Everson Royce Bar
Happy Hour: $$
Everson Royce Bar- Bar w/ Bites
1936 E 7th St
Tuesday-Friday: 5:00 P.M.-7:00 P.M.
If you've wondered around the Arts District more than once (if you haven't- you need to), then you've probably gone by ERB (Everson Royce Bar). Or your friends might've brought you here that one time to show you that cool bar they were telling you about. From the outside, ERB is unassuming, there is no giant sign outside that says you're in the right spot, but there is a bouncer greeting you warmly to assure you- this is where you want to be.
The bouncer reassures you- you're at Everson Royce, a bar, but when you step inside the experience is completely altered. A hostess greets you, asks if you have a reservation, and then continues her duties to sit you where you may be most comfortable. So then you're left wondering, "What kind of bar is this?" And if you haven't read or heard about ERB before you wouldn't know that this is the coolest half bar half restaurant around.
Upon entering, you'll see one row of booths, perfect for cozing up during this rainy month of March, and the bar which is ample and comfortable. The room is lit by a chandelier and a small atrium allowing the evening light in for a few more hours. It definitely looks like the cool and hip place to be. We visited on a Friday so there was a nice sized crowed that day, and everyone was truly enjoying themselves. The bartenders and staff looked like they were having a blast and that's just a really nice vibe to walk into.
Keep going towards the back and you'll see there's a patio area with the looks of someone's private backyard, which gave ERB an even more home-y feel. On this particular Friday, it was raining, but they were able to accommodate with plenty of picnic tables, comfortable seating, ample tents, and heaters. We never worried about ourselves or our gear in the rain.
The music echoing through the entire establishment was a mix of hip-hop and funk, which made sitting in the backyard similar to attending a block party. That was also the vibes we got from the crowd. Everyone was laughing and drinking pitchers of beer, bottles of wine, and eating chips and salsa like nothing else mattered. ERB seems to be the spot to be if you're hanging around the Arts District, and their Happy Hour is a great reason to go.
We heard about ERB through many famous online publications. The Infatuation gave it a 7.9. They have a 4.8/5 score from their reviews on Facebook. Zagat has called it one of the best places for Happy Hour in LA. Even the likes of Jonathan Gold has given ERB a thumbs-up. So, we had to check out what all the fuss was about. Turns out, ERB is the masterpiece of Randy Clement, from Silverlake Wine and Everson Royce wine shops, and of Joe Capella, who runs Everson Royce's extensive booze department. The chef is none other than Matt Molina, whom Gold referred to as, "a Nancy Silverton protégé." You might recognize him from when he was the executive chef of Osteria Mozza. His work at Mozza earned him a James Beard award, but he isn't at ERB to serve up fancy Italian dishes. He is making Arts District bar food, and that's a whole different set of standards.
Their Happy Hour had quite literally just been debuted a few days before our visit. Prior to this menu, their old Happy Hour had been around for nearly the two years they've been open. A few things changed, for example: they added more food, took away a cocktail, introduced $20 wine bottle options, and a whiskey flight! The menu was complete, well-rounded and..wait does that say free chips and salsa?! Yes, yes it does. There are few things in this world the HHC team likes more than free food, so we were sold from the beginning.
Happy Hour at ERB goes on Tuesdays-Fridays from 5:00-7:00 P.M. They do take reservations, which was a huge plus for us! You can also enjoy weeknight deals on Mondays for their, "No Mames Monday" and Wine Wednesdays starting at 5:00-8:00 P.M, where you can enjoy a $25 flight of three wines with culinary creations by Chef Matt Molina; $15 for just the wines if you dare skip out on his food.
You can enjoy Happy Hour anywhere at ERB, on the patio, at the bar, in a booth. You will also find a server catering to your every need, which is a nice detail sometimes missing at bars, especially those of this popularity. We recommend the patio just because anything more than 3 people at the booths inside looked a bit too crammed. There's no smoking on the patio for those who prefer the clean air.
