It's baffling that there aren't more places downtown like Lúc Lác, given the newish Vietnamese restaurant's incredible popularity. On the surface, there's nothing particularly remarkable about Lúc Lác's formula for success—cheap food, late hours, a full bar—but there aren't many other restaurants in the area that even bother to stay open after 6 pm. The food isn't gonna blow your mind, but it's solid and fresh, and the happy hour prices are fantastic; and while the counter-style service can make for awkwardness when ordering, it's worth it for $2 happy-hour sugar cane shrimp and a $6 "dealer's choice" cocktail from their ambitious cocktail menu, which features unusual ingredients like lychee, condensed milk, and tapioca pearls. ALISON HALLETT


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