Where to Booze It Up for Dine L.A.

Chef Jose Andres cocktails dine L.A.

Chef Jose Andres cocktails dine L.A.
If you’re anything like me, you decide which restaurant you go to by how good of a cocktail program they have. No? Just me? OK, well I browsed through the lonnng list of participating dine L.A. restaurants, 430 to be exact, to pick out the ones that happen to have a great bar program in place. And sure, the point of dine L.A. for many diners on a budget might not be to add to the bill total. But I’m of the mind that if you’re going to out to enjoy a nice dinner out and are saving some bucks, why not put that cash toward some good drinks?

Here are my personal favorites of the dine L.A. restaurants with cocktail programs worth checking out.

Dine L.A. Restaurants With Killer Cocktail Programs


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AOC: This restaurant by Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne is an all-rounder, from the food to the wine to the cocktails. You honestly can’t go wrong with anything here. Start off with a cocktail by beverage director Christiaan Rollich and choose vino to have with your $59 four-course dinner. Drink deal: $10 Green Goddess with dine L.A. menu!

Belcampo – Santa Monica: dine L.A. dinner here offers an entree choice of that Belcampo Burger or Steak Frites! Supplement that indulgent meaty meal with a delicious cocktail created by barman Josh Goldman. Might as well go whole cow and order that BBQ Old Fashioned, which comes with a beef jerky garnish.

EP + LP: It’s a touch clubby here with beautiful people abound but I do love the food and cocktails. By the way, the brunch here is one of my faves in L.A. with that amazing chicken (jidori) and waffles (Hong Kong style).

Native Restaurant: At Chef Nyesha Arrington’s Santa Monica restaurant, come for the dine L.A. chicken schniztel with fino sherry and mushroom and stay for barman Adam Flamenbaum’s well-crafted cocktails. My personal fave is the Big Surprise — a mezcal beauty with allspice dram, bloody shiraz gin and creme de cacao.

Providence: Sure, the dine L.A. menu at Chef Michael Cimarusti’s award-winning restaurant starts at $100 — a “deal” considering the regular tasting menu is $120. But you have the option of diving off the decadent deep end into the wine pairing menu for $160 (vs. regular price $170). Or simply wet your whistle with one of barman Kim Stodel’s zero-waste cocktails, which feature ingenious uses of kitchen scraps.

Redbird: Frankly, you shouldn’t need a restaurant week to convince you to dine at Redbird. It’s got all the things: ambiance, the best hospitality, delicious food with produce from its own garden. I even included it on a list of the best places for a first date. But the biggest motivating factor for me is that bar program by Tobin Shea.

Rossoblu: Red alert: Vincenzo Marianella — formerly of Providence and Copa d’Oro — did the new cocktail menu after the restaurant re-opened post-fire last month. His expertly made culinary cocktails mixed with Chef Samson’s delicious Italian dishes will have you singing “O mio babbino caro.” Feel like splurging? Order the Avati cocktail after dinner. It’s $20 but it’s a heady mix of Rossoblu Whistle Pig Rye Whiskey, mezcal, Braulio, and Jerry Thomas Bitter.


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Sotto: Not only is Chef Samson’s subterranean Italian restaurant featuring a dine L.A. menu but it also recently debuted a new city-inspired cocktail menu by Bar Director Ramsey Musk. Think a Venice cocktail made with blanco tequila, Braulio amaro, mezcal, green chartreuse, lime, eucalyptus, and egg.

The Bazaar by Jose Andres: Well, hello. The dine L.A. experience at The Bazaar begins with a welcome glass of cava and is followed by an amazing array of bites, because of course. And since you’re already splurging on this $110 menu, you might as well indulge in the “Ultimate Gin & Tonic” or the Liquid Manhattan with a liquid cherry sphere.

The Exchange: This Israeli restaurant located on the ground floor of the hip Freehand Hotel is one of my fave spots to grab dinner in downtown, not only for the food but the cocktails. Their drinks have featured fun and interesting ingredients such as pickle gastrique, watermelon mango cordial and kefir.


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