Recessionista Barhopper’s Delight: Soup Kitchen @ Edison

imageTough times call for tough measures. Like toughing it out in Los Angeles five o’clock traffic going from the West Side to the East Side. For those of you who live somewhere else, this is a painfully dull, slow-moving slog wherein you lose an hour of your life trying to get 11 miles away. Why suffer? Well, we decided on a whim to try out recessionista happy hour at ultra beautiful retro bar The Edison. From 5 to 7 p.m., “Friday Soup Kitchen” offers a 35-cent cocktail and complimentary grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup (25 percent of the proceeds go to local food banks and charities).

After trudging our way through Venice Boulevard, we landed Downtown just in time to sample the special menu. Upon entry in the cavernous club, we were given two tickets: one for the drink, one for the cheese and soup. Though the drink they were serving for that particular week — the gin daisy, made with gin, lemon juice, sugar, and grenadine syrup — was probably stronger and tastier than we were anticipating, let’s just say in terms of size, you get what you pay for. The drink was served in a tiny glass, and was barely half full. The cheese and soup combo was even tinier … thimble-sized tasting of admittedly delicious soup, and thumb-sized bits of sandwich. It was a great way to get us really hungry and thirsty, and was more like a sampling than an actual portion, or even a half portion.

So we ordered some more food, which failed to come 30 minutes later, and more drinks, which also failed to arrive, and finally, after complaining, an employee nicely hurried everything out and comped us, which was a fair trade. Some places just pout when you complain.

The amazing thing about the Edison is that it’s this gigantic, overwhelming space that still manages to preserve a semblance of intimacy. We scored a two-top table in one of the side rooms, surrounded by lush curtains and feeling cozy under the low light amongst dark-colored wood and Tiffany lamps. When the girl with the butterfly outfit and the absinthe cart rolled by, we were a tad tempted.

We’d do Soup Kitchen again if we were already near downtown, but we’re not sure anything is worth that drive. Still, timed right, we could hit up a couple of other cheap drinks Downtown: The Edison’s Thursday-night special (also from 5 to 7) features a 1910 martini at a 1910 price; pair with Ciudad’s happy hour (Monday through Friday, 4 to 7), where you get mojitos, sangrias, beer, and wine for $4.50 a pop. That would get you just fuzzy enough to shake the work day.

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