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May 4, 2009 06:01 PM

The Bloody to beat all Bloodies- in search of the best Bloody Mary

Oh boy, do I ever love a bloody mary. Better than coffee on a lazy, hot Sunday afternoon is a tall glass, glistening with condensation, rimmed with some seasoning or other, and looking like an entire garden's bounty has been pickled and artfully arranged on the top of my libation.
But I have yet to find a bar or restaurant that specializes in, or even takes extra care and pride in the bloody mary in LA, or even better, Westside LA (as it is a commonly accepted fact that a bloody mary tastes best between the hours of 10am to 1pm consumed within a mile or so from a large body of water).
So, in the interest of science, should we establish a criteria? Here are mine:

1. NO PREPACKAGED MIXES! My home recipe contains a minimum of 10 ingredients, and my bar's should too. Mrs T's might work for on the boat during a fishing vacation, but will not when I'm paying $9 at the bar or restaurant.
2. Garnishes. Lots. Lots of FRESH garnishes.
3. A choice of vodkas, extra points for homemade chile infusions and other creative ideas. While the taste of the vodka is masked somewhat, it still should never come from a squeezable bottle.
4. Easy access to add-ins, if needed. I like horseradish, my SO, not so much. Same goes for th Tabasco.
5. The rim. Celery Salt? Sure. Old Bay? Okay! Hot Salt? Yum. Just don't leave my poor rim bare.
6. The Glass. Tall. A pint glass is ideal.

Since I have yet to find an acceptable version, I'll open this up with the last one I had:
Venice Bistro, on the boardwalk. Good tomato flavor, nice spice. Comes with extra lime, which is nice, but nothing else besides an olive. No horseradish. No rim seasoning. And is served to me in a rocks glass. For 9 bucks. In a rocks glass. A 4 out of 10.

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  1. Have you ever tried the weekend Bloody Mary bar at the Belmont on La Cienega? Slim Jims are part of the "add-in's" that they have.

    747 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

    1 Reply
    1. re: Servorg

      I was going to say the Belmont. 4 different mixes, a billion garnishes (celery, asparagus, shrimp, tomolives, etc etc), horseradish, celery salt, etc, etc, but c'mon! SLIM-JIMS!!! Nothing like a greasy beef-ish stick to dig out of your empty glass and consume.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. The Hungry Cat.

        On the brunch menu:

        traditional or spicy bloody mary

        w/egorushka vodka


        tradicional bloody maria

        w/orendain reposado tequila


        schnöckered bloody mary

        plymouth gin & house-pickled vegetables


        the “matchbox”

        our traditional w/a shorty of beer


        maryland mary

        our traditional bloody mary rimmed with

        maryland spice mix & served with an oyster


        bloody bull

        blue ice vodka, bloody mary mix & beef bouillon


        1. Not in LA proper but if you are truly on a quest, it may be worth your while:

          The bloody mary at Ramos House Cafe, mere steps from the San Juan Capistrano train depot, is their signature dish and IMHO is excellent. It has fresh garnishes galore, is super-tasty-spicy and is served in a tall glass (IIRC it's sort of a tulip-shaped thing). Enjoy it with the smoked duck hash !

          1 Reply
          1. re: mikester

            I can heartily second this recommendation, and I suggest ordering it with their version of a scotch egg. Standard garnish is a steamed crab claw, pickled green beans, lemon/lime, and served in a mason jar. Excellent.

          2. I had an awfully good one at Little Dom's in Los Feliz. Not sure it meets ALL of your criteria,, but it not, it comes close.