Earlier today, Nando and I decided to take a break out of our hectic schedules (wait, we're both home at the same time?!?!) for a nice Happy Hour outing. We wanted to celebrate this momentous occasion, seriously, you could've told us we'd won the lottery and we probably would've acted the same way. I remember reading somewhere about a rooftop patio in downtown San Jose. This was a biggie for us since we miss LA's rooftop parties and have all summer long. Enter The Loft.
It had only about 3 stars on Yelp, with tales of douchbaggery (I'm pretty sure that's a word and if it isn't, it should be!) and expensive drinks. Usually, that would make me run for the door but, I'm assuming that at 3p on a Monday, the douchbags were elsewhere (maybe GTL?) and with $6 Happy Hour, that the drinks wouldn't be too expensive.
Nando and I got there, it was EMPTY at 3p which is fine because that's such an odd time to go to a restaurant so I wasn't scared. We sat down, the hostess politely let us know that the rooftop was covered because of the recent rain and that we could still sit there if we wanted. We opted for the bar, since that's where the Happy Hour is honored. I liked the ambience, plenty of top shelf liquor and semi-hard-to-finds (such as Triple Olives Bubblegum Vodka and Sailor Jerry) posed against exposed brick.
Our waitress came up right away to take our order and was incredibly patient with me as I took my sweet time before settling on a $5 Margarita (it was that or the Pineapple Coconut Mojito). Nando had his usual Stella (which was on tap and at Happy Hour price of $4). We ordered $6 appetizers:
Calamari with fresh grated Parmesan Cheese and fried Jalapeno Peppers. "Served with tangy cocktail and tartar sauces" via their menu. The Calamari, not usually my favorite appetizer, was lightly fried and tender. The tartar sauce was so good that I can't tell you how the cocktail sauce tasted. The Jalapenos were a welcome touch. I'm a bit too Gringa (meaning spicy isn't necessarily my favorite taste description) but, these fried Jalapenos added such a great kick to the Calamari and weren't overly spicy at all.
Roasted Chicken Quesadilla with Jack Cheese, Tomatillo salsa, Salsa Fresca and Sour Cream. Ooooh, the Tomatillo salsa, I'm still drooling over it almost 8 hours later. The salsas definitely added much needed flavor to what could've easily turned into another bland Happy Hour Chicken Quesadilla. But, they weren't cheap with the chicken like those other guys either. Usually Pico de Gallo aka Salsa Fresca, is tomatoes, cilantro, onions....but, this Salsa added chopped up Jalapenos which, again, weren't too overpowering. My camera really does not do them justice! But, these two dishes were so good, what's-his-face and I barely talked to each other, we were grubbing down like we hadn't eaten in a week. We were planning on starting with these and getting more but, we were plenty satisfied with these two dishes for a late lunch. Total bill including 2 appetizers, 3 margaritas, 3 Stellas and tip was $44.
I don't know about this place as a club. Yelp kinda scared me off that one and I happen to love Freddy J's just down the street. But, if you're ever in downtown San Jose and need a Happy Hour spot, this should be your stop! I bet it's even better with the rooftop patio open.
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