By: Maren Swanson • July 14th, 2014
Sunday hit 90 degrees, so it was either stay inside and be miserable from the heat or go outside and be slightly less miserable with the outdoor air. I chose option B and decided that a cold happy hour drink and some munchies may distract me from the hot summer day. Lovehappyhour.com has almost 100 happy hours in West Hollywood, so usually the task of finding my next happy hour destination can be daunting. However, I've been to so many in WeHo (my hood) at this point that my options have narrowed down to about 15-20 that I haven't tried.The walking distance factor made my decision easier; about 15 minutes away stood a quaint French cafe called Froma (I had been there once before on a past stroll down Melrose). The space is small; crowded with diverse wine options, olive oils and deli selections. I guess it has slipped my mind that they offered a happy hour?
I called Froma before we left and they confirmed their happy hour(s): everyday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. My boyfriend and I walked in around 4:30 p.m. and the place had 5 people sitting throughout the cafe. A guy behind the deli counter greeted us and offered us their happy hour menu. I liked the options, 3 craft beers (including Old Rasputin), 6 different wines by the glass and 10 small bites options. I ordered a glass of Rosé and my guy opted for the Old Rasputin Imperial Stout. For food, we ordered the Tuna Tartare and Antipasto plate. We checked out the chalkboard menu above us and noticed that the happy hour prices were pretty good, almost half off the original item prices.
We found window seats overlooking Melrose and waited for our drinks and dishes to arrive. The place seemed a little warm inside, but I tried to ignore that because I was in my "happy place". People watching while people are driving is a whole different experience and very entertaining.
The other guy behind the counter dropped off my wine and mentioned that they were out of the Old Rasputin, so we got the Stiegl Golden Premium from Austria instead ($4). They had visibly opened a new French Rosé wine bottle for my glass, which they poured table side, and then our food arrived about a minute afterwards. The Anitpasto plate ($6) was covered with assorted salamis, cornicorchons and house-made olives. The salami was thin, some semi-spicy, and lightly lathered with the residual oil from the olives. I mean, who doesn't love a big plate of meat?
The Tuna Tartare came out and looked a brownish-blackish red, but I quickly realized that the color came from the olive tapenade it was mixed with. The tapenade gave the dish a slightly saltier bite and was served with very crunchy crostinis and oil-bathed chopped tomatoes. That's what I dig about French tapas; they are savory, so I enjoy the flavors at slower pace. I liked the tartare, but felt it could have succeeded with a little less olive love.
After the warmth in the building started to get to me, I ordered another glass of white wine and an ice water to cool down, but decided to pass on ordering more dishes. I overheard a new guest at the deli inquire about the temperature inside and the deli guy mentioned that the air conditioning was broken and it wasn't just today, perhaps weeks. Yikes. The guest goes, "You should have the owners fix that." Yes, they should, especially on 90 degree days when we are stopping in to eat, drink and forget about the heat.
Los Angeles, California 90046