Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Recession busters

Recession Busters: Free dinner at new Stonefire Grill

StonefireSteakButter119[1] Stonefire Grill -- the mini-chain with locations in Valencia, Irvine, Chatsworth, Fountain Valley and West Hills -- is opening a new restaurant in Pasadena. The pre-opening party takes place Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. On offer: free dinner. But be sure to leave a tip (and a big one if you can swing it) because all tips go to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Owner Mary Harrigan's nephew, Brenden, suffers from the disease, and she has long been involved in the fight to find a cure.

Stonefire Grill specializes in American fare with a menu full of, you guessed it, grilled chicken, tri-tip and baby back ribs. Stonefire Grill, 473 N. Rosemead Blvd., Pasadena. RSVP to (818) 991-4054, Ext. 0.

--Jessica Gelt

Photo: Stonefire Grill

Small Bites: Happy Hour deals at the Beachcomber, Mirabelle & Le Merigot

Revelers raise the martini flag circa 1950s at the Beachcomber. Courtesy of the Crystal Cove Alliance.

5-5-5 Happy Hour Deals: The Beachcomber, known for hoisting its martini flag complete with a bugle call everyday at 5 p.m., is offering a new happy hour deal: Choose from five cocktails and five appetizers for $5 (Monday - Friday, 5 - 7 p.m.). Cocktails include the Citronage Margarita, the Pier Club Colada; the Strawberry Fields (rum, strawberries, bananas and cream), the Wizard of Ahhs (gin, lime juice and mint) and the Watermelon Jolly Rancher Martini (vodka, watermelon schnapps and pineapple juice). Food choices are calamari fries; cheese pizzettes; hummus and crisps; spicy chicken sliders; and a cheeseburger. The Beachcomber at Malibu Pier and Malibu Pier Club Bar: 23000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. (310) 456-9800, www.thebeachcombercafe.com.

Extended Happy Hour at Mirabelle: Every Monday and Tuesday, Happy Hour at Mirabelle (normally 4 to 7 p.m.) lasts until midnight. That means all house wines are $3.50-$5 per glass, while martinis are $5. Food includes the Greek-influenced meze plate ($7), rock shrimp with honey wasabi sauce ($7), short rib cubes and more ($5.50). Mirabelle, which opened in 1971, also extended its $19.71 three-course meal through the rest of 2009. It includes a salad or crab bisque for the first course; pasta, chicken Dijon or hangar steak for the main course and ice cream for dessert. Mirabelle: 8768 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 659-6022, www.mirabelleonsunset.com.

Late Night Happy Hour at Le Merigot: Because you're still busy working when everyone else heads to happy hour at 5 p.m., Le Troquet, the open-air bar at Le Merigot, now offers a happy hour Monday through Friday from 8 to 10 p.m. Well drinks are 50% off while appetizers and small plates like crab quesadillas, steak au poivre and tuna tartar are 30% off. Le Troquet at Le Merigot: 1740 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 395-9700, www.lemerigothotel.com.

--Elina Shatkin

Photo: Revelers raise the martini flag circa 1950s at the Beachcomber. Courtesy of the Crystal Cove Alliance.

Small Bites: Half off at Dolce, STK happy hour, Magnolia Monday night suppers

The main dinning room of Dolce circa 2003. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles.Half off on ALL food at Dolce: Italian restaurant Dolce will be shutting its doors June 30, but between now and then they're offering 50% off ALL food. Yes, you read that correctly (alcohol not included). Philippe Chow, who used to cook at Mr. Chow but is no relation to Mr. Chow owner Michael Chow (got that?) will be taking over the space on July 1 while Dolce looks for new digs in the same area. More details to come. Dolce: 8284 Melrose Ave., L.A. (323) 852-7174.

Happy hour, six days a week: On Sundays through Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. STK is offering the following deals: $5 beers; $10 specialty cocktails like Moscow Mules and Pimm's Cups; $10 lighter bites like shrimp cocktails and tuna sashimi; and $15 mini-meals (short ribs, 6 oz. steak and salad, Wagyu beef sliders). It's not cheap by any standard except perhaps that of a Williamsburg trustafarian. STK: 755 N. La Cienega Blvd., L.A. (310) 659-3535, www.stkhouse.com.

Warm apple tart from Magnolia.Monday night suppers: The downtown outpost of Magnolia,which launched its happy hour in early May (Mon.-Fri., 4-7 p.m.), yesterday kicked off its weekly Monday night suppers, featuring a three-course meal for $30. Yesterday night, executive chef Richard Crespin, who oversees the menu for both Magnolias, prepared a menu that included French onion soup, braised short ribs and apple tart. As of last Thursday, the original Magnolia in Hollywood (6266 1/2 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A.) also has a happy hour menu (Mon.-Fri., 4-7 p.m.). Magnolia Downtown: 825 W. 9th Street., L.A. (213) 362-0880, www.magnoliala.com.

