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Two of America’s Best Bars Are Pouring Drinks in Los Angeles Soon

Plus, a Perfect Date at Erewhon, a closure in Venice, and more

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Interior shot of Thunderbolt dining room featuring emerald green walls, brown leather banquettes and bar seats, and bar tables with bright orange stools.
Virali_Dave is a writer and editor in Los Angeles. Born in Mumbai, she has always considered the West Coast to be the best coast. Her writing has appeared in FoodBeast, NBC News, LAist, Life and Thyme, The Ringer, Input Magazine, and more.

Historic Filipinotown’s Thunderbolt, widely considered to be one of the best bars in Los Angeles and beyond, is collaborating with New York City drinking destination Shinji’s, an innovative cocktail bar from the team behind Michelin-starred omakase restaurant Noda. While the former is known for its Southern-inspired menu and extensive Madeira selection, the latter is known for being contemporary and technical, with a menu that features a foie gras-infused sidecar.

The two big bar names will come together today, May 10 in LA, with the Shinji’s team serving some of their highly innovative cocktails. Highlights include the Jackie Treehorn, a Big Lebowski-inspired White Russian with zero dairy or dairy substitutes, served alongside a mini carpet coaster. Or, the Honeypenny, made with two types of gin, vodka, aperitif, mead, and Cocchi Americano.

The Perfect Date at Erewhon

Erewhon’s latest collaboration launched this week — a Perfect Date latte in partnership with popular food influencer Samah Dada of Dada Eats. With flavors comparable to a snickerdoodle, the latte is created with a house-made data caramel, espresso, coconut cream, maple syrup, cinnamon, and oat milk from collaboration partner Willa’s. The latte is available through July 8 at the Tonic Bar at all Erewhon locations.

A new bar takes over Nueva

After a three-year run, Nueva has closed as of Sunday, May 7. The space will soon be transformed into a cocktail bar called Gin Rummy, expected to open on May 26, according to a pop-up on Nueva’s website. The bar will serve classic, tropical, and original cocktails, plus bar food. The bar program will be managed by Danilo Kim and Marcus Ragas.

Taste of Downtown Long Beach

The Taste of Downtown food event returns to Long Beach on May 10 and 11. Produced by Epic Entertainment Group, this event will feature 1.38 square miles of food, drinks, and live music featuring some of Long Beach’s most popular spots. Food vendors include Buono’s Pizzeria, Cave Prime Steak, Ladie Kakes, Long Beach Taco, and Cena Vegan. Drink vendors Hi-Ho Liquor and Beachwood Brewing will be serving wine and beer. The event is free to enter, and tasting tickets are available for sale.

Friends and Family in LA

Oakland favorite Friends and Family is making its way to LA for a series of pop-ups and takeovers. Awarded a World’s 50 Best Bars North America nod (and James Beard Best Bar nomination last year), Friends and Family is a queer-owned bar known for vibrant cocktails, impressive small plates, and ambient atmosphere. The team will be at Bar Flores on Sunday, May 14 and at Honey’s on Tuesday, May 16 for queer speed dating and a bar takeover, and then a final evening of speed dating on Wednesday, May 17 at the Ruby Fruit. A portion of drink sales will be donated to the Trans Law Center.