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Where to Drink in Los Angeles, Summer 2014

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2008_10_hasmaps.jpgThe cocktail scene in Los Angeles has never been better. The proliferation of well-made drinks has made diners and imbibers not only want the best, but expect the best, from men and women behind the bar. The trademark style of L.A.'s cocktail might be the use of fresh produce available in farmers markets, but also the strength of the city's committed cocktailians and mixologists that make drinking so enjoyable this time of year. As the weather warms up, it's the perfect time to taste with a shaken drink overlooking the ocean or out on the patio on summer nights. With slew of new bars around town, presenting Eater's Drink Heatmap for Summer 2014.


4/30/13: Added: littlefork, The Corner Door, Freddy Smalls, FEED Body + Soul, Cliff's Edge, Goldie's, Bestia, Corazon y Miel, Paiche, Son of a Gun, Crossroads, RivaBella, Drago Centro, Bludso's Bar & Que

10/28/13: Added: Warwick, Honeycut, Shutters, The Church Key, Pitfire Pizza Fairfax

12/27/13: Added: Scopa, Petty Cash Taqueria, Wolf & Crane, Acabar

4/9/14: Added: The Wallace, Gracias Madre, Bar Jackalope, The Tasting Kitchen, Faith & Flower, Melrose Umbrella Co., POT Bar, Bourbon Steak, Bigfoot Lodge

6/18/14: Added:Harlowe, Broadway Bar, Cana Rum Bar, Sonny's Hideaway, Beelman's Pub, Tunnel Bar, Fifty Seven, Tanzy, Terrazza

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Tasting Kitchen

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1633 Abbot Kinney Rd
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 392-6644
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Though the bar program remains as solid as ever under the direction of barman Justin Pike, it's time to reconsider The Tasting Kitchen as perhaps the best place to grab a drink on Abbot Kinney. Consider the barrel-aged cocktails, like the Negroni.

2. Honeycut

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819 S Flower St
Los Angeles, CA 90017
213-688-0888

Honeycut, the new downtown bar and (light up) dancing facility from 213's Cedd Moses, has a proper bar program by David Kaplan, Alex Day and Devon Tarby of Proprietors, LLC. A whopping 50 drinks are on offer in the bar room, meanwhile the dance/disco room serves bottled cocktails and cocktails on draft.

3. Scopa Italian Roots

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2905 Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

Bar pros Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix make what might be the hottest place to get a drink in Venice, with Italian twists put on a modern cocktail menu that won't break the bank either, as most drinks hover $9-12. Try the house negroni.

4. Petty Cash Taqueria

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7360 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 933-5300
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Julian Cox makes a small, accessible cocktail list for this uber-popular Mexican taco spot by Walter Manzke. The paloma might be the strongest version ever done, with the most amount of salt and tang possibly mixed into a drink. The draft cocktails are a relative bargain too.

5. The Corner Door

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12477 W. Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90066
(310) 313-5810
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Bartender Beau Du Bois really meshes the best of classic cocktail making with the new cadre of great spirits available on the market. A master of blending liqueurs, try the Mezcallin for a smokey, gingery drink or a seasonal pick like the Rapier and Dagger made with scotch, cognac, benedictine, amaro and creme de peche. The ambiance tends to be more relaxed, making for a more pleasant cocktail experience.

6. The Church Key

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8730 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(424) 249-3700

The Church Key has a plethora of fun ways to imbibe, thanks to bartender Devon Espinosa. There's Negronis in a can and adult iced push pops in flavors like lemon drop and apple martini, which are served from old Delta airlines service carts. Off the regular bar menu go for the Pink Lips with Grey Goose La Poire, lime, Pama Espuma, and Champagne.

7. Acabar

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7651 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Julian Cox and Josh Goldman do classic drinks right with a thoroughly reimagined approach to making everything from tiki drinks to old-school favorites like the sherry cobbler. The arresting room, completely redone in the former Dar Maghreb space doesn't hurt either.

8. Gracias Madre

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8905 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 978-2170
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With a stellar mezcal and tequila program, this expansive vegan Mexican eatery in West Hollywood shouldn't need a great cocktail menu. But it does, and the boozy horchata made with almond milk and mezcal, or the more refined La Ciudad, composed of tequila, dry vermouth, amaro, and orange bitters for a stirred drink that stands up to tortas.

9. Bar Jackalope at Seven Grand

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This Japanese whisky bar cut out of the expansive Seven Grand space in Downtown is a different kind of vibe from Cedd Moses. Intimate, settled, and focused on a superior brown liquor experience, imbibers can even buy a bottle to finish on another occasion. Or right away.

10. Faith & Flower

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705 W 9th St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 239-0642
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This grand Downtown restaurant has a stellar bar program helmed by Michael Lay, who put together the menu in Monterrey's 1833. Using seven different kinds of ice and boasting a Russian-style absinthe service, standout drinks include the English Milk Punch and the Adonis, made with sherry, angelica tincture, royal combier, china-amer and orange bitters. (yes, believe it)

11. Melrose Umbrella Co

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7465 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 951-0709
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With cocktails by Zach Patterson and a helping hand from Julian Cox, this stunning lounge in the heart of Melrose feature antique design elements from Matt Winter. Using housemade syrups, tonics, and tinctures, the program is just as artisanal as the look itself.

12. Crossroads Los Angeles

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8284 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Cocktails in a vegan restaurant? Yes, believe it, thanks to Jeremy Lake, who puts together fresh ingredients that are no only conducive to the inventive plant-based fare, but also borderline healthy themselves. Consider the tea-infused gin, or Beast of Burden, made with tequila and coconut water.

13. POT Bar

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3515 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 368-3030

Matthew Biancaniello takes the Korean-inspired drinks at POT to another level, thanks to ingredients like uni, natto, and mushrooms, but the intoxicants simply burst with flavor at this whimsical bar in The Line Hotel's bustling lobby.

14. Harlowe

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Perhaps the strongest cocktail production from 1933, this gorgeously renovated space from Bobby Green takes the best of antiques and put them into a space very similar to something in New Orleans or perhaps Brooklyn's Maison Premiere. And the drinks range from artisanal spirits and old-school European aperitifs to American cocktail classics served in cute jars. Don't skip the patio either.

15. Broadway Bar

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830 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 614-9909
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Revamped and cleaned up to reflect a old-timey place without the extra fluff, Broadway Bar is still a fun place to grab a drink in Downtown, but with a tight menu of solid cocktails produced by the likes of The Varnish's Eric Alperin. A Moscow Mule never tasted so good.

16. Caña Rum Bar

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714 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 745-7090
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Suspended by bartender Danielle Crouch, the rum-based cocktails have taken a turn toward tiki at this hidden Downtown Bar. Touting a cool weekend (and chill weekday) scene, along with one of the few smoking patios in town, it's a great place to escape the bustle of the city with a strong cocktail in hand.

17. Sonny's Hideaway

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5137 York Blvd
Highland Park, CA 90042
(323) 255-2000
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Featuring drinks by Kelly O'Hare, it's one of the few places to grab a legitimate cocktail in Highland Park, paired with the seasonal bites by new chef Alexander Abdel-Monem. Try the O Paradis, made with mezcal, chareau aloe, pamplemouse rose, plum preserve and lime, or the Matterhorn,, made with gin and Zirbenz Stone pine liqueur.

18. Beelman's Pub

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600 S. Spring
Los Angeles, CA 90014

The old Coffee Bar has been completely redone into a humble European drinking spot, replete with old furniture and Campari umbrellas on the street side. Cocktails by Proprietors, LLC boast a slew of European spirits that will be at once familiar, but also unique. Also, some drinks on tap for those who want a quick hit.

19. Tunnel Bar

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14633 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

The Valley has a new compelling drinking spot in Tunnel Bar, a 1970's-style bar that could be underneath a New York bridge. Instead, it's right in Sherman Oaks, presenting things like the Elder Fashioned, made with gin and St. Germain instead of bourbon.

