The Joint: The Drunken Fish 1 Maryland Plaza; 314-367-4222
The Hours: Nightly 5-7 p.m.; late-night happy hour 10:30 p.m.-midnight.
The Deal: $3 domestic aluminum bottles, $4 select martinis, $5 hot sake carafes, $3-6 select sushi rolls.
The Scene: Drunken Fish is the type of place that relies on the time-honored ultra-chic combo of low lighting, electronic music, concrete floors and the color black. The staff is professional, but some servers have a nervous air, perhaps from the stress of having to carry so many long-stemmed martini glasses without spilling. Or maybe because the joint can attract a high-maintenance crowd.
Here you'll find a wide-variety of creative cocktails -- the fishbowl drinks are especially delicious (and potent) -- but most of 'em aren't on the Happy Hour list. The sushi is a nice touch, though the handcrafted aspect means it tends to take awhile to arrive at your table.
Why You'll Go Back: Ladies love the Drunken Fish! It's the perfect place to get gussied up for a girls' night -- or, if you're a guy, to gel your hair and try to score some phone numbers.
The Verdict: The late-night Happy Hour at Drunken Fish attracts a better crowd, probably because the restaurant's atmosphere makes it more of a late-evening hot spot. Because of that, the earlier Happy Hour crowd and specials will probably leave you feeling slightly unimpressed.
Note: We're focusing on the Central West End location. Feel free to get your Fish on at the Maryland Heights outpost (639 West Port Plaza, Maryland Heights; 314-275-8300) or the one downtown on Laclede's Landing (12 North Second Street; 314-241-9595). All three locations observe identical happy-hour hours.