How many times have you walked by a place in your neighborhood and paid it no attention? We get so wrapped up in where we’re going or what we’re doing that we miss many things right under our noses. The Courtyard is one of those places for me.

I’ve literally walked or driven past it hundreds, if not thousands, of times and never gave it a second look. My loss.

The restaurant is set up like a Mediterranean courtyard, natch, complete with a fountain in the center. If it wasn’t for the sound of police sirens, I could almost imagine being in a quaint Spanish village; the atmosphere doesn’t feel like the middle of Los Angeles. In fact, CitySearch has listed the Courtyard as one of the top 10 outdoor dining establishments for two years running.

They feature tapas, but big plates are also offered if you go in with a healthy appetite. And what better way to wash down your tapas than with Sangria? Traditional Sangria is on the menu, and they also offer blueberry, apple and peach.

If you’re on a budget, never fear. Happy hour is 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day. There are discounted tapas along with $3 beers, $5 martinis and Sangria at half off.

Mondays feature $5 martinis all night. Buy one tapa and get one half off on Tapa Tuesdays. If hump day has you down, you can’t miss Wine Lovers Wednesdays when wine is half off with dinner. With 17 labels to choose from, there’s wine for every taste.

Their menu features dishes with beef, chicken, lamb, pork, seafood and vegetarian entrees, so you should be able to find what your taste buds are craving. Obviously, I couldn’t try everything on the menu, but my favorites were the dates & bacon, plantains and the flan.

Sometimes flan can be sort of bland, but theirs pleasantly surprised my friend and me. Speaking of favorites, I think my friend is now addicted to the blueberry Sangria, but since blueberries are chock full of antioxidants, I guess there are worse addictions.

Opens daily at 4:30 p.m. For more information, call (310) 358-0301 or visit www.thecourtyardla.com.