LA's cocktail culture has blossomed over the past year with stellar spots like Varnish, the Tar Pit, the Roger Room, and now La Descarga, opening Tuesday. LAT Mag shares a fairly in-depth look at the lounge which touts itself as a Cuban-influenced abode where rum is the drink of choice. This is absolutely not the first time rum has taken center stage, at the Tar Pit Audrey Saunders and Mark Peel aim to do the same. Unlike Audrey and Mark, La Descarga owners Mark and Johnny Houston (Piano Bar and the Bar) don't cringe at the word "speakeasy," after all what else would one call a (currently) unmarked black door off a forlorn strip on Western that leads to a wooden armoire (which one enters) and then leads to a dimly-lit bi-level space with "white marble and a schizophrenic mishmash of woods"? And here's the kicker -- to get in it's reservation only.
But, just send an email and it's likely you'll score that resy. Back on the cocktail front, libations are controlled by GM Steve Livigni (the Doheny) and Pablo Moix (Portfolio Mixologist of Bacardi USA). According to Livigni, "All the cocktails are rum based, the house daquiri is one of the best I've ever tried, 4-5 other rum classics, a few new creations, and punches." Also look for one bar specifically designated to serve rum neat and in flights, a great way to expand a neophyte's rum horizons. As for food, none here. However, there's a tasty taco stand right next door that's open 24 hours a day. Exterior neon signage goes up Saturday. [EaterWire]