Click here for more recession-buster deals on food and drink.

--Elina Shatkin

Photos, from top: The main dining room of Dolce circa 2003; a Magnolia apple tart. Credits, from top: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles; Magnolia.

Small Bites: Summer is for (extended) happy hours

Nobu

Nobu West Hollywood has revamped its happy hour menu for the summer, and it's now available seven days a week in the bar and lounge, from 6 to 9 p.m. Most tapas are under $10 and mixed drinks are $6, with wines by the glass for $7. Nobu's tapas include panko-encrusted scallops, foie gras on crispy soba and miso-marinated grilled Pacific white shrimp. 903 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 657-5711.

Locanda del Lago in Santa Monica also has expanded its happy hour to seven days a week (4 to 7 p.m.) and all evening on Tuesdays ($3 beers and $4 house wines). They’re also taking advantage of their location near the Santa Monica Farmers' Market to mix drinks using market produce, including a “Market Margarita” with oro blanco grapefruit, tangelo and lime. (Lago’s “recession relief” offers also include no corkage fees on Mondays and “Stimulus Package” menus with three courses for $29 for dinner, and two for $15 for lunch.) 231 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 451-3525.

Wilshire Restaurant has also extended its weekend happy hour. It's now Monday to Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. Wines by the glass are $6, well drinks are $7 and beers are $5. Happy hour menu items include pizza burrata and green curry shrimp skewers for $8. In addition, Monday is half-price wine night for every bottle on the wine list. 2454 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 586-1707.

-- Betty Hallock and Mary MacVean

Photo of Nobu by Christine House / For The Times

Click here for more Recession Busters and Delicious Deals

Cinco de Mayo recipes: tuna tostadas, carne asada, chicharrones . . .

Tostada 

If you are like me, you're always looking for an excuse to break out the chips and guac. So I was happy to dig through the Times Test Kitchen's archives for some recipes in honor of Cinco de Mayo. Still, I wanted to come up with something ... different. (Nothing against refried beans, mind you!)

So this is a photo gallery of the menu I came up with:

There are grapefruit margaritas to start, along with appetizers including radish salsa, tortillas and chicharrones de queso -- roughly translated as fried cheese, tuna tostadas with chipotle mayo and queso de chiva fundido con pipián verde -- roughly translated as more cheesy goodness. For the main course, choose from green corn tamales, El Cholo's famous chiles rellenos, carne asada tacos, achiote-marinated fish tacosduck tacos with a chile-cherry compote (I told you I wanted different) and two types of veggie enchiladas.

But I wasn't completely nontraditional. I did include guacamole. And, for a finisher, flan

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

-- Rene Lynch

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Photo credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

Tax day deals for those tax day blues

A 

Restaurants are offering an edible tax break today. Among them: T.G.I. Friday's and P.F. Chang's. At T.G.I. Friday's, diners earn $5 Bonus Bites cards for purchases (excluding alcohol and taxes) of between $15 and $25 or $10 cards for purchases of more than $25. P.F. Chang's is offering 15% off your food bill. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants is also offering cheap drinks, a $10.40 menu, and diners can get a $10.40 certificate toward future purchases.

$10.40, get it? 10-40?

-- Rene Lynch

We're all a-Twitter @LATimesFood

George Wilhelm / Los Angeles Times

Recession Busters: Lunch at the Palm, 'Aperitif Time' at Drago Centro

Drago Italian happy hour: Drago Centro introduces its own version of happy hour with "Aperitif Time," from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, when specially priced drinks and Italian bar food are on offer. Stella Artois and Boont Amber are $4 each; a Soave Classico and Monica are $6 a glass; signature cocktails Bella Rosemary (gin, apricot brandy, rosemary, almond syrup, lime) and Linea Verde (vodka, cucumber juice, lime, mint) are $7 each; and pizza Margherita, pizza with rosemary and potatoes, and arancini Siciliani are $7 to $8. What time is it? Aperitif Time. 525 S. Flower St., Suite 120, Los Angeles, (213) 228-8998.

The power lunch, for less: Now that nobody's screaming "I'll get it!" anymore when the check comes at the end of a business meal, the less-than-$20 power lunch sounds like a good deal. The Palm restaurants offer a new Business Lunch menu, priced at $17 to $22 depending on location. It includes your choice of starter — mixed green salad, Caesar salad or soup of the day — and entree — twin tenderloin filets, blackened steak salad, chicken Parmigiana, fresh fish of the day, or a Palm burger, served with Palm’s signature cottage fries and fried onions. For dessert, New York-style cheesecake or Key lime pie. See www.thepalm.com for locations.

