West 5

If you can manage to skirt work early and get across the West Seattle bridge before it becomes a parking lot, West 5 offers some really decent deals every day from 4 to 6 p.m. Stylishly retro without being kitschy, West 5 also features the most fantastic six-top in town; see if you can't influence a few of your friends to leave work early, too, and snag the old school, vinyl-covered rolling dinette chairs around the rectangular family-style table at the end of the bar. Speaking of the bar: A rotating selection of specialty cocktails are offered for $4 during happy hour; one evening we tried the West 5 Mai Tai and they're right: Fresh juice does indeed make it special. Beer drinkers score with $2.50 pints of Manny's Pale Ale, made not too far away by the Georgetown Brewing Company (neighborhood folks and local yokels always get special treatment here). All appetizers are marked down to $4 at this high-spirited time of day, but the price doesn't indicate a smaller portion. Made with cheddar and cotija cheese, the nachos are as gigantically ridiculous as they are later on in the evening when the ancho chili sauce-topped extravaganza fetches $7.95. For the more mature happy hour–er: Steak bits sautéed in burgundy wine sauce and served with baguette and garlic aïoli, and an order of marinated and herb-infused olives. 4539 California Ave. S.W., 206-WE5-1966. WEST SEATTLE

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