Happy Hour Hunt: Parallel 17

The Place: Parallel 17, 1600 East 17th Avenue, 303-399-0988

The Hours: Monday 3 p.m. until 10 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.

The Deal: Food specials include six Asian-inspired small plates, ranging in price from $3 to $5. Drink specials include beer, wine and house sangria, also ranging in price from $3 to $5, as well as a selection of house-infused liquors such as kafir lime vodka, cucumber sake and blueberry rum. On Tuesdays, in place of the regular happy hour, all wine in the house is half-price and there are $5 food specials.

The Digs: If you're a fan of clean, sophisticated bar scenes and being able to hear the person you're conversing with, Parallel 17 is the perfect place to spend a few hours. It's sleek without being pretentious, and the dimly lit room and refreshing cocktails should soon have you plenty happy.

The Verdict: The kafir lime vodka is light and delicious, but the lime infusion is easily overpowered; better to order it as a martini ($2 upcharge) than mix it with anything. The lemongrass vodka tastes strangely like the candy coating on M&Ms. The Tuna Taro Taco ($3 each) -- sashimi tossed in a sesame yuzu with shredded lettuce, served in a crispy shaved taro shell over an avocado mousse that boasts more avocado than mousse -- may sound 1987, but the combination of flavors is wonderful. The tempura fried green beans are great to share with a drinking buddy, but beware: The flavor of the beans can get lost amidst the tempura batter, black bean garlic sauce and pickled daikon (or maybe the beans don't have much flavor to start with, because they're not even close to being in season). The food comes quickly, and the staff is friendly and accommodating. Parking is also easy to come by. And those expansive Monday hours are awesome!

Overall Grade: B+

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