Friday, July 24, 2009
Happy Hour: The Desert Rose
It’s got a huge patio. And a full bar. And it’s close to home. Sounds inviting, right? Basically, it’s the hideous giant stained glass rose, the centerpiece of the restaurant’s decor, that always turned me off—and, apparently, many others around the neighborhood—from trying this place since it opened on Hillhurst a year ago. But I’d heard from a friend that there were decent happy hour specials, so on a recent Friday afternoon, Nathan and I and a couple friends decided to avert our eyes and focus on the other stuff.
Our companions opted for mojitos ($5). Fans of vanilla-flavored liquor might be intrigued by the vanilla mango mojito. I’m not one of those fans, though, and personally thought it tasted like Captain Morgan’s sweat with a splash of patchouli oil.
I ordered a John Daly ($4), which our server explained was an Arnold Palmer with whiskey. It sounded refreshing on a hot day, but either the iced tea or the lemonade tasted like it came from a box. Also, when I looked it up on the interweb later, the recipes all called for vodka, not whiskey, so either the server flubbed or the bar makes a weird version. I guess it didn’t matter since I really couldn’t detect any alcohol in it anyway, so I switched to my usual, Maker’s Mark neat. At $9 a pop, it basically subsidized the discounted beer: $3 for pints of Fat Tire, Stella Artois, or Peroni—now that’s a good deal.
For food, we went with (clockwise from top left) fish and chips ($5), garlic Parmesan fries ($3), a couple falafel sliders ($1.50 each), and the pita pinwheels with hummus and tomatoes ($3). These were good enough if unspectacular, with the exception of the falafel, which was flavorless and dry, like it’d been sitting around for a few days. Also, what’s with calling any old miniature-sized burger a “slider” (in this case, not even a burger)? GIve it a rest already.
In short, I guess it’d be worth going back for the cheap pints and sunshine. Happy hour is between 4 and 6 Monday through Friday.