This menu covers all the basics, all the kinds of things different people at the table might want to eat/drink. It has fair prices, and a variety of well liquors you don't see everywhere else. Seriously, a Mezcal well for $8? Pinch me, I must be dreaming!
The beer selection is a small one, but that's one of the things they kept the same when updating the menu. The pitcher price is too good to pass up, and we saw plenty of tables with 2-3 pitchers thoroughly enjoying themselves. Fans of Concrete Jungle's LA Calling lager claim it is, "Hoppy, unfiltered lager, brewed with 100% German ingredients, modeled after the complex (and yet incredibly drinkable) farmhouse lagers of Franconia, in northern Bavaria."
The two cocktails they feature do include their well liquor, if you want to upgrade for a few more bucks, take a look at their gigantic spirit book. We tried them both and absolutely agree that the well is plenty good.
It doesn't get much better than the wine prices. Given the fact the owners are the same owners as Silverlake Wine next door. They obviously know what they're putting out, and the bargain can't be beat.
For those that enjoy the simplicity of a beer and a shot, the Boilermaker will satisfy your needs. As well, there's the whiskey flight for those brave enough to sip on three shots of some well known whiskeys from Japan, America, and Ireland.
Then there's the food selection, which we also loved considering it includes plates that cater to vegans. The Happy Hour includes their famous burger, which ERB is best known for, along with fries and mayo + ketchup dipping sauces. The Happy Hour menu differs from their regular menu, which also just got a make over. This pleased us because it shows the dedication to curate a specialized Happy Hour menu.
We tried almost everything there was to order (with the exception of the beer) so without further ado, this is what we thought.
Mariana ordered the Pretty In Pink
This delicious Gin based drink was a shocker for Mariana. She usually shies away from Gin because of the taste, but eager to learn more about the spirit she put on her big girl pants and ordered it:
It was delicious. Absolutely refreshing, and the Gin is masked well between the grapefruit and the lemon. However, it was the addition of Cava that made this drink a hit. The mix between the two citric flavors, the subtleness of the Spanish sparkling wine, and the touch of Aperol truly shocked me. I wanted another one, I wanted three more.
It was the perfect balance of tart and sweet. That being said, those thinking that this is a sour drink will be sadly mistaken. Those who love Gin and it's flavor will definitely appreciate the subtle tones at the end of taking a sip.
Mariana also ordered a glass of the 2016 Coupes Roses Fremillant Rosé and the BoilerMaker
When you think rosé, you think light, fun, refreshing, and airy. Few people know that some rosés are sometimes made with more red than white grapes, and this is one of those:
It's not bad rosé, it's just not for everyone. The red means it's a bit more on the bitter side vs. the sweetness that a dominant white adds. In the end, this rosé is simply a bit heavier to drink. I don’t particularly prefer this type of rosé. It’s like the older less fun sister of rosé who only lets loose at weddings.
For those who do prefer things on the redder side, this is the glass for you. Heck, for $20 you can drink the whole bottle to yourself. Something I totally would have done, if I liked it.
Not always a beer fan, but never one to turn down from a challenge, Mariana was interested in the BoilerMaker ever since we found out through our server Betsy that the shot was Distilador tequila:
I love how they have the fancy whiskey flight, but then also offer the simple beer and tequila shot. Sort of what you'd want from your local cantina, which only adds to the fact that ERB wants to be the only bar/restaurant you'll ever need. They have a bit of everything.
The Modelo was actually a refreshing choice for chasing down the shot. They bring you a lime so no excuses for not taking the shot. If you're still chasing tequila with salt, there's some on the table.
Alex ordered the Newest Old Fashioned
This Old Fashioned, according to Betsy, is a fan favorite among locals. Perfect for someone looking for a more stiff drink, but not interested in doing shots. It may have been the heater right next to Alex, but she claims it was this drink that kept her warm during the rain:
This Old Fashioned has Amaro in it, something of a trend we have experienced since reviewing Bar Clacson. The difference between their OF and this one, is ERB nailed it. There's not too much or too little Amaro, the flavors are balanced well. You can taste the bourbon and it is in no way watered down or overpowered by the Amaro.