— Betty Hallock

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Photo: Drago Centro. Credit: Ricardo De Aratanha / Los Angeles Times

Recession Busters: the All-Cocktail Edition

RH restaurant and bar at Andaz West Hollywood. Free Cocktail Bites: The RH Bar at recently opened Andaz West Hollywood (formerly the West Hollywood Hyatt, a.k.a. Riot Hyatt) is treating its guests to complimentary cocktail bites from 5 to 7 p.m. every evening. Prepared by executive chef Sebastien Archambault, they include: prosciutto with ciabatta, roasted forest mushroom tart, shrimp ceviche, homemade foie gras crostini and roasted eggplant. Wash it down with a glass of Santa Ynez viognier or a signature cocktail like a Sanprinia with Leblon Cachaça, Grand Marnier, Pinot Grigio, pomegranate juice, soda and seasonal fruit. RH Bar, Andaz West Hollywood, 8401 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 785-6090, www.andaz.com

Discounted Cocktails for Metro Riders: At La Grande Orange Café, which is conveniently adjacent to the Del Mar Metrolink station, show up with a current Metro ticket stub and get a cocktail for $1. The deal is only available for the first drink; after that, you're paying regular price. But at least you won't have to drive home. The deal is good all day long (not just happy hour!), seven days a week. La Grande Orange Café, 260 Raymond Ave., Pasadena, (626) 356-4444, www.lgostationcafe.com

Seaweed salad from Bond Street. CREDIT: Gary Friedman, Los Angeles Times Happy Hour Comes to Bond St.: About two weeks ago, the Lounge at Bond St. introduced a happy hour (5 -7:30 p.m., Mon. - Fri.) featuring 7 drinks and 7 appetizers for $7 each. Snacks include: spicy crispy shrimp with a yuzu calamanci vinaigrette and chipotle aioli; ama ebi harumaki spring rolls; beef and chicken skewers; sesame crusted shrimp rolls with orange curry sauce; and more. Drinks include red or white wine, Sapporo beer, sake, dry or sweet Saketini and a lychee martini. The Beverly Hills sushi restaurant also recently lowered the cost of its prix fixe tasting menu (offered daily except Saturday starting at 6 p.m.) to $36 per person in the main dining room. Bond Street, 9360 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills. (310) 601-2255, www.bondstrestaurant.com

--Elina Shatkin

Photo: The RH restaurant and bar at Andaz West Hollywood

Credit: Andaz West Hollywood

Seaweed salad from Bond Street

Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

Recession Busters: Happy hour week, free kids meals and March bargains

Lagrandeorange Hot, fresh deals for your files:

La Grande Orange Cafe in Pasadena is now offering free kids meals (to children only) before 6 p.m., seven days a week. Offerings include grilled cheese, mac 'n' cheese, fish platters and peanut butter and jelly rolls, all served with a side of fresh, organic veggies. More impressive, the same holds true for weekend brunch, when the above offerings are expanded to include Belgian waffles, pancakes and bacon and eggs. Note to self: You are not considered a kid just because you feel like one. 260 Raymond Ave., Pasadena. (626) 356-4444. www.lgostationcafe.com.

Put yourself on advance notice: Happy Hour Week debuts in Orange County on April 12. Produced by the Orange County Restaurant Assn., it features many of the OC's favorite restaurants and bars, all of which will offer special happy hour deals promoting their best appetizers and drinks for an entire week. For participating establishments and further information, go to www.happyhourweek.com. I feel happy just thinking about it.

Continue reading »

Recession Busters: Free burritos and $5 lunches

TheparkMonday brings two new recession-friendly items to Daily Dish HQ:

Echo Park's cozy neighborhood favorite the Park is celebrating it's first anniversary by serving $5 lunches from Tuesday the 17th through Friday the 20th. That means any sandwich and regular side from the restaurant's recently launched lunch menu. Chef Joshua Siegel's low-key restaurant is also launching $5-burger Wednesdays, beginning this week, when ground beef or veggie burgers go for a Lincoln.

The Park, 1400 Sunset Blvd., L.A. (213) 482-9209. www.thepark1400sunset.com.

The Mexican chain Chipotle celebrates the opening of its new Westlake Village location by rolling free burritos from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for all comers on Thursday the 19th. We can only imagine that lines will form for this one. But if you've got some time, there's really no arguing with a free burrito. Perhaps Chipotle was inspired to this act of media-savvy largess by the smashing success of Denny's, which gave away nearly 2 million free Grand Slam breakfasts shortly after the Super Bowl.   

Chipotle, 5754 Lindero Canyon Road, Westlake Village. (818) 597-1603. www.chipotle.com.

For more Recession Busters, click here.

— Jessica Gelt

Photo: The patio at the Park Credit: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times

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