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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Love Happy Hour - Bao Dim Sum Happy Hour - West Hollywood, CA

Bao Dim Sum - Happy Hour

Dear Love,

How many times have I been asked, “Who does all night happy hour?” Let’s just say that is the MOST popular question people ask me when they know that I work for a happy hour website. So when I heard the rumor that Bao Dim Sum offered all night happy and it was down the street from me, there was no stopping this lady!

Bao Dim Sum is a fairly new dim sum joint in West Hollywood located on the corner of Sweetzer Avenue and Beverly Boulevard. The Asian décor inspired restaurant offers happy hour Monday through Friday from 11am-7pm and Saturday and Sunday, 5pm-7pm in the bar and main dining area. Recently, Bao has revamped the happy hour menu and now offers all night happy hour in the lounge (insert silly happy hour dance)! The new Power Hour has $1.99 Sapporo Drafts, $5 Large Hot Sake and an assortment of reduced prices dim sum and appetizers.

The bar had only one seat open when my friend and I arrived, so the hostess offered to prop up a side-rail table for us to place our drinks on. We politely declined. Happy hour was about to end in the dining room, so I was willing to wait and hold out for an all-nighter seat at the bar. Luckily, some Telluride transplants slid down to make us room. Round of inexpensive beer on us! The friendly group thanked us and highly recommended the egg drop soup – they swore it was the best they’ve had.

The bartender was nice, but he was clearly slammed considering the rest of the place was bombarding him with last minute happy hour drinks from the main dining room. We had to wait for awhile and ask a couple times before we got our drinks, so I started to wonder if the lure of the $1.99 Sapporo was worth it? But once we were attended to, the food and drinks came at a steady pace and we began to relax. The mushroom dim sum dish was my least favorite; the doughy exterior was too thick for my taste and the center mushroom filling lacked seasoning. Otherwise, the calamari fries were fun and flavorful and we devoured chicken gyoza, too – both were cooked up crispy and hot! We also enjoyed the simple potato pancakes with scallions and the shrimp stuffed eggplant.

As we were about to make one of those “I need a wheelchair” comments, the bartender could tell we needed assistance and came over to check on us. He apologized for the delay on our drinks earlier and told us to hold still while he whipped us up something. No problem - we were too full to move. Shorty after, he presented us with 2 cocktails combing mystery alcoholic ingredients and garnished with plum-salt-coated raspberries. Sexy garnishes that taste like secret recipes stolen out of the Willy Wonka Factory are one of my weaknesses. I instantly felt like kid in a candy store, but this “store” had booze and I was over 21. SWEET.

My booze-cruiser friend and I were satisfied. Overall, Bao Dim Sum was HH friendly, tasty and a little sexy. Our tip: don’t worry about rushing in at 6:45 to throw your laundry list of HH items to the bartender. Relax and enjoy yourself, feel transported to a foreign city, nibble on some small fare and forget about the time.

Bao Dim Sum (new Bao Dim Sum site)
8256 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 655-6556

Bao Dim Sum House on Urbanspoon 

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