China Club Bistro
Description: China Club Bistro occupies a vast building marked by giant gold medallions and giant gold dragons in the International District. Inside, you'll find an elaborate pileup of old-world luxury and '80s-era ritziness, including carved screens, plastic chandeliers, tasseled curtains, puffy leather couches, flower-print vases, and lacquered countertops embedded with sparkles. There's also a stunningly outfitted back room, resting dark and empty, with a collection of paintings mounted to the ceiling and a glassy sculpture of a Chinese cabbage the size of a human baby.
What else: Upstairs is a semiformal lounge for special occasions. It's worth checking out, though it's for private events, so don't linger. The party is in full swing on a Friday night, and everyone's dancing in the colored lights as a very old man on a synthesizer plays hymns layered with samba beats and shimmery slow-jams such as the Titanic theme song. The scene releases the purest kind of euphoria, and you'll probably feel all drippy and nostalgic inside, and then the guy you're with will suddenly begin describing what he'd like to wear to his own wedding someday. (A white velvet jacket and a red satin cummerbund, it turns out.)
Happy hours: Tues–Sun 5 pm–11 pm.
Happy-hour drink specials: $5.50 select cocktails—the Sake Blossom has Yaegaki sake and elderflower liqueur; $3.50 beer—Tsingtao, Kirin Ichiban, Stella Artois, more; $4.50 house wine.
Happy-hour food specials: A great list, including a $7 BBQ duck burger, $6 curry meatballs, $5 sweet-and-sour eggplant, and $4 pork and shrimp dumplings.