5 p.m. and ends at 6:30 p.m., is still pretty good. Sake is $1.95, a pitcher of Sapporo will run you just under $8, and rolls of sushi – like the spicy tuna and California roll – are $2.95 each. You can check out Yamato's happy hour menu here.
1099 Westwood Blvd., 310-208-0100
The Glendon Bar & Kitchen: It may look like a fancy restaurant you'd take a date to. But alas, there's a reason it's called The Glendon Bar & Kitchen – happy hour! It happens twice a day from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., then once again from 10 p.m. to midnight. Food specials include half price pizza, and appetizers for $6. As far as drinks go, cocktails are $5, select wine is $6, and all types of beer, including Heineken, Bud Light, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Shock Top, will run you $5 and under. So maybe it is just a bar… or not.
1071 Glendon Ave., 90024; 310-208-2023
Sepi's: Sepi's has been around since 1969, and has the esteemed privilege of being one of the oldest sports bars in town. Happy hour is daily from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and includes domestic beers for $3, and craft brews – Fat Tire, Blue Moon, Anchor Stream – for $4. Happy hour also includes a Quesadilla Party, where you can choose from bacon and cheese, shredded chicken, meat lovers and plenty more, for $5. All happy hour quesadillas also come with jalapenos, guacamole, black beans, pico de gallo, and sour cream. Sepi's also hosts a late night happy hour daily from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. It includes $2 Coors Lights and PBRs, as well as chicken nachos for $7.95.
10968 Le Conte Ave., 90024; 310-208-7171
Bar Food: Whether it's for an after-work drink with co-workers, or a night out on the town with friends, Bar Food in Westwood is always a good choice. And if you happen to be in the area during their daily happy hour, even better! It happens from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and includes all their house beer for $3.50, glasses of wine for $5, as well as discounts on food and appetizers. As an added bonus, hot dogs are free during happy hour. Take a minute to let that sink in. Free hot dogs! Got it? Good.
12217 Wilshire Blvd., 90025; 310-820-3274
O'Hara's: Aside from their weekly Sunday beer pong tournaments (yep, it's a college bar), O'Hara's in Westwood is also famous for hosting $2 Pint Night on Tuesdays, which starts at 9 p.m. and lasts until close. But wait… there's more! Since all college students are poor, O'Hara's also hosts happy hour every day from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., where you can get domestic brews for $3, and $4 imports. And if that isn't enough to tide you over, then maybe then maybe this will. On Sundays pitchers of Bud Light and Miller Lite are $12, margaritas will run $4 on Mondays, Wednesdays feature $4 long island iced teas, and on Thursdays you can get pints of Budweiser, Bud Light and Miller Lite for $3. You may not be a penniless college student, but at the very least you can drink like one.
1000 Gayley Ave., 90024; 310-208-1942
BLVD 16: Located in Westwood's upscale Hotel Palomar, BLVD 16 is what you'd expect if a fancy four star restaurant marked their prices down by a third. Okay, maybe two-thirds is a better figure. Take their happy hour, for instance. It includes items like oysters on the half shell, shishito peppers, and marinated olives – all of which are under $8. For more traditional palettes, they're also serving up mini burgers, fish tacos, and short rib sliders. You can pick and choose any combination of four, for only $10. Now, why the name BLVD 16? Well when you consider the simple fact that it's a 16 mile drive down Wilshire Blvd. to get from Downtown L.A. to the Hotel Palomar, it all makes sense. Aren't they clever?
10740 Wilshire Blvd., 90024; 310-474-7765
The Backyard: The Backyard may be located next to the pool at the W Hotel in Westwood. But the prices aren't as high as you might expect. Well, that's depending on whether or not you go there for happy hour, happening from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Specials include sliders for $4, and half-price beer and wine.
W Hotel, 930 Hilgard Ave., 90024; 310-443-8218
Barney's Beanery: The Barney's in Westwood is always packed with lively college students and young professionals – especially if a UCLA game is on. Aside from an all day happy hour, featuring bottles of Fat Tire, Lagunitas IPA, and Sam Adams Octoberfest for $3, Bareny's also offers a “Deal A Day” at its Westwood location. On Mondays domestic drafts are $3, Tuesdays you can get imported drafts for $3.50, margaritas are $4 on Wednesdays, IPA drafts are $3.50 on Thursdays, all canned beer is $3.50 on Fridays, on Saturday you can get a soco lemonade for $4, and Sundays bloody mary are also $4. Get it? Got it? Good! Now drink up.
1037 Broxton Ave., 90024; 310-443-7777