Recommendations for well-made cocktails?
Sorry if this has been covered--using 'cocktails' to search the board wasn't working for me.
I plan to visit LA in September, and I'm looking to visit some places that care about their cocktails, either in the classic sense or innovative-but-not-offensively-experimental sense. I'm not picky about whether it's a restaurant or bar, but I am picky about bartenders who know what they're doing.
To give some references (in case anyone is familiar with NYC, where I'm coming from), I'm partial to places like Pegu, Little Branch, and Death & Co.
Defintely Hungry Cat. They use fresh squeezed juices and different herbs. For the real pure classics old school the Beverly Wilshire hotel.
Go see Carlos or Gunnar at The Palm in West Hollywood for the classics, although if you are coming from NY you probably have done the Palm to death already. It never gets old for me, though. Enjoy LA.
The bartender at Fraiche in Culver City is great, some very interesting cocktails. Also we had good cocktails at the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills last weekend, although be forwarned that they were $15 each. We were actually appalled at the prices, even though the drinks were good.
I have had some great "new" drinks recently at Osteria Mozza and also at Fraiche in Culver City. I had a prosecco, ginger/lemon, simple syrup concoction that the bartender said was really good, and she was right. I normally don't go for those, but it sounded good and was.
At Fraiche, the Blood Orange Martini was fantastic, tart/sweet and worked very well with the vodka - think extra strong and tasty screwdriver - and the Leblon Mojito a little less fantastic, but definitely interesting with its lemon and herbal elements. As an aside, the first round of Leblon Mojitos didn't work completely well for us (off in proportion?), but we weren't sure because it was the first time either of us had an adulterated mojito, but when we said "eh" when asked how the drinks were, they QUICKLY gave us replacements that DID work well. I like that in a bar, espec. when drinks approach $10.
Both places are great to visit for food and atmosphere, too.
I second the Hungry Cat for their wonderful cocktails. Social Hollywood is also good but rather pricey. I just recently discovered Red Pearl where they offer my current favorite -- the Waterloo with fresh watermelon juice. Red Pearl has happy hour starting at 9pm to close Sunday to Thursday. Past my bedtime...