20. Fifty Seven

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712 S Santa Fe Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Jeronimo Medina does well to keep pace with the higher concept cooking coming out of the kitchen at this new Arts District restaurant that featuring a roving lineup of chefs. Consider the Morbrie, made with Pakistani mulberries, lemon, Aperol, ginger, honey, and rhubarb-infused gin. Don't worry, it's been tasted rigorously to ensure it's delicious.

21. Tanzy Artisinal Italian

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10840 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 307-7004

Westwood hasn't really been rich in great cocktail places, but thanks to mixologist Adam Seger, Tanzy is now shaking up some fine drinks right inside the iPic theaters. Try the Tuscan Sun, with carrot-infused vodka, honey sour, and lemon sorbetto for something refreshing before hitting the cinemas.

22. Terrazza

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1910 Ocean Way
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 581-5533

Terrazza, a new eatery inside the Casa Del Mar, might have one of the most pristine ocean views in the city, but the cocktails actually might be good enough to distract you. While noshing on a great pizza by chef Sven Mede, or the insanely good lobster crudo with black truffle and caviar, sip on a Tazza di Vita, made with Averna, gin, mint, lime juice, and cucumber topped off with club soda.

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1. The Tasting Kitchen

1633 Abbot Kinney Rd, Venice, CA 90291

Though the bar program remains as solid as ever under the direction of barman Justin Pike, it's time to reconsider The Tasting Kitchen as perhaps the best place to grab a drink on Abbot Kinney. Consider the barrel-aged cocktails, like the Negroni.

1633 Abbot Kinney Rd
Venice, CA 90291

2. Honeycut

819 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Honeycut, the new downtown bar and (light up) dancing facility from 213's Cedd Moses, has a proper bar program by David Kaplan, Alex Day and Devon Tarby of Proprietors, LLC. A whopping 50 drinks are on offer in the bar room, meanwhile the dance/disco room serves bottled cocktails and cocktails on draft.

819 S Flower St
Los Angeles, CA 90017

3. Scopa Italian Roots

2905 Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Bar pros Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix make what might be the hottest place to get a drink in Venice, with Italian twists put on a modern cocktail menu that won't break the bank either, as most drinks hover $9-12. Try the house negroni.

2905 Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

4. Petty Cash Taqueria

7360 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Julian Cox makes a small, accessible cocktail list for this uber-popular Mexican taco spot by Walter Manzke. The paloma might be the strongest version ever done, with the most amount of salt and tang possibly mixed into a drink. The draft cocktails are a relative bargain too.

7360 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

5. The Corner Door

12477 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90066

Bartender Beau Du Bois really meshes the best of classic cocktail making with the new cadre of great spirits available on the market. A master of blending liqueurs, try the Mezcallin for a smokey, gingery drink or a seasonal pick like the Rapier and Dagger made with scotch, cognac, benedictine, amaro and creme de peche. The ambiance tends to be more relaxed, making for a more pleasant cocktail experience.

12477 W. Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90066

6. The Church Key

8730 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

The Church Key has a plethora of fun ways to imbibe, thanks to bartender Devon Espinosa. There's Negronis in a can and adult iced push pops in flavors like lemon drop and apple martini, which are served from old Delta airlines service carts. Off the regular bar menu go for the Pink Lips with Grey Goose La Poire, lime, Pama Espuma, and Champagne.

8730 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

7. Acabar

7651 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Julian Cox and Josh Goldman do classic drinks right with a thoroughly reimagined approach to making everything from tiki drinks to old-school favorites like the sherry cobbler. The arresting room, completely redone in the former Dar Maghreb space doesn't hurt either.

7651 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046

8. Gracias Madre

8905 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

With a stellar mezcal and tequila program, this expansive vegan Mexican eatery in West Hollywood shouldn't need a great cocktail menu. But it does, and the boozy horchata made with almond milk and mezcal, or the more refined La Ciudad, composed of tequila, dry vermouth, amaro, and orange bitters for a stirred drink that stands up to tortas.

8905 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069

9. Bar Jackalope at Seven Grand

Los Angeles, CA

This Japanese whisky bar cut out of the expansive Seven Grand space in Downtown is a different kind of vibe from Cedd Moses. Intimate, settled, and focused on a superior brown liquor experience, imbibers can even buy a bottle to finish on another occasion. Or right away.

