Before I found Jameson and Coke, I was big into specialty cocktails. I’d sidle up to every new bar I walked into and ask for their list of house cocktails. If they had a menu, joy! If not, bo-ring!
A bar’s cocktail list is a sign of the talent and the imagination of the house drink scientist. No self-respecting loungy bar should go without such a menu. Below are a few of my favorite joints for these cocktails, either because of the fantastic concoctions or because of the heavy-handed pouring, or maybe even both in some cases.
Beauty Bar is probably the ultimate place for a girls’ night out if not for their hair salon-inspired names like the Prell and Platinum Blonde then for John their hot doorman or even their $10 mani/martini special, where if you buy a ‘tini you get a mani (or a henna tattoo) for free.
On an aside, May 7th is the day when lovely L.A. Beauty Bar patrons will have the chance to compete for the regional title of Miss Beauty Bar and a $250 cash prize. Details are on the site. To compete, sign up here.
1638 N Cahuenga Boulevard
Hollywood, California 90028
The Bigfoot Lodge on Los Feliz has my favorite girl drinks ever: the Toasted Marshmallow and the Girl Scout Cookie. If you order the Toasted Marshmallow, you’re treated to a spectacle when the bartender douses the marshmallow garnish with Bacardi 151 and lights it over your creamy marshmallowy drink. The Girl Scout Cookie totally tastes like the ever popular Thin Mint cookie except it’s so creamy that you can’t down too many of these in one sitting. On Tuesday nights, it’s girls’ night where ladies can get $4 pink drinks or $3 draft beers. I tried the pink drinks and it’s awright, so I stick with my faves.
3172 Los Feliz Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90039
Liquid Kitty has award-winning martinis as bestowed by CitySearch, Yahoo and KCAL’s “9 on the Town.” Personally, I’m not all that crazy about their concoctions but their drinks are very potent and always get me into trouble. With an innocuous-sounding name like “Lolita” how much trouble can one get into from sipping 10 ounces of blue curacao, pineapple juice and vodka? Let me just say, LOTS. But the Kitty is very laidback and oh-so dark. So if you just want a place to drink your girl drink without judgment, this would be it.
11780 W Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90064
Cross Street: Barrington Avenue
Lola’s on Fairfax has an encyclopedia of a specialty cocktails list. It should since it’s been billed as the spot that launched a thousand apple martinis. The drinks start at around $10 and you can take your pick of house fave, the tart green apple martini, or the sweeter caramel apple ‘tini which comes with a splash of butterscotch schnapps.
945 N Fairfax Avenue
West Hollywood, California 90036
Cross Street: Romaine Street
Velvet Margarita Cantina is great for the Pink Puta. You heard me–strawberries, half and half and tequila. Every time I’ve gone here, it’s what the loud gaggles of girls always order. It’s sweet, creamy and pretty in pink. Personally I prefer the pomegranate margarita. It’s dark, it’s red, it’s simple and very tasty. I could easily down many because it’s not filling.
1612 N. Cahuenga Boulevard
Hollywood, California 90028
Cross Street: Selma Avenue