Oh Trader Vic's, Your Happy Hour Makes Me Sing Songs of Polynesian Praise

Trader Vic's Happy Hour
A sampling of our first visit to Trader Vic's Happy Hour: ribs, calamari, slider with sweet potato fries and walu.

It was Saturday night, before Mother's Day and my husband and I were without our daughter. We were trying to figure out where to go, but have a social worker's budget. Huh? It means we are poor. This creates such a quandary at times because we love finding new and fun places to eat, but many places are well beyond the budgetary limitations of the average middle income food lovers. While my heart lies first with the Indie shops, sometimes we need cheap and Trader Vic's delivered.

Barrel of Rum at Trader Vic's
Yo Ho Ho and a Barrel of Rum

We had to return a month later with a friend because it was too good and too cheap not to relive. They had a few changes to the menu, but still a wide selection of tantalizing goodies for a pauper's budget.

Rum Drink with sugar stick
Grapefruit drink with sugar stick.

All the drinks were good, and even though the barrel was fun, I think it's best to stick to individual drinks.

Trader Vic's
Delicious Frou frou drink

With a happy hour this cheap, we were able to taste a few of the creative drink specials Trader Vic's is known for. It's easy to see how patrons can feel oh-so-glamorous.

Trader Vic's $1 hummus
$1 Hummus

The hummus is good, plain and simple. Is it the best I've ever had? No, but it's the cheapest.

Trader Vic's bruchetta

Trader Vic's Bruchetta is okay, but much like the hummus it is not the best and not the worst. For their happy hour pricing though, I don't feel right complaining.

Trader Vic's calamari
Trader Vic's Calamari

Their calamari is one of the top five in the Valley, I'd say. However, it's something you should try to eat right away or it can turn mediocre pretty quickly. The wasabi dipping sauce is light and flavorful and at $3 it's definitely one of the best items on the menu.

Trader Vic's burger
Happy Hour Burger with sweet potato fries

The first time I got this I couldn't decide if I liked it or not. My husband hit the nail on the head when he found similarity between the burger and Jimmy Dean sausage. We asked if there was sausage in it but the waitress said no. The sweet potato fries were very tasty though. At $3 a pop we tried it again on our second visit and definitely decided it wasn't a favorite.

Trader Vic's Nachos
Trader Vic's Nachos

Hmmm...I don't know exactly what they were thinking with this, after a taste all of us left this plate never to return. The cheese has ham and pineapple in it. I kind of felt like Gordon Ramsey when he visited the Japanese restaurant with Sushi Pizza on the menu.

Trader Vic's bread pudding
Bread Pudding with a buttery rum sauce

This was just over the top, but God help us we had to eat it. It was really good but I don't think we could survive it again.

Trader Vic's dessert
snowball dessert

This was simple and very tasty. Vanilla ice cream rolled in coconut left to delightfully drown in rich dark chocolate syrup. There was no Hershey's here, it was purely decadent.

In a nutshell, or coconut shell at Trader Vic's, the happy hour is worthy of high points if you want to indulge in gorgeous surroundings, great drinks and palatable food.  You get what you pay for is alive and well at Trader Vic's and it's very apparent in the happy hour items. They are worth the price, but a sampling off the menu shows a definite up scaling in flavor. because of this I would advise readers to evaluate Trader Vic's happy hour as a separate entity from the regular menu. It would seem to me that Trader Vic's is a fun place to enjoy company, but if you're looking for delectable eats, find an indie shop and splurge. $1 hummus will only take you so far.

Trader Vic's happy hour at the Westward Ho runs every evening from 4:00-6:00pm and again from 9:00-11:00pm.

Trader Vic's on Urbanspoon


  1. You forgot the pineapple upside down cake with rum gelato. Oh god, yes.


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