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The bar at B.S. Taqueria, Downtown
The bar at B.S. Taqueria, Downtown
Wonho Frank Lee

Ten LA Bar Snacks That Only Get Better With a Cocktail in Hand

Elevate your bar food game.

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The bar at B.S. Taqueria, Downtown
| Wonho Frank Lee

This list is dedicated to the unsung heroes of the cocktail experience: The food. Whether it's something spicy, rich or even slightly sweet, there's always a good snack to pair with your adult beverage. LA obviously has no shortage of different cuisines to which you could pair a nice, strong cocktail, so here are ten awesome "bar snacks" that can really steal the show:

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Grilled Corn at B.S. Taqueria

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If you’re not feeling a taco, then… well, what the hell are you doing at B.S. Taqueria? You might be there for drinks, and in that case you don’t want to miss the buttery, cotija cheese speckled grilled corn that’s indecently good, especially with a cold, mezcal-based Orange Bang that’s practically summer in a snack and a drink.

Spanish Mushrooms at Father's Office

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A savory, autumnal treat, the Spanish Mushrooms at Father’s Office are adulterated with thyme and sherry vinegar, and the woodsy mushrooms are as fantastic with a hoppy IPA as they are with whiskey-based cocktails.

Fried PB & J at Lock & Key

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Sweet, slightly oily and crunchy and practically begging for a strong cocktail for a balance (or, you know, the Strawberry Mule if you really like strawberries), the Deep Fried PB & J is a greasy bar snack masquerading as a county fair treat.

Spicy Chicken Pops at Lukshon

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The heat from Lukshon’s spicy chicken pops aren’t too serious (and the heat at some dishes at Lukshon can get very serious), but the chicken fat-covered frenched drummettes pair excellently with tart, citrusy cocktails to help balance out the kick.

Shishitos at Redbird

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The shishito peppers at Redbird are dusted with fried quinoa to get a marvelous textural balance. The not-so-spicy number begs to be eaten with virtually any cocktail off of Julian Cox, Tobin Shea, and Nick Meyer’s standard-bearing program.

Turmeric Skewers at E.P & L.P.

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Grilled meat is always a go when it comes to pairing with drinks, and the turmeric pork skewer carries such a distinctive nose that it’s important to consider it when pairing with a cocktail. Cocktails that incorporate lime and mint like a caipirinha or a mojito are a good bet, as lime and turmeric play well with one another.

Spicy BBQ Pork at Pot Bar

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Though a traditional Korean would normally wash down spicy BBQ pork with a cold beer (and you should, too), the sweet heat of caramelized gochujang is the star flavor here. Feel free to pair it with a non-fruity cocktail, like an old fashioned that’s on draft at Roy Choi’s Koreatown bar.

Fatty Pork Skewers at Honda Ya

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Few meats are as perfect a candidate for a beer pairing as uncured bacon, and Honda Ya’s fatty pork skewers fit the bill perfectly. Bite-sized portions of the pork belly are grilled over charcoal until glistening and slightly crispy, and one bite explodes with juicy, slightly unctuous pork goodness. Wash it all down with a cold beer or better yet, a dram of cold sake.

Beef Roll at Peking Tavern

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Though it’s not quite the best you’ll ever taste, Peking Tavern’s rendition of the beef roll is a familiar mix of cucumbers, beef, hoisin and fried dough you’ll find at many of the SGV’s dumpling houses. Wash it down with a mint-based cocktail to cut through the greasy wrapper and sweetness of the hoisin while also complementing the cucumber.

Deviled Jidori Eggs at Faith & Flower

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The vinegary, funky bite of the kimchi in Faith & Flower’s Jidori Eggs are theoretically balanced by the rich, creamy yolk of a proper deviled egg. In practice, however, the two elements play out disparately at some point on the palate, and that’s where a drink from Faith & Flower’s extensive cocktail program comes into play. Though I’m partial to the Harry Winston (a gussied up old-fashioned with ginger and teapot bitters), the Solo Oaxaqueno (a mezcal cocktail with tiki bitters, raw agave and grapefruit) might be the better play here.

Grilled Corn at B.S. Taqueria

If you’re not feeling a taco, then… well, what the hell are you doing at B.S. Taqueria? You might be there for drinks, and in that case you don’t want to miss the buttery, cotija cheese speckled grilled corn that’s indecently good, especially with a cold, mezcal-based Orange Bang that’s practically summer in a snack and a drink.

Spanish Mushrooms at Father's Office

A savory, autumnal treat, the Spanish Mushrooms at Father’s Office are adulterated with thyme and sherry vinegar, and the woodsy mushrooms are as fantastic with a hoppy IPA as they are with whiskey-based cocktails.

Fried PB & J at Lock & Key

Sweet, slightly oily and crunchy and practically begging for a strong cocktail for a balance (or, you know, the Strawberry Mule if you really like strawberries), the Deep Fried PB & J is a greasy bar snack masquerading as a county fair treat.

Spicy Chicken Pops at Lukshon

The heat from Lukshon’s spicy chicken pops aren’t too serious (and the heat at some dishes at Lukshon can get very serious), but the chicken fat-covered frenched drummettes pair excellently with tart, citrusy cocktails to help balance out the kick.

Shishitos at Redbird

The shishito peppers at Redbird are dusted with fried quinoa to get a marvelous textural balance. The not-so-spicy number begs to be eaten with virtually any cocktail off of Julian Cox, Tobin Shea, and Nick Meyer’s standard-bearing program.

Turmeric Skewers at E.P & L.P.

Grilled meat is always a go when it comes to pairing with drinks, and the turmeric pork skewer carries such a distinctive nose that it’s important to consider it when pairing with a cocktail. Cocktails that incorporate lime and mint like a caipirinha or a mojito are a good bet, as lime and turmeric play well with one another.

Spicy BBQ Pork at Pot Bar

Though a traditional Korean would normally wash down spicy BBQ pork with a cold beer (and you should, too), the sweet heat of caramelized gochujang is the star flavor here. Feel free to pair it with a non-fruity cocktail, like an old fashioned that’s on draft at Roy Choi’s Koreatown bar.

Fatty Pork Skewers at Honda Ya

Few meats are as perfect a candidate for a beer pairing as uncured bacon, and Honda Ya’s fatty pork skewers fit the bill perfectly. Bite-sized portions of the pork belly are grilled over charcoal until glistening and slightly crispy, and one bite explodes with juicy, slightly unctuous pork goodness. Wash it all down with a cold beer or better yet, a dram of cold sake.

Beef Roll at Peking Tavern

Though it’s not quite the best you’ll ever taste, Peking Tavern’s rendition of the beef roll is a familiar mix of cucumbers, beef, hoisin and fried dough you’ll find at many of the SGV’s dumpling houses. Wash it down with a mint-based cocktail to cut through the greasy wrapper and sweetness of the hoisin while also complementing the cucumber.

Deviled Jidori Eggs at Faith & Flower

The vinegary, funky bite of the kimchi in Faith & Flower’s Jidori Eggs are theoretically balanced by the rich, creamy yolk of a proper deviled egg. In practice, however, the two elements play out disparately at some point on the palate, and that’s where a drink from Faith & Flower’s extensive cocktail program comes into play. Though I’m partial to the Harry Winston (a gussied up old-fashioned with ginger and teapot bitters), the Solo Oaxaqueno (a mezcal cocktail with tiki bitters, raw agave and grapefruit) might be the better play here.

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