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Originally published March 8, 2011 at 7:02 PM | Page modified March 9, 2011 at 10:39 AM

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Happy Hour: La Bête's wings are a big-city homage to street-food classic

Seattle's La Bête is home to a good burger, but also to chicken wings you won't soon forget.

Seattle Times staff reporter

HAPPY HOUR |

Been a while since I had chicken wings this good. Or a burger this big.

The boys behind La Bête have been killing it in the kitchen, if you haven't noticed. The barmen and the bar crowd certainly did. From the day La Bête opened in August on Capitol Hill, it has been the industry's favorite, its bar seats and dining section filled night after night with line cooks and bartenders, and the foodies and cocktail geeks who follow them.

La Bête makes splendid dinner food, as evident by all the stellar reviews. It also offers a small but splendid bar-food menu, too.

You can count on one good pasta dish on its rotating happy-hour menu.

And also the chicken wings -- poached in duck fat, the skin crispy and salty, the meat fall-off-the-bone tender. One of the best dishes of wings in the city. They're an homage to Asian-style street food, these salt-and-pepper chicken wings, tossed with red jalapeño peppers, toasted garlic and green onions. No ranch or blue-cheese dip or hot sauce to mask wings already perfectly balanced in flavor and texture.

That grilled half-pound Painted Hills deluxe burger looks even bigger than advertised, topped with a thick slab of blue cheese and mounds of caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms. Comes with a huge portion of fries.

The burger is the most popular item on La Bête's brunch menu. The cooks added the burger to the bar menu but will make only five to seven burgers every night.

I wouldn't drive my car like an ambulance across town for that last patty. It's just a burger. A dozen other bars can make you a juicy gourmet burger.

Few can make chicken wings this good, though.

La Bête, 1802 Bellevue Ave., offers happy hour from 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday with bar-food specials and half-off on beer and wine and $2 off on well drinks, and again 11 p.m.-1 a.m. with just drink specials. Note: The happy-hour menu changes almost every week, though the chicken wings and the burger are often on the menu (206-329-4047 or labeteseattle.com).

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com

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