Saturday, March 19, 2011

LA...when???

Well it's been 4 months since we were in Los Angeles so I guess I should get a post up. That's nothing really, considering that we were in Germany 6 months ago and I've still got loads to post on that! But as some of you know I travel with a handy moleskin that I fill with daily notes, collect lots of business cards from the places I loved and take a shit load of photos to always remind me of what we saw. 

So as I was going through a stack of business cards on my desk today I came across a few from LA and thought- wow! I must have caught some super procrastinator bug from our gracious host Chuck cuz I still haven't posted a thing about that great weekend!

Chuck & Wes being the über professionals in all things drinking & eating picked us up from Burbank airport and immediately whisked us to Dayne's all time favorite, In n Out Burger. Off to a good start!

Dinner over we headed downtown to check out The Varnish. This is a fantastic cocktail lounge in the back of Cole's French Dip and we were lucky enough to have Eric Alperin & Marcos Tello behind the bar. The space itself is retro dark wood and brick, low lighting and set up more like a restaurant with lots of semi private tables and booths. We planned to only have one cocktail each so that we could also make it to 7 Grand before closing but with these experts in the house we just had to stay for a few rounds, it was absolutely worth it!

We spent the next sunny day exploring Silverlake. Bar Keeper was recommended by many and did not disappoint. A great shop with an amazing collection of bitters, glassware, booze and bar tools. It's like a toy store for cocktail geeks!

(*update 3/21 I just heard this great interview with Joe Keeper on KUOW today!)

This was the night I was really looking forward to. We had dinner reservations at Osteria Mozza where I had wanted to eat at since they first opened. Batali & Silverton? Count me in! Funny their other location of Mozza is in Singapore, good to know!

The meal was delicious! The famed mozzarella bar lived up to the hype. The space is pretty and sleek and just the right amount of noise. And the best thing about dining out with other food loving peeps is that we got to taste a hell of a lot of food! From the grilled octopus to the crispy pig trotter, gnocchi with duck ragu to the ricotta and egg ravioli & the short ribs- everything was so good! And Nancy Silverton was even in the house! In the words of Charlie Sheen: Winning!!

A little dessert, an Amaro tasting at the bar and then we were off to La Descarga Rum Bar. All I knew was that Chuck said we had 10pm reservations that we couldn't be late for. And that they served rum. And that there was some type of a show.

We entered the building and checked in with the hostess who led us to a coat closet. Upon opening the closet doors it was revealed to be a "secret" entrance to the bar where we followed along a cat walk and then down a spiral staircase to the main bar. Above us a small band played fantastic Cuban music, the bar's walls weathered to look like crumbling walls in Havana. In the back there is another bar that has the feel of being made of corrugated metal walls. All very cool. 

My friend Aaron joined us and we all enjoyed some seriously good rum cocktails. The music changed and a spotlight appeared on the cat walk above, a woman dressed in a Latino inspired skirt and blouse started to dance. Fun! And then she really got into it and did a bit of a Cuban burlesque if you will! It was awesome (and I'm sure that most of the men in the bar would use other words as she was quite attractive!) and totally unexpected! There ended up being 2 shows, the second being quite a bit saucier and the woman dancing right on the bar!


A great night out on the town! The next day we wrapped up our very quick weekend with a delicious brunch at Alcove where we sat outside (in November!) and had yummy breakfast cocktails made by Juan Sevilla who Dayne and I had met earlier in the year at Tales.

Great to see our friends and finally get down to LA. We'll be back! (you know I'm using the gubernator's voice...)

flickr photos