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Last Night's Pre-Opening Party and Debut of The Tar Pit

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Last night from 6:30 to 8:30PM a small group of foodies and friend of Mark Peel and Audrey Saunders gathered to celebrate the launch of The Tar Pit, which actually opened to the public after the party around 9:15PM. Couples quietly sipping pastel-hued libations from coupe glasses at this civilized, subdued opening. As expected, the decor is reminiscent of a 40's era supper club, but the low-key ambiance and the sensible menu appeals to a broad audience. The press party featured specialty cocktails and items from their bar menu with standouts that included the Cucumber-Mint Creole cocktail and our favorite which was on limited distribution last night, the Palm Frond-- lemon myrtle-infused gin, Green Chartreuse, muddled mint, and a lemongrass stalk as a straw, fun! As for edibles, we enjoyed the pickled deviled egg, and the rich, creamy, vinegary Duck Rillette & Stilton.

The small group of attendees was comprised of an eclectic mix with some people settling into booths and others grouping around the mirror-light bar. There was also live music (which they won't have every night, but was definitely a nice touch for the evening), courtesy of a four piece string and brass band. The lounge itself is on the smaller side, with a large bar lining the south side of the room, club chairs framing the center of the room, and deep booths filling out the back wall. It will be interesting to see if the large space in the middle will be eventually utilized (for slow-dancing?).

Mark Peel's creations fit nicely in The Tar Pit's tableau - the full menu is simple, but elevated: Lobster & Scallop Newburg, Mussels Steamed in Wheat Ale, Steak & Kidney Pie, Gnocchi with Escargots. Jay Perrin also did a great job with the wine menu. The selection is a curated mix of wines form Italy to Slovenia, all at $38 per bottle. Overall a very pleasant evening and we're looking forward to seeing how The Tar Pit builds within LA's mid-city neighborhood. Stay tuned for more (brighter) photos later today.
—Yvonne Ip

The Tar Pit

609 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA