The Spot: The Gladly, 2201 East Camelback Road
The Hours: Happy hour drink specials are available Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; food specials from 3 to 6 p.m.
The Interior: The space is welcoming and open, with lots of room for big groups and windows that face Camelback. The bar horseshoes around one side, with the raw bar on one corner.
The Drinks: On their regular bar menu, The Gladly offers up some pretty amazing cocktail tricks, with drinks like "Coffee and Cigarettes," featuring 10-year-old Glenmorangie single malt scotch in a glass lined with pipe tobacco smoke. But you'll have to pony up full price for those. However, you can still get a mean drink. During happy hour, wines by-the-glass and draft cocktails go for $7.
We tried the Thai Margarita. It had a nice sour flavor to it, and got spicier as it went down thanks to the chili sea salt. Although it had tamarind and a basil garnish, these ingredients didn’t do much to add to the flavor. We followed it up with a Manhattan on tap. It had the usual bourbon and sweet vermouth, with the additional touch of maple and tobacco bitters. Of the two, the Thai Margarita emerged as the favorite.
The Food: The happy hour food menu includes honey kimchi chicken wings, roasted Brussels sprouts, Super Yummy Nuts, and pistachio chicken liver pate, as well as half off of the raw bar. The kimchi wings ($8) started very sweet, with a citrus Asian glaze that left a lingering heat on the lips. They weren't overly crispy, and had more of a juicy texture to them. They were good, but it's the raw bar where The Gladly really shines.
The menu rotates based on market availability, so there is always something new to try. The Kumamoto and the Kusshi oysters, both of which were small, fresh, and very clean, had an especially light, cold flavor. The accompanying fish sauce vinaigrette, champagne with shallots vinaigrette, and horseradish added just the right amount of interest to the delicate seafood. The bar also offers the option of a whiskey enhancement, which comes with a small medicine dropper to add the booze to the oysters. Citrus scallops were huge and very fresh, though we could have done without the grapefruit and fennel accompaniments.But it was the brown butter tuna that stole the show. Fat slices of tuna were drizzled with a clever mix of capers, onions, raisins, and house-made brown butter, which is what really made the dish.
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Conclusion: Though we wish some of the craft cocktails were on special during happy hour, the draft cocktails are fine, and the raw bar selections are just wonderful. With half-price seafood and fair-enough $7 cocktail options, The Gladly is great place for a simple happy hour of wine and light bite in a hip, high-end space.
Don't Miss: The brown butter tuna and the oysters at the raw bar.
Skip This: The draft cocktails. It's worth it to pay full price to try one of The Gladly's more complex, handcrafted cocktails, or to just have a glass of wine with your seafood.