This week's featured bargain
1213 K St., Sacramento
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 4:30-10 p.m. Saturday
Happy hour: 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday
The real steal: Select from $3 draft beers and $6 cocktails, wines and appetizers during happy hour. The appetizers include barbecued chicken sliders, the grilled truffle cheese sandwich and crispy salmon cakes. On Wednesday nights Esquire also offer $1 oysters.
The vibe: This relaxed yet sophisticated restaurant blends dark woods and jewel-toned greens to create an elegant ambiance. Light music plays in the background and a curved bar swoops through the center of the bar-lounge area. Custom-made, copper-toned onion pendant lamps hover above, and paintings by a local artist hang on the walls. An open kitchen allows you to watch your food being prepared.
Signature drink: Hands-down, it's the basil Sapphire martini. Made with Bombay Sapphire, muddled basil and fresh lemon juice, this cocktail is refreshing.
Bathroom Break: Tucked in the back of the restaurant, this three-stall bathroom has plenty of room and a large mirror over the two sinks for touch-ups. Outside the bathroom is a row of chairs for extra seating in case there's a line or you're waiting for a friend.
Alternative libations: If you're unsure of whether to order dessert or a drink, try this dessert-in-a-drink cocktail the key lime martini. This $6 drink is made with Absolut Vanilla, pineapple juice, sugar and fresh lime juice for a subtle, sweet-yet-tart flavor.
Something extra: Happy hour works at the bar, lounge and patio. However the bar and lounge area tends to be the most popular. The curved bar gives you prime viewing of the flat- screen TV to catch a game or the news while also checking out the open kitchen. The lounge creates a slightly cozier feel, with tables and chairs so you can enjoy a more private drink with friends.
HAPPY HOUR ON THE CHEAP
117 E St., Davis
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. Sunday and MondayHappy hour: 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday
The deals: All beer, wine and sake are a dollar off, or if you prefer Thai iced tea, enjoy the sweet drink for $1. They also offer appetizers including 99-cent chicken satay, $4 crispy spring rolls and chicken wings, and $5 calamari.
La Trattoria Bohemia
3649 J St., Sacramento
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Happy hour: 3:30-5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday
The deals: Choose from $5 select wines by the glass and happy hour specials on all standard beers. Pints are $3.75, 21-ounce mugs are $4.25, or a liter is $8.
If you want to nibble on something, the in-house pizzas are all 25 percent off and range in size from personal to a large fit for four to five people. Some of the popular choices are the combination meat and the special margherita pizza with chicken and artichokes.
Tahoe Joe's Famous Steakhouse
1905 Taylor Road, Roseville
1040 Helen Power Drive, Vacaville
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
Happy hour: 11 a.m.-6 p.m., 9 p.m.-close Monday through Saturday, all day Sunday
The deals: Happy hour works at the bar and patio, where you can select from $3.50 domestic drafts, $4.50 house wines and $5.50 house margaritas. All other beers, wines and cocktails are a dollar off, and for a limited time they offer a refreshing sangria for $5.95, as well as Joe's Skinny-Rita. with less than 180 calories, or the Watermelon Moonshine served in a mason jar. Appetizers start at $2.99 and include Buffalo wings, onion straws, loaded cabin fries, jackpot nachos, quarter-pound cheeseburger and fries, Joe's steak or BBQ pork sliders.