Happy Hour: Jay's Bar in Silver Lake
Place: Jay's Bar, 4321 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; (323) 666-1898.
Christine Chiao Hush puppies and poutine at Jay's Bar
Hours: Daily 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Deals: $1 off all drafts and wine by the glass; $1 sake shots all day; $3 cans of PBR and bottles of Coors Light; $3 off draft pitchers and wine by the bottle. Five options for food -- including fresh-cut fries with roasted garlic aioli; and fried walnut brie with cran-raspberry relish, pickled onions and watercress -- range $5-$6 each.
Vibe: Jay's Bar in Silver Lake is pretty much an ideal happy hour spot. While some critics are having gastropub fatigue, you might consider this a kind of greatest-hits compilation of what made you fall for gastropubs in the first place, with a few remixes in the set.
Jay's Bar is mainly a large one-room space, designed with industrial elements -- mostly wood and metal with occasional touches of whimsy. A mirrored menu of draft beer selections sits in the center of the main wall, and hooks for jackets, hats and handbags are lined across the bar. The high booths that sit perpendicular to both sides of the bar make for comfortable seating with substantial cushioning; the barstools have a slight concavity for a better seat. Two flatscreen TVs flank the bar, tuned to different sports. So the games are there for the viewing, but not conspicuous in sight or sound for those uninterested in sports.
The happy hour menu is concise. The portions of classic poutine with brown gravy and cheese curds, and the hush puppies with spicy remoulade sauce, are generous. The fried chicken wings in chili lime dry rub with a side of cotija crema showed a light touch in the use of chili, but the size was no less impressive for its price. There are about 15 draft selections -- Eagle Rock Unionist Belgian Pale Ale, Deschutes Hop Henge Double IP and Lagunitas A Little Sumpin' Wild -- that range from $6-$9 per glass. The service is friendly yet unobtrusive.
For whatever reason, Jay's Bar was sparely visited during our stop. The bar is located in one of the larger strip malls in Los Angeles proper, with decently measured parking spaces. Opened on Valentine's Day, the bar is not quite two months old. While we'd prefer to keep Jay's Bar to ourselves, it'd be good to see it become the neighborhood joint for which it's designed.
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