Happy Hour at Yelapa

On a recent beautifully sunny and crisp Friday afternoon, a few friends suggested we start the weekend off properly with some margaritas. We ended up at Yelapa Playa Mexicana (2303 Richmond). We knew they had $4 margaritas and $4 Patron shots until seven, which sounded like a deliciously excellent recipe for trouble.

To our credit, we didn't dive immediately into the shots, but rather tried a few margaritas, both frozen and on the rocks. The strawberry frozen was sweet and refreshing, but I preferred the original on the rocks. We also tried Yelapa's signature frozen cocktail, a strawberry daiquiri with a habanero kick and crunchy coconut shavings on top. This drink was so good, the whole table fought over it. Despite the booze factor, something about it was nostalgic - like eating ice cream on a hot summer day when you were a kid. It was thick, creamy and sweet at first, with the coconut giving it a bit of textural contrast, and then a spicy aftertaste kicked in to awaken our drunken taste buds.

To combat all this afternoon binge-drinking, we ordered "Real Guacamole" and "Campechana de Serrano" which were both slightly discounted for happy hour. We heart this place's style of guac, which is served up like a panzanella (bread salad). The tortilla chips are mixed in with big chunks of ripe avocado, juicy mango, fennel, greens and spices. They change it up based on what's in season, and we're loving the springtime version. The campechana was served in a parfait glass and had tons of fresh rock shrimp, crab claws, chipotle salt and more avocado. A base of thick cut corn chips surrounded the bottom of the glass and served as the perfect scooping utensils to get out all the yummy treats contained within. The food lasted about five minutes before we inhaled it all.

By six, we decided we had been good long enough and asked our friendly bartender Raul to bring on the Patron. After a friendly debate with the bar staff regarding how best to serve and take tequila shots, we settled on room temperature (to taste the flavors of the tequila), a bit of salt and no lime. As one can imagine, the night got amped up at that point and the remainder is quite a blur. But if you're looking for a cool little joint to make you hour very, very happy, we highly recommend Yelapa.

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Geri Maria Harris