Enter the Bamboo Room and you'd never know that you were in a bar at the back of a Chinese restaurant-and you probably wouldn't guess that you were in the year 2008-but you know immediately that you're somewhere that is authentically, well, itself. There are some hints at the East, including plastic bamboo branches and unfurled oriental fans mounted on the wall, but it's otherwise a classic '70s, dimly lit, smoky room with video lottery machines, dark red pleather booths, and a crowd of locals talking shop around the bar. The daily "Attitude Adjustment Hour," which involves a buck or so off already cheap drinks, doesn't sound so "happy"-particularly when coupled with the "no whining" and other curmudgeonly signs behind the bar. But grab a $2.50 well drink from the surprisingly friendly bartender and order a handful of appetizers or a sampler platter off the regular menu and you've easily matched the happy hour deal at most places. The hot and sour soup at $1.95 is a great start. Throw in some deep-fried egg rolls, potstickers, and tasty sliced BBQ pork, and you've got happy hour at happy prices-and likely, much happier, more well adjusted companions.
When: Monday-Friday, 4:00-6:00 p.m.;
Saturday-Sunday, 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Where: 530 SE 3rd Street
Drink Specials: $2.50 well drinks and selected
domestic bottles; $2.75 selected import bottles
Food Specials: None-but it's all kind of special
Why: Because an attitude adjustment goes down easier
with a Tsing Tao beer and a dozen fried wontons.