The Valley has been in short supply of standout cocktail dens ever since The Fiscal Agent tragically closed last year. Filling the void is a stellar option indeed, thanks to Woodley Proper, a collaboration between cocktail maven Devon Espinosa and Scratch Bar duo Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee that opens this weekend in Encino.
Centered around the idea of a proper dining at the bar experience, Woodley Proper puts food and drink on equal standings. Roving barman Espinosa, who has at one point worked on the cocktail programs everywhere from ink. to Houston Hospitality venues to The Church Key, will find a permanent home behind the bar, crafting a rather expansive array of libations.
Imbibers can begin the evening with boozy amuse bouches like a vodka, blueberry, and lemon sphere before selecting from a menu organized by aromatic, floral, herbaceous, fruit, and “treats” categories. Large parties have the option of large format punch displays and interactive carts, loaded with a full bottle, freshly made mixers, accoutrements, a bartender, and tutorial.
Soaking it all up is a variety of dishes from Top Chef alum Phillip Frankland Lee. There are anything but ordinary bar snacks, like fried shrimp heads with pickled shrimp salsa and a show-stopping Proper Tower with of house-cured charcuterie, Scratch Bar x Stepladder Creamery cheeses, and chilled shellfish. Rounding out the menu are larger plates like a dry-aged New York strip steak with shawarma spice, and pastries that come by way of Kallas-Lee.
The beautiful Jordan Olson-designed space adjacent to Scratch Bar and the upcoming Frankland’s Crab & Co. features 100-year old sun-bleached oak, patterned Victorian wallpaper, and plush velvet accents, making it quite the place to come together over a few inventive drinks. Woodley Proper makes its debut Friday, April 7, and will be open daily from noon to 2 a.m. Call 818.906.9775 for reservations of five or more.
16101 Ventura Blvd. #245