Showing posts with label happy hour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label happy hour. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Happy Hour in Maui

In Hawaii, small plate appetizers are called pupus. A true vacation spot such as this, we had no problem scouring the island for happy hour and pupus, which could be found at almost every corner.  Narrowing down was a tough choice but after sampling a few places, here are the best happy hour spots we found in Maui.  It didn't take long for us to get ourselves acquainted to Hawaiian favourites such as Mai Tai, POG (Passion, orange, guava), lava flow (pina colada-style liquid heavenly ice cream cocktail).  Some popular pupus that can be found everywhere are kalua pork quesadilla, fish tacos, fried ahi roll, tuna poke, lani ribs, and crab cakes.

Sea House Restaurant
Located on Napili Kai Beach, this beachfront restaurant has one stunning view and looks like it has been around for a while.  What made this one of our favourite go-to places for happy hour is its wide selection of pupus and cocktails with at least two full pages dedicated for each.

We were really surprised to see a version of French onion soup making the list on their happy hour pupus.  The dishes arrived fairly quickly and some portions are fair size and great for sharing.  The price ranges only $5-$6, making a great opportunity for a variety of items.  We enjoyed many of the dishes but my favourite was the poke nacho.  We feasted enough to keep us full passed dinner time!
Sesame seared ahi 
Poke nacho
Crispy Kapalua roll
Crispy Maui Beach Balls 
Lani ribs
Tenderloin Bruschetta
Kalua pork taco

Sea House on Urbanspoon

3's Bar & Grill
We traveled all the way down to Kihei in search of Three's Bar & Grill.  Although it's located just off South Kihei road, it still took a bit of a hawk eye to spot this hidden restaurant.  Unfortunately, we didn't meet the 3 handsome surfers/chefs who are the masterminds behind the restaurant, we were quite pleased with 50% off pupus.

We sat down on the patio where the atmosphere was mellow and casual.  There was a live musician performing acoustic renditions and it truly felt like we were on a vacation.
At only $3, happy hour drinks include margarita, Mai Tai, and beer.  We made sure we loaded up the first two.  
The most special item we ordered and saw at every table was the Kalua pork nacho.  It was not only huge, but completely loaded! The nacho was composed of 3 different kinds of chips; tortilla chips, house-made potato and purple yam chips. It's then topped with tender pieces of pulled Kalua pork, topped with tomatoes, truffle lime aioli, melted cheese, sour cream and a scoop of fresh guacamole.  This was the ultimate party dish.

Of course, the kalua pork quesadillas paled in comparison to the nacho, but it was topped with some pineapple salsa.
The coconut prawns were fairly large and succulent.  They were also topped with some pineapples and surrounded by sweet Thai chili sauce.  The batter was not too thick and the shrimp were not overcooked.
Chicken satay skewers are grilled and dipped with a sweet peanut sauce.  They are reminiscent of South East Asian satay skewers and jerk chicken.

The panko-crusted tuna roll was very similar to the one we had at Sea House restaurant, only these were not as heavily fried (the whole roll was fried then sliced versus coating and frying each individual piece).  They were also bathing in a sea of sweet and tangy sauce. 
Three's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 11, 2012

Panorama at Crowne Plaza Hotel

Panaroma restaurant, located on level 23 of the Crowne Plaza hotel, offers more than tasty international dishes, but a stunning panoramic view of Bangkok as well.  This year, it was voted as one of Thailand's best restaurants by elite magazine Thailand Tatler.  Diners have the options between intercontinental buffet or a la carte, we went for the buffet lunch today.  

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oyster Happy Hour around Vancouver

Rodney's Oyster House 

$1.50 each during low tide from 3-6 pm Monday to Saturday.

Rodney's Oyster House on Urbanspoon

Ebisu (Robson)
Buck a shuck from 4:30 to 6:30 pm daily.  The oysters are served with ponzu sauce and tabasco.  Enjoy with a pitcher of sangria!

Ebisu on Robson on Urbanspoon

Boathouse (various locations)
$1.29 each from 3-6 pm daily.

Boathouse (Richmond) on Urbanspoon 

Buck a shuck from 3 - 5 pm daily.  Also try their clam chowder and decked out caesar garnished with a tiger prawn.

Coast Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Daily from 3-7 for buck a shuck.  They have great oysters, but beware: the space is small and limited, and service may be slow due to one staff multitasking by bartending, serving, hosting, and oyster shucking!


Condiments consisted of tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, mignonette sauce, ponzu sauce, and cocktail sauce.

Buck a shuck Chef's Creek oysters.  

The oyster Rockefeller ($3 each) was exquisite; fresh oyster baked with spinach and crispy breadcrumbs and parmesan on top.  They are almost just as good as the ones from Giorgio of Gramercy in New York.  

Oyster on Urbanspoon

I still have yet to try buck a shuck at La Brasserie on Sundays.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy Hour at Ozumo

One afternoon, somehow we ended up in Oakland and stumbled upon Ozumo by accident.  A contemporary Japanese restaurant, this was one of Ozumo's three locations aside from San Francisco and Santa Monica.  Without any expectations, we scoped out their menu and found Ozumo ended up being a pretty good find for happy hour.  We walked in around 5 pm and it was rather deserted.  A modernized izayakaya with a nice ambience, the lounge area was spacious with Japanese art integrated with modern interior design.  It somewhat reminds me of Ebisu in downtown Vancouver.  

Aside from a large selection of sake, draft beer such as Asahi, Sapporo and Stella Artois are at $5 a glass while domestic beer such as Bud Light are $4.  The happy hour menu also carries a pretty descent list of tapas to offer.

