Barbarella Bar - Silver Lake
We live right up the street from this eyesore, but headed in for happy hour to investigate it as a possible site for a wedding reception (not many restaurants have dance floors in Silver Lake/Los Feliz.) We were DELIGHTFULLY surprised with the happy hour menu. The tuna tartar was spot on and a bargain for $6. Husband had a beer he'd seen nowhere other than Father's Office and I had a ginger-pear martini that was too sweet but huge and potent for $6. We also ordered mac and cheese (better than Dusty's) and lamb lollipops (nothing special but, again, a large portion and well-cooked and served with risotto off the regular dinner menu for $13.)
I can see us coming here regularly for happy hour. Clearly, the owner (same as Melrose's Bungalow Club) is a tad off the mark for the neighborhood, but once the waitrons put on some real shirts and if they get some non-wedding DJ's in there it could be fun.
Word to those planning a party, Omer, GM, says it is $1000 to rent the place out for a private party and that does not get put towards any food or drink. He also thinks there is only seating for dinner for 50, though I think that is a low estimate. The place is huge, and would definitely make for a fun birthday party spot, though I'm not sure they are quite up to any sort of wrap party or event, yet.
We went last Friday, when they were still dealing with no heat, and it was quite chilly inside. I don't know if this has been resolved yet. They have a generous happy hour from 4-7 every night, so we had two of the $6 happy hour plates -- tuna tartare, which was a huge portion on a big fried tortilla chip, and avocado rolls, which were not really like Asian eggrolls but more like small chimichangas with tomatillo salsa. Not the most imaginative menu, but they were tasty snacks to have with beer and the price was right. The service was still a little shaky so they were generous with free refills on beer, which was appreciated. The martini list wasn't that appealing to me -- who needs all that fruity stuff in a 10 oz. martini? But they seem to be serious about the beer, with around 20 on tap. The selection is not as interesting as the Verdugo or Blue Palms, but I think it would still qualify as the most craft brews on tap in Silver Lake (I refuse to even recognize Good as an option).
I don't know what it's going to be like when they have the dj and full-on lounge thing going later in the evening, but I'd certainly recommend stopping by during happy hour for some drinks and small plates.
As far as dinner goes, I don't think it's going to be a food destination, but it seems like the kind of place people will want to have birthdays and get-togethers, so it's good you can get a full dinner there.