What does a neighborhood really need? It’s an oft-asked question in the restaurant world, and unlocking the answer might mean years of continued and steady success. For new Thai Town wine bar Tabula Rasa Bar, they believe they’ve found the key.
Tonight marks the arrival of Tabula Rasa Bar, an unassuming little wine bar with big plans along the eastern edge of Thai Town. Some might call it East Hollywood, others the western border of Los Feliz — whatever your neighborhood designation, expect the locals there to make this place a part of the regular rotation.
Doors open sharply at 5 p.m. today, letting customers flow into a long, cozy space, with lots of barstools to hunker into. A wide mural over the back bar peeks at the old brick underneath these walls, while the rest of the room is anchored by dark woods, strong banquette runs, and just enough mood lighting to catch the eye of your dining companion. There's a small space out back to catch a cigarette as needed, while a retreated front entrance leaves room for a trio of stools right out front.
Mostly though you'll want to hang out inside; that's where the action from owners Zach Negin and Daniel Flores is happening anyway. The pair come together after sharing time at Bestia in Downtown, and have a mutual love for fun, approachable wines that won't break the bank. The glassed-in back room will certainly carry some pricier stuff, but for the average drinker there will be plenty on offer by the glass to enjoy.
Feel like a bite to eat? Tabula Rasa Bar will hold down that corner as well, with a simple menu brought to life by chef Jessica Wang. Expect simple bar snacks meant for the all-night crowd, including a killer Cubano sandwich.
Doors open tonight for Tabula Rasa Bar at 5 p.m., with evening hours only until 1 a.m. most nights, and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Strong, consistent hours, and prices that will keep you coming back — talk about a recipe for neighborhood success.
Tabula Rasa Bar
5125 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA