La Jolla & P.B. Happy Hours
7837 Herschel Avenue, La Jolla
The Scene: Seafood may be the catch of the day, but this is a Grade-A meat market, La Jolla-style. Drink: Select beers, wines by the glass, and infusion cocktails are priced at $5 to $7; go for a fresh cucumber-infused vodka or the full-price Tokyo Love Hotel, a slightly exotic and spirited take on iced tea with lemon. Nibble: Oyster Hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays (yes, we know that’s two hours) brings $1 bivalves and $8 cheese or sausage crusts, aka pizzas.
1250 Prospect Street, La Jolla
The Scene: A sophisticated crowd of food-savvy vacationers mingles with La Jolla locals. Drink: Margaritas, sidecars, and various infused vodkas are $7. Or sip a sparkling wine or glass of Torrontes for $7. Beers are $4. Happy hour is Monday through Friday, 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Nibble: Enjoy old standbys like calamari or a burger and fries, but our choice is three tacos and a beer for $7.
1270 Prospect Street, La Jolla
The Scene: Banker boys and good-looking couples gather on the back patio to take in the expansive ocean vista. Drink: A blue water view like this makes it eternally summer. Order a refreshingly fizzy Green Dragon Mojito with strawberries, mint, and lime. All libations are $2 off from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Nibble: Crab cakes are the place’s signature; we loved the sweet and meaty blend of Jonah and lump crab.
910 Prospect Street, La Jolla
The Scene: Inside the Grande Colonial Hotel, you’ll see successful guys with their hot dates, families on vacation with little kids in tow, and smartly dressed senior couples in the sun-drenched bar. Drink: Select glasses of wine are $5 and all beers are $2 off; for cocktails, stick to simple, classic concoctions like the Weak Hearted (prosecco, elderflower, and gin), or a Sidecar with brandy and Cointreau. Nibble: At half off from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays, chef Jason Knibb’s bar bites are a screaming deal; we live for the sweet, spicy, and tangy lamb meatballs with grilled levain, and short rib panini with sweet caramelized onions and oozy aged cheddar.
The Patio on Lamont Street
4445 Lamont Street, Pacific Beach
The Scene: “Pacific Beach?!” you say. This restaurant is just steps from a Jack-in-the-Box and a Domino’s, but neighborhoodies know that whatever establishment takes the place of Lamont Street Grill better bring it. Now The Patio, opened last month, does happy hour Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Thursday to Saturday, 10 p.m. to midnight. Drink: Cocktail menu is just plain fun to read, with drink names like the No-Jito, Dr. Funk, and the Beezer. The cocktails, beer, and selected wine are half off. Nibble: It’s gourmet all the way: Italian BLT (prosciutto, heirloom tomatoes), four half-shell oysters, market cheese and charcuterie, or the Kitchen Sink Salad (up to the chef!).
Finch’s Bistro and Wine Bar
7644 Girard Avenue, La Jolla
The Scene: Tuck into a narrow walkway and you’ll come upon an outdoor courtyard with a lone musician playing. Senior-ish couples chat and stylish 40-somethings drink up after a show at Scott White Contemporary across the street. Drink: Where to begin? There’s a Vernaccia from San Gimignano, a Justin Cabernet, and a Vino Nobile de Montepulciano. All wines by the glass are $2 off from 3 to 6 p.m. Nibble: Small plates are $5 each. Two of our favorites are the grilled Baja shrimp and the mushroom paté.