The Food Pervert and I were long overdue for a happy hour, so weeks back we emailed back and forth and settled on a happy hour spot in West Hollywood that neither of us had checked out: The Church Key. The day before our happy hour rendezvous, I noticed on Twitter that Zagat LA was hosting a happy hour party at The Church Key, so we were even more stoked for our afternoon adventure on the Sunset Strip.
We "Ubered" it because heck, we had some serious "catching up" to do. Upon arrival, we were immediately impressed with our surroundings; white brick walls, distressed leather, eclectic furnishings and refurbished wood that all harmoniously worked well together. Lesley Balla of Zagat was our gracious host and greeted us at the bar. Things we about to get fun...The bar was equally cool. Liquors showcased like a high-rise building were displayed in the center and the surrounding marble bar top was laced with fresh sliced fruits and house-made ingredients for their cocktail art. After we sat down, a vintage PanAm drink cart wheeled by us offering happy hour cocktails…some kumquat drink and yes, we'll take 2. Our "drink attendant" layered our drink ingredients in a shaker and then passed them back us to to shake up - fun and interactive.
The drink was fantastic and we were curious to see what would come next. We ordered their featured "Happy Hour Meal" and was pleasantly surprised to see it arrive in style; a wood tool box filled with mini gourmet treats. For $11 you get a beef and cheese slider, fried green tomato slider, chickpea steak fries and a spiked banana rum milkshake. Are you kidding me - all of this for $11?!
The beef slider was served a perfect medium rare and it was so juicy. I also enjoyed the fried green slider which was gooey with burrata and topped with a toasted brioche bun. Would you like some fries with that? These fries were no joke; scrumptious chickpea steak fries served with a tangy sauce. Hearty, so much so that I could only eat one. And then we had our spiked surprise - the banana rum shake. My only issue with the shake became that is was to rich and good that I couldn't finish it either and I didn't want to waste such a delicious treat.
I began to see more carts stride by us and stop at tables. Mini dim sum plates were exposed with a range of culinary options. We tried some California style sushi filled with Dungeness Crab, avocado and tzatziki sauce and the rice had a unique texture - slightly crunchy; unlike your typical sushi rice. It was different, but super fresh and very tasty.We kept ordering: a $6 Blood Orange Margarita and an $8 French 75 (gin, Champagne, lemon). The bartender was also friendly and took special care in making his drinks.
Our Church Key happy hour experience was fantastic. In fact, when I get asked, "What's your favorite happy hour lately?" I drop The Church Key. The decor, food and drinks are fantastic and so is the service. I've found a new happy hour watering hole, so if you happen to see a petite blonde snapping pics at the bar of The Church Key, most likely it's me. Cheers and I can't wait to meet meet my fellow happy hour fans!