I was going to the Troubadour for The Morning Benders show. The last time I was there, we dined at Dan Tana's next door. Great meal but rather heavy. This time, I was hoping to focus on drinks and a small pre-concert bite. The Troubadour is located on Santa Monica Blvd at the start of where a stretch of restaurants begin. It's also ground zero for gay bars. We decided on Saint Felix as it came recommended, and they have happy hour till 8pm.
Saint Felix is the kind of place where everyone knows your name.. if you are a regular. Let's just say, my friend and I weren't getting as much love compared to the other guys at the bar. We had to wait about 15 minutes for our server to finish chatting with his buddies. Hey, they still serve booze and food, so I'm not complaining. Happy hour includes 1/2 off their specialty cocktails, wine, beer and some food items.
Our first round of drinks were Stockholm Syndrome and Sangria. The former had Bombay Sapphire, rosemary, fresh mint, muddled strawberries, fresh lime and pomegranate juice. Refreshing. The sangria was not bad but could probably use a bit more fruit and wine! But for $4.50, it does the trick.
Kobe beef sliders on brioche bun with maytag bleu cheese, smoked bacon, grilled onions, tomato, lettuce and thousand island dressing. They call this the Happy Meal, and boy did it make me happy, sans cheese of course. It's a tiny slider but still had all the components of a good burger. The beef was juicy and the fat from the bacon soaked into the bun. The buns didn't taste like brioche though. The slider was served with a side of sweet potato fries which were delicious. Not starchy and oily. All this for $5. Not bad, I have to say.
Ahi tuna slider with sesame salad, marinated cucumber, sprouts and cantaloupe with a side of wasabi cream, also $5. I really enjoyed this slider because of the seaweed salad which was sweet and added a nice texture to the slider. It also seemed light, which is a good option especially if you're going to be spending the next cour hours standing at a concert.
Moroccan chicken cups- Chicken with Moroccan couscous salad and tzatziki sauce. Also $5. I liked the spices of the chicken and the couscous. I thought this was unique and not something you would find on most happy hour menus.
Another round of cocktails. Raspberry Bellini with champagne, raspberry puree and raspberry garnish, and Cucumber Dilettante with muddled cucumbers, dill, lemon and Vodka. Both very yummy drinks.
Cubano tacos- Braised pork taco with pickled pepper relish, avocado crema, salsa roja, gouda cheese and shredded cabbage. The meat was well marinated and the selection of condiments worked well together.
I thought the happy hour at Saint Felix was a good deal ($70 including tax and tip for 5 drinks and a five orders). The food options weren't crappy, the sweet potato fries really made my day, the drinks were good, and we had till 8pm to partake of the reduced prices. Plus lots of eye candy. A happy hour winner in my book.
Hits: fries, ahi tuna slider, HH til 8pm
Misses: service a bit slow
8945 Santa Monica Blvd.,
West Hollywood, CA 90069
After our meal, we walked a couple blocks to the Troubadour to check out the opening band Miniature Tigers. The show was sold out but given that the Troubadour is tiny, it was still an intimate affair.
The Troubadour is always a great concert venue. There really isn't a bad seat in the house. The Morning Benders (who look like they are 16) did a good job although they mainly played from their new album. Pity, because some of the songs from their older album are pretty darn great.