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A Night Out on the Townhouse: Bar Fare for Movie-goers & Sports Watchers

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Dinner and a movie is a classic combo, as is bar eats and sports watching. For many heading out to pursue such endeavors, convenience and affordability are top priorities. It doesn't get much more convenient if you're in Sherman Oaks and you're headed to or from the ArcLight there, or if S'Oaks is where you'd like to watch "the big game."

An eatery with a sedate decor peppered with the boisterous attention-grabbing prowess of multiple large-screen televisions, Townhouse is situated in the center of the main concourse of the Sherman Oaks Galleria. Offering casual comfort fare since they opened last fall, Townhouse is poised to capitalize on the foot traffic the location provides. But their calling card for success--and your best bet as a patron--should be their bar fare, in the form of small bites, cocktails, and clever Happy Hour pricing.

With a Monday-Friday Happy Hour from 4-7 p.m. and a "Reverse" Happy Hour daily from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., shoppers and movie-goers who are hungry for a sip and a bite can benefit from the menu of $5 specialty cocktails, $4 select draft beers, and $5 wines by the glass, as well as food from $5-10.99.

We had a taste of Townhouse at a recent hosted meal, which served for us as a follow-up to an earlier indie mission to try their mac and cheese--an unsuccessful mission: they were out of mac and cheese that night! Of the many "Specialty Cocktails" we sampled the Cucumber Martini, which uses melon vodka as its base, as well as the Diva, which is made with vodka, Poma liquer, pineapple juice, and pomegranate juice. Both drinks were delightful, but decidedly on the "girly" side; they'll surely appeal to either or both your sweet tooth or, if you'll forgive the gender stereotypes, the lady who is joining a sports enthusiast male companion to catch the game on the big screen.

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The yang to the cocktails' yin would be the bold flavors of the food; many dishes boast aggressive spice and seasoning. The deviled eggs come dotted with fiery sriracha sauce ($5.99), the salmon dish from the dinner menu crusted in horseradish ($18.99), the seafood chowder strutting a powerful zing ($2.99 cup, $4.99 bowl), and the mushroom pasta entree bathed in a scorching red sauce ($12.99).

If you're looking to get bang for your buck the ideal choice is to share a set of generously portioned sliders, which come in four flavors: Apple Wood Bacon Cheeseburger or Pork Belly ($8.99) or Lobster Cake or Angry Shrimp ($9.99). These cheeky bunned bites were the hit at the table, though you may want to ask for sauce on the side since there were discrepancies in the moisture level among everyone's plates--our pork was dry while others experienced some napkin-needing oozing, for example. The best of the bunch was the Angry Shrimp, which seems to typify the Townhouse spice-it-up philosophy; this breaded and fried shrimp patty bears the fiery ire of habañero sauce, pepper jack, sriracha and a fresh slice of jalapeño. Yowza!

Not a spice-enthusiast and looking for lighter fare? We really appreciated the refreshing calm of the Arugula salad, which is served with tangerines, candied pistachios, goat cheese, and tangerine oil-white balsamic (1/2 $5.99, full $9.99).

Since our first Townhouse mac and cheese mission was a bust (and the Turkey Reuben, $10.99, a decent compromise, though obviously no substitution for the mighty mac) we were able to sample the dish on our return visit, only amped-up with lobster ($10.99, $18.99). The lobster didn't do much for the shells and cheese sauce, however, particularly because it was overcooked, and was too much competition for the dish's more subtle gruyere, white cheddar and roasted tomato flavors.

If you don't stuff yourself to the gills on spiced up sliders and drinks, the best dessert on the menu is the Blondie-tini sundae--basically a wedge of a Blondie covered in ice cream and drizzled with chocolate. It's got all the right ooey-gooey moves, and can sweeten up a night at the movies or a viewing of your favorite sport if you've taken your night out on the town--Townhouse, that is.

Follow Townhouse on Twitter.