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Finally turning 21! Cute, unique, but most importantly a CHEAP place for food and cocktails??

Here are the conditions:

1. I'm turning 21, so a place with yummy cocktails!
2. There will be about 10 of us
3. This group of 10 people are POOR college students ($20 and under per person for food AND cocktails)
4. I'm a girl and its my birthday, so I want it to be nice and on the cute side
5. Perferably somewhere that has a unique touch, and not just your average restaurant
6. Location: West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Wilshire, Sunset Strip, Hollywood, San Pedro. OR Orange County- Huntington Beach, Newport, Costa Mesa, Irvine

Is this even possible?? Thank you so much!! I appreciate all your suggestions!

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  1. any particular neighborhood? you won't want to be driving after boatloads of cocktails.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bodie

      I don't think a boatload of cocktails will be an issue with the price point of food AND drink for $20 pp.

      1. re: tony michaels

        It is going to necessitate a happy hour with two-for-one or other generous drink specials.

      2. re: bodie

        Ok, I just added some perferred locations

      3. You could do happy hour at World Cafe in SM, cheap cocktails and you get a free personal sized pizza with each drink ordered. $20 should get you at least 3 cocktails each with a ton of pizza.

        You might also consider BYOB at a fun cheap ethnic place - Thai Town springs to mind.

        3 Replies
        1. re: hrhboo

          oh World Cafe sounds good! right around what I'm looking for...

          1. re: shelovestoeat

            Here's the website


            I believe Happy Hour lasts from 4.30 - 7pm on weekdays (incl Fridays)

          2. re: hrhboo

            How's the quality of the cocktails? For me, I don't mind if happy hour cocktails are light on the alcohol (esp if I can get three for $20) but I hate when they use artificial mixers or way too much sugar. If I can get a properly made cocktail that just happens to not be heavy on alcohol, I'd be much happier than a strongly mixed drink that tastes like cough syrup.

          3. Cheap and cocktails deosn't work.

            If you can stretcha little farther, cash wise, get your pals to get together and reserve a chunk at one of the seatings at North Hollywood's Tokyo Delves. Sushi, Sake bombs, colorful cocktails, games and dancing on stools to cheesy 80's music. it's a blast for big groups of funsters.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Diana

              Tokyo Delve's only works if you dig sushi, and it's anything but cheap. Cocktails more than double the cost of the meal. Fun for 20 somethings though.

              You can always go see Thai Elvis at Palms Thai. Entrees average $6-9 and the drinks are pretty cheap. And the entertainment is truly unusual: http://www.palmsthai.com

            2. A place that is a lot of fun that I would recommend for a festive night on a budget is Soot Bull Jeep for Korean barbecue.

              3136 W. 8th Street, Los Angeles

              1. The Velvet Margarita is really fun on Cahuenga.
                Oiwake for karaoke or Brass Monkey
                Paladar has a drink night special mojitos on Thursdays I think?
                I fear Furaibo will be too pricey, but it's fun w/ karaoke too

                1. Go to the DIVE on Highland just north of Melrose.

                  Their fresh-juice cocktails are seven bucks as opposed to the usual twelve and a bit of food is less than ten.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: therealbigtasty

                    Nic's in Beverly Hills during Happy Hour. Appitizers are half price and are very good. Nice loungy atmosphere with pretty people. They have special of the day Martini's although I can remember the cost. Some of the appitizers are only 5 or 6 bucks (1/2 price) so I think you should be okay in terms of $$$.

                    1. re: handlertaper

                      Nic's sounds great! And definitely my type of restaurant. If not for my birthday, I will have to visit sometime very soon. Thanks for the suggestion!

                  2. You didn't say what day of the week, but Monday nights at El Coyote on Beverly Blvd, have $3.00 margaritas. So you can easily have a couple of drinks and dinner for under
                    $20.00. Can get crowded and can be fun. Call ahead for that large of a party.

                    1. Is a Margarita a yummy cocktail?

                      Matrix (We Ho & Santa Monica) - West Hollywood location has $3.00 Margaritas on Mondays. Happy hour tacos are $1.50. The Santa Monica location is only 200 feet from PCH which is 400 feet from the Ocean. I think, but can't remember for sure, that you can get a pretty good deal on Margarita pitchers for group consumption. S.M. location used to be a fairly lively atmosphere, probably still is. $20 per person is doable but a free parking spot is a challenge; they have valet but that is more $'s.


                      4 Replies
                      1. re: JBC

                        sure, I would say a Margarita is a yummy cocktail. Thanks for the rec!

                        1. re: shelovestoeat

                          The problem with HH is that it's over at 7 and you have a whole night ahead of you and your budget is already gone. My advice is to do what you've probably been doing the last couple years at college--drink at home and then go out so you'll only need a drink or two to over the next few hours. Border Grill in Santa Monica has a late night HH starting at 10p on fridays and saturdays where they discount margaritas to $4, IIRC, and they offer their bocadito HH food menu with some nice options under $10. You can get a drink and some food there and if you want to dance, you can head around the corner to 217 (broadway) and have money left over for a drink there.

                          1. re: Wolfgang

                            Wow, im impressed. Thank you so much, Wolfgang, you read my mind. I was begining to stress out about what to do AFTER Happy Hour. Border Grill looks great, and 217 looks equally wonderful and birthday-worthy.

                            1. re: shelovestoeat

                              Just beware that 217 will be in another price stratosphere but it is definately worth it--I have been to mulitple b-day parties there.

                              If you end up at World, just down Main street is Circle Bar. Not at all the same vibe as 217 but it could play the same role if you end up on Main Street.

                              Also in the Main Street area is Enterprise Fish Co. I would only go here for Happy Hour, but it is some of the best cheap eats seafood when the prices are slashed.

                              Another great Happy Hour in a totally different part of town is McCormack & Shmicks at 2 Rodeo in BH. Problem is, you have to run for the hills as soon as HH is over. Just being that close to Urasawa may cost money.