"Chaya Can Stand Under my Umbrella"



"Barney's Beanery"

"The Cat & Fiddle"

"Nic's Martini Lounge"


"Six Degrees of Belmont"

"The Hudson"

"The Lobster"


"Been There, Den That"

"La Boheme"

"St. Felix"

"Been There, Den That"

by Tara Redfield

Dear Love,


Going to a bar by myself has never been a top activity on my list of things to do before turning 30. It was Friday night and I had already made plans to investigate happy hour at The Den of Hollywood, a bar I've heard about on the Sunset Strip, but, at the last minute, my girl friend was unable to meet me. So, there I was in my adorable happy hour outfit..alone. I hesitated for a brief moment then realized I only had five minutes until seven and then all happy hour hope would be lost. I glossed my lips with some “devil-may-care” pink and into The Den I went.



I walked down cobble stone steps into a popular patio, guests were chirping and squawking cheerfully. I didn't want to advertise my alone status too much, so I decided to go inside and have a seat at the a real happy hour professional. The bar manager warmly greeted my presence, very much appreciated. I had three minutes to order before the happy hour menu expired. My eyes hungrily ran up and down the menu, pausing on “bacon and cheese doughnut holes,” “bacon wrapped dates,” “thick cut sweet potato fries,” “pork belly tacos,” and “sweet corn and wild mushroom tamales.” And those were just the snacks I noticed first!

“I'll have a glass of the Stella Pinto Grigio, bacon wrapped dates and the tamales, please.” The manager replied with a smiling, “You got it!” I really did sound like a pro! I hadn't tasted anything yet, but after looking at the menu again I was feeling more than happy with my selections.


I took a sip of my wine, pinot grigio is my favorite white, and the Stella, light and crisp, didn't disappoint. Had I felt like going all night long, I would have ordered the “Pine Pop” cocktail; Heradurra tequila, champagne and pineapple juice. Now that I think about it, I should have gone all night long!

As I was saying, “Talk to you later, love you!” on a call to my mom, my order arrived with the response, “I just brought you food, but I love you too!” from the food runner. Cute. Everything is better when the staff of a bar knows how to have fun with customers. I laughed and thanked him. My eyes ate up the sights and my mouth couldn't wait to have the final say.

The bacon wrapped dates, which I order every time I see them on bar menu, because I think they're genius and I like to see how they vary, were excellent. They were stuffed with blue cheese and served with a sweet onion relish. The bacon and dates tasted just as they should, perfectly salty and sweet. The relish was a pleasantly unique addition. Bacon wrapped dates I've had in the past were served just as I was seated, alone, but having the extra topping enhanced the natural flavors.


Next, I tried the tamales, which were drizzled with a thread of salsa verde and sprinkled with buttons of white Mexican cheese. They were good, but could have been helped with a bolder flavor. The wild mushrooms were lost in the sweet corn. Very good idea, but just needed a kick of something else, some spice.

The last sip of wine raced down my throat as I paid the tab. I survived a happy hour by myself and enjoyed it. I would return to the den again, but instead of tamales I would get bacon and cheese doughnut holes...those must be worth trying and probably better shared with friends or with you!