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Sunset Plaza's Inbound Avenue 31 Adds Barman Matthew Biancaniello

Another inventive cocktail program hits the city.

The new bar at Avenue 31
The new bar at Avenue 31
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Avenue 31, the inbound Cali-Med stop on the ritziest stretch of the Sunset Strip, is still coming to life. Construction of the former Le Clafoutis space is well underway, and insiders say the menu is coming along nicely. One notable upgrade, though: Matthew Biancaniello.

The impresario barman has been behind some of the most exciting cocktails citywide over the past few years, often working unexpected infusions and lots of produce into his drink pop-ups and bar menus around town. At Avenue 31, he’ll oversee the entire cocktail program.

There are still details to work out, but apparently guests can get ready to enjoy alcohol-laced oysters and a whole sub-menu of absinthe drinks, plus twists on the usual suspects. That could mean everything from wacky gin and tonic options to, apparently, a white balsamic negroni.

For now, Biancaniello’s marble-wrapped bar remains under plastic as the place continues its build-out, but eventually the Avenue 31 space will hold shelves and shelves of straight forward and less-than-usual booze, making the cocktail program a big focus for the fledgeling restaurant. Look for an end of July opening.