Oh great, another virtual Happy Hour invite has arrived in your inbox. It’s not that you don’t want to hang out with your friends, it’s just that at this point in quarantine, sitting around downing mixed drinks while asking everyone “No really, how are you?” has gotten a bit stale. And while we can’t improve the conversation, we can offer a suggestion - maybe it’s time to up your drinking game. Restaurants and bars in every corner of this city are offering batched cocktails, craft beer packages, and more to make your virtual hangouts far more interesting. Here are some places we recommend.
Downtown Culver City is infamous for its restaurant turnover, but one place that continues to be a cornerstone of the neighborhood is Akasha. And during quarantine, this American bistro is offering bottles of wine (generally priced under $30) and a fantastic house-made martini that comes with pom syrup and citrus vodka. Pick-up only, all ordering is done through their website.
This is a tough pill to swallow, but just because you’ve been nursing a six-pack of Ballast Point for a few weeks doesn’t suddenly make you a beer connoisseur. If you show up to your Happy Hour with a case of hazy IPAs from Beachwood Brewery, however, you’re definitely on the right track. The Long Beach bar/restaurant is one of our favorite craft breweries in Southern California, with a giant catalogue of impressive beer, plus a “cellar” full of discounted beer from other great breweries. Available for pick-up, local next-day delivery, or shipping via their website.
Your bartending skills are so bad that you only recently learned a Penicillin cocktail doesn’t actually have penicillin in it. Time to call up Black Market Liquor. The restaurant/bar in Studio City is serving a number of different cocktails to-go, including a Painkiller, an Old Cuban, and yes, a very-not-medicinal Penicillin. All cocktails come in 16-ounce containers and serve two people - or just you during your friend’s birthday Happy Hour. Delivery available on most major platforms.
Few places have a selection of to-go drinks as massive as Boneyard Bistro’s, so if your bar cart is looking pretty dusty for tonight’s Zoom party, call this excellent Sherman Oaks BBQ spot. From craft cocktails ranging from batched Mai Tais to Cactus Coolers, discounted bottles of wine, and half-off pints, quarts, and growlers of craft beer, there’s simply no reason to be drinking poorly tonight. Delivery and takeout available.
The indoor/outdoor cantina in Malibu is currently offering both batched cocktails and beer to-go. Prices might seem a bit steep (cocktails run $17-25), but everything comes in 32-ounce containers and all beer is sold in six-packs, so if you break it down, it’s actually a very good deal. Our favorite drink is the Spicy Oaxacan with mezcal and jalapeno, but you can’t really go wrong when the rest of your friends on Zoom are drinking vodka waters. Takeaway only.
The classic Mexican spot’s Echo Park location reopened a few weeks ago, but as of May 1st, the original location in Hollywood is back as well. Whether you’ve got a birthday Happy Hour, Cinco de Mayo virtual party, or a simple Sunday afternoon drink-off, having one of El Compadre’s legendary margaritas in-hand will draw the envy of every other attendee. Available for delivery or take-out.
Looking for a selfless way to spice up your friend’s virtual birthday hour? Give them a surprise cocktail delivery from Employees Only. The high-end bar in West Hollywood is offering a number of different cocktail kits with ingredients like pink peppercorns, absinthe bitters, and chai vermouth. In other words, stuff no one just casually has lying around in their bar cart. Both delivery and takeout available.
Everybody knows Father’s Office for its famous (and often-polarizing) burger, but this gastropub is also a great place to drink beer, too. And right now, you can get that beer delivered right to your doorstep. From Allagash to Pizza Port to PlinyThe Elder, Father’s Office is an easy way to up your at-home craft beer game tonight.
“The Dirty Sue” is one of LA’s most iconic martinis, but that isn’t the only thing you should be drinking at this classic Italian spot on Santa Monica Blvd. Whether it’s their house margarita, mule, or The Keef (a bottle of Coors with a shot of Jack), the drinks at Jones always hit you exactly where you need them to. And let’s be honest, if you rip a shot of Jack Daniel’s at your next Happy Hour, you’re officially mayor of your friend group. Takeout only, call (323) 850-1726 to order.
There are a number of restaurants offering margaritas to-go right now, but La Cabana in Venice is offering a $22 kit that comes with all the traditional ingredients, plus a shaker that you get to keep forever. Quarantine keepsakes aren’t exactly something we’re looking to get involved with, but we’ll happily make an exception here. Takeout and delivery is available on most major apps.
At this point in the quarantine, all your booziest friends have probably stepped up their virtual drinking aesthetic. It’s time you do the same by ordering some adult slushees from Little Dom’s. Arriving in plastic pouches, there’s a margarita version as well a “Frozen Pink Flamingo” that’s made with tequila, lemon, grapefruit, and campari. Hint: Do the latter, or better yet, just get both. We all know these Happy Hours go a lot longer than 60 minutes. Both takeout and delivery is available.
The upscale Mexican restaurant in Pasadena is currently offering a wide-range of cocktails including house margaritas, mezcal negronis, and agave Old Fashioneds. Everything falls under $10, which is a steal anywhere, but particularly at a place with as good of cocktails as Maestro. If you’re looking for something slightly less boozy, there’s well-priced wine, but if tonight’s Happy Hour calls for breaking out the big guns, don’t overlook the bottles of mezcal. Call (626) 787-1512 to order.
Don’t look now, but you’re officially burnt out from drinking wine and liquor during all these virtual hangouts with friends. Change things up and order from Noshi Sushi instead. The Koreatown sushi bar is currently selling a solid array of well-priced sake and soju, plus plenty of imported Japanese beer. Takeout only.
Pasjoli was one of our favorite restaurants to open in LA in 2019 and their cocktails played a big part in that. Now, you can get batched versions of them for both pick-up and delivery. Each batch contains about five drinks total, so don’t get thrown off by their $50-90 price points - these babies will get you going all night and probably into tomorrow.
The Melrose wine bar/restaurant is currently selling every bottle of wine on their list for 50% off. That includes everything from Champagne to Sancerre to Bordeaux cabernet. If you really want to go for it though, opt for one of their Champagne Punch Kits that range from $35-60 and come with a variety of different ingredients and add-ins. Available for takeout and local delivery on all orders over $75.
Having a sober quarantine? We applaud you. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be drinking interesting stuff with your friends as well. Yapa, the Peruvian-Japanese restaurant in Little Tokyo, has a menu full of excellent house-made sodas that are light, refreshing, and will pull plenty of attention in a Zoom hangout full of whiskey and diets. Both takeout and delivery are available.
Whatever your opinion of Zinque’s food, there’s no arguing that their current wine specials are pretty great. At all three LA locations, this upscale cafe is selling bottles at 50% - without the purchase of food. That means for about $20-40 you can get any bottle on their list, which also happens to be more extensive than you would expect. Takeout and delivery are available.