I really enjoyed these wings but couldn't remember specifically what they were called. They were crispy and coated with tangy flavourful sauce, similar to yangnyum chicken.


Like their sake list, Ozumo has an extensive list of Robata.  Cheezu ($5), 2 bacon wrapped cheese and oyster mushroom skewers came with a side of purple cabbage salad.  They were good, but still pretty small in portion (2 pieces per skewer).

I believe we were able to order 3 types of rolls from the happy hour menu for $12.  They came in fairly small bite size pieces and I could only say they're at the average.  

Overall, I think Ozumo has the passing mark for happy hour.  The food was a good deal for the price, and I must give more credits to the fusion decor and ambience.  The service could've been more attentive.  There were times when we had to walk around looking for our server.  Though when she was around, her service was friendly.  I would recommend this place if you have time to kill or are looking for a place to chill out before dinner.


Ozumo on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Hour in the East Village: Colors and Thailand Cafe

We walked in to a warm and vibrant ambience with a chilled out vibe.  Bounced to the sound Maxwell playing, we seated ourselves at the bar where we could enjoy the happy hour bar menu.  From 5-9 pm, we got to order appetizers at $5 per plate, beer and certain cocktails for $5 which are pretty good deals.  The regular menu is divided into sections; Earth (appetizers), Sea (seafood), Land (meat entrees), Heaven (desserts) and Hell (cocktails).  Anyways, here's what we ordered from the bar menu.

Our bartender was really friendly and chatty.  He also made me a mean mulled wine sangria.  It was stiff, fresh and delicious.  I had to get a second one.

Another deciously stiff cocktail, the Passionita with hornitos plata tequila with passionfruit puree.  We didn't need to order many to get a buzz. 

The first appetizer that arrived, southwest fried chicken lollipop, wasn't anything spectacular.  Of course, I fell for the name "fried chicken lollipop" captivated me when I ordered it.  The batter around the chicken sort of fell right off and was a bit too thick.  It came with caramelized sauteed onions and apples which kind of saved the dish.  They have sweet and salty taste that somewhat remind me of the Japanese shoyu sauce used in katsudon.  

Chilean ceviche with bass, shrimp, salsa verde and grapefruit salsa. This one was my favourite dish here.  It was refreshing in taste and texture.  

Calamari fritto with parmesan, pickled tomatoes and lemon aioli.  It basically met my expectation of how calamari is supposed to taste; not heavily battered, balanced seasoning, and not over cooked.  But it was only okay.  I was actually thinking about the calamari with jalapenos at the Cactus Club when I was eating them.  

Crab enchiladas were packed with crab meat.  More melted cheese would've really added to the whole thing.  The tortillas used were also baked to crisp along side with more crisp fried tortilla chips served on top.  The lime sauce was good but I wish there wasn't enough for all 3.  

Chicken and chorizo paella  with spring peas and topped with lime aioli.  This last dish is a good filler.  It was a bit dry for a paella but good if you think of it as a fried rice instead.  The creamy aioli also masked the fragrant of the saffron a bit.  I liked that the rice was fat and round similar to the japanese rice.  I felt like I was eating a fried rice at an izakaya.

Overalls, Colors offers a solid value of drinks and tapas for their happy hour and is definitely worth a visit.


Colors on Urbanspoon

Thailand Cafe
The only reason we stepped into Thailand Cafe was because of the 2 for 1 happy hour drinks advertising gloriously outside the front of the store.  The first time we walked in, they sent us away because it was closing time.  The second time we made it in early, right after we were done with Colors.  Since we just had quite a bit of tapas no more than 20 minutes ago, we were planning to just order cocktails, which they had pretty good selections of.  It was my sister's first time ever to voluntarily go to a Thai restaurant outside of Thailand.  From previous experiences, we've come to a consensus that Thai restaurants outside of Thailand make food much too sweet, or salty, and are way too overpriced.  We learned that Thailand Cafe is fairly new and run by Thai people. The place was packed with constant turnover of patrons, the happy hour cocktails must do the trick.  The space looked much more modern and hip with multi colour lightings and decor than most traditional Thai-ed out restaurants.  "Is this place really good/authentic?" A thought came across if Thailand Cafe food would be any different and would change our mind.

Lychee mojito was delicious.  I believe they have 2 kinds of drink specials, buy 1 get 1 and special cocktails (like the lychee mojito for $8 each).  I also tried their Long Island Thai Iced Tea and it was good at the beginning.  But because Thai iced tea is so sweet, I couldn't put up with it for long.

After a few drinks, I wanted to snack on something.  Because of our bias and fear, I hesitated.  Then, I looked at the waiter straight in the eye and asked him what he would recommend in Thai, as if to say "Please don't lie to me. What would taste good for a Thai person"?  He didn't hesitate to point to the softshell crab mango salad.  I love softshell crab and since I had his reassurance, I trusted him and ordered it.  The deep-fried softshell crab arrived whole and spread out over a salad of thick cut mango slices, shallots, basil, red peppers and lettuce.  At first glance, I could already tell that the mango slices are cut way too thick and they won't hold the lime dressing well.  After the first bite, I was disappointed that my already low expectations for Thai food were once again actualized.  In fact, I actually felt cheated by the waiter.  The salad was just plain salty, reeking of fish sauce.  There is no balance of sweetness and tanginess a Thai "yum" or salad is known for.  

My sister's boyfriend ordered the sweet sticky rice and mangoes.   Rich coconut cream, and pandan flavoured sticky rice with random candies sticking out. This one was okay.  

The drinks specials at Thailand Cafe are great for value.  Next time, I will be sure to just stick to the drinks and opt out on the food.


Thailand Cafe on Urbanspoon