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Best Bartenders in LA?

Hey Folks, I have some friends coming to town. They are bar afficianados or at least bartender groupies. Where are your favorite bartenders, gay or straight, for what reasons???
I think of Akbar for strong drinks and Musso and Frank's for martinis. Where else?
Tanks Doilinks.

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  1. One thing that I love about the NYC bar scene that I would love to see really take off here is the fetishism that the bartenders seem to have regarding top shelf liquors, high quality ingredients, and researching classic cocktail recipes.

    One such place that dedicates itself to the craft of the cocktail is 7 Grand in Downtown LA. It's a strictly whiskey establishment but they are one of the few places that I've been to where the bartenders really think that they are doing something important. Whether they are or not is up to you.

    Tiki Ti does the Polynesian-cum-Elvis-1950's-Blue Hawaii fantasy well. I can't deal with sugar or brightly colored liquor so it's not for me but it could be great for you.

    Note: These aren't necessarily the best bars in town or where you'll want to become a regular one day. They just demonstrate an unusual dedication to a drink that I think is great.

    1. The Hungry Cat - great mixologists, always uses seasonal ingredients (and they make their own grenadine and other infusions in-house), a limited yet focused liquor selection, and a cocktail list that include classics like sazeracs and sidecars to new inventions (like the howling wolf, combining serrano-infused rye with blood orange).

      5 Replies
      1. re: SauceSupreme

        Yes. All that and a zinc bar. Suzanne Goin is a city treasure.

        1. re: Frommtron

          David Lentz is a city treasure.

          1. re: love2eat

            Both in one place is unfair.

        2. re: SauceSupreme

          I've been let down by the bartenders at the hungry cat except for Danielle. If you sit at the bar ask for Danielle. She is the one with the mohawk and tear tattoo on her face. She is very efficient, friendly, and gives free wine samples.

          1. re: love2eat

            I'm a little biased because HC is my regular watering hole, so I'll abstain from the comparisons of the various HC bartenders, as it would be like picking which sibling is your favorite.

            That said, I'm happiest with any of the pre-expansion bartenders (of which Danielle is one). Of the recently hired bartenders, the one from the Sona/Comme Ca family (John, I believe) seems to have the greatest promise in terms of creativity, palate and skill.

        3. Comme Ca - awesome, old school cocktails made the right way i.e. sazerac with absinthe and sazerac 18 yr rye

          Trader Vics - once you do get one or two of their original mai tais, the scene won't bother you as much

          1 Reply
          1. re: vinosnob

            "Dealer's Choice' is also an interesting option at Comme Ca.

          2. Thanks. We'll check them out.