Oh lawdy, Hollywood has gotten a whole bunch of new drinking options! This week for Los Angeles Magazine’s Liquid LA alone I covered three new cocktail programs created by high-caliber bartenders. And the best part is that all three bars are within walking distance of each other! OK, maybe it’ll be a long walk in heels but just pack foldable flats.
Here’s a rundown of the new Hollywood craft cocktail bar programs:
Power House: That dive bar on Highland and Hollywood that everyone loved and shut down earlier this summer has just reopened this month with a brand-new look and cocktail program. Bonus that it’s so much cleaner and clean-smelling. But bonus bonus that the drinks have been created by one of my favorite bartenders and the guy I credit with getting me started on the road to drinking well, Damian Windsor. Sure, he’s put 22 cocktails on the opening menu. 22! But they’re easy drinking and simple. Perfect for casual sipping. The point was to keep Power House a neighborhood bar. And with no dress code and a moderate price range ($8 to $16), compared to most other Hollywood bars, it still is.
Lost Property: Even though this new lost-and-found-themed whiskey bar by Crossroads’ Jeremy Lake is still a work in progress, it opened up this week. Right now it has 50 different whiskey brands to choose from and a slew of whiskey cocktails — categorized as Citrusy, Refreshing, Aromatic and Sweet — created by Jeremy, who was trained by the ubiquitous Julian Cox. But you can look forward to a larger whiskey collection of lost and rare bottles, a claim check system that allows you to purchase said bottles as well as to reserve and buy drinks for friends at another time, and a wall of “lost and found” items that you can claim for yourself.
Sassafras Saloon: This 1933 Group bar, which totally reminds me of the Blue Bayou restaurant at the Pirates of Caribbean ride in Disneyland, finally has drinks I can get behind. Before I always thought them too sweet and don’t get me started on that barrel-aged cocktail program. But now the bar has Karen Grill (Bestia) in charge of the drinks and she’s added her culinary touch to the program. She’s fine-tuned the barrel-aged cocktails, reducing them down just five really good ones: a Bijou, a Vieux Carre, a Sazerac, a La Rosita, and a Manhattan. And her solution for quick culinary cocktails is her jam jar drinks which she makes with her own seasonal jams. You gotta love Karen’s attention to details with her cocktails. Not only do they excite the palate with complex but well-balanced flavors but they’re so pretty! She uses Santeria candle jars for her Hurricane cocktail and actual jam jars for her jam jar ones.
Add to this list the Houston Brothers’ brand-new bar/restaurant, Butchers & Barbers, on Hollywood Boulevard and you have a stumble-easy itinerary for your Friday night!