10. Faith & Flower

705 W 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

This grand Downtown restaurant has a stellar bar program helmed by Michael Lay, who put together the menu in Monterrey's 1833. Using seven different kinds of ice and boasting a Russian-style absinthe service, standout drinks include the English Milk Punch and the Adonis, made with sherry, angelica tincture, royal combier, china-amer and orange bitters. (yes, believe it)

705 W 9th St
Los Angeles, CA 90015

11. Melrose Umbrella Co

7465 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

With cocktails by Zach Patterson and a helping hand from Julian Cox, this stunning lounge in the heart of Melrose feature antique design elements from Matt Winter. Using housemade syrups, tonics, and tinctures, the program is just as artisanal as the look itself.

7465 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

12. Crossroads Los Angeles

8284 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Cocktails in a vegan restaurant? Yes, believe it, thanks to Jeremy Lake, who puts together fresh ingredients that are no only conducive to the inventive plant-based fare, but also borderline healthy themselves. Consider the tea-infused gin, or Beast of Burden, made with tequila and coconut water.

8284 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

13. POT Bar

3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

Matthew Biancaniello takes the Korean-inspired drinks at POT to another level, thanks to ingredients like uni, natto, and mushrooms, but the intoxicants simply burst with flavor at this whimsical bar in The Line Hotel's bustling lobby.

3515 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010

14. Harlowe

Los Angeles, CA

Perhaps the strongest cocktail production from 1933, this gorgeously renovated space from Bobby Green takes the best of antiques and put them into a space very similar to something in New Orleans or perhaps Brooklyn's Maison Premiere. And the drinks range from artisanal spirits and old-school European aperitifs to American cocktail classics served in cute jars. Don't skip the patio either.

15. Broadway Bar

830 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Revamped and cleaned up to reflect a old-timey place without the extra fluff, Broadway Bar is still a fun place to grab a drink in Downtown, but with a tight menu of solid cocktails produced by the likes of The Varnish's Eric Alperin. A Moscow Mule never tasted so good.

830 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90014

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16. Caña Rum Bar

714 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Suspended by bartender Danielle Crouch, the rum-based cocktails have taken a turn toward tiki at this hidden Downtown Bar. Touting a cool weekend (and chill weekday) scene, along with one of the few smoking patios in town, it's a great place to escape the bustle of the city with a strong cocktail in hand.

714 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90015

17. Sonny's Hideaway

5137 York Blvd, Highland Park, CA 90042

Featuring drinks by Kelly O'Hare, it's one of the few places to grab a legitimate cocktail in Highland Park, paired with the seasonal bites by new chef Alexander Abdel-Monem. Try the O Paradis, made with mezcal, chareau aloe, pamplemouse rose, plum preserve and lime, or the Matterhorn,, made with gin and Zirbenz Stone pine liqueur.

5137 York Blvd
Highland Park, CA 90042

18. Beelman's Pub

600 S. Spring, Los Angeles, CA 90014

The old Coffee Bar has been completely redone into a humble European drinking spot, replete with old furniture and Campari umbrellas on the street side. Cocktails by Proprietors, LLC boast a slew of European spirits that will be at once familiar, but also unique. Also, some drinks on tap for those who want a quick hit.

600 S. Spring
Los Angeles, CA 90014

19. Tunnel Bar

14633 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

The Valley has a new compelling drinking spot in Tunnel Bar, a 1970's-style bar that could be underneath a New York bridge. Instead, it's right in Sherman Oaks, presenting things like the Elder Fashioned, made with gin and St. Germain instead of bourbon.

14633 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

20. Fifty Seven

712 S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Jeronimo Medina does well to keep pace with the higher concept cooking coming out of the kitchen at this new Arts District restaurant that featuring a roving lineup of chefs. Consider the Morbrie, made with Pakistani mulberries, lemon, Aperol, ginger, honey, and rhubarb-infused gin. Don't worry, it's been tasted rigorously to ensure it's delicious.

712 S Santa Fe Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90021

21. Tanzy Artisinal Italian

10840 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024