Each week, we venture to a new restaurant to check out what the spot has to offer during our favorite time of day — happy hour. Whether it's affordable appetizers, delicious drinks, jaw-dropping deals, or none of the above, we'll check out the situation and report back.
The Spot: Autumn Court
3752 East Indian School Road
The Hours: Happy hour is Monday through Friday, from 3 to 7 p.m.
Perfect For: Getting good and drunk. The food’s not great and the drinks are strong, so watch out.
The Interior: Autumn Court is colorful, in more ways than one. The light bulbs around the bar have been switched out for red ones, while the glittering golds and deep reds of Chinese kitsch speckle the walls. The odd little building feels like a Swiss chalet, with rock walls and sloping wood beams, while the bartender’s Hawaiian shirt and the red lights will have you ordering a Singapore Sling and humming "Roxanne." The overall effect is disorienting, no pun intended.
The Food: Strangely enough, most of the happy hour menu consists of sushi, which is not available on the regular menu, as far as we could tell. And only some of the pricing felt “happy” — $5 for a California roll seemed special, but $12 for a dragon roll did not. We ordered the yellowtail nigiri, which looked a little sad and tasted a little bad. Considering this is a Chinese restaurant, we tried potstickers next, hoping for a shot at redemption. At $5, they were a good value and had much better flavor than the fish, if a bit greasy. Bottom line? If Autumn Court has good Chinese food, they go out of their way to hide it during happy hour.
The Drinks: Happy hour at Autumn Court means $1 off bottled beer, small sake, and wines by the glass, or $5-$7 specialty cocktails (normally $8 or $9). The selection of beer and wine is decent, but we went with a mai tai ($5) because the vibe told us to. As did the woman next to us. We’ll say this for the drink: It was really big. Rum on rum on rum, plus pineapple juice and maybe seltzer water? Both from a can. Pretty sure Blue Hawaii Elvis was rolling over in his grave.
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Conclusion: If you're looking for Chinese food, maybe get it to go. If you're looking for ideas for your next screenplay, pull up a chair; the cast of characters at Autumn Court is even more colorful than the light bulbs above the bar. The dimwits next to us were discussing Omega-3s, personalized cat keychains, and how they would kill their boyfriends – you know, if they had to. One patron recited a list of his current health problems to a friend — across the bar — while another simply spouted off endless Michael Jackson jokes to anyone who would listen. To be fair, these guys won’t be there when you go. Erm … probably.
Don’t Miss: Bosa Donuts drive-thru in the same parking lot.
Skip This: The sushi. The pot stickers. Staying for happy hour.