Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Where to Drink: Sunday Happy Hours @ Nirvana Beverly Hills

Is Los Angeles seriously serious right now?

The city’s unemployment rate is pushing 13%. Gas prices are threatening to hit $5 per gallon. Sales tax is pretty much 10%. In times like these, I need every single monetary break I can get. So, I religiously shop at The 99 Cents Store and stalk sample sales, and I’m definitely not embarrassed to admit that I am a happy hour fanatic. Happy hours = good food, good drinks and good discounts, and getting all three at the same time makes me ecstatic.

But I don’t appreciate that most happy hours are only on weekdays. Don’t these restaurants know I want to be happy on the weekend as well? It appears that Nirvana Beverly Hills must have gotten my memos, because recently, this posh Indian restaurant-lounge expanded its version of happy hour – Bliss Hour – to Sundays.

From 5-7 p.m., martinis and appetizers are only $6. A stellar deal, considering that entrĂ©es and cocktails are normally in the $25 and $12 range, respectively. Appetizers like the plump Vegetable Samosas and the scrumptious Gilafi Kebab are notably delicious, but the real celebrities at Nirvana are the signature martinis. They’re filled with fresh fruits (like ripe strawberries in the Karma Sutra) and they’re extremely potent (as in how the pomegranate liqueur playfully and deceptively hides the tequila flavor in the Perfect Bliss). Each martini – and yes, I’ve tried almost all of them – has its own unique character and are also quite gorgeous to admire. Very easy on the eyes and the palate.

Another highlight of this restaurant is the interior itself. With its intricate art pieces – like a massive 700-pound Cambodian head statue – and a waterfall that quietly drops into a stream embedded into the floor, Nirvana offers a divinely serene oasis. There are white beds to lounge on, subtle references of Karma Sutra in artwork to muse over and many great places – from the front outdoor patio to the dining area and everywhere in between – to settle into.

At least for now, Sundays are tranquilly quiet and intimate. The serene calmness that fills this space is truly the perfect backdrop for Indian food and cocktails. So the next time you’re itching to survive this "post-recession" era with a phenomenal Sunday happy hour, you now where to turn.

See you there soon!

Miss Wilson’s Tips:
- Three most popular cocktails: the Nirvana, a smooth, citrus blend of vodka, mint and shaven lime pieces; the Mango mojito, a refreshing concoction of mango rum, mint leaves and sugar, topped off with a spritz of soda; and the Karma Sutra, a robustly strong mix of vodka, pomegranate liqueur and fresh fruit.
- My favorite: the Perfect Bliss. Tastes like a Jolly Rancher.

For more information:
Nirvana Beverly Hills

8689 Wilshire Blvd.

Beverly Hills, CA 90211



*A big shout out to the Stomach Life crew for taking such great photos! Be sure to check out their website as well.

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