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May 1, 2009 12:31 PM   Subscribe

LA Gourmet Cocktails? What are the finest, most crafted cocktails you've had in LA? High-end genius drinkology? Even just the best-balanced martini? Is there a molecular gastronomy equivalent here?

For a story I'm working on—If you're LA based and have nothing going on this weekend/week and you want to meet me for a drink, send me a memail.
posted by klangklangston to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The places I usually hear mentioned are Comme Ça, The Association and The Varnish. This
Jonathan Gold article on "the new cocktailians" may also help.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 1:01 PM on May 1, 2009 [2 favorites]

I am borderline obsessed with the magical wonder of Tiki-Ti, primarily because their libations are wonderfully concocted but in an atmosphere that is friendly and not the least bit chichi.
posted by dhammond at 2:12 PM on May 1, 2009

LA Times also had an article in the last six months in the Food section on cocktail sites and celebrity hang out spots you might find relevant.
posted by effluvia at 2:39 PM on May 1, 2009

I've been a fan of the vodka martinis at Musso and Frank for a while, but have recently discovered that the ones at Taix rival them in deliciousness (bonus that they are 5 dollars from 4-7 weekdays). They're both old school/old people restaurants, which I think is a good rule of thumb for finding properly mixed traditional drinks. Old people will complain when you fuck up their cocktails.

Fancy pants artisanal cocktail places tend to attract the LA equivalent of the B&T crowd on weekends. Or at least that was my experience checking out The Varnish and Association (located next door to each other) on a Saturday night in downtown LA. So many shiny shirts and sparkly halter tops!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 2:41 PM on May 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm going to second dhammond. I really love Tiki-Ti, but that is also because you can still smoke inside. I don't even smoke anymore and I still love that place. I wouldn't consider it anything close to be high-end, but it is always a good time.
posted by banannafish at 2:43 PM on May 1, 2009

So, you think Tiki Ti might be a good one for weekends, and the downtown might be good to hit on a weeknight?
posted by klangklangston at 3:03 PM on May 1, 2009

Tiki Ti is PACKED on Saturday nights. Also it is cash only, so come prepared because there isn't even an ATM there. Man I freaking love that place. It is in Silverlake, and there are a bunch of great places around there if you end up not being able to get in.

If you're going to be downtown during the week, I really like the Roof Bar at the Standard downtown for chichi time. Or there is a bar in Little Toyoko on Central that is called.. uhm I think the In Between Bar? Maybe not? Shit, I forget the name and I'm not home right now to go look, but anyway, it is pretty cool and actually the bartender makes quite possibly the most delicious Brandy Alexanders and Gin Rickeys of all time. However, if I'm going to be going to my favorite bar of all time ever, I go to the HMS Bounty which is possibly one of the best bars ever. It is the divest of dive, so if you're looking for a perfectly mixed martini, don't go here. However, if you are looking for delicious chicken wings (and cheap!) and a very friendly pour of liquor, go here.
posted by banannafish at 3:30 PM on May 1, 2009

Yeah, the best bet for Tiki-Ti is to get there early (like before 7 or 8pm) unless you don't mind standing in line. They do have an ATM now, though.
posted by dhammond at 3:35 PM on May 1, 2009

I liked Lola's when I went there. They like to make martinis there.
posted by schyler523 at 4:04 PM on May 1, 2009

klangklangston: I would highly recommend reading the linked LA Times article, and picking from those established places. Specifically, the Edison.

It sounds like the Edison's Marcos Tello is similar to Seattle's Murray Stenson. These guys are not pushing for the cheapest, high margin drink that goes down fast and gets you drunk, they are trying to craft and create the best cocktails and drinking experience possible.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:31 PM on May 1, 2009

Dig through (MeFi's own) Looka! Chuck Taggart's from New Orleans but lives in Los Angeles, and has endless entries on great LA cocktails, including this one on Malo. You might also poke around Mixology Monday.
posted by maudlin at 7:36 PM on May 1, 2009

Tiki Ti is PACKED on Saturday nights. Also it is cash only, so come prepared because there isn't even an ATM there.

There's an ATM in the back by the restrooms.
posted by katillathehun at 10:31 PM on May 1, 2009

The Edison has absolutely the most esquisite ocktails I've ever had. They've got an extensive cocktail menu, which seems to have been designed by a serious mixology geek. My favorite is the "Golden Lillet": Rum Barbacourt, Lillet, and lemoncello. They also serve James Bond's "Vesper". Add in the places insane decor, and you've got one of the best nightsposts ever. Spendy though. About 14 dollars for a cocktail, but no cover, so who's complaining. And did I mention the Deco/Steampunk decor?
posted by TigerCrane at 1:37 AM on May 2, 2009

Just found out that Loteria Grill has Jalapeño Margaritas, in addition to some nice veggie meal options.

I think a visit may be in order. Weekend nights, however, are INCREDIBLY loud, fyi.
posted by Space Kitty at 2:13 AM on May 3, 2009

Yeah, I got warned off doing anything over the weekend nights (I have an allergy to shiny shirts), so it's going to be a weeknight deathmarch of happy hours.
posted by klangklangston at 11:28 AM on May 3, 2009

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