This specific one, the Amaro Angeleno, is one of the pricier types of Amaro. Which again, just proves how carefully they curated this menu; they did a great job at it.
Alex also ordered the Prestige World Wide Whiskey Flight
Very few bars can rep the label of being a good place to have a whiskey tasting. Usually those catering to that Downtown are the pricier Bar Jackalope, or Seven Grand. ERB offering this on their Happy Hour is a steal. And a great way to get to know the difference in whiskeys and the regions they come from:
ERB covered the best of the best. (As pictured) One from Japan, one from Ireland, and one from right here in the USA. These are obviously meant for sipping, not shooting. Whiskey tastings are fun and truly made me feel like an adult. I liked the Irish Tullamore Dew the best.
The HHC Team shared:
Free Chips and Green Salsa
The free chips and salsa for all during Happy Hour is just such a nice thing to do. Shareable, refills available upon request, it really doesn't get any better. The sauce is mild and the chips are great quality. Definitely not cheaping out on store bought brands here.
Burger & Fries
So, earlier we mentioned how ERB's burger is one of the dishes that made them famous. We can see why; the beef is a little red in the center, juicy, and you can tell it's good meat, not that crap you'd get at McD's.
It comes with a very thin slice of cheese, a mayo + ketchup mix on the inside, and a pickle on the side should you choose to add it to your patty. Other than that, the burger is served plain, no fuss, no overwhelming toppings that can barely fit between the buns in the first place.
We split the burger in half and agreed on one thing- it's damn good beef. Yes, it's a good burger, yes the amount of fries was more than generous, and all for a solid price of $10.
Three of these babies for $7! This was well worth the price! The inside is actually potato, allowing all the other flavors to compliment it in a delicious way.
Alex only said they could be a tad crispier, but they have a delicious mix of flavors and amount of spice. She was huge fan of the pickled jalapenos and the tomatillo avocado salsa also.
In Mariana's opinion, despite not being one for "spicy foods" she loved these little potato filled creations. The cilantro really balanced out the jalapenos, and they aren't drowning in the salsa. It was just the right proportion.
Falafael + Salad
This gorgeous plate may seem off putting to anyone not vegan at the table, but let us reassure you carnivores- you need to try this plate. Our only regret was liking this plate so much, we didn't snap a picture of the beautiful green coloring of the inside of the Falafels.
This was absolutely delicious. The salad part was made of mixed greens drizzled with a nice, light but creamy vinaigrette, which was the right amount of tangy and lemony. Not overpowering.
Mariana had never tried a Falafel before (I know!) And she loved it. This was her favorite dish by far. The Greek Yogurt sauce was incredible. The texture, the taste combinations, the colors, all made for a wonderful dish.
The Overall Experience:
If you have friends visiting LA, take them here. Don't take them to anymore spots that have already become way too expensive or way too crowded. This is the neighborhood watering hole with a curated experience meant to blow people away.
Not many bars offer fine cuisine from chefs like Matt. Not to mention, by offering these plates for Happy Hour, you're getting the best kind of bar food for a bargained price. Grab a seat at the bar and enjoy the lively conversation with any of the bartenders there. They truly love to entertain.
But, if the weather is rockin' and you manage to find seating outside, grab a table and make some friends! Seriously, ERB is like the block party you always wanted to go to. Plus any one of the friendly waitstaff is more than happy to serve you and that takes the hassle away of walking all the way inside each time the table needs a refill.
You get all sorts of high end deals with Wine Wednesday and the Prestigious Whiskey Flight. You can also lay back and drink some cheep booze + get a cantina vibe on No Mames Mondays. ERB truly has it all; half bar, half restaurant, and their Happy Hour is not one to sleep on.
Overall score: 4.7/5
Happy Hour Score: 4.3/5
We'd like to thank Carrie for allowing us to come in on a busy Friday. We'd also like to thank Betsy for being our server and answering our questions. We hope that if you don't know the Arts District too well, you'll be tempted to explore it, starting at Everson Royce Bar.
Thanks for reading and as always...