Sometimes the universe puts you right where you need to be, and if you're lucky, that place has a killer happy hour, a menu you can slowly eat your way through and a staff that makes you feel like you've all been kickin' it for years. The universe told me to go to Squeaky Bean, the Highland restaurant at 3301 Tejon Street.
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The happiest of hours at Squeaky Bean happens Tuesday through Saturday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. -- you know, for the days when you want to be tipped and in bed by seven. They have a list of creatively crafted cocktails ($5), wines by the glass ($4), beers ($3), and they've also got martinis that go down very easily ($6). The awesomeness pictured above is the Rip-Hippie -- Grey Goose Pear shaken with St. Germain Elderflower and Rothman Crème de Violette liqueur. I was both terrified and enamored by it's lavender color (purple haze, if you will), but this martini is neither syrupy nor sweet; the pear flavor is very subtle and herbaceousness, refreshing. And if you're having a redneck kind of day, they have Coors banquet cans for two bucks--and those are available even when it isn't happy hour.
The menu offers bistro-style small plates and sandwiches, but if you're in the mood for a full blown dinner you can go right ahead. The chicken liver mousse comes with housemade apple butter and grilled bread, and it tastes like a heavenly version of peanut butter and jelly toast. The bartenders are friendly and knowledgeable, and they'll make you feel right at home and happy.