Happy Hour is the elusive hour for most. You work till six or seven, get home at eight after fighting traffic to get back from the West Side. Happy Hour has been over at most bars for two hours. Not so on Thursdays at the Hilton Checkers on Grand Ave and 5th in Downtown LA. Because every week on Thursday nights from 4-8pm they feature four amazing cocktails and four small plates for four hours, all for just four bucks each. Is it becoming clear now? Chef Todd Allison doesn’t just create standard bar food fare either. We’re talking Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras, grilled PB & B & J (peanut butter, banana, jelly ) sandwich or Dungeness Crab and fried plantain salad tossed in a Tahitian vanilla vinaigrette. (pics below)
Restaurant Manager Tyler Dow pairs these delightful dishes with artisan cocktails at the bar. Each week, he chooses a premium liquor to concoct a selection of drinks using fresh squeezed juices and herbs. Last week, to go with the Caribbean theme, they created excellent pairings with Cruzan Rum.
This isn’t Barney’s, so you won’t see tri-fold menus a-top each table or happy hour signs on the street, so ask for the FOUR menu at the bar and be prepared to be taken on an odyssey through fine food and beverage. And if you love it, ask around for Tyler and get put on one of Downtown’s best email alerts for Thursday. We’ll see you at the bar. We’re pretty sure the food and cocktails will have you coming back for more.
Menu for 2/25 Four at Checkers:
- LIMONCELLO BRAMBLE – A martini of Vox Vodka, Limoncello, blackberry puree, and fresh lemon juice. From the mind of our own bartender, Violet!
- RED CHECKER – Vox Vodka, St Germain elderflower liqueur, muddled raspberries, and lemon juice, with a hint of orange bitters.
- MOSCOW MULE – Vox Vodka, fresh lime juice, fresh ginger juice, and ginger beer. “Moscow” for the vodka; “Mule” for the kick of ginger!
- VESPER MARTINI – James Bond’s change-of-pace: Tanqueray Gin, Vox Vodka, Golden Lillet, and a twist of lemon.
- VICHYSSOISE with house-made taro chips
- OLIVE OIL POACHED AHI, with cannelloni bean and basil pesto ragout, and red onion pickles
- SHORTRIB GRILLED CHEESE with sautéed onion, baby arugula, and a stone-ground mustard sauce.
- CONFIT OF ARTICHOKE HEARTS, with lemon zest and shaved mizithra cheese.
1½ oz Cruzan Light rum
½ oz cognac (I use one of the better-quality VS’s, Remy/Hennessey/Courvoisier are all fine)
¾ oz fresh lime juice
¾ oz cinnamon simple syrup
Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. You can garnish with a lime zest, and/or cinnamon stick if you’d like. Or just ‘naked’ is fine, too.