Long before you belly up to your favorite bar late at night, know that I was probably there hours before while the sun was still up, snapping photos, joyfully sipping and scribbling notes before heading home to write. The reason why I do this is two-fold: nothing beats getting solid face time with a bartender, and more importantly, the pleasure of paying less, all in the name of happy hour.
Most happy hours cater to the local clientele, offering various sliders, salty tacos, and cheap well drinks. Sometimes they’re 60 minutes long, sometimes two hours. Then, there’s Aveo Table + Bar in the Monarch Beach Resort, which just announced its new happy hour menu that runs 3 1/2 hours every Sunday through Thursday, with a menu that is designed specifically for happy hour.
Five new cocktails round out the offerings: a Paloma Negroni, Black Cherry Whiskey Sour, Añejo Honey Margarita, and a Toddy Cider, all for $12, but I highly suggest going with a Barrel Aged cocktail for a buck more, which gives you the choice of Mount Gay rum or Angel’s Envy Bourbon. Both are spirit forward, yet soft in approach thanks to seeing a little extra time in wood. All of the flavors meld together in perfect balance.
The food side of the menu offers eight substantial shareable tapas ranging from $7 to 12. Served in Aveo’s bright and airy bar next to the beach, the oyster trio for $8 is quite the spectacle served on a bi-level icy tray, with Tabasco for some zip. Bivalves need a proper bi-level tray. If raw isn’t your thing, the citrus-cured snapper ceviche pairs perfectly with the aged tequila margie, and the crisps served with the dish make the perfect bar snack all on their own. I actually asked for a bag to go, but sadly they are gluten-free and are suited for fresh consumption.
Aveo Table + Bar is inside the Monarch Beach Resort at 1 Monarch Beach Resort N., Dana Point. Valet parking is validated at the bar. // monarchbeachresort.com