2 unusual destinations for cocktails in Los Angeles - Page 2

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At Library Bar
PHOTO BY VIRGINIA MILLER

For those with expanded taste, delights await. Tastes run savory with vegetables or spices, lush with foams or house-infused liqueurs, tart with an array of citrus. As Biancaniello will say, he’s clearly inspired by the likes of Scott Beattie. If not reaching that level of artistry, he pursues it.

On my visit, Biancaniello made cocktails with white raspberries and sage, or hops-infused gin. After asking for something savory and different, I was a little disappointed to get a drink with gin and strawberries, Last Tango in Modena (which Jonathan Gold calls one of the best cocktails in LA as of 3/3). It was expertly made, though not my favorite of the night. Hendricks gin gave it a cucumber crispness, married with strawberries, topped with St. Germain foam, brown with a sweet, 25yr balsamic vinegar. I have had the aged vinegar and strawberry combo before, from drinks to ice cream, though this was certainly a superior version.

He mixed rum with California’s Winter bounty: blood oranges, Meyer lemons and satsumas. St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram imparted a Wintery spice. A crisped orange slice exhibited a Beattie-like touch.

I especially took to Kentucky Bubble Bath, a bourbon cocktail (Bulleit, in this case), brightened with lemon. Gently floral with house lavender syrup (hence the bubble bath), Cynar artichoke liqueur adds a layer of gentle bitterness.

Cocktail lovers should make a beeline for this bar whenever they’re in LA. It’s not typical for that city, or anywhere, really. The skillful one-man-show, California farmers market bounty, and intimate setting (minus a bit of clientele douchebaggery) make it a drink destination.

But please, if you want a vodka tonic, just go to the perfectly nice-looking bar at the front of the hotel instead.

--Subscribe to Virgina's newsletter, The Perfect Spot

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