Cutters Bayhouse: Where Everyone's a Regular

And, kids, they're not carding.

Entering Cutters Bayhouse for happy hour (3:30–6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.–close daily), my group received an enthusiastic "Welcome back!" Standard welcome script, we all figured, distracted by Cutters' floor-to-ceiling view of the affectionately but appropriately nicknamed "Homeless Park." But when our waiter arrived to take our drink orders, he waved away my proffered ID. "I don't need to check your IDs," he said. "I know you guys are in here all the time." Maybe the Timothy Dalton look-alike really did think he recognized us—or maybe he was just excited to be waiting on someone under 40. Either way, the entire staff turned out to be equally spacey. While devouring our serving of hot king crab and artichoke dip ($7), we watched a busser enter the bar with three more pots of dip, search in vain for the correct table, and leave, only to return with an enormous bag of M&Ms for the confused couple next to us. We lost track of our coconut-curry mussels ($6.50) and our waiter for 45 minutes, until he bent over our table, glanced around shiftily, and whispered, "Somebody stole the mussels." Once located, the curry-mussel combination proved to be too complicated for its own good. The drink menu is short but cheap: Tap beers and the house red and white wines cost $3. So does a scratch margarita, Cutters' only happy-hour cocktail, which wasn't bad for the price. The crab dip was by far our favorite, though the Alaskan halibut and bay shrimp ceviche ($4.75) came in a close second. A tip—the ceviche, which comes with two kinds of crackers, is awesome on the deep-fried pita, but spread on the glorified saltines, it tastes alarmingly of pet store. 

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