- sailormouth Jun 8, 2008 12:08 AM
So, long story short, a friend is buying me a ticket from Boston to LA. While I'd prefer this happen in January, I'm still pretty psyched. To thank him, I'd like to take him out for drinks at a place with great cocktails. I have had trouble finding a place like in LA via the internets, but the places in Boston are Eastern Standard, No. 09 and Green St. Grill, and in NY, among a few others, are Death + Co., Milk & Honey and Little Branch. Where can I find an LA equivalent? I'd prefer not a tiki place, but if that's the best, it'll do in a pinch.
Luna Park has interesting cocktails. Lola's is known for their lengthy martini menu.
That's all I can think of...
I agree 100% with the Comme Ca suggestion: when I was there this past week speaking with the mixologist (who is extremely passionate about his craft) about where HE likes to go in Los Angeles for a great cocktail program he told me that Tiki Ti in Silverlake is his absolute favorite (which surprised me...although I've never been). A Tiki Bar, yes, not "fancy" drinks, but apparently very well made, creative ones. He also mentioned Seven Grand, which is Downtown, and Hungry Cat, of course. Lastly, I also remember seeing a very good looking, seasonal cocktail menu at Lucques in West Hollywood. Enjoy!!
Tiki Ti: 4427 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles California 90027 323-669-9381
Seven Grand: 515 West 7th St, 2nd Fl, Los Angeles, CA 90014 213-614-0737
Hungry Cat: 1535 N Vine, Los Angeles, CA 90028 323-462-2155
Lucques: 8474 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90069 323-655-6277
Interesting about Tiki Ti. The drinks are strong but nowhere at the level of HC or CC.
Seven Grand: I had a very good cocktail there, and they have some of the most knowledgeable bartenders, but their focus is on whiskeys and scotches, they have something like 200 of them. They definitely excel at what they do.
Musso and Franks doesn't have a crazy extensive drink menu, but they do make a legendary martini, and it's old Hollywood, too, which is cool. Also, the bar at the Biltmore hotel is small but very accomplished--the guys there have been at it a while, and have fanatastic ingredients. I tried a Verper martini there even before the James Bond movie came out! And, you get to see all of the old Hollywood pics from when the Oscars were held there.
If you're going to comparing it to Death + Co, then you've gotta go to Hungry Cat.
Also, around the corner, there's also S Bar. The bartenders aren't up to the same quality as Hungry Cat, but the recipes are actually from House Spirits (home of Aviation Gin, among others) resident mixologist.
Both the Katsuya restaurants in Brentwood and Hollywood have good specialty drink menus (with some drinks to each location.) Interesting twists on some common cocktails using fresh fruit infusions and herbs. It's a bit of a scene... but the drinks are very good and I think some of the food is actually well executed.
I love Eastern Standard and that they make a (nearly) proper mint julep there.
I second (or third, or whatever) the recommendations for Hungry Cat, Comme Ca, S Bar, and definitely Seven Grand. The only drawback to Comme Ca is that it's painfully crowded, or at least was the couple of times I was there. For a trendy Hollywood bar (with all those trendy Hollywood type), S Bar has surprisingly good drinks. I'm torn between Hungry Cat and Seven Grand as my favorite, though, drinks-wise. You can't go wrong at either place.
(I do have a particular affinity for Seven Grand, though - I ran into a bartender there I used to have a lot at the Bowery, who wouldn't serve me a mint julep there because they didn't have the proper glasses for them nor crushed ice. This problem has definitely been remedied at Seven Grand, though, where their mint julep is like a gigantic marvelous alcoholic snowcone.)
Also downtown is The Edison - the space is interesting, and the couple of drinks I've had there were good. Not a terribly big fan of the crowd, though.
I would probably skip Luna Park - their drinks are nowhere on par with the others (although, they do garnish their drinks with a lot of plastic animals a la East Coast Grill, which is always fun).
Almost all my favorite places have already been mentioned -- Comme Ca, Edison, Seven Grand and Hungry Cat are great cocktail places.
Lola's (martinis) and Trader Vic's (tiki-style) are also worthwhile, but moreso because of their L.A. history than the actual drinks themselves (but they are decent).
I also had some pretty good drinks @ Eleven & O-Bar in WeHo.