Happy Hour just got shitty.
Actually, it’s something that’s been happening over time; the slow decline of Happy Hour in the Connayo-rhymes-with-mayo Valley. But I suppose a slow decline is better than a rapid tanking. Think about it, if you take rapid tanking and apply that to aging, that’s some scary shit! Things slowing start falling apart on you as you age; you lose vitality, you get massive amounts of wrinkles, body parts start heading south, your eyesight goes and your hair turns grey, just to name a few. Now imagine all that shit happening to you rapidly… you’d drop dead on the spot just from the shock alone. Well, same thing with Happy Hour; losing it in a rapid tanking would probably kill you!
Ya drunk bastard.
Used to be that you could go out on a Friday afternoon around 4ish to some cheesy Mexican restaurant and they’d have this huge spread of free food and you could eat all you want; could stuff your face to high Heaven! Hell (that was intentional) you’d be so happy you’d stay for at least a Margarita or two… or three… or floor…
*hiccup* I mean, four.
And if you didn’t want Mexican food on account of all salt on everything that you’d walk outta there looking like a blow-up doll from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, you could go to other places; ones that served crudité with Ranch dressing and neon orange cheese bites with crackers. Shitty, but free at least. You can’t get that anymore, the restaurants want to charge you for every little thing. Discount on food and drinks for Happy Hour?
I mean, if you call reducing the price by a buck or two for a $14 Martini, then yeah, you get your goddamn discount. Restaurants have essentially given up on giving Happy to the Hour. Well, they’re happy, we’re just not.
Take Aroha, for example.
No, I didn’t just sneeze, that’s the stupid name for another restaurant that wants to take your money for nothing…
…and your chicks for free.
Hahaha… haha, ha, ha… ha.
Anyway, back to this stupid restaurant Aroha. First off, they shoulda just cut to the chase and called it Aloha. I went there to meet my friend, Ms. M., who’s having a love crisis and needed my opinion, whether she wanted it or not, and she suggested the place. Upon my arrival, this guy in dirty shorts and shirt with an impulse problem, accosted me before I even got to the front door, and for a moment, I thought he was going to tell me the place was closed, because I could never imagine a restaurant in gold-crusted Westlake Village allowing an employee to approach a customer looking so slovenly unless he had bad news to deliver. Like for instance, Trump was going to remain president for a full term, so he and the rest of the staff were going to Canada… or something equally horrible. Turns out, he was just really lonely and needed someone to talk to because the restaurant was empty.
After he finished accosting me, I asked where on the patio I could sit for Happy Hour, which was a joke, because I couldn’t imagine them imposing rules on where you could sit for Happy Hour when they were completely empty.
Well, I was wrong.
So I sat myself down on the empty patio where he said I could sit to qualify for their “Happy Hour”. It was actually a very nice patio; they had comfy couches and chairs with bright turquoise cushions, and the water misters were spraying a fine mist to keep things cool since it was really hot that day. But here’s where it starts to get annoying: Mr. Spastic approached me again, this time in his uniform, because he was now going to be my server. Christ. Then, he starts confiding in me while I was waiting for Ms. M to show up; telling me he’s been stuck in a rut… for the past 20 years… Jesus, do I look like a therapist? I always get the chatty ones.
Shortly after that, they turned the misters off and when I asked why, he said it was because some customers can complain about it. “Some customers”, to which, there were none. I guess I wasn’t considered a customer… so I asked that they be turned on again but only if I wasn’t going to get charged for having them mist me with water. He chuckled, but I couldn’t tell if it was a chuckle because he thought what I said was funny, or a chuckle like, “Of course we’re gonna charge you, you silly twit.” I think it was the latter.
Maybe that’s what “Aroha” means.
I didn’t even know New Zealand had a cuisine… and after eating there, I still don’t know if they do. I can tell you this: It was goddamn expensive. There was also absolutely nothing on their menu that was appealing. Most of it consisted of a bunch of confusing items, none of which constitute Happy Hour in my book. They did offer a cheese plate but when I asked about the assortment, the server didn’t know and he didn’t look like he was going to find out for me either. I waited for him to say “Let me go check for you”, but he just stood there waiting for me to say “Never mind”. Instead, I asked him how much it was and when he said “$25” then I said it. He was a little chubby so I think he was trying to take as few steps as possible. Luckily he wasn’t wearing FitBit or he’d be really disappointed with how his life turned out.
I settled for a Ceasar salad which was a whopping $10 for their “Happy Hour” so I assumed it would be enough to satisfy my hunger. Then the server came out with a bread plate. At first, I thought “Oh, how nice, they brought me a little taster!” but imagine my surprise when I realized that it was my actual Ceasar salad. There were about ten small pieces of lettuce, which works out to be a buck a piece, about 7 tiny croutons and two small pieces of anchovy on top, and if you can count your food, you’re not getting enough. There was no parmesan cheese and I’m not entirely sure, but there may not have been dressing. The plate was so tiny, every time I put my fork in for a bite, I’d lose a crouton, so I think I only had four, which wasn’t a big loss anyway as they were tasteless nuggets of nothing.
The server finally came back just as I was finishing my… um, salad? Not sure it should be called that. Anyway, I was starving so I asked for some bread, but it came out sounding sad and desperate: “May I have some bread please, sir? Some more food? I am so very hungry.” like I was an orphan beggar or something. I kept waiting for him to say “More? You want… MORE?!!” and start calling me Oliver. But all he said was that I’d have to wait as the kitchen was busy putting together a tasting menu (which explains my Ceasar salad), and it took 20 minutes to bring me some of their shitty bread to top off my “Happy Hour”.
The best part about my Happy Hour experience at Aroha? Saying Sayonara.