Celebrate Happy Hour on Magnolia Avenue
It’s easy to beat the traffic from San Francisco to Larkspur if you get to Magnolia Avenue in time for Happy Hour. Larkspur’s main street has plenty of small shops and boutiques, and two fun Happy Hours that anchor each end.
The Left Bank has Happy Hour from 4 pm til 6:30 and again from 9 pm til closing. Can’t beat that, so we began our tour there.
The Left Bank feels like a Parisian brasserie. From the outdoor furniture to the interior décor, it’s open, casual, and inviting. And rich with history – it sits in the historic Blue Rock Inn built in 1895.
The special menu has a good selection of small plates with ample portions, house wines (Kenwood), draught beer, and cocktails made with well liquors (including cosmos, martinis, margaritas). They also offer a sparkling wine and rosé.
Sipping martinis at the long bar gave us the perfect perspective to enjoy the scene while savoring petite socca – a spicy chickpea crèpe with fromage blanc and tomato salad. The mussels were sweet and succulent and the paté was served country-style with lots of texture. The food and drink are good; the prices are reasonable; and the people-watching is the best.
At the other end of Magnolia is the redone Tavern at Lark Creek. Housed in the historic 1888 Murphy House, Happy Hour starts in the intimate bar area at 5:30 pm. The light-filled room is cozy and easy for conversation.
Specials included a similar selection of beers, wine, and well liquors, but kicked up with Sazerac on the menu. We choose the 2009 Old Press Syrah from Santa Barbara and a vodka martini. Both were delicious with the ham and Swiss croquettes – hot and gooey from the oven. The shrimp cocktail had just the right amount of tang in the sauce. And the spicy and sweet walnuts went well with the wine. The menu changes, so look for other small treats from the chef.
It’s fun to relish the warmth of Marin, and partaking of Happy Hour on Magnolia Avenue in Larkspur is just the way to do it.
Patty Burness can be found on Twitter at @pattygb.