First and Hope - Happy Hour - by Tara Redfield
The day had already been perfect, as a bonus my friend Samantha and I were going to try our luck getting tickets for the sold out performance of RED at the Mark Taper Forum downtown. We were the first ones in the "cancellation line"...this means that as soon as the box office had notice of cancelled tickets they would sell them to us for $20.00 each. How amazing is that? The woman behind the glass called us over and just like that we had two tickets to see Alfred Molina live! All we needed was a great bar to kill the time in!
I remembered that First & Hope was extremely close by. Sam and I had never been, now was our time to check it off the list! We had a strange feeling that there would be a happy hour situation. Lucky again, for us, there was. I wasn't expecting the bar to be in a strip mall, next to a Subway, but once we walked through the doors the outside faded from memory. It was quiet for an early Saturday evening...but isn't that normal? The bartender greeted us very kindly and handed us the desired menus. The happy hour wine was a crisp Chablis. Two please.
Happy Hour on the weekend!? Always the best. Drink specials included well cocktails, house wines and house beers. Bar Bites included, Popcorn, Nuts and Olives, Pork Rillette, Crispy Baby Artichokes, Hand Cut Fries, Tartar/Ceviche, Calamari, Roasted Beets, Rib Sliders, Mussels, and Truffle Mac & Cheese.
I had already spent all day at the Greek Fest, so I wasn't starving. Sam can never say no Truffle Mac & Cheese, so that was an obvious choice. I decided we needed something on the lighter side...so I chose the Roasted Beets, which were served with Bûcheron, Wild Arugula and a Marcona Almond Vinagrette. Yes something light, beacause Bûcheron is the lightest cheese ever! NOT! ;)
Both plates were delicious. The Truffle Mac & Cheese was served in it's own private cast iron bed. Topped with deep tan crumbs and baked to a delicate crisp. When spoon met Mac, it cheered. When Mac met mouth, we moaned. In our opinion this is the only way to do Mac & Cheese right...with truffle, ALWAYS. The Roasted Beets with Creamy Bûcheron were eaten with no complaints either. It was nice to have a slightly different take on the "beet craze." I'm not used to eating them warm, but they were excellent!
First & Hope is the perfect bar to relax in before catching a show downtown! Samantha and I really enjoyed ourselves with wonderful food and wine...at Happy Hour on a Saturday! Oh, and we were actually really glad there was a Subway next door...they have the best chocolate chip cookies!
First & Hope
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